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April 2018 SEC Dressage Schooling Show.pdf

Riding Lessons in Easton, CT: Lesson Academy, Boarding, Training & Leases 


The balanced seat, which is the basis of Dressage is the foundation for Horse and Rider of every discipline. Riding Lessons in Easton

Young horses will build balance and strength through dressage, then move on to poles, cross rails, jumps and XC jumps.

Novice riders will build balance and strength through dressage, then move on to poles, cross rails, jumps and XC jumps if they desire. 

Notice the similarities between young horse and novice riders?

As both move on in their development, jumping and dressage are NOT exclusive to one another - they need each other!


We use dressage exercises, Hangbahn Training (Hill Work),  poles, cavalletti, trot jumps, free jumping or jumping gymnastics to develop rhythm, precision and coordination.

Many Top German riders, like Ingrid Klimke and Franke Sloothaak, base their entire training on dressage and jumping gymnastic. They show the higher jumps mainly during events, and believe: “small jumps – great results”, but they train 'athletic circuits', just as we do!

Dressage training including small jumps and cavalleti will help the young horse to develop trust and feel for their body and fine tune balance and contact for the rider. ​ Every horse and rider should know lateral work, and every horse and rider should  be able jump a log. 

It has been proven that Dressage builds hind end muscle in the horse. For the rider, Dressage builds confidence and balance. Balance is necessary for fine and effective riding.  ​

Our horses are encouraged to experiment with their bodies during the work. Finding new muscles requires us trainers to be resourceful to find ways to encourage the horse using them, and then to strengthen them. We realize that not everyone has the 'perfect' horse, but we can help bring him to his fullest potential!

​​Sonnenhof Equestrian Center has been highly successfully in business for over ten years under the name of Gray Friesian Farm.

As we continued to move towards a variety of breeds and included cross training, Eventing and Jumping to our disciplines, our core belief is still Dressage based on German Classical Principles.  

Find out here, what the Germans do right!

1) Dressage as the core building block for horse and rider for all riding disciplines:

"Jumping is nothing other than Dressage over obstacles"

2) Daily, consistently applied Horsemanship

​2) "Artgerechte Haltung" (Species appropriate horse keeping): Roaming in a herd

3) Believe in EDCUATION and EVOLUTION:

All our Trainers are students of  European trained David Collins, USDF and USEF Medalists, and we are very lucky to be part of the "Old Masters Seminar Series" through our close work with Avalon Farm in North Salem, NY. 

Sonnenhof Equestrian Center is working closely with: