Rider and Older horse to start dressage without trainer?
I'm a college student and recently moved my older gelding to be at school with me. I've been really interested in getting into dressage (have been in hunters/jumpers only) and wondering what I need to do to get started. The obvious answer would be to get a trainer, but the barn I'm at doesn't have a trainer, only boarding, and I can't get a trainer out to my barn right now. I may be in the position to trailer in to lessons in the next 6 months or so, but as of now no option for a trainer. Is there anything I can do to get started on dressage for a newbie horse/rider pair? I just have no idea on how to get started.
Back in the dark ages....things were very different
I taught myself and my failed junior hunter very basic dressage from a book or two. We ended up quite competitive at novice and training level eventing usually scoring around 67% in dressage and often finishing on our dressage scores. So it can be done and he was as unlikely looking as could be imagined, barely 15 hands and red roan.
The two books I found most helpful were "Make the Most of your Horse" by the late Jan Dickerson. She used to post here as VernaJan. When she died COTH posted an obit. I had no idea she had studied under Col. Ljunquist(sp?) The other book I used was an early one by Mary Wanless which FINALLY gave me the key to keeping my toes pointed FORWARD. Both are available used on Amazon.
Now you have YOUTUBE!
Jane Savoie has put some of the best videos on there and she has a great free newsletter and subscription website, Dressage Mentor. Her DVD's Half Halt Demystified are very helpful.
The Janet Foy/Steffen Peters series from ESDCTA is also very good.
There is also unfortunately a whole lot of crap on Youtube as well.
For books: Lessons with Lendon mentioned above, Jane Savoie's Dressage 101, Janet Foy Dressage for the Not So Perfect Horse, Leslie Webb, Build a Better Athlete book and DVDs,and Betsy Steiner A Gymnastic Riding System Using Mind Body and Spirit
ETA:I did not mean to neglect or disparage many more advanced books such as the Complete Training of Horse and Rider, Riding Logic, etc