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

view:  full / summary

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

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...

Read Full Post »

Christmas Eve Dressage Poem

Posted on October 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Christmas Eve Dressage Poem

by MARY L. BRENNAN, DVM

OCT 30, 2009


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the farm,

Only one horse was stirring, the brown one in the barn,

The only one to hang a stocking from his feed dish that night,

Hoping that Santa would come, and fill it just right.


The other horses were settled quietly in their stalls,

While their dreams were of horse treats, candy cane...

Read Full Post »

Perfect Practice

Posted on March 17, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Perfect Practice

By Maribeth Dunlap

March 2009


I often give my students homework, usually something that we’ve been working on together, and something that they need to practice. I usually say something to them like, “remember, just don’t practice it - practice it perfectly.”


What is the difference between practice and perfect practice?


When learning a new skill, it takes ...

Read Full Post »

Busy Hands

Posted on February 11, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Busy Hands

By Maribeth Dunlap

February 2009


Busy hands are usually the result of an ineffective seat. When the seat is not secure, or is unbalanced and out of position, the rider must use crude aids, larger movements with the hands and often the arms to try to control the horse. Any rein-aid that is not supported by the seat, becomes a rein that pulls, holds, or gives unintentional half halts and signals to the horse. This ultimately ...

Read Full Post »

Becoming A Thinking Rider

Posted on February 1, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Becoming A Thinking Rider

By Maribeth Dunlap

February 2009


Over the many years of riding, training, taking instruction, reading and learning, I have learned and have adopted, in my own style, a systematic way of training and a systematic way of thinking. One step in the training process builds upon another. One exercise leads to the next while listening to the needs of the horse, feeling the horse, unlocking resistances and blockages that...

Read Full Post »

Motivation and Maintaining the Momentum

Posted on December 1, 2007 at 11:25 AM

Motivation and Maintaining the Momentum

By Maribeth Dunlap

December 2007


This time of year, during the holidays, it can be difficult to maintain our focus on our riding and training. An additional distraction for me is the onset of cold weather. I’m not too fond of the colder months in central Pennsylvania and it can be difficult for me to leave my warm, cozy house for the great wintry outdoors. It is funny though, because ...

Read Full Post »

Work on the Longe - Developing the Seat

Posted on October 1, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Work on the Longe

By Maribeth Dunlap

October 2007


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 and should be approached in a step-by-step, systematic fashion, building one step on top of another. With the use of proper and correctly adjusted equipment, longeing ca...

Read Full Post »

Rss_feed