Posted by: forgingahead | October 12, 2009

Equestrian Quadrille Fun

This is what I was doing Saturday morning! Well, not this exact thing. More like the general idea of it.

equestrian quadrille

Quadrille is a choreographed dressage ride, commonly performed to music, which is often compared to an equestrian ballet or to a drill team. A minimum of four horses are used, although many times more (always in pairs), which perform movements together.

Thank you Wikipedia for this description.

The women of my barn all work with the same amazing dressage trainer – Anke Herbert – and she invited her students to join her for our first attempt at riding a quadrille.

Now, what you simply must know is that while we can chat with the best of them when we’re on the ground, our actual saddle time is pretty solitary.

So when the five of us (one had to cancel last minute) gathered in the arena our horses were looking at each other with curiosity.

And then we started trotting around with only about 6 feet between each horse. That really got their attention. “Hey, what’s Peanut doing behind me,” I could hear Now Voyager asking. Like a kid, he kept trying to see what was going on behind him.

Now Voyager, race horse that he is, wanted to be in front. Then as soon as he was he slowed down. Sun, the mustang and former endurance horse, needed to be in front. NV thought that was a-ok with him.

Turns out its hard to keep an even distance between trotting horses. Every horse has a different length stride and my guy kept busting into canter he was so excited.

Of course there was a really big and loud tractor doing work on the hillside plus the gardener had arrived with this lawn mower. Just the things to add spice to a ride.

All challenges aside we did finally arrive at a point when things were relatively under control and Anke had us doing pretty patterns in sync.

Some people were at the farm next door checking out the dahlia crop and apparently we were entertaining enough to hold their attention for a bit.

The best part was feeling like a kid again. Riding in group lesson with your bestest barn friends. Having big fun.

Can’t wait to do it again.


  1. Wow, I’m so impressed. This looks hard to coordinate and execute. Sounds like you had fun!
    Yes, it was fun rooting for Charisa, she was so strong! I can’t imagine carrying on all day like that! Actually, all of those athletes are incredibly strong!
    What discipline too.

  2. I gotta get you on my blogroll…I am doing that right now!

  3. Delightful! I really do need to get to some dressage shows sometime. I know nothing about it.

  4. Whoa. Now that looks challenging!

  5. How much fun did you have?! If you are planning to do this again soon, let me know. Would love to be there. Good thing you did this before ALL THIS RAIN! We are having quite the deluge. How about you?


  6. That is awesome! I’m quite sure I would be horrible at it 🙂

  7. Ha ha! Wish I could be more eloquent in describing that intricate ballet at the start of one of our endurance rides – when you’re jockeying for position, figuring out where your pony is going to fit as you settle in to riding “your” ride…
    [That’s the big saying amongst us endurance riders: “RIDE YOUR OWN RIDE!”]
    Ya really ought to try it sometimes 😉

  8. […] we joined the quadrille practice and he seemed pretty good. We did mostly […]

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