The Training Scale

Dresage Training Scale
The training scale is the most important guideline for trainers, riders and judges.
It is valid for the training of young horses and more advanced horses up to Grand Prix. By following these classical principles the object and general principles of dressage can be achieved. In addition, the training scale is the measure of the quality of a performance and the guideline for the judges while judging a competition.
The training scale is separated into three parts:
• Development of understanding and confidence, focusing on rhythm, suppleness and contact;
• Development of pushing power, focusing on suppleness, contact and acceptance of the bit, impulsion and straightness;
• Development of carrying power, focusing on impulsion, straightness and collection. The result is a horse that is fully responsive and through.
The training scale is a program of systematic physical education of a horse, a gymnasticising program to develop the horse’s natural physical and mental aptitudes. By following these principles, the rider obtains an obedient, supple and comfortable horse with a good basic training.
For a dressage horse, the qualities set out in this program are essential. This systematic basic training ensures that the horse is sufficiently supple and “through” at all times. It has been developed over the centuries as a method to train horses harmoniously and to keep the horses sound.
None of the six steps of the training scale can be taken in isolation. They must be taken in conjunction with each other. The overall aim of training is to develop a horse that is “through” (Durchlässigkeit) and a horse that is willing to obey immediately the rider’s aids without the slightest resistance in all exercises, movements and transitions.
This applies to all horses, whatever they are used for, and not just dressage horses.

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