View Full Version : Something i was told....
5th Jan 2003, 09:10 AM
A teacher (school, not riding) once told me this....
"To begin dressage, just sit there and do nothing"
Is this good advice?
5th Jan 2003, 04:41 PM
Perhaps by "do nothing," what s/he meant was "sit and feel the horse's movement; don't do anything to interfere, just feel and absorb."
The more I ride, the more I get a feel for what the horse is doing under me. If you can feel what the horse is doing, you can eventually start to feel when you are on the right trot diagonal, correct canter lead. From there, further sensitivity means you can tell just when to give the aids for, for example, a flying lead change in canter.
When you *know* what the horse is doing just from feel--is he on the forehand, or coming up under himself from behind? is his right hind about to leave the ground? Is he balanced on the circle or does he need to flex more?--then you are really started on what I would consider dressage.
11th Jan 2003, 12:15 PM
Yes - before you learn to influence the horse, you have to learn how to sit very quiet and NOT influence him. Once you've learned that quietness and control, every small thing you do becomes intentional rather than accidental. That's all it's about:)
11th Jan 2003, 03:31 PM
That 's why lunge lessons are so great!
I have found it very valuable to close my eyes for a few strides - it makes it a thousand times easier to concentrate on what the horse is doing.
11th Jan 2003, 06:25 PM
As from a biomechanical perspective the art of riding is learning to remain still in RELATION to a moving object ie the horse this premise is correct. However in order to sit still you have to do an awfull lot so it is a rather misleading thing to say.
11th Jan 2003, 06:37 PM
I can see where you're coming from, Janet - to remain still in relation to a moving object means that you have to absorb that movement in order not to interfere, and in order to do that yes, of course you have to move. However, I've also found that the better able I am to absorb the movement with my seat, the stiller the rest of me becomes - my hands, my legs, my upper body; the seat is the crucial factor. And of course, once the rider is able to sit quietly and absorb the movement, the horse is better able to carry himself correctly and the smoother his movement becomes.
So I think it's perhaps also misleading to say that you have to do an awful lot - if you've got it right, you shouldn't have to. The exception might be if you have a horse with a particularly big movement, and then you do have to work rather harder! :)
You're absolutely right that it's one of those things that you have to be careful about describing - I remember myself being told to "sit still" as a child, and of course I took it literally, which I found didn't help at all.
11th Jan 2003, 07:13 PM
When I say "you have to do an awfull lot" to sit still I mean that it takes an awfull lot of effort both physical (match the forces from the horses body isometric type muscle effort) and concentrational effort. LOL
28th Jan 2003, 09:13 PM
Ack! Well, Im just so disgusted! Just kidding!! You make it sound so easy!!! :D
Anyway, getting to the point that Janet and ros describe takes alot of time and practice! So no one be discouraged ;)
Galadriel - Im still trying to achieve what you write! But, I am progressing and yes ! It is an amazing thing to know your horse that well. I have difficult feeling his lead at canter (I havent been riding that long) but when I could feel his diagonal at the trot rather than looking for it - it was like fireworks !!! It makes me all bubbly!
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