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New Adult Dressage Riders

Been riding 2 years now [began at the age of 58 - gasp] and I love it. I’m wondering if any of the other forum readers who started riding as adults in hunter/jumper have had a change of heart as I have, to pursue dressage? At this very moment I don’t have the desire to ever show. What I want is to learn how every part of me affects my horse. To develop the ability to improve him physically [where he is carrying himself in the best possible way for his own health] and just absolutely connect with him at the highest level. I currently see him do things under saddle when my trainer or other very experienced riders has the reins and I SOOOOO want that. :cry: I’ve had my horse for 11 months and I think dressage is what I need. – Any one else understand that or have any comments?

Give yourself some time!!! LoL

Is your trainer a jumper rider? It is not uncommon for the hunter/jumper crowd to take dressage lessons.

Also, if your trainer is really good, I don’t see why s/he couldn’t teach you on the flat for a little while, until you get more steady. Good riding is good ridng.

Have fun! :slight_smile:

If you are on Facebook there is a friendly group called Dressage for Adult Amateurs that is a good place to share ideas, etc too. https://www.facebook.com/groups/243375149019308/

I rode some dressage as a kid when forced, but it’s only been since I started riding again two years ago that I’ve been taking it seriously. I’ve been showing and really liking it (used to hate it. Bleh, the sandbox!) and the key for me was having a quality, capable horse that makes dressage feel a lot more like fun than like a forced death march on a horse who’s not suited for it.

I rode and showed hunters/jumpers from 1985-2013. I started to get interested in dressage in 2012 and have now fully switched over. I love it and have zero regrets or desire to switch back to jumping. I did keep my jump tack, just in case. For developing a partnership with your horse, I really think there is nothing better than dressage.

I will say, dressage is the most frustrating, and intoxicating sport you will probably undertake, at least it is for me. Have fun, keep a humor, and Good luck, LOL.

I have been riding for 25 years! Started western (both western pleasure-type and gymkhanna) in 4-H for 13 years, before switching to english for my pony’s sake as she just did NOT want to lope…too slow. I showed on my college’s highly competitive IHSA Western team for all 4 years, Hunt Seat 1 year, and Dressage 1 year. I dabbled in eventing after college, and now I have been focusing on dressage for about 3 years (granted, on a green horse so we have the un-ideal situation of learning together).

I will say that I have never felt more like a rank beginner than when I ride dressage. It’s like everything I knew was WRONG! :stuck_out_tongue: I am highly addicted to it know and see the joy in every little improvement we make, no matter how small. Do I wish that I was much further ahead in my riding abilities? Of course. Do I get down on myself and question if I can actually ride? Quite a bit. BUT, nothing beats that endorphin high you get when you first feel your horse pick himself up and really come through. You feel like you are riding a cloud and can do anything in that moment. And then, like a drug addict, you will be obsessively searching for that next high :smiley:

I started riding hunters/jumpers/equitation in the early 70s (gasp) shortly after the dinosaurs disappeared. Made the switch to dressage two years ago and absolutely fell in love with it.