Dressage



Like other sports, the art of dressage riding involves a great amount of training for body and mind. This includes hours, month and years of ovals, circles and figure eights, with and without stirrups, working with injuries (of the rider and the horse), highs and lows, ups and downs. But, because I am also working with the mind and body of another sentient being, this kind of riding practice becomes much more than the sum of its parts. 


Dressage is a path and destination of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, it can smoothly respond to a skilled rider's minimal aids by performing the requested movement while remaining relaxed and appearing effortless. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet" . Although the discipline has ancient roots, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit in the West during the Renaissance. The great European riding masters of that period developed a sequential training system that has changed little since then. Classical dressage is still considered the basis of trained modern dressage.

Early European aristocrats displayed their horses' training in equestrian pageants, but in modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests" of prescribed series of movements within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to ten - zero being "not executed" and 10 being "excellent". A score of 9 is considered "very good" and is considered a particularly high mark, while a competitor achieving all 6s (or 60% overall) should be considering moving on to the next level.


This site is the property of RooBear Yorkies. Please do not steal our pictures