Dr. Britta Schöffmann

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Dr. Britta Schöffmann
Rider, Trainer,
Sports Scientist & Author

Dressage training for every person and every horse

“I train riders because of my love for horses. Good riding in theory and in practise is animal welfare.”

Britta Schöffmann is one of the most successful authors worldwide of dressage books, and much sought after as a speaker and writer of educational articles. The promoted sports scientist’s clear and concise way of bringing her thoughts across and especially her efforts promoting dressage training not just as a stepping stone to the sport but especially as an excellent basis of good riding for every horse of all breeds and every rider, her passion for sharing her knowledge, both theoretical and in practise, has won her many fans.

Supported by her parents and their fascination for horses she learned to ride from the ground up. With no such thing as pony “sport” back then, she rode her pony at competitions, went in the fancy dress classes as well as treasure hunts on horseback. Later dressage became her passion, gaining her Goldene Reitabzeichen (a German award for certain success at a high level) when she was 20 and only a few years later Grand Prix success on the stallion she had trained herself, Vivance.

“I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to train with amazing horsemen such as Fritz Tempelmann, Willi Schultheis, Harry Boldt, Jean Bemelmans and more recently, Klaus Balkenhol. I am also very grateful to the horses that have always given me everything they had”

The sale of her four legged friends was never an option. She always sought to reach their individual optimum, for example, her mare La Picolina, known as “Liese” and originally purchased for her husband to trail ride, ended up placing in the Grand Prix Dressage Derby in Hamburg.

Maybe this is the reason why Britta has no preference for any breed over the other. “it doesn’t matter whether a big moving warmblood or a less expressive horse of unknown breeding stands before me. I think they all deserve to be ridden as harmonically as possible and brought along to the best of their ability. Each horse deserves to be ridden kindly- and for that dressage is the best way to accomplish that”

You can find more on Britta Schöffmann on her website.

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Videos from Dr. Britta Schöffmann

This is how horses learn riding aids - Part 3: Learning theory – Rein & leg aids

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In the second part of the series, you will learn the most important keywords of the theory of learning and their meaning: habituation as well as classical and operant conditioning. You will learn what mechanisms work with the horse when it comes to the riding aids as well as in general equestrianism, why positive reinforcement in dressage training does not work and why negative is not synonymous with 'bad'.

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This is how horses learn riding aids - Part 1: Theoretical introduction and ethology

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At the beginning of their training, every riding student is explained when to use which aid while riding. But how do horses know how to respond to these riding aids? How do you learn to understand the aid language of the rider? Britta Schöffmann not only answers these questions but also explains why the nature of the horse must be considered in the equestrian communication between man and horse.

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Philippe Karl gives us not only a theoretical understanding but also explains how to put this into practice, today teaching a horse the canter transitions. He uses various arena figures and lateral work to help the horse. It is interesting to watch how the French Master teaches the flying changes, from working canter to counter canter on a circle. A high degree of collection is necessary before commencing the canter pirouettes.

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Duration: 09:08 Minutes

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Working in long reins is a fascinating possibility to school your horse in all the movements without the weight of a rider on his back. With the necessary preparation work in hand, teaching the horse these long reining exercises should be easily achieved. Once the first step forwards and the first turn have been achieved a serpentine through the entire arena is not far off.

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