I can tell you exactly why and how I fall in love in dressage. It was about 5 years ago when I happened to watch Ulla Salzgeber riding Rusty 47.
To give you more of an idea of what I am talking about, have a look at Ulla's Freestyle in 2003.
I watched it and I knew I wanted to ride like she did. First of all, I had to lengthen my stirrups from my normal show-jumping length. Once I have done that I found out I could barely stay in the saddle, my feet were dancing through the stirrup irons and it was as far from Ulla's riding as it can possibly be.
So I started riding bareback. Everywhere. I had this lovely young stallion I was bringing on to show jump and we did everything without a saddle. Hacking, jumping and flatwork. After 6 months of that my legs seemed to find their way down, they stayed neatly underneath me no matter what and I discovered what a 'deep seat' feels like.
It was still far cry from Ulla and good dressage riders but I had to start somewhere...
I kept riding long whenever I could and whatever I managed to snatch for a ride. Some time ago I found out about this trainer, Anna Ross-Davies, who was trained by Ulla Salzgeber but also run an equestrian centre just outside London. Needless to say, I decided I was going to try to have a lesson with her.
This is a report from my first lesson with Anna.