Traditional Dressage Training
Dressage is rather like ballet or yoga. It is intended to produce a horse that is equally strong and equally supple side-to-side so that it can move in a way that is beautifully balanced and expressive and also that concussion is reduced on joints affording the horse a long useful life.
Why Dressage Training?
The training offered at KKM Stables by Karen can be used to make better a dressage horse, to train dressage on a horse started in another discipline, to use dressage training to improve another discipline (contesters, hunter/jumpers, pleasure horses, trail horses). She no longer offers initial backing of youngsters, although very much enjoys all the work that leads up to that initial ride and is quite accomplished at it. Her horses are happy horses, well-rounded athletes who have pretty movement, are fit and toned, have a good work ethic, and are safe to ride out on trail or field.
Sometimes a horse is brought to become better balanced or more respectful of humans. Sometimes to move up a level in dressage. Sometimes to make gaits more expressive or pure.
What to Expect from Dressage Training
Currently one can expect that all training is hands on by Karen. Horses typically work five days per week, sometimes six, and if she is gone to a show or clinic, sometimes four. Youngsters may work two or three short sessions per day as their attention spans allow, while mature horses usually work a 45 minute session at one time.
From the training received at KKM, one can expect improvements in manners – on the ground and in work, an increase in fitness and muscle tone, improved aerobic conditioning, improved balance, relaxation in work, and a horse with a good work ethic that likes to do its job.
In addition to riding, other training methods may be used as the situation warrants – longing, ground driving, round pen work, cavalletti, and low cross rail jumps. The indoor arena is large and allows for work to be done almost every day of the year. It is insulated (for sound, primarily), is moistened to prevent dust, has mirrors to observe what you are doing, and has a PA system, which is useful for Groups or Clinics.
Owners/riders are welcome to be present when the horse is working if their schedules allow.
Training is a “leg up” on the journey of accomplishment that is a wise investment. Some owners send a horse for a month to get started on the journey, others leave their horses here indefinitely for years, knowing that they will be well managed: trained, groomed, turned out, loved, and have regular vet, dental, farrier, chiropractic, or massage work by competent professionals scheduled in a comprehensive wellness program. Some owner/riders bring their horses for a lesson/training session once per week and then follow up with their own work at home.
Whatever your needs, KKM is a high quality professional barn here to help you enjoy your horses more.