Friends, I know a lot of you Jumpers out there might thoroughly dislike Dressage. Trust me, I understand; it can be infuriating and sometimes, we just can’t understand why our humans make us do the silly things they make us do.
But you should know that it’s about more than just dancing and looking pretty. If you’re a Jumper and your human is making you do Dressage, well… they’re doing it for your own good.
I know, I know; right now, you think I’m crazy. How can Dressage be for your own good, when all you want to do is run fast and jump high?!
Well, you see, Dressage is meant to help you become instantly responsive to even the most subtle cues of the hand, seat and leg; the goal, as a human, is to ask you once, and have you respond immediately – and then hold it (whatever the command is that they asked you for) until they tell you to do something else.
The better you are at Dressage, the easier you and your human will be able to communicate in the Jumping Arena!
For instance, here is a video of me practicing a “Haunches In,” and then a “Shoulder In.”
Now, I’m not the best at either – and I’m better at the Shoulder In than the Haunches In. However, I can do both effectively; when I’m finished, though, I have a good reminder in my head of the subtle difference in cues between my rider’s leg, hand, and seat.
Subsequently, when we jumped the next day, I was listening more carefully to my Mommy’s aides – and we had a really, REALLY great day!
In fact, we had such a great day, that we jumped the TOP HOLE of FIVE FOOT standards! It was fantastic!
So, if your human starts asking you to do Dressage as a Jumper, don’t despair – it might actually mean that you’re going to be better at jumping because of it!
However, if they tell you you’re going to start doing Dressage instead of jumping… well, if that happens, call me immediately!!!
For now, I’m off to eat some grass with my two best friends, Troy and William. Catch y’all later!