Classical riding is not a technique for training but rather principles to guide your training. It is these principles that guide classical trainers:
• To help the horse to feel good in his work
• To help the horse understand, so force is not needed
• Allow the horse to enjoy his work
• To help the horse stay healthy
• To have compassion and patience for your horse
Any riding horse can become a classical dressage horse; all there needs to be is patience and a clear understanding of classical riding — as long as there was no physical damage done in the previous discipline preventing the horse from its natural movement. Your veterinarian can help you determine if your horse has physical limitations.
This article features Louie, a quarter horse gelding that was started in Western Pleasure. To go from Western Pleasure to Dressage is about as big of a change that you can ask a horse to achieve. I will briefly go through the process that Louie went through to get him to his current training level.