“Dressage – the joy of a horse moving freely forward .”
Once you and your horse get five first tier basics worked out, the rest just falls
• The Five First Tier Basics are - go, stop, turn in, move out, and soften. They
are the notes on our scale. Once you and your horse have these you can create any
melody or chord you choose. Although I’m separating them out, they have always been
at the core of all dressage training.
• The ideal figure for your horse to learn on is his Natural Circle. Similar to the
classical “volte” of dressage, the size of this circle is based on his size and conformation.
This is ideal because the circle itself helps the horse learn to bend, balance,
keep a steady tempo and reach out to the bit. Without this circle you have to teach
him all of that. For very experienced riders that works. However for students who
haven’t figured that out for themselves yet, it often leads to years of frustration.
• We are all shaped differently so rather than getting crammed into a theoretical
shape that doesn’t fit you, your correct position is the one in which you are secure,
balanced and comfortable. This principal is true when using your aids too. It is
more important that you ride in a relaxed, comfortable way than in some theoretically
• Half-halts are something you teach the horse to do, not something you do to the