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 this course, you get:

  • 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 LIVE component. The course materials will be taught in a combination of Pre-Recorded and LIVE videos (which you can watch via either the Facebook Group or Zoom Webinar) and it will vary each week depending upon the content and the needs of the course participants. All LIVE teachings are recorded and the video is available afterwards.
  • 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.”

We are beginning the course NOW.

We provide several currency options. You can pay via Credit card or PayPal.



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

Participation in Facebook Lives within the Group to get your Questions answered by us

Lifetime access

All materials can be downloaded





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

Participation in Facebook Lives within the Group to get your Questions answered by us

Lifetime access

All materials can be downloaded




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Enroll in the German version of this course.

Same course, all in German.


Enrollment closes...

The enrollment window ends Friday, April 27, 2018 at 11:59pm PST (US - Pacific Standard Time).









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 our courses had to say:

A spontaneous decision that has permanently changed my approach

"I made a huge leap of faith when I invested in this course, having no experience of how one can learn dressage online. I have been astonished - in a good way - at the depth of information, at Thomas' ability to explain a physical sport through understandable science, and at the improvements in me. It was a spontaneous decision that has permanently changed for the good my approach to dressage, and my horses' benefit from it. Thanks to this course, now I know what I am doing in one aspect of my training!"

- Jacky Davies, Canada

I am so motivated to ride and explore every single day.

"I started in the dark, not sure how to improve on basics taught years ago but knowing there was 'more to it'. I can't believe how much I have learned from Thomas and Shana. I now have the building blocks to work with any horse, not just mine. The improvement in my own horse is measurable. I am so motivated to ride and explore every single day. Massive thank you. I no longer go round in circles with no purpose."

 - Ann Savage. Lincolnshire, UK


I have never felt more supported and less judged

"Take this course!!! It has changed not only my relationship with my horse but has honestly restored my faith in people too. I have never felt more supported and less judged in my dressage career of 25 years. Not only are Shana and Thomas amazing but the people in the course have been wonderful also. I have learned so many important and sensible things, most importantly how to effectively half halt my horse by FINALLY knowing where his feet are!  Can't say enough about this experience, just plain fabulous."

- Maureen Shinsky, USA

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.

This is it... The doors close soon.

Various currency options available. Click the button to get full details. JOIN US for this 6-week Journey.


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