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Would you recommend Dressage lessons for a young rider?

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  • Would you recommend Dressage lessons for a young rider?

    I audited a clinic by George Morris and he encourages learning the basics of riding and getting to know your horse by learning the basics of Dressage. I am just wondering if that would help or confuse a beginner rider. What do you think COTH?

  • #2
    My dressage trainer takes kids ages 5 and up, and every one that I have seen has become a fantastic rider... the kind of rider I am trying SO hard to become! Good basics are good basics, period, and a dressage foundation can really set up riders to be effective in many other disciplines later on.
    "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
    but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

    Trolls be trollin'! -DH

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    • #3
      It does really help.

      BUT young kids need to learn the basics and have fun! That is why so many kids start with jumping, as some are not so excited by long and repetitive 'dressage' lessons. Find a good teacher that will make things easy and fun.
      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

      Originally posted by LauraKY
      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
      HORSING mobile training app

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you. My daughter is very disciplined. She is 13 and she loves horses period. I think she could benefit by taking at least one lesson. I want to give her all the tools she needs to be successful. She could very well take a lesson and not like it at all. I did think for a moment that it could confuse her, but since realized that she's a very smart girl and could handle it. I would like to find someone that teaches Dressage and welcomes young riders. I think a patient trainer that loves to teach period would be a great.

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        • #5
          Consider that one dressage lesson may not be enough to really get a taste of it or make any improvement to her riding. The first lesson is probably going to be spent showing her the differences in her position and use of aids, a bunch of equitation work and then some focus on the horse's way of going. It's the same as signing up a kid who's been doing dressage for a couple of jumping lessons. They'll probably pop over the crossrail a few times so they can have the fun of trying it, but as far as building any real skills at jumping, it takes a lot more work than that.

          Look for a pony club instructor who can teach dressage basics and apply them to a jumping situation. Best of both worlds!

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          • #6
            DD's been taking dressage lessons since she was 6 and when it comes to jumping she's got a more balanced seat because of it. It also helped her recognize when the horse was getting a bit strong with her since the dressage horses are all calm and collected. I had a couple of years of dressage many moons ago before I started western and it helped me with a better seat as well as movement and aides.
            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.

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            • #7
              World Cup ressage on TV today!

              r2011 Reem Acra World Cup Dressage: Hertsgenbosch Wed 6/29 9:30-10:30pm 564 HRTV NEW
              breeder of Mercury!

              remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lilmisshunter View Post
                Thank you. My daughter is very disciplined. She is 13 and she loves horses period. I think she could benefit by taking at least one lesson. I want to give her all the tools she needs to be successful. She could very well take a lesson and not like it at all. I did think for a moment that it could confuse her, but since realized that she's a very smart girl and could handle it. I would like to find someone that teaches Dressage and welcomes young riders. I think a patient trainer that loves to teach period would be a great.
                YES, YES, YES. Right now I'm going between the two. When I feel my jumping "skills" going out the window (I'm an adult re-rider), a dressage lesson starts bringing me back together, whether I'm riding in a hunt saddle or in a real dressage saddle on a schoolmaster.

                Robert Dover did an article entitled "Dressage for Jumpers" in the April 2009 Practical Horseman, which explains how one can help the other....
                "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by betsyk View Post
                  Consider that one dressage lesson may not be enough to really get a taste of it or make any improvement to her riding. The first lesson is probably going to be spent showing her the differences in her position and use of aids, a bunch of equitation work and then some focus on the horse's way of going. It's the same as signing up a kid who's been doing dressage for a couple of jumping lessons. They'll probably pop over the crossrail a few times so they can have the fun of trying it, but as far as building any real skills at jumping, it takes a lot more work than that.

                  Look for a pony club instructor who can teach dressage basics and apply them to a jumping situation. Best of both worlds!
                  You are right that one lesson will not be enough, but I believe it will give her an idea of what Dressage entails. Thanks for all the feedback. I just need to find a trainer that can teach a young rider. Any recommendations?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One of the major problems I see with American riders is that they start jumping long before they learn how to fluidly get to a fence, and rate a horse without relying on a "point and shoot" mount or pulling and hauling on the reins.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                    • #11
                      At first I thought this was a trick question! Of course you should consider dressage lessons for children. In Europe they all start with dressage and then also continue with jumping and cross country. Being cross trained like their horses or ponies means the riders are cross trained as well. Makes for better riders.
                      Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                      "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        AMEN!

