To start with…

Can you please not talk about horses?

This is a regular comment of my family. I fail all the time. I never really wondered where this fascination – let’s say addiction- comes from. I Lees meer

Straightness

All the points of the Skala of Dressage are important. But one that always troubles me the most is straightness.

Like a human being every horse is crooked by nature. Which gets worse when we crooked people sit on their backs. And it is your duty as a rider to make Lees meer

Engagement

Engagement can be explained  as forward energy, ask for and controlled by the rider, delivered by the horse without tension. The horse moves forward freely, swinging his hindlegs more under his body with each stride. This engagement is necessary for the correct contact.

A lot of times this is confused with going fast. It has nothing to do with speed. A horse can go very slow and be super engaged (collection), whereas Lees meer

The contact

The next item in the Scala of Dressage is the contact. Also a matter that causes a lot of confusion. With contact in riding we mean the elastic connection between the hand of the rider and the mouth of the horse. The connection is made by the rider but -and this is where it gets difficult- accepted and sought by the horse. So it means that the rider should take up the reins, but the horse then has to reach for the contact and be soft and light…

Why on earth would he do so? Well, it is not just a simple matter of the front end and things you do with your hands. Oh no, contact is so much more. Lees meer

Paardrijden

Relaxation

The scala of dressage states a horse should move freely forward with natural movements in all gaits. ‘Relaxation’ is the next point. And it can be quite confusing. If a horse is truly relaxed, it is asleep.

You need a certain muscle tone to perform. Relaxation in de scala is working without tension. But not only the absence of tension, it is also a state Lees meer