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How do you define "Classical Dressage?"

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  • How do you define "Classical Dressage?"

    And where or whom would you to to find it?

  • #2
    Dressage of the 15th-19th century
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble

    Comment


    • #3
      Poll always high, no matter what Or, poll high, back hollow!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MaximumChrome View Post
        Poll always high, no matter what Or, poll high, back hollow!
        but seriously...

        Always in the best interest of the horse
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        ---
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

        Comment


        • #5
          Flame suit is on

          As for the opinion of posters as to who demonstrates 'classical dressage' in the competitive arena, well that is a huge request because it would depend upon one's definition of 'classical dressage'.
          FEI's descriptions contained in the rules are classical, so the rider is mandated to meet all of those stipulations for the movements.

          There are many riders who are influenced by the classical format, yet do not fully achieve the end results. In fact some of the best do not even compete.

          For me, one of America's best riders and instructors is Jane Savoie

          These are what I look for in the ability of a rider to reach 'classical dressage'.

          1. A rider that uses just the snaffle, never has to rely upon the curb.
          2. Poll the highest point [no matter the test level].
          3. Nose in front of the vertical at all times except at piaffe which it may be vertical.
          4. The back of the horse is up and the hindquarter engaged which generates impulsion.
          5. Shoulders in free swing so that the fore and hind legs have the same equal stride.
          6. Footfall of the horse is in rhythm with the required gait.
          7. Tail of horse is quiet not twisting and wrenching about.
          8. Rider's hands and legs are still when giving the aids, requiring me to really look for the aids being given {invisible aids} Example: Not the twisting of the body and over use of the legs currently being demonstrated with tiempe changes in GP.
          www.hartetoharte.org
          Ask and allow, do not demand and force.

          Comment


          • #6
            Xenophone, Pluvinel, Wm. Cavendish, Francois Robichon de la Guerniere.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by spirithorse View Post
              Flame suit is on

              As for the opinion of posters as to who demonstrates 'classical dressage' in the competitive arena, well that is a huge request because it would depend upon one's definition of 'classical dressage'.
              FEI's descriptions contained in the rules are classical, so the rider is mandated to meet all of those stipulations for the movements.

              There are many riders who are influenced by the classical format, yet do not fully achieve the end results. In fact some of the best do not even compete.

              For me, one of America's best riders and instructors is Jane Savoie

              These are what I look for in the ability of a rider to reach 'classical dressage'.

              1. A rider that uses just the snaffle, never has to rely upon the curb.
              2. Poll the highest point [no matter the test level].
              3. Nose in front of the vertical at all times except at piaffe which it may be vertical.
              4. The back of the horse is up and the hindquarter engaged which generates impulsion.
              5. Shoulders in free swing so that the fore and hind legs have the same equal stride.
              6. Footfall of the horse is in rhythm with the required gait.
              7. Tail of horse is quiet not twisting and wrenching about.
              8. Rider's hands and legs are still when giving the aids, requiring me to really look for the aids being given {invisible aids} Example: Not the twisting of the body and over use of the legs currently being demonstrated with tiempe changes in GP.
              Jane can't be the only one! Is Bettina Drummond still in the US?

              Has anyone read "Twisted Truths in Modern Dressage?" If so, what did you think of it?

              Comment


              • #8
                I've read "Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage". Interesting read, but for me the video of the debate between PK and Christoph Hess was an eye opener- name of the DVD is "Classical versus Classique". Anyone seen this video? Must say, I have to be on CH side on that one, but PK does make some interesting points.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wouldn't attempt to define it but here are a few who teach it! Sometimes called the French School and is where name Haute Ecole dressage came from.

                  Dominique Barbier
                  Bettina Drummund
                  Linda LeGrand-NY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The instinctual images that pop into my head when I hear the term "classical dressage" are the SRS, baroque horses, high school movements and lovely old black-and-white photos.

                    When I think about the term more seriously and what it means to me in evaluating riding or instructors, I think about the training scale, the purity of the gaits, improving the gaits and the horse's balance and strength and fitness, and not letting anything else -- especially short-term goals -- get in the way of that. I haven't seen enough top riders in person to say who qualifies, nor do I think I'm good enough as an evaluator to make that kind of call.

                    On a personal level, it means not getting so caught up in trying to achieve things quickly and prove to myself that I'm a "good rider" that I get tense, start staring at my horse's neck, ride front-to-back and so forth.

                    Disclaimer: I'm not an expert or particularly knowledgable. This is just the word "classical" means to me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Suzier View Post
                      The instinctual images that pop into my head when I hear the term "classical dressage" are the SRS, baroque horses, high school movements and lovely old black-and-white photos.

                      When I think about the term more seriously and what it means to me in evaluating riding or instructors, I think about the training scale, the purity of the gaits, improving the gaits and the horse's balance and strength and fitness, and not letting anything else -- especially short-term goals -- get in the way of that. I haven't seen enough top riders in person to say who qualifies, nor do I think I'm good enough as an evaluator to make that kind of call.

