Maribeth Dunlap Dressage

Articles & Events

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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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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Skiing

Posted on February 7, 2015 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Skiing

By Maribeth Dunlap

February 6, 2015


I went skiing again the other day.


It was the first time since 2010 when I skied with my family. I skied alone this time. I was nervous and not sure I could do it. But I was determined. I dug out all my ancient gear and put together a ragged outfit. I looked like something that crawled out from the past; ragged and forlorn. But I went. When I arrived at the lodge, I decided to try the ne...

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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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Life Rhythms

Posted on December 21, 2010 at 2:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Life Rhythms

By Maribeth Dunlap

December 2010


My family and I went skiing the other day. I used to be an avid snow skier and worked for a short period of time many years ago as a ski instructor in Vail, Colorado. Much like riding is for me in my life today, I lived to ski when I was younger. But over the years, time and life went by and I found that I hadn't skied in a very long time. I was feeling rusty, out of condition, and maybe a little old. My husba...

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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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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...

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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 ...

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