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  1. #1
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    Default New Student Regime`

    What is your "instruction regime`" of choice for a new student with experience riding, but not in dressage? I always begin with theory before any mounted lessons.

    Thanx!



  2. #2
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    My personal observation is that in riding, theory is great, but there is nothing like the physical feeling of the theory in practice to solidify its practicality.

    I can explain sitting trot endlessly , but having the rider on the horse, and getting them to feel how it works, is much more effective. The same with transitions and half halts.

    And until inside leg to outside rein actually works, and the rider gets a softened horse, the rider can read, and the teacher can talk forever.

    I find it works far better this way for me as a teacher.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  3. #3

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    I agree. Riding tends to be something best learned whilst doing it. I wouldn't pay for lessons that didn't involve me being on a horse. I can read books and watch videos all about theory for free.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Maiden View Post
    What is your "instruction regime`" of choice for a new student with experience riding, but not in dressage? I always begin with theory before any mounted lessons.

    Thanx!
    Not a trainer, but as someone who is new to dressage but with many years of riding experience... I will tell you that I would not work with someone who felt compelled to spout theory before they would "let" me take a mounted lesson. As the previous poster noted, if a student wants theory (only) then it's easier and cheaper to get a book from one of the masters... and then work with a trainer to learn to execute that theory in the tack.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  5. #5
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    If they are coming with a horse that is also new to dressage, I usually ask if I can hop on first to demonstrate what we are going to be working on. This also allows me to "prep" the horse, explain what I am doing and why as I demonstrate, and give the horse some clue of what is being asked of him when the learning student hops on later.

    After I ride for 15-20 minutes, I then put the student up.

    Generally the first thing we do is turn early up the longside and legyield out. The very baby basics of inside leg to outside rein.


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  6. #6
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    Hopping on the horse has another advantage. It will frequently tell you how much the student already knows.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  7. #7
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    When I started dressage with my current trainer, her program is to put new to dressage students, whether they have their own horse or not, on the lunge line on one of her horses for a lesson or two. This way the student can both learn the new language and concepts, and learn to feel what she is explaining. I really appreciated those first lunge lessons, and they were full of bits of theory as well, as they applied to the current task.

    It was a great start for me, and something I often request to go back to, to refine basics and help work out of bad habits.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~



  8. #8
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    Apr. 6, 2010
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    Lunge line on her horse and then usually a hop up on their horse. Lunge lessons are usually done once in a while after that for new theories or reteach of basics.
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    If the HO shows up with her own horse, let her show you what she knows. If you want to see her rendition of particular things that help you diagnose stuff-- a stretchy circle, leg yield, square halt or whatever-- ask for it.

    This is a nice way to do so many things:

    You get a sense of the rider's knowledge, personality and feel.

    You don't have to swing a leg over a horse you don't know. You get to see someone else ride it and put it under pressure (or not). That saves some ugliness sometimes, and ugliness is bad in a first lesson.

    I'm a good, attentive student and rider. But I don't think I could stand the marine corps style, break me down to nothing and rebuild me. I might need it. I might progress faster than you think *because* I have ridden fr a long time. Or my words for stuff might not match your words even though we feel and produce the same things in the horse. In this case, your bootcamp would be wasted.

    IMO, you need some buy-in from competent, check-writing adults. You don't demand that, you earn it.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  10. #10
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    Jan. 25, 2013
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    I didn't mean to infer we would be using a classroom setting, desk and blackboard or boot camp environment. Merely that having a classical background I prefer to infuse my lessons to express the importance of correct theory of classical dressage, the "basic training" of horse and rider enabling an understanding of the "why" and "how" with someone that has not had any exposure to the "art" of dressage before they are in the saddle for the first time which is after a conversation and then in the saddle "during" the first lesson on my school horse.

    My query was, what do you address first, second, etcetera with someone with no knowledge of dressage that has ridden for years, besides the "theory"? Hope that clarifies.



  11. #11
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    When I first switched from huntseat my old trainer just had me ride as I would, but with more emphasis on learning to feel the horse's mouth and asking for transitions and aids more precisely. Lunge lessons and baby steps of changing my position came over time. Its hard to remember any particular order the training came in

    I do remember that side reins helped me feel a round horse. Lunge lessons where I could feel a horse's back up and engaged really helped clarify what I was aiming for, as well as getting a better sense of what good contact with a forward horse that's reaching for the bit. My position was kind of chipped away at, as we all know it's not easy to open those hips and lossed those legs once you've done eq!



