Tag Archives: dressage

The What, Why, and “How To” of Shoulder-In, by Jane Savoie

Shoulder-in is the father of the advanced lateral dressage movements. It does many wonderful things for your horse. Here are just some of them:

Shoulder-in is a suppling exercise because it stretches and loosens the muscles and ligaments of the inside shoulder and forearm. During shoulder-in, your horse passes his inside foreleg in front of his outside foreleg. This motion increases his ability to move his forearm gymnastically in other movements.

It’s also a straightening exercise because you should always straighten your horse by bringing his forehand in front of his hindquarters. Never try to straighten him by leg yielding his hindquarters out behind his shoulders.

Shoulder-in is also a collecting exercise. It increases your horse’s self-carriage because he lowers his inside hip with each step. As a result, his center of gravity shifts back toward his hind legs. His hindquarters carry more weight and his front end elevates. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10240

FEI ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE RESOLVES ROLLKUR CONTROVERSY

FEI Round Table Conference Participants on Rollkur/Hyperflexion - 9Feb2010
FEI Round Table Conference Participants on Rollkur/Hyperflexion - 9Feb2010 (click for larger image)

Lausanne (SUI), 9 February 2010 – Following constructive debate at the FEI round-table conference at the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne today (9 February), the consensus of the group was that any head and neck position achieved through aggressive force is not acceptable. The group redefined hyperflexion/Rollkur as flexion of the horse’s neck achieved through aggressive force, which is therefore unacceptable. The technique known as Low, Deep and Round (LDR), which achieves flexion without undue force, is acceptable.

The group unanimously agreed that any form of aggressive riding must be sanctioned. The FEI will establish a working group, headed by Dressage Committee Chair Frank Kemperman, to expand the current guidelines for stewards to facilitate the implementation of this policy. The group agreed that no changes are required to the current FEI Rules.

The FEI Management is currently studying a range of additional measures, including the use of closed circuit television for warm-up arenas at selected shows.

The group also emphasised that the main responsibility for the welfare of the horse rests with the rider.

The FEI President HRH Princess Haya accepted a petition of 41,000 signatories against Rollkur presented by Dr Gerd Heuschman.

The participants in the FEI round-table conference were:

HRH Princess Haya, FEI President
Alex McLin, FEI Secretary General
Margit Otto-Crépin, International Dressage Riders Club Representative
Linda Keenan, International Dressage Trainers Club Representative
Sjef Janssen, Dressage Representative
Frank Kemperman, Chairman, FEI Dressage Committee (by conference call)
François Mathy, International Jumping Riders Club Representative
David Broome, Jumping Representative
Jonathan Chapman, Eventing Representative
Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare Representative
Tony Tyler, World Horse Welfare Representative
Ulf Helgstrand, President, Danish Equestrian Federation
John McEwen, Chairman, FEI Veterinary Committee
Dr Sue Dyson, Veterinary Representative
Dr Gerd Heuschman, Veterinary Representative
Prof. René van Weeren, Veterinary Representative
Jacques van Daele, FEI Honorary Steward General Dressage
Graeme Cooke, FEI Veterinary Director
Trond Asmyr, FEI Director Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage
John Roche, FEI Director Jumping and Stewarding
Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Eventing
Carsten Couchouron, FEI Executive Director Commercial
Richard Johnson, FEI Communications Director

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations. Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.

FEI PRESS RELEASE
Media Contact:
Malina Gueorguiev
FEI Press Manager
Malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

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AQHA Welcomes Dressage

honey_bright_dreamDressage becomes an official AQHA class.

Dressage is now an official AQHA class — one in which you can earn AQHA points, qualify for AQHA Incentive Fund earnings and compete for year-end awards. Beginning at Training Level Test 4, AQHA dressage classes will be held within existing classes at competitions recognized by the United States Dressage Federation or licensed by the United States Equestrian Federation.

The same USDF-USEF judges will preside over the AQHA classes; the only additional requirement is that the judges must be AQHA members. Exhibitors must also be current members of AQHA, and the horse must be a registered American Quarter Horse. A competition license fee of $85, good for the lifetime of the horse, is also required. The shows must be approved by AQHA at least 60 days in advance.

Horses competing in dressage are given scores, expressed in percentages. The Quarter Horse show industry has always been a point-driven system, so AQHA has created a conversion table to change dressage scores into AQHA points. View the conversion table (click on “frequently asked questions”). Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10096

Dressage Superstar Ravel Named 2009 USEF Farnam/Platform Horse of the Year

Ravel and Steffen Peters winning the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Final.
Ravel and Steffen Peters winning the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Final.

