Posted by: forgingahead | April 7, 2009

Relearning the Dressage Basics

Dressage is all about foundation. Those fancy moves that the upper level horse and rider teams perform look like magic. But every step is solidly built on the balanced seat of the rider and forward action of the horse.

Anke gave me and Now Voyager our first lesson post surgery and it was all about relearning the basics. For me. Seems I’d lost – or misplaced – my balance.

Now Voyager, on the other hand, had progressed in my absence. Thanks to daily lungeing lessons (that’s where the rider is on the ground and the horse is running around you in circles on a long line) with Anke, NV had really solidified his sense of balance.


Disclaimer: This photo is neither Anke or Now Voyager…it is for illustrative purposes only.

Anke started the lesson by asking me if I was ready to sweat. Gotta love these German dressage trainers. Anke is a sweetheart when I’m on the ground but when I’m on the horse it’s all business. I love it.

The first thing she did was take away my whip. And then she took away my reins – tied them in a knot and told me to start trotting with my arms above my head.

Sure. Right. Now Voyager was just going happily trot around the arena like a seasoned school horse? Umm, ok.

I’ll be darned. That’s exactly what he did. While I raised my arms up and out to the side and rolled my shoulders and shifted my weight. He just trotted happily around.

No pics of this amazing feat but I love these that Bert took of us a while back…


Occasionally he’d mosey toward Anke who was standing in the middle of the arena. He loves her to bits and was pretty sure she had carrots on her person. But mostly he was an angel. Even at the canter!

So I learned two things. One, how to rediscover the center of my seat. Two, my horse has hidden talents. Well, the second thing isn’t so much a discovery as a reminder. I know Now Voyager is treasure trove of wonder and talent.

Thank you Anke for getting me back on track. And for making riding so much fun for both me and my horse!


Bert took this photo of Anke on her horse Fandango…happiness is being on a horse!


  1. This is so interesting. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I learn so much about horses from you! 🙂

  3. Isn’t it just like riding a bike?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: