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Q: I have a good foundation, and have been studying Dressage, Naturally but have an opportunity to take lessons with a local dressage instructor. Is it OK to take lessons while I study Dressage, Naturally?

A:  I think it could be great, or not... depending! 

A big goal of DN is to prepare you and your horse to be able to access all of the information in dressage...

I recommend observing some lessons of the teacher you are considering... You will get an idea of what sort of things the instructor asks for. Chances are, the ingredients required in any lessons will have to do with energy level, and having your horse sustaining it... And on creating straightness and connection... Also your own positions...then riding movements.

In my material I put a huge focus on making sure that you and your horse can achieve these things in as much harmony as possible... So many times I see students in lessons where the teacher says: (for example) "More energy", the rider asks, the horse only gives 40%, the teacher says: "more" the rider holds their leg on.... The teacher says: "Good" meaning the horse looks energetic enough, but the rider knows they are having to squeeze their guts out to keep it! This is the beginning of brace, desensitization and frustration for EVERYone involved!

You want to make sure that you and your horse arrive to the dressage lesson ready, willing and able to communicate about these ingredients. If you don't have this kind of partnership and preparation with your horse it will not be a dressage lesson... It will be a 'how hard do you have to work to make your horse look like he is doing dressage' lesson!

If it is an excellent teacher, they will adjust and teach you at whatever level you arrive at... So hopefully you have found one of those gems, but never underestimate what can be achieved through my material. My main focus is to create empowered independent learners! 

So, my advice would be... observe lessons... use DN to prepare your horse and yourself... Then go take a lesson if you have trust in the teacher, and she or he can give you feedback and suggestions and help you find the things that are difficult to find on your own.

If you know there are big holes in any of the basic communications necessary... See if you can work those out.... Then let the dressage teacher help you put them together.

A common comment that teachers give students that have studied my material is: "Wow, your horse and you happily try everything I ask!"

I wonder if there are more articles about:  lessonsdressage

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