Rosewyn Stables' Dressage Pyramid:
To be used by all riders every time they mount up
in a progressive, constructive manner


Every rider should use this progression each and every time they ride.
(Please note that you start at the bottom and progress from Step 1 through to Step 7)
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7. Cool-down:
Free walking on a loose rein in a forward, rhythmical tempo
Veins on a horse should be completely disappeared before dismounting and untacking to prevent tying up with
lactic acid build-up and to make the following day's ride more comfortable for the horse.
Quarter sheets must be worn whenever the weather warrants vests or coats for the rider.
Rub down and/or ice boots may be used to prevent legs from filling.

6.

5.

Collection:
Shortening within the stride within the pace, transitions downward, transitions downward
on the spot, counter-canter, tempi changes.
Travers on a circle then volte, down to pirouette, passage, piaffe.
Impulsion:
Lengthening the stride within the pace, trot poles, gymnastics, jumping
Shoulder-in, Travers, Renvers, Half-pass, flying changes: enabling the pelvis to tilt downward and
allow the horse to carry more weight by stepping under further.
4.


3.
Straightness:
Work done to straighten the spine:
Transitions, leg-yields, reinback, turn on the forehand.
Contact:
Working contact; shortening of the reins after the horse has stretched out and is in complete relaxation.
2.



1.
Suppleness:
Longitudinal and Lateral
(Long and Low) (Side to Side)
Circles and serpentines, spirals and changes of bend on a long contact.
Rhythm and Relaxation:
Steady, quiet, tracking up, starting with walk, trot and canter
Horse should be blowing and lowering head as he (or she) relaxes.
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I've added the exercises that you use as you ride each and every day. Make sure that you do not progress to the next step until you have reached an acceptable version of the step you are currently on. Also keep in mind that you need only do the easiest exercises with green horses, but still allow time to do all the steps in the proper order in spite of the easiest exercises: i.e. For young or unfit horses, Impulsion can be trot over poles (set up at 4.5 to 5.5 feet, minimum three poles in a set); collection can be a transition from regular trot to shortening the stride before a transition down.