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  1. Navigation menu
  2. The Right College Degree for a Horse Career
  3. The horse club offering a safe haven for young Londoners
  4. Blog Category
  5. Newton Ferrers Equus

Modern, or competitive, dressage evolved from the classical school, although it now exists in a somewhat different form from its ancestor. Competitive dressage is an international sport ranging from beginner levels to the Olympics. Unlike classical dressage, competitive dressage does not require the airs above ground , which most horses cannot perform well even with correct training, due to physical limitations.

Instead, competitive dressage focuses on movements such as the piaffe , passage , half-pass , extended trot , pirouette , and tempi changes. In theory, competitive dressage should follow the same principles as classical dressage. However, there has been criticism by some riders for the trend at all levels for "quick fixes" and incorrect training that makes the horse appear correct, but that is in fact neglecting the fundamentals. Classical riders criticize such training methods on the grounds that they are biomechanically incompatible with correct movement, are painful to the horse, and cause long-term physical damage.

While these modern methods, such as the highly controversial rollkur technique, can produce winning animals, classical dressage riders argue that such training is incorrect and even abusive. It is also believed by some that competitive dressage does not always reward the most correctly trained horse and rider, especially at the lower levels. For example, some riders who consider themselves to be training classically would not ask their horse to hold his head near-vertical when he first began training, and this would be penalized at the lower levels of competitive dressage, marked down because the horse is not considered to be correctly on the bit.

Other riders, who also would consider themselves classically trained, would disagree, saying that if a horse is not ready to travel in a correct outline on the bit he is not ready for competition, and this is the reason such horses would be marked down.

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When a horse is advanced in its training, it can perform not only Grand Prix dressage movements such as collected and extended gaits, passage and piaffe , but some can also perform certain "Airs Above the Ground," although usually a horse will only be trained in one air, and only if it is particularly able. The "high school" or haute ecole school jumps, popularly known as the "airs above the ground", include the courbette, capriole , levade , and ballotade.

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Though these movements are said to come from when the horse was used in war, in their modern form, the airs were unlikely to have been used in actual battle, as all but the capriole expose the horse's sensitive underbelly to the weapons of foot soldiers , and they were more likely training exercises used off the battlefield.

The courbette is a movement where the horse balances on its hind legs and jumps, keeping its fore legs off the ground, thus it "hops" on its hind legs. The capriole is a movement where the horse leaps into the air and pulls his fore legs in towards his chest at the height of elevation, while kicking out with his hind legs.

It requires great control and balance, and is very strenuous. Two main breeds are most well known for their abilities for airs above ground: the Lipizzaner and the Andalusian. Other breeds known for their abilities in high school dressage include the Friesian and Lusitano. The Spanish Riding School exclusively uses Lipizzaner stallions for their work. Independent classical dressage trainers also endeavor to keep this branch of the art alive, including the Portuguese riding master Nuno Oliveira and his students, Bent Branderup , and the American clinician, Paul Belasik.

The Right College Degree for a Horse Career

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Airs above the ground. Archived from the original on Retrieved Equestrian activities. Main articles: Equestrianism Equitation. Dressage Eventing Show jumping. Categories : Dressage. At every barn I have been, I developed friends and sometimes lifelong relationships. I have seen people help each other countless times during shows, trail rides, riding lessons, and just hanging out around the barn. In addition, those who ride are members of a variety of horse organizations Once you ride, you become part of this entire new world. Those who like to compete have a number of disciplines and horse sports to choose from in order to compete with their equine partner.

Transportation Let's not forget the main reason that people domesticated horses and began riding in the first place: for transportation. People decided that horses would be a great mode of transportation, and this greatly changed the course of history. Many cultures still use horses for this reason.

The horse club offering a safe haven for young Londoners

And for those who weren't in to riding, eventually man learned to drive horses in front of carts, etc. The World from Horseback Horseback riding offers a way to see the world. I know that trail riding has been one of my favorite ways to spend time on horseback. Whether it was riding through the fields and woods of my home state of Virginia, or to the snowy landscape of Ohio during winter, to cantering down the beach in Florida on vacation, to riding through swamps and the lowlands of South Carolina, trail riding has allowed me to see parts of the country I never would have otherwise.

It is a great way to see the world doing something you absolutely love. A Return to Nature Horseback riding brings us out into the fresh air and closer to nature. Our society spends so much time indoors these days. We should take every opportunity we can to get outside for some exercise and fresh air with one of our most beautiful animals. In fact, this is why many riders started riding according to questionnaire respondents from the BHS study.

