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The deadly sins of dressage

October 10, 2016

Dressage: The 7 deadly sins

It takes more than good riding techniques to make it to the higher levels of dressage. Your character is just as important in your dressage development. With that in mind, Douglas Puterbaugh described the characteristics that are holding equestrians back and keep them from reaching their goals. He called them the seven sins in dressage.

Deadly sin #1: Ignorence

“Ignorence is nothing more than a lack of knowledge. It is the most fundamental of all the deadly sins in dressage”, says Puterbaugh. “From lack of knowledge all other equestrian sins develop."

Deadly sin #2: Hesitation

“For a horse you are either above or below him. In his mind you are never his equal”, says Puterbaugh. “A rider who hesitates is failing to show leadership to the horse.”

Deadly sin #3: Pride

Pride is by nature a positive thing. The flip side of pride is arrogance, vanity and an enormous self-love.

Deadly sin #4: Fear

Fear stands in the way of progression. “Nobody can perform on a high level when being nervous or tense”, says Puterbaugh. “When in fear you are not thinking of the horse.”

Deadly sin #5: Impatience

“It takes years to conquer dressage, but in this truth also lies her value. Wanting too much at once is devastating for the development of both yourself and your horse.”

Deadly sin #6: Anger

Anger is the opposite of wisdom. Combine impatience with the thought that your horse is deliberately working against you and you become angry. “Anger, punishment, physical or psychological torture. Your horse doesn’t understand ‘sorry’ but will remember your anger.”

Deadly sin #7: Excessiveness

Too much of something good is never good. As an equestrian you have to find the middle road, full of harmony and balance.

Source: Bit magazine

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