Dressage or dressage , (in French and English: dressage), is one of the Olympic disciplines that form horsemanship. Taming is a long teaching process, which not only involves working on the mounted horse, that is a stage but never the first. It is not a duel between the tamer and the horse, to see who wins. There is little or total ignorance about the nature of the horse; the potential of his intelligence, with which we will have to ally ourselves, in order to achieve his full cooperation. Knowing and taking into account his Nature, it will be easy for us to understand each other and add his will to ours, and achieve the objective that is, to teach him to learn what we want to teach him.
You can never lack patience, knowledge, common sense and sensitivity to treat the horse, you must have a great emotional balance , to achieve the animal’s trust and never disappoint it. It must be measured and not tire the colt, nor demand things that he is not in a position to comply with. You must be fully aware that each horse is different from the other. To make teaching progressive, you should never improvise.
Dressage begins when the foal reaches our hands, when they take it off the truck, and we leave it in the corral, we must be there, those moments are the most distressing for him because he is no longer in his place of origin, because everything is different, he does not recognize any smell like the ones where he was or his herd is no longer in which he felt safe, because he had grown up with them. He does not understand why they separate him, the fear of the transport where they take him, the arrival in a place that is not his, shouts to guide him and finally the new corral where he realizes his loneliness.
With the clear awareness of all these circumstances, which are extremely critical for the horse, it is necessary to begin the decisive participation in its life, to tame it and teach it everything we must and know. Our approach to him should be gradual and careful, without gestures and relaxed in our walk. We should not be nervous, restless, or anxious. Our attitude must be one of calm, tranquility and balance, the horse perceives our state of mind, and reacts accordingly.
Taming is establishing a harmonic and non- traumatic relationship , it is persuading from the first moments, it is beginning to love him just by seeing him in the corral, it is an art.
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- 1 Purpose and object
- 2 History
- 3Doma natural
- 5 Sources
Purpose and object
This discipline aims to develop the horse through a rational, methodical and balanced training through which the rider gets it to carry out all his orders with harmony, balance and activity. The horse becomes calm, elastic, agile and flexible, while becoming more confident and attentive to the rider’s orders, forming a perfect pair with him. These qualities are manifested by:
- The frankness and the regularity of the airs.
- Harmony, lightness and ease of movement.
- The lightness of the anterior thirdand the engagement of the posterior ones whose origin is due to an impulsion , always active.
- The submission to the embouchurewith a total relaxation and without any tension or resistance.
- It thus gives the impression of handling itself. Confident and attentive, he generously obeys his rider’s directions, staying absolutely straight in all straight-line movements and adjusting his bend to curved trajectories.
- His step is regular, frank and loose. His trot is free, elastic, regular, sustained and active. His gallopis regular, light and cadenced. The hips must always be active at the slightest indication from the rider and by their action, they also encourage all parts of the horse.
- Thanks to its impulsion, always awake, and to the flexibility of its joints, which no resistance paralyzes, the horse obeys willingly and without hesitation, and responds calmly and precisely to help, manifesting a natural and harmonious balance, both physical and mental.
- In all his work, even in the stop, the horse must be “in the hand” which is when the neck is more or less raised and arched depending on the degree of dressage and the extension or meeting of the air, and accepts the bit with a light, soft contact and complete submission. The head must remain in a stable position and, as a rule, slightly in front of the vertical, with a flexible napeand at the highest point of the neck, and the horse does not offer any resistance to its rider.
- The cadence is appreciated in the trotand gallop , and is the result of the harmony that a horse shows when it moves with well-marked regularity, impulsion and balance. The cadence must be maintained in the different trot or gallop exercises and in all the variations of these paces.
- The regularity of the paces is fundamental.
The origins of training date back to time immemorial in the Middle Ages , when officers of all European cavalry began to practice some exercises with the aim of improving their handling of the horse. From its evolution over the centuries and the concern for further development in this discipline, what we know today as high schools were created . All these schools were created so that cavalry officers could learn or perfect riding. In them, the classical tradition of dressage is considered as an art form. The traditions of the great masters who originated what we know today as dressage are still alive today.
Natural at home
Dressage is done in a traditional way causing pain and damage to horses and it is not correct, other methods can be applied obtaining excellent results. It is possible to tame without causing pain achieving amazing results in a short time. Very aggressive brakes are often used , causing injuries to the horse. The snaffle or fillet is milder in action and virtually unknown.
To tame a horse , it takes between two and three months. But if you want him to have more developed skills, more time is required. The process of taming the animal is called rational taming, a technique that facilitates understanding between the tamer and the horse.
The first look is important, the eyes can express the mood of the horse; a gesture can indicate the disposition you have with a person. When one gets to know him, one can interpret his movements. The ears back are a sign of aggressiveness, but if they are forward, it is a message of pleasure. You should not shout, because the horse reacts immediately. In equine training there should be no kind of abuse towards the animal, you have to be patient. This principle is key to success in dressage, as the horse becomes docile between two and three months, even with constant work.
To help in the treatment of different conditions, particularly in children. Therapeutic riding is a rehabilitative activity , recognized throughout the world. The technique consists of taking advantage of the three- dimensional movements of the horse to stimulate the muscles and joints of the person who rides it. In addition, contact with the equine has favorable effects at cognitive , communicative and personality levels. But not only children with physical or mental health problems can practice hippotherapy, also called equine therapy . It has been verified that riding a horse creates a feeling of self-confidence, which can favor the development of self-esteem.