German Training Methods for Classical Dressage
A classical German method of equine training is wonderful technique paired with the equestrian sport of dressage. In fact, a number of highly successful dressage competitors both use and teach the traditional German training method. What makes this style so very popular? Read on to learn more.
In the sport of dressage, it is paramount that both horse and rider work together as one unit. At the very heart of German training one finds this same viewpoint. The rider and horse are both taught how to understand one another to work as a team.
The training scale upon which German training methods are founded makes use of six traditional pillars. Successfully mastering these elements leads to positive results in the competitive arena. These six elements are:
In Europe, competitive dressage is much more widespread and revered than it is in the United States. As such, homegrown competitors tend to fair less well against their peers from across the pond. The use of classical German training methods, in addition to an increasing number of domestic dressage competitions, has helped to level the playing field.
Dressage poses such a challenge as it requires mastery in two broad areas. The most obvious to spectators is the performance of a complex series of movements. Perhaps most important is the requirement of horse and rider to communicate with each other to complete these tasks with accuracy.
During competition, the horse and rider duo is judged on a number of elements. Some of the more common include coordination, technique and precision. Throughout their time in the ring, horse and rider continually strive for perfection as they work with one another to perform.
Training Young Riders
Because a number of different training styles exist, parents can often feel overwhelmed with searching for the best trainer available to teach their child how to ride dressage. When a young person is interested in developing their interest in dressage into a long term passion, choosing the right trainer is paramount.
Today, a number of trainers who hail from Germany have opened training schools in the United States. Yet this is certainly not a prerequisite to a competent trainer. Cesar Parra of Piaffe-Performance Farm is a Columbia native and United States citizen who is very well versed in traditional German training methods.
Over the years, he has experienced success both as a competitor and a trainer. He has helped a number of young riders go on to wonderful competitive careers in the dressage arena. Through the implementation of German training methods, he has seen riders and their mounts realize success year after year.
He recommends parents look for a primary characteristic in their trainer of choice. Select someone who will instill a basic foundation of dressage into the young rider. This will help them improve as they both learn and grow through the support.
Simply stated, training takes time. This is why it is important to master basics from the start. Horse and rider can then move towards perfecting the intricate movements of dressage.