Youth Dressage at Cricket Hill
Youth Dressage

A program for competition riders

What is Dressage?
The word dressage sounds like massage - and comes from the French word dresser, to train. To the untrained eye it looks easy, but like many equestrian sports, it serves the needs of a diverse range of horse lovers. It's an Olympic equestrian sport; yet a basic training discipline for the backyard horse.

Dressage teaches a horse to be obedient, willing, supple and responsive. The horse freely submits to the rider's lightest "aids" or body signals, while remaining balanced and energetic. The object of dressage is the harmonious development of the horse in both mind and body, and every horse, regardless of its type or use, can benefit from this training.

Dressage principles are a logical, step-by-step progression from simple to increasingly complex movements. More and more is asked of the horse as it becomes mentally and physically ready to respond to these demands.

The graceful movements performed in competition may look effortless, but are the result of years of training. The aids should be virtually imperceptible. A squeeze of the calf, a closing of the fingers, a shifting of the rider's weight in the saddle should be all that is necessary to tell the horse what is required.

Dressage requires the horse and rider to combine the strength and agility of gymnastics with the elegance and beauty of ballet. The result is truly the best blend of sport and art. The highlight of a dressage competition is the Musical Freestyle in which the rider creates and choreographs to music an original ride of compulsory figures and movements.

Source - USDF
Why focus on Dressage?
  • Dressage fosters respect for the horse
  • Progressive, so students compete at own level, but can always grow
  • Integrates well with Cricket Hill’s GoldStar Program
  • Emphasizes self-reliance and planning skills
Youth Dressage Festival- wonderful summer culmination
  • Students need to qualify for show (www.dressage4kids.com)
  • Individual competitions separated by level and age up to 21 years old
  • Team competition
  • Prix caprilli jumping and trail classes, too
  • Show officials are well-known, international competitors
  • Sportsmanship and volunteerism emphasized
  • Family-orientated
Cricket Hill encourages teamwork and sportsmanship
  • Supportive, professional instructors - at the farm, at the show
  • Group and individual training year-round, YDF Education Program starts in winter
  • Dressage Workshop before show
  • New students can go with the Team as helpers
Funds raised can provide supplies and help with YDF show expenses
Cricket Hill Academy is a not-for-profit school of horsemanship.