Dressage is simply training the horse to develop and use its body in such a way that, even when mounted, it moves with fluidity, power and joy. It is the basis used to train young horses and to prepare them for disciplines such as jumping, advanced dressage, cross-country, mounted archery, working equitation, etc.
This work begins with ground breaking and is then followed by riding, reinforced with more refined ground work
We teach our horses in seven stages. The horse learns and shows us how, from his natural reflexes, we should organize the “chain of conditioned riding reflexes”. The success of the future relationship and interaction between horse and rider during riding will depend on the correct attitude, body language, sounds and gestures of the trainer. In the seventh stage, the horse is mounted and the commands from the ground are transferred upwards.
We follow the concepts of the German Dressage Training Scale. In this way we teach our students to create a solid base of equestrian knowledge that allows them to improve in all disciplines and to ride in harmony with the horse.
Learning to ride is a multi-stage process that mirrors that of the horse. The rider’s first goal is to have an independent seat. Without this balance in movement, it is not possible to ride in favor of the horse.
To get there, the student first needs to know how to relax on the horse’s back, because tension creates a vicious circle… the horse becomes tense too. Once relaxed, the student needs to train their balance in the horse’s three gaits. This balance should come from the center of your body (psoas, iliopsoas and rectus abdominis muscles). Once you’re relaxed and balanced, comes the part that for some is the hardest: staying in the horse’s movement. In addition to these body aids, there are also voice aids and the use of whips and spurs.
From the independent seat, we can communicate with the horse through seat aids (small changes in weight to maintain or change the horse’s balance), leg aids (to encourage the horse and act on the hind legs) and reins (to control the horse’s pasterns).
To ride lightly and in favor of the horse, the student must learn how to coordinate the aids. Once the student knows how to do this very well, by interpreting the horse’s reactions well, he can influence the horse in a subtle and light way. For those observing the partnership, it seems as if everything is happening in harmony, as if they are watching a centaur.
We also encourage our students to seek out theoretical knowledge through books and articles and to observe good riders
The Desempenho School offers single classes and courses in:
Basic Riding (Beginners and Elementary)
After finding out more about your riding experience, interests and goals, we can recommend a suitable course or a tailor-made package.
We also organize Clinics with guest instructors.
Through our Dressage and Jumping Team, our students have the opportunity to take part in competitions at state level (FEERJ).