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About dressage

If you aspire to riding and communicating with your horse better, dressage is for you. Whether you love jumping or cross-country, or just want to improve yourself and your horse a little, or have a burning desire to compete, dressage will have something to offer you.

The images of top level dressage riders executing intricate movements in top hat and tails may seem out of reach to some, but dressage is about so much more. The term ‘dressage’ actually means ‘training’ and adding just a few minutes of it into your daily routine can help in many ways.

Dressage is all about learning to work with your horse and help him achieve greater suppleness, flexibility and obedience; enhance his natural movements and ability and improve his athleticism. While doing dressage can take you onto riding competitive tests, your horse will also become more responsive to ride. No more leaning on your hands, no more kick, kick, kick… and opening and shutting gates from the saddle is so much easier when your horse will react calmly to your leg.

It is for exactly these reasons that dressage was originally developed by the cavalry in the 17th century – after all, having an unresponsive or undisciplined horse on the battlefield could have meant the difference between life or death. Only later did it develop into some of the more flamboyant moves still seen today at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

Dressage is a sport for any rider – it is up to you, how far you want to take it. But, be warned, it can become addictive!

 


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