Why I’m loving Dressage
|September 17, 2009||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Dressage seems like the complete opposite of Endurance, but I think that is where it’s strength lies. It’s the perfect cross-training sport for Endurance
1. My horse is not getting sweaty but I’m building strength anaerobically. Endurance is mostly aerobic (and usually very sweaty!).
2. Trail riding can be technical, but I haven’t ridden any trail, Tevis included, that required the focus and precision that riding a 20 meter circle correctly requires. I think this mental focus of dressage will help Farley stay mental sharp and fresh, even when doing technical trails or longer rides such as 100’s. I’m exercising her brain!
3. I’m building muscle that will allow her to carry herself better up and down hills. It’s hill training for those of us that don’t have hills! I couldn’t believe the amount of effort it took for her to carry herself correctly at the canter on a 20 meter circle. It’s sheer strength.
4. I’m giving her a chance at a better life if I can’t keep her. Not only is she is safe and sane 100 miler horse (and yes, she will be), but she can do 1st and 2nd level dressage (and yes, we’ll be doing that too). How many horses out there can you say that about?
5. I may not chose to ride in dressage position on the trail, but at least I can make a conscious choice on my position based on reasons instead of “I can’t help that this is how I ride”.
6. I think 2 or 3 different activities with Farley is good for us both. For me it prevents burn out and lethargy. For her, it will keep her mentally engaged and learning (important for arabs especially).
7. I think there are some misconceptions regarding endurance in the dressage/traditional english world and vice-versa. Farley is a sweet, willing mare whom I think could be a good ambassador.
Does anyone else have any thoughts? Anyone else have a favorite cross-training activity for an endurance horse?
This will be my last post for ~2 weeks. I’m going on vacation – a real vacation – to Nebraska to watch the National Cavalry Competition. No computer, no internet, no phone, no else (person or human) to have to care for. Bye for now!