  12. #12
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    99.9% of experienced students from another discipline get a focus on their pelvis until resolved. There's no sense going into tertiary elements til the seat is well on its way.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Maiden View Post
    I didn't mean to infer we would be using a classroom setting, desk and blackboard or boot camp environment. Merely that having a classical background I prefer to infuse my lessons to express the importance of correct theory of classical dressage, the "basic training" of horse and rider enabling an understanding of the "why" and "how" with someone that has not had any exposure to the "art" of dressage before they are in the saddle for the first time which is after a conversation and then in the saddle "during" the first lesson on my school horse.

    My query was, what do you address first, second, etcetera with someone with no knowledge of dressage that has ridden for years, besides the "theory"? Hope that clarifies.
    I am not sure why you would assume that an experienced rider from another discipline would need some sort of lecture on theory before they could benefit from an actual ridden lesson. Most of us are intelligent enough to understand the concept of riding a horse from your seat, adopting a different posture, etc, even if we cannot immediately demonstrate it in the tack.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  14. #14
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    Perhaps if you read what you quoted of my last post you will see that I said "conversation" not "lecture". People can ride for years, that doesn't mean they ride well or understand how to improve their riding. As we know those with the desire to ride better ride with an instructor/trainer up all the levels.

    For your "viewing pleasure" I will copy and paste the definition of "theory" from my mac book dictionary so that you might be able to better understand what I am trying to share with a person that, at this point has had no exposure to dressage but only "western and english and want to learn dressage" and that is a quote from hers and my initial conversation. Hope this helps.

    (theory |ˈθēərē; ˈθi(ə)rē|
    noun ( pl. -ries)
    a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained : Darwin's theory of evolution.
    • a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based : a theory of education | music theory.
    • an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action : my theory would be that the place has been seriously mismanaged.
    • Mathematics a collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject.
    PHRASES
    in theory used in describing what is supposed to happen or be possible, usually with the implication that it does not in fact happen : in theory, things can only get better; in practice, they may well become a lot worse.)

    As I said, I have a classical background and want to share that knowledge to enhance every aspect of riding for my students and I do. That's what makes me a better, more conscientious teacher. Thanx for your input, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    Just wanted to start an amiable, thread or "conversation" if you will, with ideas for new students with different backgrounds. It certainly turned into an interesting one, though I prefer amiable in any case. Thanx to those for their positive input. I appreciate hearing about what works well for others even if I am aware of it already because listening is how you learn, keeps life interesting and that can only make us better people!



  15. #15
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    Dec. 9, 2010
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    I remember an observation made. There are those who want to learn, and those that want to do.

    In the interest of gaining forward progress with some riders, it is more advantageous to teach them to "do", and then gradually inject a little theory, which you will find yourself repeating frequently. So the art of teaching involves not only knowing theory, but being able to turn that theory into useful accomplishment. So no matter how good or conscientious a teacher may be, they still must be able to break things down to basic feel.

    Unfortunately many consider that riding dressage takes entree to a few secrets, and then they too, can do all these wondrous things. When the secrets aren't forthcoming from one instructor, they hie themselves off to another, and another.
    Taking it day by day!



  16. #16
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    I can sit in my computer chair and talk about theory all day long, and I think that some people spend too much time doing just that. It's generally the people who sit and talk and don't ride that have little to no real life experiences and fail to help real life people.

    I would probably consider a lesson based on lecture a waste of money, I don't mind discussing theory during a lunch break or walk break but I'm there to learn to ride by riding not learn to ride by talking.

    I am not sure why quoting the definition of theory is helpful at all. Dressage is a different discipline and someone that has some experience in any other discipline should be able to leap in with both feet on the basics.


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  17. #17
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    Sigh. I know what theory means, LOL. I didn't misunderstand your point; I simply disagreed with it. But as you say, to each their own.

    Enjoytheride put it much better than I did; I learn to ride by riding.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  18. #18
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    My REGIMEN with a new student is a basic warm up observation. I assess the horse's soundness and temperment. I look at the student's position. We then discuss things that may be lacking position wise and move on the basic dressage discussions of flexion, bend, tempo, connection while the student rides around me on a 20 meter circle. We begin work on a basic figure so that lapses in control are obvious. Depending on where they are, we move on to discussions of steering the shoulders rather than the nose, relative straightness etc.


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  19. #19
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    There is also the discussion of 'why dressage' - as in - creating a more sensitive and willing partnership, increasing longevity of the front end by lightening the load there, progressive development of the musculature and understanding of the horse in order to perform more difficult and exacting movements.



  20. #20
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    It's always a tough job bringing light into the bewildernerness. Could be a damsite harder than you thought.
    Last edited by vicarious; Apr. 15, 2013 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Punctuation
    Taking it day by day!



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