The Never Ending Story of Dressage


Darling, when will you start to jump fences? Mum, I am a dressage rider, I will never start jumping fences! But – will you be riding circles and diagonals in the dressage arena for the rest of your LIFE? Yes, that is what we do: we ride endless circles, transitions, diagonals, lateral movements etc in dressage test. And not only there, also at home, we are doing the same over and over again. Working on a canter walk transition does not mean you are doing it once, but you are doing it I guess 10k times until you can see slight improvements (which my parents never will, after the last show my little sister even said: no matter what the judges said, to me it looked perfect).

You must be deeply in dressage to not feel bored when riding a big circle at a for the millionth time in your rider’s life. And still, despite the movement is always the same, the circle itself will never be the same. And even if you manage to do the perfect circles at home, they might not be perfect at the show (wait! What’s that?! Is there a monster at C??? Are you kidding? I am not going to bend to the inside, I need to SEE IT!).



I often got asked if it is not boring and the only thing that I can reply to it is: NO! It is not boring because it is the endless journey of seeking perfection. Of trying to ride an exact 20m circle, the perfect straight line with one-tempis, the well known pizza plate pirouette. For professionals, these seem at least tangible, for us amateurs, hardly ever. I mean let’s be realistic: even though I will train to get to the highest level possible, I will probably never be able to ride it. With that horse. Under these circumstances. In this country. With these timely and budgetary constraints.

But that is ok – THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD. Just imagine you can ride the pizza plate pirouette – what would you work on tomorrow? This is why dressage can never be boring for us – there will be always something to improve, there will be always a small detail that did indeed improve that we will be happy about – not only at home, but also at shows. If you are not a stickler for details and not willing to be a life-long learner, if it is ok for you to get a 5 for your transitions – than I have to agree, dressage could be boring.




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