Dressage isn't always so easy.

 Is this you?...

"I don't know where to START!"

"I don't know what to work on."

"I don't know how to prioritize within my ride."

"I just don't know WHAT I don't know."

"Where do I even BEGIN?!"

But it doesn't HAVE to be that way.

It's true. Dressage is a complicated subject because there is just SO MUCH to it. 

That is why it is sooooo helpful when you can have a clear, simple system that helps you to see the bigger picture.

The 6 Essentials

There are 6 core essentials that comprise everything that we do in Dressage.

Like raw ingredients that can be formulated differently to create entirely different meals, each of these 6 basic raw "ingredients" that we use in the dressage training can be combined to form every dressage movement and exercise that we ride. EVERY THING you do or ride in Dressage comes from these 6 essentials. Even the Olympic dressage tests don’t contain any additional elements besides these.

These are the MOST IMPORTANT building blocks we have in Dressage.

A clear system which can help you...

Knowing and understanding these 6 Essentials can also be used to help you identify where the difficulties are so that you know where to begin and what to prioritize in the training.

Using these 6 core building blocks, you can

  • address every training problem that comes up
  • address every muscle group that is stiff or underdeveloped
  • find the right solution for every problem
  • and customize exercises to fit the individual needs of every horse.

The 6 Core Essentials

These are the six elementary gymnastic requirements that the horse and rider have to fulfill. All Dressage movements and exercises, from a simple circle to the most complicated patterns you can imagine and the most advanced movements of dressage, are always combinations of elements from these six groups.


One of the most important requirements of a riding horse is that he is willing to move forward from a light leg or seat aid at any time. This includes up transitions into a higher gait as well as lengthening the stride.


Being able to stop the horse any time or come back from a higher gait to a lower gait is important. An important training goal is the adjustability of the horse’s gaits, i.e. to be able to shorten the strides or slow down the tempo.


The manner in which a horse executes a turn says a lot about the quality of his training and his level of advancement.


Lateral flexibility of the horse’s entire body is a major ingredient in all turns and lateral movements. A horse that is laterally stiff will not be able to turn smoothly or in good balance.


Sidestepping develops the lateral flexibility of the horse’s hindquarters as well as the horse’s spine. Developing the lateral flexibility of the horse’s hips, shoulders, and spine equally in both directions also occupies a central role in all straightening work.


The reinback can be very important in practical ranch work or military situations, but it’s also a highly effective gymnastic tool to improve the vertical suppleness of the hind legs, to strengthen the hind legs, to shift the weight back onto the hindquarters, and to increase the horse’s ability to collect.


The 6 Dressage Essentials Online Course


In this course we dive deep into exploring each of these 6 biomechanical essentials. They form the foundation for every dressage movement, whether it is a simple 20m circle, an extended trot, a trot halfpass, a canter pirouette, piaffe, passage, or anything in between.

When you can master these six essentials with your horse, you have a fully trained Grand Prix horse. But the work at Grand Prix doesn’t begin at Grand Prix. It begins now, wherever you are. It begins by understanding these six essentials and understanding how they work together and compliment each other. And it happens through polishing these six essentials.

These are, essentially, the core basics and they are GOLD.


Join us for a journey of exploration as we guide you through learning what the 6 essential ingredients are and how to integrate them into your riding. This is a cornerstone 6-week course, where we focus on one essential each week.

You learn the theoretical foundation for each essential. You learn WHAT it is and WHY it is important. And then you get to put the new theoretical understanding into practice, one element at a time. Each week you will learn 1-3 new exercises (most weeks, it is two exercises) which help you integrate your new understanding into your riding.

Each exercise further breaks down the What, Why, and How so you are not just blindly following the instructions, but so that you really understand what it is you are trying to achieve in the exercise, and why. Because intention is everything.

Each exercise is accompanied by a video compilation of various riders riding the exercise, recorded with our commentary explaining what is going on and pointing out things to notice. Additionally we give tips to help overcome the difficulties when riding the exercises, because in the real world things don’t always go smoothly at first and we know that you want help to navigate what to do, when, and why.


