Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dressage for the Gaited Horse

We just received our Rocky Mountain magazine yesterday. As I was looking through it, I saw the article Dressage for the Gaited Horse written by Laurie L. Wolf and Diane J. Sept. It does a good job of defining and describing classical dressage. Wolf and Sept emphasize that dressage is for every breed. Rocky Mountain horses are a natural for this venue because of thier wonderful nature. "Classical dressage . . . addresses the individual needs of horse and rider as they form a union allowing each to enhance the other's strengths and make up for the other's weaknesses." It goes on to explain the necessity for good training - "The training foundation of dressage is the ability to recognize the need and understand the use of the aids. Ascertaining why a horse won't bend, hurries, is dull or inconsistent, rebels, gaits unevenly or carries his or her head wrong is a must . . ." Sound familiar? It should . . . good horsemanship is good horsemanship whether you are training for dressage or a trail ride. For those of you who would like to try your hand at something new, Stoner Ridge Farm offers dressage training for the gaited horse as well as lessons for their riders. Two years ago, we became involved in dressage through the Three Phase Event, a unique opportunity for gaited horses. The organizers have divisions for both gaited and non-gaited horses. The competition includes dressage, cross country, and stadium obstacle. Our first year we did well but the second year was outstanding for SRF. Robert received the highest dressage scores on Gaitway's Jasmine Joy of any of the riders who competed. Charlie received the highest score in the event over all with SRF's Silver Sundown, a five year old breeding stallion. Our Rockies are wonderful. If you'd like to learn more about the event or see the actual dressage tests go to http://www.threephaseevent.org/. If we can be of any assistance let us know. This year's event is April 18-19. Preregistration is required.

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