Refined Elegance


This beautiful sport depends on communication between human and horse, with both working in harmony to achieve refined, yet dramatic movements with ease and beauty.

rider and horse in training facility

Training for Competition


Dressage, a French term meaning “training,” is a type of riding that is considered both a skilled form of competition as well as an art. The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) describes dressage as “the highest expression of horse training.” In dressage, the horse and rider perform choreographed movements including a walk, trot, and canter, all from memory.

The horse must be calm and alert and be able to respond to the smallest aids from the rider. For a horse to succeed at dressage, it must have undergone training methods that nurture its natural ability and enthusiasm to perform. The animals also need to respond seamlessly to riding aids, so the rider looks poised, and all movements seem effortless.

Refined Elegance


Dressage has a rich history dating back to ancient Greece. One of the first written records of dressage is seen, circa 350 BC, in the manual “On Horsemanship” by Xenophon, a Greek soldier and historian. At the time, the military was interested in producing horses that were obedient and responsive to their riders in order to attack or evade enemies with precision. During the Renaissance, aristocrats in Europe wanted to be seen on highly trained horses that demonstrated their riding abilities. The popularity of dressage continued in both the military and as part of equestrian pageants. The Imperial Spanish Riding School of Vienna of today, was created in the 1500s, and the dressage we see today is based on some of the same practices of that time.

Dressage made its debut at the Olympic Games in 1912. Only military officers were allowed to compete, and it wasn’t until the 1952 Olympics that civilians could compete.

Today, dressage is popular around the world. Although traditional English tack is often used in dressage, Western riders commonly incorporate dressage into their horse’s training and riding.

historic image of dressage horse

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