As a participant in the 6 Dressage Essentials course, you get:

  • To begin RIGHT NOW. Right now. TODAY. You get immediate access to the first module and then each subsequent module will become available each subsequent week.
  • Access to the Course platform which is your “home base” for this course. In the course platform, you will find all of the PDFs, videos, audio files, rider demos, as well as supporting information to help you along the way.
  • Membership in an Exclusive Facebook Group just for this course. In this group you can post your questions, connect with others like you, and become part of our amazingly supportive and welcoming community. You can also post videos of yourself riding the exercises (this is purely optional - we acknowledge that not everyone is ready to do this) where you can get detailed feedback for you and your horse.
  • Participation in the monthly LIVE Q&A's.  For ongoing support, you get full access to the live Q&A's where you can ask questions, get tips and suggestions, and learn from the others alongside you.
  • Ability to download all course materials. The course materials are yours to keep. You can download all of the videos, all of the audio files (which are the audio of the videos - some course participants like to listen to the audio while driving, doing barn chores, etc.), and all of the PDF files of exercises and theoretical framework explanations.
  • You have lifetime access to all of the materials and the Facebook Group. If you miss something, need to go at a slower pace, or want to review the entire course again at a later date - no problem! It is yours waiting for you whenever you need it. The friendships you form in the community don’t go away as soon as the course is over. Even after the course is over you will continue to have access to the comments, suggestions, and feedback in the Facebook Group, and in fact, you can continue to get support from us, our assistant teachers, and the other course participants even after the course is officially “finished.”

Enroll now and get started right away

You can pay via Credit card or PayPal. When you enroll in "6 Dressage Essentials I", your access begins immediately with the first module, and you will receive each subsequent module each week for the next 6 weeks. The Advanced Course is ongoing NOW, but it is not too late to enroll and get immediate access to all materials thus far taught, as well as access to participate in the rest of the LIVE trainings.

6 Dressage Essentials I only


6-week course, 1 module per week

Course Platform with videos, audio files, and PDFs

Private Facebook Group with HUGE support and the BEST community in the industry

6 Weekly Q&As

Ongoing Monthly Q&A's for continued support

Lifetime access

All materials can be downloaded



6 Dressage Essentials - payment plan


3 monthly payments

6-week course, 1 module per week

Course Platform with videos, audio files, and PDFs

Private Facebook Group with HUGE support and the BEST community in the industry

6 Weekly Q&As

Ongoing Monthly Q&A's for continued support

Lifetime access

All materials can be downloaded



We want you to be 100% happy!

If, at any time, in the first 30 days you change your mind, just let us know and we will refund 100% of your money back. No problems. No hard feelings. :-)

Here's what previous members of the 6 Dressage Essentials Course had to say:

This course helped me to organize my thoughts on training

"This course reminded me of all the basics and, most importantly, helped me to organize my thoughts on training, teaching or fine-tuning my horses regarding those items."

- Terry Reth

I loved that it was in depth

"I loved that it was in depth and categorizes the different tasks that need to be involved in each component. I have incorporated it into my daily riding. Oh, I need to halt, what shall I do..... Bending..... how can I prepare.....etc. It's really a great course."

 - Sharon Mathews


A great fundamental starting point for the Ritter experience

"I do think Six Essentials is a great fundamental starting point for the Ritter experience. It is Ritter 101."

- Carole Cox

Supportive, safe place to work out your difficulties and share your triumphs

"The course reminded me of things I know but sometimes rushed through. It helps me with exercises and explanations for my horses and my students. I signed up to refresh my knowledge - to become a better partner for my horses and teacher for the students, and because I love the courses. The courses are always helpful, the community that is built is a supportive, safe place to work out your difficulties and share your triumphs. The Ritters have created a wonderfully supportive, knowledgeable platform with their courses."  - Kendle Buffington

Not only to fix your horse, but also you as a rider

"This course gives so much direction and purpose to your everyday training. It also teaches you to think outside the box in finding solutions to problems you inevitably encounter along the way, not only to fix your horse, but also you as a rider."  - Claire Taranto

To be a thinking rider and to be more tuned in to my horse

“The important thing I have learned from this course is to be a thinking rider and to be more tuned in to my horse. It’s like a tool box you can return to whenever necessary.” - Kate Peatling

Your Instructors - Thomas & Shana Ritter

Thomas Ritter is an International Clinician and author of two books (Dressage Principles Based on Biomechanics and Long Reining: From the Beginning through the Levade) with a 3rd one on the Flying Changes coming out in a few months, as well as countless articles in many publications. Shana Ritter is a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist. Together they create and orchestrate the Artistic Dressage online course program with additional help from 4 assistant instructors: Kristen Guest, Marcella Becker, Noor Tanger, and Caroline Duff-Riddell.

A key element of the course is an exclusive Facebook Group where the students can all come together, in a safe supportive atmosphere, to share, collaborate, and get valuable feedback from us as well as the other students in the course. Of course, participation in the Facebook Group is optional, but  we also highly encourage it.

It is a mind-blowing experience to find a community where all riders, of all levels, are taken seriously and respected equally, regardless of where they are in their riding journey.

But the really big part is the huge amount of feedback and support you get from us every step of the way.


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