January 15 2010 Louisville, KY – Annually, five of the USEF’s 130,000 registered horses achieve so much in a year that they are named USEF Horses of Honor and enter the running for the title of Farnam/Platform Horse of the Year.

In 2009 all five of these horses were nothing short of remarkable.

But one forever changed the face of his sport, and with that, Ravel was voted the 2009 USEF Farnam/Platform Horse of the Year.

It began in April at the FEI World Cup Dressage Final when, with the weight of a nation on his 11-year-old shoulders, Ravel trotted back into Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Arena after winning the Grand Prix to perform his Freestyle.

He delivered. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9865

Ravel Named Adequan/USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year

Lexington, KY (December 21, 2009) – The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) would like to congratulate the eleven-year-old, 16.3 hand, Dutch Warmblood gelding, Ravel, owned by Akiko Yamazaki of Woodside, California, and ridden by Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, for being named 2009 Adequan/USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year.  Ravel’s median score of 75.574 percent made him the top horse in the United States competing at this level and the recipient of USDF’s highest honor.

Ravel was recognized at the 2009 Adequan/USDF Salute Gala and Annual Awards Banquet with a certificate, a commemorative personalized plaque, an embroidered cooler and $400 gift certificate provided by Dressage Extensions, and a gift certificate for Adequan joint therapy.  Also, Ravel is the recipient of the Colonel Thackeray Award and will have his name engraved on a silver trophy to be on permanent display in the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame housed at the USDF National Education Center, located at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“We are thrilled to be able to recognize this extraordinary horse for his many accomplishments this competition season, and look forward to his future successes,” stated USDF Executive Director Stephan Hienzsch.

For more information about the Adequan/USDF Horse of the Year awards or to access a list of past and current recipients, visit the USDF Web site at www.usdf.org, or contact the USDF office at usdressage@usdf.org.

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Program Your Position – A Review by Johnny Robb

ProgramYourPositionMy New Years resolution is to improve my riding.  If you share a similar goal or resolution, I can recommend an incredible tool that I have been using, Program Your Position.  This is an amazingly effective “program”, and I can honestly say it has helped my position immensely.

The program, developed by Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and Jane Savoie, has three components. These include 5 DVDs, 3 audio CDs and an illustrated pocket guide.

No matter how you absorb information most effectively, Program Your Position has you covered. Personally, I like all the audios and illustrated pocket guide the best. But I must add that the DVD segments are like attending a clinic.

For me, Program Your Position is better than a clinic because the series teaches you to use a simple set of buzz words to “program” your position corrections.  I ride around saying the buzzwords and correct my riding position almost effortlessly. The buzzwords are easy to remember and effective and the program also encourages you to add your personal buzzwords too. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9632

How to Memorize a Dressage Test, by Ruth Hogan-Poulsen

Hi everyone. A lot of you have been asking me about how I begin to diagram a pattern or how I start to memorize a test.

I start with these blank arena diagrams. I find them useful for a number of things.
1. Memorizing regulation tests.
2. Learning the exact geometry of the arena.
3. Learning my exact tangent points for movements such as circles and serpentines.
4. Drawing my tests from beginning to end.
5. Drawing each movement according to where the judges are judging (this way I know when the judge begins judging a new movement).
6. Showing a student where a movement begins and ends exactly.
7. Mapping out individual movements when I start to create choreography for a freestyle.
8. Looking at the pattern from beginning to end of a new freestyle, to see if I have used the arena wisely.
9. Checking to see if I have included all required movements for a competitive freestyle.
10. Mapping out each movement of a new freestyle so my clients and students have something to study that is very visual.
11. Checking to see if I have been inventive with the pattern.
12. Checking to see if my movements are equally used from the left and the right.

…and many more!

So I though I would give these diagrams to you guys for your use. Feel free to print them off and use them any time you want, and while you are on my site, sign up for the newsletter if you have not already! You will automatically get the link for the diagrams in the welcome letter of my newsletter, so you don’t have to go looking for it!
Ruth

Link to FREE DRESSAGE ARENA DIAGRAMS:

http://www.ruthhoganpoulsen.com/downloads.html

www.ruthhoganpoulsen.com
www.mobilehorsemonitor.com
www.dressagefreestyles.com

Isabel Werth’s Gigolo FRH has died at 26

gigolo-werth-dies
Atlanta Olympics in 1996 - Team gold and Individual Silver.

