Dressage literally translated means "training". Dressage, as a philosophy of horsemanship, develops a working relationship between horse and rider that is based on trust and understanding through "training." The goal of Relational Riding™ is to apply the philosophies of Dressage, good natural horsemanship and related therapeutic modalities that have been developed over the centuries. These philosophies and other elements of Relational Riding™, allow the horse to become more supple, obedient, balanced and ultimately develop, to their fullest and most beautiful, the natural gaits of the horse.
In proper horse training, a bit response is established that allows the horse to work "in the release of the
reins", engages the carrying muscles, maintains balance, thus achieving true lightness and self
carriage. The horse naturally comes in front of the seat and leg with proper engagement from
the hind legs. No artificial training aids (martingales, tie downs, draw reins, chambons, twisted
snaffles, etc.,) are used in the horse training program except a dressage whip. Because the horse is working
in release, without restriction or contraction, the concepts of forward, "through", supple,
elastic, "schwung", impulsion, balance, etc., take on a different feeling than you may have
associated with them before.
The horse begins to express itself freely and beautifully under the rider and the joy inherent
in that expression keeps riders returning to the arena for the experience again and again.
The following video was taken at Lewada in Zakrzow, Poland while Michelle studied under Polish Coach Andzrej Salacki.
This program is designed to benefit all riders and all horses. Correct fundamental dressage training can
and will help you whether you are in the arena or on the trail, riding a Quarter Horse or a
gaited horse, an Arabian, a Warmblood, a Thoroughbred or a pony. The concepts and ideas can be
presented many ways and can be understood by anyone willing to listen and learn regardless of
age, riding level, or experience.
Relational Riding principles applied to this 4 year old Appaloosa stallion qualified King of Broken Hearts for Appaloosa Worlds in 2008!
Contact Michelle to discuss joining the lesson program, horse training, fees and riding lesson availability or equine rehabilitation.
Michelle is teaching at Relational Riding Academy
3714 W Anderson Rd, Cheney WA 99004
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