Frequently Asked Questions Section
We are a volunteer-based dressage club based in the Ocala, Florida area. Our members have an interest in both ridden and driven dressage. Our club name stands for “Striving Toward Rider and Driver Dressage Education”. As of August, 2011, we have 162 members. We are a Group Member Organization under the United States Dressage Federation.
Our primary mission is to provide educational opportunities for members. Things like clinics, speakers, workshops. To raise money to offer such events, we host 5 schooling shows per year, offering classes for both riders and drivers. Riders compete for year end awards. We also try to have fun at our shows by offering versatility classes (trail, Prix Caprilli, cones, equitation and a timed class called dressage by the letters where riders/drivers negotiate “gates” at the letters of the dressage ring alphabetically). We also celebrate holidays close to our shows, such as having costume class at Halloween, egg and spoon class at Easter, mother/daughter class on Mother’s Day, etc.
We meet monthly, generally on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Most of our meetings are in local restaurants like Ruby Tuesday’s on SR200 in Ocala, but check the website for specifics. Most people arrive early to enjoy dinner with friends and a business meeting starts at 7 pm. Speakers provide educational opportunities at nearly every meeting.
Dating back to 300 B.C., the Greek horseman Xenophon is credited as the father of dressage. He was the first to believe that harmonious and humane treatment of horses was better than harsh methods and his work led to the eventual development of the Spanish Riding School in Austria (and some similar schools of equitation in France and Portugal). Simply translated, dressage means “training” and basic dressage finds utility in nearly every equine discipline, from driving to reining. Dressage at its highest level is an Olympic sport and the musical freestyle competition has been compared to freestyle ice skating. Riders and trainers talk about dressage as a pyramid, where the basic fundamentals of rhythm, regularity and relaxation of the horse are essential for advancement. As one progresses in the sport, the fundamentals are not discarded, but remain an essential component as new skills are added.
For both ridden and driven dressage the horse and human are evaluated by a judge as a unit by themselves. The same standard test is executed by each competitor within a class. All tests are divided into 8-30 movements, each of which are scored from 0 to 10, where 10 equals excellent (not perfect). Ridden dressage starts with Introductory Level (walk/trot) and continues to Training level, then First, Second, Third and Fourth Levels. After success at Fourth Level, some horses and riders advance to the International or FEI levels of Prix St. George, Intermediare and Grand Prix. Driven dressage also starts at Training Level, and then continues to Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced. Copies of the tests can be found at either United States Equestrian Federation or Carriage Association of America.
Download the omnibus and prizelist for the upcoming show. Be sure to have a negative Coggins test within the previous 12 months of the date of the show (not entry date). Complete the entry and mail the entry form, Coggins test and your check to the show secretary before the closing date. Ride times will be posted on the website a few days before the show.
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