Students that major in Dressage at Meredith Manor have 8 one hour dressage lessons per week.

Riding - Dressage

Students that major in Dressage at Meredith Manor equestrian career college have 8 one hour dressage riding lessons per week in addition to 16 hours per week in training classes.

Course Name: Riding - Dressage

Prerequisites: None

The Dressage major can cover work from Training Level through Grand Prix. The emphasis at all levels is to develop a supple, relaxed, flexible, obedient horse and a strong, coordinated, balanced rider with a deep and secure seat. Dressage movements covered include turns on forehand and haunches, counter-canter, transitions, half-pass, lengthening, single flying changes and changes in series, pirouette in canter, piaffe, and passage. An in depth study of the mental attitude of both the horse and rider is emphasized.

Weekly Topics:
Students will progress though the levels of Dressage Riding according to their personal interests, efforts, and physical abilities. Topics will vary by levels. Syllabi include specific strategies for developing skills at each level.

Level I: Basic balance in walk, trot, canter.
Level II: The seat is following the horse’s motion independently most of the time. The student can apply the aids to get the horse into the walk, trot, canter, and maintain the gait.
Level III: Independent balanced seat. The student can apply basic leg aids, weight aids, rein aids, ride transitions into and out of the three working gaits, and follow simple straight and curved lines.
Level IV: The student is able to reproduce on a trained horse more advanced movements on one or two tracks applying the proper combination and coordination of aids.
Level V: The student is able to help correct behavioral and physical problems in school horses.
Level VI: The student is able to start a green horse in basic dressage.
Level VII: The student is able to train a horse to do progressively advanced movements including leg yields, shoulder-in, changes through the trot, transitions into and out of gaits and within gaits, and counter canter.
Level VIII: The student is able to train a horse to do progressively advanced movements including haunches-in, half-pass, medium and extended gaits, and single flying changes.
Level IX: The student is able to train a horse to do progressively advanced movements: counter change of hand in half-pass, passage, piaffe ,changes in series, and canter pirouettes.

Performance Objectives:
The level of achievement of the following objectives will be partially dependent on the number of quarters the student has been involved in the Dressage Riding Program. Following successful completion of Dressage Riding Courses, the student will be able to:

  • Describe or explain the theory of riding with regard to:
    • Position
    • Basic movement
    • The riding tree
    • The training tree
  • Demonstrate the ability to maintain a balanced and correct independent seat while riding a trained horse, while fixing problems on a school horse, and while training a “green” horse in Dressage movements
  • Demonstrate the ability to ride a trained horse, fix problems on a school horse, and train a young horse
  • Link the theory of Dressage Riding to practice
  • Demonstrate or describe and give examples of the use of Dressage theory in problem solving during riding and training
Nancy Wesolek-Sterret: the head of the dressage department at Meredith Manor.

A variety of instructional methods and strategies will be used, including demonstration and guided practice.

Observation and feedback will be used to guide instruction and allow students to monitor their progress. Other evaluation measures include: punctuality, attitude, effort, progression, appearance of horse and rider, and attendance.

I graduated in 2000 and have had incredible success in the professional world due to the skills I've learned through MM. MM showed me the way to become part of a program and learn how to see an overall picture not just its parts.
Melissa Sliwa Humke: 2000 Riding Master VI Graduate