Saddle Seat Versus Dressage, What Kind Of Go Do You Want?


Awareness of the outside world. Alabama New Center: Alabama Power’s infrastructure suffered historic damage during the April 2011 storms and tornadoes. Massey, April 23, 2021. Outstanding photos by Meg McKinney, as always. It’s a 10-year retrospective article. Lead photo & some of the others are by Meg. Hover over photo to see labels.


Over on social media, dressage rider Lauren Sprieser talked about the different go buttons.

“There’s two ways to tell a horse to “go” – the slow, deep aids, and the quick, shallow aids. The slow, deep aids are things like the squeezing calf, the driving seat, or the lifting spur, and they encourage a horse to take longer steps – things like passage, or like medium or extended gaits. The quick, shallow aids are things like a touch with the stick, a quick use of the leg, or a quick touch of the spur, and they encourage a horse to take quicker steps – like in piaffe, pirouettes, or just generally going forward within a gait.⁣”

Lauren Sprieser (@laurensprieser) • Instagram, Lauren Sprieser Facebook, March 16, 2022

First of all. Really? I had no idea.

Second. I occurs to me that saddle seat is always asking the horse to take higher, quicker steps. Therefore, riding would be all about the ‘quick, shallow aids.’ Which would be consist with the riding style. Lower leg off. Tap to use. Lower leg off. No reason to have a steady contact with the lower leg if you don’t need a ‘squeezing calf.’

I have not gotten out of the shallow end of the pool in either discipline, as evidenced by my first comment above. Any guidance from folks who ride high-level saddle seat or dressage, or better yet, both?


2 thoughts on “Saddle Seat Versus Dressage, What Kind Of Go Do You Want?

  1. Even though I’m not able to ride any more, this sort of thing fascinates me. I hope you’ll share what others have to say.
    P.S. I always thought you rode very well.

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