                      On a personal level, it means not getting so caught up in trying to achieve things quickly and prove to myself that I'm a "good rider" that I get tense, start staring at my horse's neck, ride front-to-back and so forth.

                      Disclaimer: I'm not an expert or particularly knowledgable. This is just the word "classical" means to me.
                      This! Yes, the SRS and "High School" but to me it also means like Eq Trainer said,
                      training where the horse comes first. Following the training scale etc. Well said Suzier!
                      Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
                      Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

                      Originally posted by mbm
                      forward is like love - you can never have enough

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        To put it in the words of my instructor "Rollkur is not classical dressage, it's this "modern" dressage".

                        W. Museler's book, Riding Logic, is the closest thing to a Bible that I own. I highly recommend it. The language is a bit odd in places as it is translated from German, but it's very in-depth and truthful.

                        -flame suit on-
                        Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                        Thank you for everything boy.


                        Better View.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dressage stopped being Classical, by my definition, when you no longer had to ride as if your life depended on it, and started to ride only as if your ego depended on it.

                          Dressage had for its foundations, cavalry riding. Being able to ride on varied terrain, but maintain enough control and training to be able to survive battle. Even in the days of Baucher, it was about not doing "tricks" but teaching the cavalry riders to ride and train their horses.

                          So, now, its about getting a score, and ego.

                          If i wanted to find a classical dressage trainer, i would look for one that was not afraid to jump a jump, ride on uneven trails, and allow the horse to have self carriage.

                          Is there such a person? my ego is afraid to let me find out lol

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by katie+tru View Post
                            To put it in the words of my instructor "Rollkur is not classical dressage, it's this "modern" dressage".

                            W. Museler's book, Riding Logic, is the closest thing to a Bible that I own. I highly recommend it. The language is a bit odd in places as it is translated from German, but it's very in-depth and truthful.

                            -flame suit on-
                            Yes, I still have "Riding Logic" somewhere. First read it many years ago. Good but I am liking those books who authors realize that not every horse one wishes to do dressage on is one naturally built for it. I guess that is why Phillip Karl interests me.

                            Thanks, Amazone. I will check out that video.

                            What does anyone think of Paul Belasik?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chisamba View Post
                              Dressage stopped being Classical, by my definition, when you no longer had to ride as if your life depended on it, and started to ride only as if your ego depended on it.

                              Dressage had for its foundations, cavalry riding. Being able to ride on varied terrain, but maintain enough control and training to be able to survive battle. Even in the days of Baucher, it was about not doing "tricks" but teaching the cavalry riders to ride and train their horses.

                              So, now, its about getting a score, and ego.

                              If i wanted to find a classical dressage trainer, i would look for one that was not afraid to jump a jump, ride on uneven trails, and allow the horse to have self carriage.

                              Is there such a person? my ego is afraid to let me find out lol
                              Absolutely perfectly stated!
                              The dressage horse presented in the GP competitive arena could not get out of its own way with the rider up.

                              Now the Portuguese bull fighting horses are classically schooled and they can out dance even the Great Totilas.
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5895K-Xjupk
                              Last edited by spirithorse; Jan. 5, 2011, 02:03 PM.
                              www.hartetoharte.org
                              Ask and allow, do not demand and force.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Classical riding is riding the way I do, and no one else does.

                                Wink....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think it was stated on this very bb that:

                                  "Classical dressage is a guy riding a white horse with a fat neck."

                                  I hold to that definition.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    And are we talking about "Classical" or "Klassikal"...?

                                    We have a local "Klassikal" trainer whose students come to shows with their polls up and backs hollow, and generally with minimal control over their horses to the point that people wonder if it's even broke. Meanwhile the "Trainer" provides loud and nasty commentary on some lovely, thoughtful rides and riders that are more "modern".
                                    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by chisamba View Post
                                      Dressage had for its foundations, cavalry riding. Being able to ride on varied terrain, but maintain enough control and training to be able to survive battle. Even in the days of Baucher, it was about not doing "tricks" but teaching the cavalry riders to ride and train their horses.
                                      I agree with the rest of your quote, but do take exception to this. Before the "modern" cavalry, the study of riding and equitation was considered an art form. It took years. And it absolutely was about looking good - no nobleman wanted to fall off in front of the peasants.

                                      But with the advent of the modern army, in which thousands of men and horses needed to be trained quickly, shortcuts were made. And it wasn't about the horses, it was about winning the war.

                                      I think Spirithorse's 8-point list is a good start.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        There is no universal definition. Period.

                                        Dressage, like everything else, has evolved with time. As a rule, we are much more enlightened and humane toward horses in modern times. (cf. Black Beauty, beginnings of animal humane movement)

                                        Today, I think classical dressage may be a synonym for performance or demonstration riding rather than competitive or sport riding. Although people use the term "classical" as some sort of a moral judgement, it is really used so loosely that it is meaningless.
                                        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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