                        Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                        One of the major problems I see with American riders is that they start jumping long before they learn how to fluidly get to a fence, and rate a horse without relying on a "point and shoot" mount or pulling and hauling on the reins.
                        I completely agree. I want my daughter to be a beautiful well rounded rider. I want her to learn the basics first. I want her to learn how to ride a horse without sticking him, spurring him, etc. I think if she understood the basics and knew what she can do with her body to make the horse bend or go forward and know how to ask for something without having to use aids...would be so beneficial for her. I want her to understand how to use her natural aids before resorting to a spur or stick. She has no idea how to use her spur. She has never been told how to use her spur. It gets frustrating seeing her spur her horse and not realizing it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In Europe they all start with dressage and then also continue with jumping and cross country. Being cross trained like their horses or ponies means the riders are cross trained as well
                          I'm in Canada & this is the program at our barn

                          I want my daughter to be a beautiful well rounded rider. I want her to learn the basics first. I want her to learn how to ride a horse without sticking him, spurring him, etc. I think if she understood the basics and knew what she can do with her body to make the horse bend or go forward and know how to ask for something without having to use aids...would be so beneficial for her. I want her to understand how to use her natural aids before resorting to a spur or stick. She has no idea how to use her spur. She has never been told how to use her spur. It gets frustrating seeing her spur her horse and not realizing it
                          This can all happen with a jump coach as well BUT you need to keep looking if your current coach is not teaching your kid all these things ... (ie even if your daughter doesn't want to lesson with a dressage coach, she can still become that rider).

                          Not to discourage you from dressage, but my kid has been riding with a dressage focused trainer for several years & has yet to need a spur
                          (the spur is for lateral movements not forward)

                          For coach suggestions, list your area & how far you're able to travel.
                          You might give your daughter a package of 10 lessons with a dressage coach for Bday/Xmas etc - just go meet the coach & watch some lessons first to see if it would be a good fit for your kid AND kid's horse, talk to the coach about where kid & horse are starting from & your goals.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A lot of the kids at our barn are doing dressage lessons, and jumping also if they are interested. A number of them are doing local fun and schooling shows, so they have scores to look at and judges' comments to consider. We have a very good instructor who's good with kids, and there has been a lot of improvement in their seats, their aids, and their horses way of going.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I live in Schererville, IN. My daughter's current trainer is great. I believe that a rider can stand to benefit from different riding styles. I, of course, don't believe in having 3 different H/J trainers, but I do think that Dressage is a great compliment to teaching a rider good seat and lateral moves. I am willing to drive up to 2 hours away. Please PM or post any barns that are close to my location. I am approximately 40 minutes from Chicago. I have driven as far as Hampshire/Barrington Illinois. Thanks!! Love the feedback!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by lilmisshunter View Post
                                TShe is 13
                                Oh honey, that's not young!... I'd say once they hit about 7 they are physically capable and have most importantly the body awareness to start working on Dressage.

                                She might as well start learning it now, so she isn't unlearning bad habits in her twenties.
                                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                                • #17
                                  LMEqT is eight and easily switches between hunters and dressage. She doesnt even know shes doing it

                                  My focus for her has always been for her to be competent to walk, trot, canter and jump over terrain on reasonable horses. What she dos with it after that, is up to her.

                                  OP, I think I would do it but just be matter of fact about it... Dont make it out to be the second coming, just another thing to do, there is so much value in both things at her age
                                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                  ---
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                                  • #18
                                    Personally, a beginner lesson taught by a good dressage instructor vs a good h/j instructor shouldn't be that much different. Either trainer should be able to teach the basics- the riding aids, contact, position, etc. However, for an intermediate or advanced rider taking more formal dressage lessons would be great for learning lateral movements, collection, extension, changes, etc. Although, a good h/j trainer would still be capable of teaching those things as well.

                                    Flatwork is flatwork.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I never learned to ride "properly" when young - and that includes the "english" lessons I took in college. It is much harder now!

                                      IMO, yes, flatwork is flatwork, but CORRECT flatwork is CORRECT flatwork - no matter the saddle. Your daughter may very well get better seat instruction from a dressage lesson.

                                      AND, I imagine her horse would benefit, as well....

                                      L

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by lorilu View Post
                                        IMO, yes, flatwork is flatwork, but CORRECT flatwork is CORRECT flatwork - no matter the saddle. Your daughter may very well get better seat instruction from a dressage lesson.

                                        or, she might NOT. depends on the kid, and the quality of the instruction. i'm sure we've all seen at least 1 'dressage instructor' that had no clue what they were talking about, right? OP, another option for you. talk to DD's current instructor, and ask her either for her recomendation for a local dressage instructor who would be willing to be a member of DD's 'team', or about the possibility of finding a dressage clinic for DD to ride in.
                                        Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                                        www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

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