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Re: RC: Re: Re: dressage riders/horses

--- Spencer <> wrote:
> Some are breeding the american equivalent of the
> 'sporthorse'.. so to speak
> by breeding the stockier breeds to arabian stallions
> to get 'more action'..


I am not sure who you've been taking dressage lessons
from, but the 'more action' comment isn't exactly what
is bred....Dressage horses that can go to 'high'
school need to be balanced in their bone structure. 
This helps them get their hind ends under them.  I
recommend Deb Bennett's books on conformation.  She is
a paleontologist that studies bone structure in the
horse and also a "low" school rider.  I have a great
deal of respect for her knowledge and work.

Here is QTR
> horse country, lots of qtr horses are doing nicely
> in dressage competition..

Perhaps in their own back yards, but QH usually are
built down hill and this makes achieving and
meintaining balance difficult.  I had a QH mare that
resisted dressage training because it was so difficult
for her.  She had steep stifles for QH sprints and
ended up lame in her right hind. She couldn't get past
the second level. 

> actually, as they already have a lower head
> carriage, that is one less
> problem..  as the Arab have a naturally high head
> carriage and that is one
> of the things that has to be worked on.

Unfortunately, the American or California form of
dressage has nothing to do with classical dressage
that allows the athletic training of the horse over
time to naturally bring up the head carraige.  Today's
riders seem to be in such a hurry that head position
is forced and the mount ends up very heavy inthe
hands.  With a properly conditioned dressage horse and
classical training, the head carraige will end up high
as the horse reaches underneath themselves, but will
be very light in the hands.  The head naturally comes
up because the hind end is taking on more of the
weight carraige.  Most horses carry 66% of their body
weight on their front legs, especially the QH.  They
are built for speed in bursts.

> dressage is indeed a great way to take your young
> horse out to see the world
> and gain valuable training.
> Mary Ann
It is also great discipline.  Very important to have
control of your mount in hairy situations.  With
dressage a bond of trust is built and the horse
becomes very calm and trusting.  I believe it is
because we ask them to use their noggin every step of
the way.  It is physically tiring and emotionally
I highly recommend dressage lessons for any riding
sport.  Don't expect to become an expert overnight. 
Like karate, it takes time and conditioning for both
horse and rider and their are many levels to achieve.

Happy riding,

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