Saturday, January 2, 2016

Facebook Groups for the Dressage Rider of a Certain Age

I have been astounded by the wealth of dressage information and knowledge available for free through Facebook dressage groups.  Though I enjoy various the posts and photos of many well known riders like Charlotte, Carl, and etc. I find the bulk of my real learning has come primarily through Facebook groups related to dressage.  The thing about the groups is the posts can be all over the place, but since so many knowledable people chime in, very interesting points of view are brought up.  I find these groups really make me think about the what, when, and why and I have gained a ton of knowledge by skimming through the posts that come in my Facebook feed.  I have also posted video and photos for comment and gotten really helpful commentary.

First up of the groups is Dressage for Adult Amateurs.  This Facebook group is large and very diverse.  Most of the members seem interested in competing at the local or recognized level.  Mostly Americans.  Run by a couple of administrators that brook no rule breaking (the rules about ads, vet advice, and etc. are all clearly posted) this group has videos, posts, and questions from the very novice to the very skilled.  Lots of response when training video or pictures are posted and a generally supportive group of people.  I think the training advice can be a little all over the place, but if you find a couple of people you respect in this group you can gain a lot of knowledge from their comments.  There is also a comprehensive reading list in the about section of the group that is fab. Plus it's fun to watch other people's rides and progress, or lack thereof, and give yourself a measuring stick for your training and riding program.

Next up is Sylvia Locke & The Classical Riding Club(CRC).  This group is also quite large but since it has the theme of following Sylvia's principles of the classical seat and classical dressage it has a more unified approach.  Lots of Iberian and alternate type dressage horses with an emphasis on kindness and correct classical training.  Not as much emphasis on competition.  Mostly Brits with some Europeans and Americans.  Good links posted to all sorts of classical riding info and a generally friendly tone in the group.  Sylvia herself does not administer the page but she comments frequently and also posts interesting thoughts or themes quite regularly.  One of my highlights last year was having Sylvia herself "like" a recent photo of me riding Jet.  Very cool.  I have learned a ton from this page and really enjoy the atmosphere.  Probably because it is filled with middle aged dressage crazy ladies on non-warmbloods just like me.

Last up is the group Enlightened Equitation.  Run according to the teaching principles of Enlightened Equitation, by Heather Moffatt, this group is also large, has lots of posts and Heather herself posts and comments quite a bit.  More similar to Sylvia's page in that it is mostly Brits, less competitively focussed, and has more emphasis on correct classical equitation, Iberian, and alternate dressage breeds.  I really enjoy this page and Heather herself seems very down to earth and just cool.  She has a way of explaining pretty complicated ideas in pretty simple ways that has helped me get a couple of key things.  Again a group filled with ladies of a certain age but some really nice horses and quite good riders.  Definitely less intense than Dressage for Adult Amateurs with more quirky horse and riders but some good riding and training going on.

So, these are my three favorite Facebook dressage group pages.  What are your favorite group pages or dressage riders you follow?


  1. I have never heard of those groups but now am intrigued. I belong to only 3 groups on FB and neither are advice related, purely sale posts. English Tack Trader is my favorite and i am also part of Second Home OTTBs and Ohio horse and tack group.

    I used to belong to OTTB Connect and got kicked out for asking a girl why she hated New Vocations ( I am an ambassador for them) and thought it was ridiculous since I wasn't breaking any rules or calling her names etc. That group always seemed to be full of bratty teenagers anyways and the drama was unreal.

    I'm not a huge fan of internet sit like COTH and FB since people are so horrible behind a keyboard but I have never visited a training/advice site. I will have to!

  2. Thanks for these--love to get advice/information and it would be great to be able to ask questions when stuck on something.

  3. Great post! I hope hoping to start my dressage journey with my boy this year so this was extremely helpful. I will definitely be checking our your recommendations!