Olympic gold medal winner Gigolo FRH, horse of renowned equestrian Isabella Werth, has died at the age of Twenty-Six.

On September 23rd, Isabella Weth’s top level dressage horse was put down after declining health resulting from an injury. Winner of four Olympic gold medals, two Olympic silver medals, four World Championships, eight European Championships and four German titles, Gigolo proudly served as Isabella’s friend, teacher and sport partner for many years.

Bred by Horst Klussman (Pursau) (Graditz x Bunett by Busoni xx), Gigolo was discovered by Dr Schulten-Baumer. Although a plain horse to look at, but he thrilled spectators with his precision and charisma. Born in 1983, he was ridden by Werth for twenty years.

Werth and Gigolo won both team and individual gold at the European Championships at Donaueschingen in 1991. They repeated the double in 1993 at Lipica, in 1995 at Mondorf, and in 1997 at Verden. At the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Netherlands and in 1998 in Rome the pair also won two gold medals each time.

Gigolo’s four Olympic gold medals were won in 1996 in Atlanta (individual and team gold), 1992 in Barcelona, and 2000 in Sydney (team gold). The two individual Olympic silver medals were in Barcelona and Sydney.

Youtube Video:

AHorse Blog – 3 Tips for the Correct Length and Height of Your Horse’s Neck, by Jane Savoie

Lots of you tell me you’re confused about the correct length and height of your horse’s neck so I thought I’d address that in this article.

1.     Neck too high: The height of the neck is determined by the degree of engagement of the hindquarters. So, the height of the neck changes as you go up through the levels and your horse becomes more collected.

Always keep in mind, however, that if you ride with the neck too high and short and the angle of the throatlatch too closed, there can’t be any bridge from the back end to the front end.

The neck has to be in line with the power train of the hindquarters-not above it. When the neck is too high, the hind end is disconnected from the front end.

2.     Neck too short: I like to say the length of the neck is proportional to the length of the stride taken by the hind legs. So, if you crank the neck in and it gets too short, the hind legs take shorter steps.

Always strive to keep your horse’s neck long.

Even though you want more and more of an uphill balance as you go up through the levels, you still want to see a long neck blooming out in front of you.

This is an exaggeration, but I like to pretend that I have 1/3 of the horse out behind me, and 2/3 of the horse blooming out in front of me. The last thing I want to see is a short neck with 1/3 of the horse out in front of me and 2/3 trailing out behind.

Now, it’s really not 1/3 behind and 2/3 in front, but that gives you a good visual for always having a long neck blooming out in front of you. And that’s the case whether you’re in the horizontal balance of Training Level or the uphill balance of Grand Prix.

One of the mistakes you see at the FEI levels is that riders think they’re collecting their horses, but all they’re doing is shortening their necks.

This creates all kinds of problems because the hind legs are blocked. For example, in a canter pirouette, a horse might switch leads behind or break to the trot. In piaffe, the diagonal pairs might break up, and the piaffe is no longer a real 2-beat trot.

3.     Rules of thumb for your horse’s balance: At Training Level, the horse has approximately 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs.

That’s the same balance that a horse has in nature because a horse is built like a table with a head and neck on one end. By virtue of the weight of the head and neck, horses naturally have more weight on the front legs than the back legs.

So, at Training Level, with 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs, the horse is in what I call “horizontal balance”. His topline looks pretty much parallel to the ground.

At First Level, exercises and movements like smaller circles, leg yields and a little bit of counter canter, cause a slight shift in the center of gravity back to the hind legs. That’s because those exercises create an increase in the bending of the joints of the hind legs. The horse’s croup goes down a little bit, and the forehand goes up proportionately. So at First Level, you might have approximately 55% of the weight on the front legs and 45% behind.

At Second Level, you begin “modest” collection. More weight shifts toward the hindquarters by virtue of the exercises such as shoulder-in, haunches-in, renvers, and simple changes of lead. So you end up with about 50% of the weight on the hind legs and 50% of the weight on the front legs.

At Third Level, you have the beginning of real collection with more weight on the hind legs than on the front legs.

As you go up through the levels there’s a progressive increase in the loading of the hind legs. As a result, the horse, like a seesaw, gradually sits more behind and comes more “up” in front.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602