Yes, we have dressage heroes now!!
Riding schools are inundated by avid future horse riders since the sport gained so much popularity in the early 2010. Enchanted by the elegant riders and their dancing horses, many teens are now intrigued by this sport and it is no longer viewed as an elitist and privileged occupation. Assuming you are a skilled and balanced rider and want to challenge yourself to emulate your stars and heroes, here are a few tips on HOW TO GET STARTED IN DRESSAGE
The horse of course!
Having a sound horse that possesses a sound temperament and regular paces should be your first priority. You have options often related to your budget. Buying a trained horse, training a young horse or riding a horse owned and trained by someone else. In any case, you can begin training in dressage, as long as the horse is at least 4 yrs and yields with regular paces, and you can always improve his rhythm with additional schooling and training.
No matter the breed, size or previous occupation of the horse, you need one to start in dressage
Learn the rules
Like in any discipline, sport or activity, there are rules and you should be aware of them to make informed decisions about your new found vocation. Every country has a Dressage governing body or federation and a book of rules is available to help guide you and teach you all the requirements in dressage and competing terms.
Watching and participating in championships and competing events will also give you more insight on rules and regulations in dressage. Watching videos, reviewing events and competitions, and signing up for pertinent websites newsletters, are also great tools to learn not only the rules in dressage but to understand ranking and scores, improve techniques and discover the latest news.
Another important aspect to keep when it comes to dressage. A rider should have basic knowledge of terminology, horse handling, and theory. The necessary equipment is also essential as it may vary between disciplines. Your very own attire may be less casual, be mindful of your budget and the requirements for you and your horse.
Schooling & Training
If both you and your horse are fairly new and starting in dressage, consider taking lessons on a Dressage Schoolmaster. A schoolmaster is a precisely trained and experienced horse in the event arenas. You and your horse could benefit from such lessons before starting in dressage, so that at least one of you can lead in training the correct way according to dressage requirements. Reach out for professional help and seek proper schooling. Experienced trainers can coach you on the best practices to adopt for you and your horse to excel during training and reach the competing levels.
Do your homework and find the right schooling and training for you. Seek the help you need to perform as successfully as you intend, and master the basics before entering a local competition. Working hard always pays off but having training strategies, a sound horse, and being well informed can aid in the decision-making process and assessing the will and desire to go further!!
Photo Credit: Sara Hellner