Maribeth Dunlap Dressage

Dressage Coddiwomple Blog

Dressagecoddiwomple

Dressage (n.) The art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance. A way of thinking. A way of living. A journey.

Coddiwomple (v.) To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.

Welcome to my blog - my dressage coddiwomple - a meandering life journey which has and continues to take me down interesting roads where I have discovered extraordinary trouvailles and whimsical crooked paths.

Although I do not consider myself a writer of any grand quality, I am a bit of a spontaneous gallivanter who enjoys sharing and writing about my experiences and observations.

As a student of the horse, aviation, and life, I also view writing as another way to learn and cement the ideas further into my understanding. Writing allows me to dig deeper into the subject material and gives me more reason to research and explore. I love learning new things and I enjoy sharing what I learn with others.

If you continue to explore my dressage coddiwomple, I hope you will find my writings interesting and of some value. Most importantly, I hope this blog inspires you to explore new places and perhaps embark on your own journey - your very own extraordinary coddiwomple.

Feel free to contact me to leave a comment!  I'd love to hear from you.

~Maribeth

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The FEI Rule

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 9:30 AM

FEI Rule

Chapter I Dressage

Article 401 OBJECT AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF DRESSAGE


1. The object of Dressage is the development of the Horse into a happy Athlete through harmonious education. As a result, it makes the Horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the Athlete.


These qualities are demonstrated by:

• The freed...

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A Father's Explanation of Why He Had Horses for His Children

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 9:20 AM

A Father's Explanation of Why He Had Horses for His Children

~ Author Unknown


My daughter turned sixteen years old today; which is a milestone for most

people. Besides looking at baby photos and childhood trinkets with her, I

took time to reflect on the young woman my daughter had become and the

choices she would face in the future.


As I looked at her I could see the athlete she was, and determined woman she

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Riding Lesson

Posted on August 20, 2017 at 10:25 AM

Poem: "Riding Lesson"

by Henry Taylor

From An Afternoon of Pocket Billiards (University of Utah Press)


Riding Lesson


I learned two things

from an early riding teacher.

He held a nervous filly

in one hand and gestured

with the other, saying "Listen.

Keep one leg on one side,

the other leg on the other side,

and your mind in the middle."


He turned and mounted...

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The Dressage Lesson

Posted on July 3, 2017 at 10:30 AM

The Dressage Lesson - A Poem

by Stephen Forbes

July 03, 2017


Contact, oh contact, what does it mean?

Trying to figure this out makes me want to scream

Too light, too soft, too hard, too strong

My instructor yells that it's always wrong

They say it means whats going on in the back

This Dressage thing I can't seem to get the knack

"The hindelgs the hindlegs they are too out behind!"

Trying to get this...

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Components of a Good Position

Posted on April 1, 2017 at 11:25 AM

Components of a Good Position

By Maribeth Dunlap

May 2006 (Revised April 2017)


The position of the rider is perhaps the most important thing when studying dressage. It is from a correct position that allows us to positively influence and affect our horse. It also allows us to be in balance within our own bodies so that the horse can move in better balance. When we’re in good balance then we can better stay out of our horse’s ...

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Longeing Tips

Posted on April 1, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Longeing Tips

By Maribeth Dunlap

May 2007 (Revised April 2017)


There are many benefits and reasons for longeing. Longeing is an art itself and it takes many years of good practice to become effective. Longeing is meant to prepare a horse mentally and physically for under-saddle work. With the use of proper and correctly adjusted equipment, longeing can strengthen and help condition muscle, it can teach the horse the commands, and...

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Work on the Longe - Developing the Seat

Posted on July 1, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Work on the longe - Developing the Seat

By Maribeth Dunlap

July 2012


"Longe lessons on a safe and experienced horse are a great means of improving your position, a fact I cannot stress enough, as this is the most beneficial way to develop and improve a more balanced and independent seat." Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg


Work on the longe is a time honored tool of classical dressage. Longe lessons provide the student rider an...

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Suggested Reading List

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Suggested Reading List

Updated 2011

In Alphabetical Order:


ALBRECHT, KURT (1981; translation by Nicole Bartle 1993), Principles of Dressage, J.A.Allen, London.


BALLOU, JEC ARISTOTLE, (2005), 101 Dressage Exercises, Versa Press, USA.


BELASIK, PAUL (1990), Riding towards the light. An apprenticeship in the art of dressage riding, J.A.Allen, London.

BELASIK, PAUL (1994), Exploring Dressage Te...

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The Rider's Position & Effective Use of the Seat

Posted on April 1, 2010 at 2:00 PM

The Rider's Position and Effective Use of the Seat

By Maribeth Dunlap

April 2010


Dressage is a French word that means "to train". Dressage is centuries old and dates back as far to the Greek Philosopher, Xenophon, who wrote the book, "The Art of Horsemanship". Dressage is considered classical because it has stood the test of time, it is enduring, and still relevant today. Much study, experimentation, and research has gone into the devel...

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DressageTerminology

Posted on January 1, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Dressage Terminology

Compiled By Maribeth Dunlap

January 2010


Above The Bit – When the horse avoids contact by putting its muzzle forwards and upwards. The back is usually dropped and there is loss of engagement of the hindquarters.


Activity – Refers to the activity, energy, vigor and liveliness of the hind legs.


Against The Bit – When the horse avoids a soft conta...

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