Dressage training should motivate the horse and increase his self-confidence. Dusty, a Cruzado gelding taken in by Their Voice Portugal, starts training in 2019 at the age of seven. He's an intelligent horse, who needs structure and a clear language from the rider.

At first, Dusty doesn't understand the point of going into the arena and doing activities. He pulls on his rope, stops when being led and chews on a lot of things. I need several weeks to get Dusty interested in training. One of the first thing a horse needs to learn is concentration. Once this stage is over, Dusty learns to work in the longe and on the long-lines in the arena and outdoor. I work on his coordination by doing pole work and lateral work in-hand, as he is very clumsy. I also start riding him in the arena and I can go for a ride outdoor without any problem. Dusty still needs to learn respecting the aids better. Nevertheless, he’s more responsive to them now than before.

The work with this little gelding is very interesting for me, because I need to stay calm, be firm and patient. With time, I see that the training brings positive results and that Dusty’s relationship with humans is improving. The training sessions are never boring, because Dusty always has a lot of energy.

Dusty still takes the opportunity to nibble on his reins whenever nobody's watching, which is fun for him, but not so much for the reins. Despite a few old habits he’s still having, he’s easier to manage by his owner and that’s the most important result.