Saturday, January 16, 2016

All Roads Lead to Rome...We Hope

Because of joining the aforementioned Enlightened Equitation group on Facebook, I have been delving a bit more into the concepts of EE and reading the revised/enlarged version in e-book form.  A review on the new book version of Enlightened Equitation is coming soon, but I've also been tootling around the internet looking at the differences between the different schools of classical dressage equitation, German, French, Portuguese and etc..  This has made for some interesting reading and again, a post will be forthcoming on this subject, but along the way I ran into a great concept about the different ways of teaching riding dressage specifically.

The quote was on a message board comparing the different systems of learning how to have a better seat and be a more effective rider.  The poster commented something to the effect that most instructors teach riding in a way that has worked for them and works for most of their students.  Some systems work better for the over analyzer, some for the visual person, and some for the artistic intuitive learner.  As the student riders advance in each of these systems, let's say Mary Wanless, Centered Riding, or Enlightened Equitation, they start to look and ride more and more like each other until you have serious overlapp in all of the systems and a beautiful, effective rider.  Hmmmmm, something to think about.  The base might look slightly different, but closer to the peak of really good riding most riders look very similar.

I have yet to find one system that I can do by myself, learning through books and video that has been stand alone to improve my bio-mechanics.  However, combining things from a few key sources, has really been the ticket for me.  A little bit of projecting the waist to the hands from Sylvia Loch, combined with the following/not following seat of Heather Moffet, and add a dash of dressage theory from Beth Baumert has really worked well for me.  Even to the point of running into a specific problem, looking at all my most trusted sources and trying each different way of using my bio-mechanics.  Oddly enough, most of the time it is just slight variations in the "how to" that have led to success.  Because we all learn and process information differently, a slight variation can lead to great things.


  1. Interesting, and good to know you are seeing overlap and similarities. The more I narrow down the type of horseperson I want to be and the methods of training I want to use, the more nervous I get about the choices I make.

  2. Wendy, it is really hard to narrow down what/who you want to use as your reference for training and equitation. I am pretty inclusivefor a dressage rider, to the point of really liking how some of the better natural horsemen think and train over some of the dressage big wigs. My criteria are something like: no force, happy horse with closed mouth/no crazy gadgets, correct use of the body of horse and rider, progressive training, and a feeling/look of lightness. You can see all of these in the best hunter, dressage, and natural horsemen trainers I think.