Eighty percent of respondents ranked "contact with nature" and "scenery and views" as "important," "very important," or "extremely important.

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Relaxation Horseback riding is relaxing. In fact, therapeutic riding has shown to reduce muscle spasticity as tight muscles are stretched due to the natural motion of the horse. We know going for a walk can be relaxing.


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When a horse walks with a rider on his back, the rider's pelvis moves in the same motion as if he or she were walking. In addition, riding has been known to increase the range of motion of joints, allowing riders to move more freely.

Lifestyle Being a horseback rider can lead to a certain lifestyle. But that is for the rider to determine what kind of lifestyle with horses they wish to have. For instance, some love to be rough and wild on the range with a ranch and working horses. On the opposite end of the spectrum might be the rider who travels from show to show in an effort to win ribbons and be the best rider on a circuit or in a show series. Or maybe you want to just be a weekend warrior and ride occasionally. And there are many different lifestyles and variations, and the ability to create a totally unique lifestyle.

Career And since I have worked in the horse industry as a journalist, one of the benefits of my horseback riding experience has also been a means of livelihood for me. I wouldn't have wanted to begin my career in journalism any other way. And the same is true for so many people I know Love and the Human-Animal Bond There is nothing like loving a horse, except for knowing that the same horse loves you back. The human-animal bond is one of the best reasons to learn to ride. Horses are willing to become true partners with their riders. If treated with respect, kindness, and love, then the bond that develops is truly amazing and inspiring.

Fun Anyone who has sat on the back of a horse knows that it is just plain fun. There is an adventurousness to it. It offers freedom, movement, and makes amazing feats of athleticism possible. And there is a total thrill with galloping across an open field, in tune with your mount. I don't regret a single hour I have spent with horses. Not every moment on horseback is like the scene from a movie where the star rides off into the sunset.

Just like learning any new skill, learning to ride involves hard work and dedication. Add in some dirty stalls, stubborn horses, chores by the bucketload, and exhausting days and you will have the time of your life. So I am curious, what are your favorite benefits of horseback riding?

Share with us in the comments below. This is amazing! So helpful for my English project no worries, not gonna copy and paste ; thank you!!!! Best article, used for my English essay on paper. THink I might have to check out some more. This is perfect for my argumentative essay that I have to right. Thank you. I am gonna quote you a lot. Hope to read more in the future. I think my favorite benefit beside exercise is the feeling of being free. I love this!!!

I learned a lot of new stuff and am definitely using this in my English paper.

Newton Ferrers Equus

I loved reading this. Thank you! My daughter loves horses, and she always wants to go see them and pet them. Looks like horseback riding is challenging and beneficial to our physical and mental health. One should try this fun activity with their family. I was surprised to read all of the benefits that come with horseback riding!

What surprised me most was that you can get improved interpersonal skills when you start riding. This would be a great skill for me to start pursing, so I am going to look into horseback riding in my area so I can start taking lessons. My husband and I really want to get some horses we can take our riding together, and I was curious to know if there were any benefits to a hobby like this. Your article had some great information about the benefits of horseback riding, and I liked how you said that it is very relaxing, and therapeutic riding has been shown to reduce muscle spasticity.


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Very informative article. I love horse riding. For me, physical health and Relaxation feeling is the priority. It gives me a very free feeling. Animal and human bond are amazing. I have been enjoying horseback riding for a couple of months now. I have enrolled my self to learn how to ride a horse since I have been watching some movies with horses on it, I got inspired to take training riding a horse and I love it! I like how the article explains that by horseback riding at least 3 times a week it can help you to develop better reflexes and sense of balance as it is considered moderate intensity exercise.

I have a terrible sense of balance and I am wanting to do exercises to help me to increase my balance. Maybe horseback riding at a local ranch can help me to do exercises to help me increase my balance and reflexes. I liked the idea of horse riding to develop confidence and self-esteem, just as you explained. After learning the placid benefits of horse riding, this activity would be something they might like. I like that you mentioned horseback riding can be a good way to help psychological health.

I have been interested in opening a ranch where kids can get help with some of their mental issues, gain confidence, and learn responsibility by riding and taking care of horses. I would love to look at some horse ranches for sale in the colorado springs area and see what I can do.

Horse Riding for All Ages and Abilities

Please wait By Sarah Evers Conrad. The benefits of horseback riding are innumerable and are shared amongst all horseback riders. I imagine I am not the only horse person who has met people who could not understand why I loved riding so much. Let's discuss some of the benefits you can expect to have from riding horses regularly.