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Classical Dressage Training 

Soto Dressage Clinic in SpainThe ancient art of dressage is becoming more and more popular in America today. It has many advantages for serious riders. For one thing it can be practiced in a comparatively small place and most urban dwellers do not have easy access to wide open spaces. Another attraction of the sport is its tremendous aesthetic appeal and the rewards of achieving close harmony with an equine partner. Classical Dressage training presents ever greater challenges as the student climbs to higher levels up to grand prix. It is an equestrian discipline which will help riders with any other kind of riding just as a good base in Latin helps one learn all Romance languages.

Like so many sports, including American rodeo, dressage has developed from very practical needs. The Renaissance gave a tremendous impetus to formal dressage training. As in so many other fields of human knowledge and art the swift improvement depended on the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman culture. Well before the Christian era Xenophon wrote an extensive treatise on the subject which became tremendously influential with the European nobility who were becoming increasingly interested in refining horsemanship for warfare, hunting, bull fighting and racing. Like so many other sports, its origins are in necessary practical uses.

Of course dressage riders must make an adjustment from the techniques they are accustomed to in the dressage ring when they take a horseback riding vacation on a Wyoming ranch. Western riding tends to be on a loose rein with weight forward on a horse trained to neck rein, but that should be an easy adaptation to make and the balance and feel of the horse gained through dressage then become invaluable.

We offer a number of training programs in the US, Spain and Portugal including a special opportunity to take individual classical dressage lessons from a charismatic Olympic silver medalist. The trips you take to pursue your love for dressage are often rewarding in many other ways. They provide a change of scene and often give will give you an insider’s view of a foreign culture which the casual tourist would never achieve in such a short time. You will also find that a common love or horses makes it easy to break the ice in new relationships. Many have made lifelong friends on these adventures.

For more information see Equitours Worldwide Riding Vacations.

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