What is dressage?

  • (noun): Maneuvers of a horse in response to body signals by the rider.


Dressage (/ˈdrɛsɑːʒ/ or /drɨˈsɑːʒ/; a French term, most commonly translated to mean "training") is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as "the highest expression of horse training", where "horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements" Competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games. 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, the horse will respond smoothly to a skilled rider's minimal aids. The rider will be relaxed and appear effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet". Although the discipline has ancient roots in Europe, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit 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 modern dressage.

Read more about Dressage.

Some articles on dressage:

Castilian Horse - Uses
... Among the first horses used for classical dressage, they are still making a mark in international competition in dressage today ... were on the bronze-medal winning Spanish dressage team, a team that went on to take the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics ... Today, the breed is increasingly being selectively bred for increased aptitude in classical dressage ...
Charles Marion
... In 1928 he and his horse Linon won the silver medal in the individual dressage competition ... Linon won the silver medal in the individual dressage competition again ... They were also part of the French dressage team which won the gold medal in the team dressage event ...
Lee Pearson - Biography
... He won three gold medals in the championship dressage, freestyle dressage, and team dressage events at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Paralympics ... He won gold in the team dressage event at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, silver in the championship dressage and bronze in the freestyle ...
Dressage - Rider Clothing
... Dressage riders, like their horses, are dressed for formality ... Dressage coats differ from traditional hunt coats in that dressage coats have four buttons, while hunt coats have three ... with a yellow vest or vest points instead of a plain dressage coat ...