The joy of dressage Part 3: Improving performance in dressage with fine aids



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Uta Gräf is of the opinion that in order to reach harmony while riding dressage, the aids need to be continually refined, until barely visible to the onlooker. She makes sure that she takes enough time with the young horses so that they learn to be ridden with a fine contact to the riders’ hand. This helps her later on in further training and is a result of communicating with almost invisible aids.

First Uta Gräf shows her strategies for motivating a horse to search for a light contact to the rider’s hand with the 4-year-old stallion, Lexington. Keeping in mind competition requirements, it is important to her that this part of the Training Scale is not skipped over. By tuning in to her horses she avoids over facing them, mentally and physically.

The result is obvious in the next scene as she rides her Grand Prix horse Le Noir, with a lovely soft contact and his nose slightly in front of the vertical, reacting to almost invisible aids. Uta Gräf shows that she is constantly trying to reach more precision in her dressage work with even smaller aids. Even with fully trained horses, regular breaks ensure that training improves performance and maintains motivation.

You will learn in this video:

  • How she teaches the basics of dressage to young horses with almost invisible aids
  • The patience necessary when asking a young horse to stretch forward and down
  • The result of riding with finer aids

Further videos in this series: 

Uta Gräf

Uta Gräf made a name for herself on the international stage with her sensitive riding. Through her unusual combination of high-level dressage riding and allowing her horses to live as naturally as possible. She has become a role model for changing attitudes towards the horse and dressage for the better. 

> more

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