Riding Theory

Description:
Theory classes provide for an understanding of the underlying principles of Dressage, Jumping and Western through a variety of techniques and opportunities for discussion. Emphasis is given to the application of principles of each student's riding, as well as to the discipline as a whole. All students enrolled in Riding Classes participate in theory classes in the same discipline. Basic principles are covered with intermediate and advanced level content being presented as students progress in their cognitive understanding and psychomotor development.

Dressage Theory I-VI   |   Jumping Theory I-VI   |   Western Theory I-VI


Course Name: Dressage Theory I-VI 

Prerequisites: None

Weekly Topics: The following topics will be addressed in Dressage Theory I-VI:

  1. A Balanced Seat
  2. The importance and use of the aids: what are the aids? How is each used effectively? Including, leg aids, weight aids, rein aids, and the coordination of aids.
  3. The Training Tree: Meaning & Examples of each in horses:
    • Rhythm
    • Relaxation
    • Freedom of gaits
    • Contact
    • Straightness
    • Balance
    • Impulsion
    • Suppleness
    • “on the aids”
    • Collection
  4. The Riding Tree: Meaning & Examples of each in riders:
    • Relaxation
    • Balance
    • Following the Motion
    • Application of aids
    • Coordination of aids
    • Influencing the horse
  5. Stretching/long and/low work
  6. Movement
    • Conformation of the Dressage horse
    • Characteristics of large moving horses
    • Breeds of horses suitable for Dressage
  7. Self-improvement
    • Overcoming fear
    • Commitment
    • Fundamentals
  8. Canter work and flying changes
  9. Lateral work
  10. Trampoline work
  11. Videotaping the rider and viewing the tape
  12. Developing an understanding and an “eye” for Dressage work
  13. Developing an understanding of an “eye” for training the Dressage horse

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 Program. Following successful completion of Dressage Theory I-VI Courses, the student will be able to:

  • Define and explain the significance and importance of each of the following for successful performance in Dressage:
    • elements of the riding tree and training tree
    • conformation of the horse
    • an independent seat
    • lateral movements
    • canter work and flying changes
    • piaffe, passage, and pirouettes
  • Identify quality Dressage movement in a horse
  • Analyze the conformation of a Dressage horse
  • Evaluate the quality of Dressage movements with different horses and riders
  • Describe, analyze, and evaluate a correct and independent seat
  • Analyze the quality of Dressage movements and make appropriate suggestions for improvement

Methods:
A variety of instructional methods and strategies will be used, including expository learning, discussion, and demonstration. Videotapes of high level performances are used to demonstrate concepts and principles. Students will observe principles of Dressage Theory as they are demonstrated by advanced students and staff.

Evaluation:
Students will be evaluated on their knowledge & skills through the following:

  • Quality of notebook
  • Mid-term exam
  • Final exam
  • Class participation; attitude; effort; & attendance

Course Name: Jumping Theory I-VI 

Prerequisites: None

Weekly Topics: The following topics will be addressed in Jumping Theory I-VI:

  1. A Balanced Seat
  2. The importance and use of the aids: what are the aids? How is each used effectively? Including, leg aids, weight aids, rein aids, and the coordination of aids.
  3. The Training Tree: Meaning & Examples of each in horses:
    • Rhythm
    • Relaxation
    • Freedom of gaits
    • Contact
    • Straightness
    • Balance
    • Impulsion
    • Suppleness
    • “on the aids”
    • Collection
  4. The Riding Tree: Meaning & Examples of each in riders:
    • Relaxation
    • Balance
    • Following the Motion
    • Application of aids
    • Coordination of aids
    • Influencing the horse
  5. Horse Biomechanics and the Development of Jumping
  6. Lunging, stretching, and strengthening
  7. Importance of physical fitness
  8. Developing the rider’s “eye” for Jumping
  9. Training over Cavaletti
  10. Types of fences; finding distances
  11. Gymnastics and courses
  12. Principles of Dressage for the Jumping horse and rider
  13. Videotaping the rider and viewing the tape

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 Jumping Program. Following successful completion of Jumping Theory I-VI Courses, the student will be able to:

  • Define and explain the significance and importance of each of the following for successful performance in Jumping:
    • elements of the riding tree and training tree
    • rider development for Jumping; physical fitness
    • horse biomechanics & development of jumping
    • an independent seat
    • work over cavaletti
    • strides
    • determining distances
  • Analyze the conformation of a Jumping horse
  • Analyze and evaluate the quality of Jumping movements with different horses and riders
  • Describe, analyze, and evaluate correct Jumping techniques & suitability of courses for Jumping
  • Analyze the quality of Jumping techniques and make appropriate suggestions for improvement

Methods:
A variety of instructional methods and strategies will be used, including expository learning, discussion, and demonstration. Videotapes of high level performances are used to demonstrate concepts and principles. Students will observe principles of Jumping Theory as they are demonstrated by advanced students and staff.

Evaluation:
Students will be evaluated on their knowledge & skills through the following:

  • Mid-term exam
  • Final exam
  • Class participation; attitude; effort; & attendance

Course Name: Western Theory I-VI 

Prerequisites: None

Weekly Topics: The following topics will be addressed in Western Theory I-VI:

  1. A Balanced Seat
  2. The importance and use of the aids: what are the aids? How is each used effectively? Including, leg aids, weight aids, rein aids, and the coordination of aids.
  3. The Training Tree: Meaning & Examples of each in horses:
    • Rhythm
    • Relaxation
    • Freedom of gaits
    • Contact
    • Straightness
    • Balance
    • Impulsion
    • Suppleness
    • “on the aids”
    • Collection
  4. The Riding Tree: Meaning & Examples of each in riders:
    • Relaxation
    • Balance
    • Following the Motion
    • Application of aids
    • Coordination of aids
    • Influencing the horse
  5. Western Moves and Definitions:
    • Rollbacks
    • Spins
    • Circles
    • Stops
    • Backing
    • Lead Changes
  6. Western Shapes
  7. Cutting and Reining
    • Study of Moves
    • Developing an “eye”
  8. Transition from Basics to Advanced Moves
  9. Bits and uses of bits
  10. Videotaping the rider and viewing the tape

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 Western Program. Following successful completion of Western Theory I-VI Courses, the student will be able to:

  • Define and explain the significance and importance of each of the following for successful performance in Western:
    • elements of the riding tree and training tree
    • conformation of the horse
    • an independent seat
    • lead changes
    • rollbacks, spins, circles, and sliding stops
  • Identify Western movement in a horse
  • Analyze the conformation of a Western horse
  • Determine suitability of the horse for reining and cutting
  • Evaluate the quality of Western movements with different horses and riders
  • Analyze the quality of Western movements and make appropriate suggestions for improvement

Methods:
A variety of instructional methods and strategies will be used, including expository learning, discussion, and demonstration. Videotapes of high level performances are used to demonstrate concepts and principles. Students will observe principles of Western Theory as they are demonstrated by advanced students and staff.

Evaluation:
Students will be evaluated on their knowledge & skills through the following:

  • Mid-term exam
  • Final exam
  • Class participation; attitude; effort; & attendance

I am so grateful to have experienced the Manor. You guys didn't just prepare us, you OVER prepared us for the industry. You have shown us what hard work does for you.
Brittany Watkins: 2007 Riding Master VI Graduate