Dressage is based on a French term meaning "training". The purpose of dressage is to develop the horse's abilities, strength, balance and precision. "At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, it can smoothly respond to a skilled rider's minimal aids by performing the requested movement while remaining relaxed and appearing effortless. For this reason, dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet." (Wikipedia)
In competition a set series of movements are performed in an enclosed arena. Each movement is subjectively scored. The scores are then averaged and the winner is the competitor with the highest average score, when converted to a percentage. Generally, the judges look for a smooth, flowing, and precise test. For more information click to Wikipedia.
Training Case Histories
More information on Tali on the Horses page here.
Andamento aka "Andy" was brought to Doug following a difficult bout with EPM, where Andy was weak, and due to all of his time off had developed some bad behavioral habit. These included both bucking, shying and spinning. Andy was slowly brought back to full strength with a combination of ring work as well as weekly trail rides which included a lot of hill work to help build his hindquarters. Andy progressed and gained confidence over time, his results speak for themselves:
· 1st Horse Park of NJ - 2-1 - 70.000%
· 1st Horse Park of NJ - 2nd Level Champion
· 5th Horse Park of NJ - 1-4 - 68.000%
· 1st Bucks County Horse Park III - 1-4 - 75.789%
· 1st Bucks County Horse Park III - 2-1, 72.368%
Below is a letter written to Doug by Andy's owner Joyce St. John
emotionally attached to Andy and deep down inside I wanted to keep Andy but, didn't have the confidence to work through my issues on my own. Andy is a lovely dressage horse and needed to be in a full training program that would get him back into shape again physically and emotionally. Andy's confidence had through my issues on my own. Andy is a lovely dressage horse and needed to be in a full training program that would get him back into shape again physically and emotionally. Andy's confidence had eroded over time due to me and my confidence issues. Andy is a very sensitive horse that needs a good confident rider and leader which Doug was for Andy. Doug has been wonderful working with Andy these past 6 months and has done a great job in bringing Andy back to good form. Doug has been very successful showing Andy this summer and they have always been in first place with really nice scores It has been a pleasure knowing and working with Doug. The best thing I could have done for me and my horse, was to bring him to Doug's barn for training.
Sultan was a horse sent to Doug for consignment. A marketing plan was devised, Doug created a sales video and initiated his proven advertising plan. To help with promotion, Doug took Sultan to a few schooling shows followed by a series recognized shows. The plan was to continue to get him out in the public arena until the time he was sold. His results were quite impressive:
· 1st Bucks County Horse Park III - Prix
St. George, 67.000% (High Point FEI Award)
· 2nd Horse Park of NJ- Intermediare I, 64.000%
· 5th Horse Park of NJ- Prix St. George, 62.750%
· 5th BLM Memorial Dressage Championships - Prix St. George, 64.600%
· 3rd ESDCTA year end awards - Prix St. George
He was sold just following the Bengt Lunquist Memorial Championships. To cap off the successful fall he was named 3rd place in the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association's year end awards.