Training at Cricket Hill Farm

Patient, disciplined approach, creating horses for amateur
and junior 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

Dressage, our base discipline. Good for every horse.

  • Goal is relaxed, balanced, free moving, obedient horse ready for any discipline.
  • Classical approach, horses & riders learn progressively in a way they can understand.
  • Groundwork, as well as under saddle work.
  • Horse/Rider training for competition, from beginner to FEI. Adults & youth.

Jumping, for eventing, jumper shows.

  • Loose jumping to assess horse’s aptitude.
  • Ground poles, cavaletti and grids to improve technique, athleticism, and fitness.
  • Training exercises over single fences, combinations and courses, relevant to needs and abilities of horses/riders.
  • Jump training for both stadium and cross-country.

Green or experienced horses, developed for your purposes

  • If gaps exist in an experienced horse’s basics, we develop the program to fill them.
  • Relaxed acceptance of the legs, seat, rein aids in all gaits.
  • Basic ground manners.
  • Fitness through groundwork, including natural horsemanship techniques.
  • Lungeing with side reins, stretching into contact, yielding to pressure. Long lining.
jump training