The Basics of Dressage Competitions

Dressage is a term that even those that are not too familiar with the equine industry are somewhat familiar with. The word is a French word for training. Dressage involves extensive training for both the horse and the rider. It is classified as an equestrian sport and is highly regarded in many parts of the world. The UK is well known for its very impressive dressage competitions.

While there are different breeds of horses that can compete in dressage competitions, those that bring a great deal of showmanship to the ring are the baroque breeds.These are horses that carry the bloodlines dating back to the middle century. Among these are the following….

  • Andalusian
  • Ginetta
  • Lipizzan
  • Menorquin

As well as several others.

A dressage competition may take place in one of two sizes of arenas, one being smaller and the other being larger .The layout of the arena will consist of letters that have been strategically placed where horse and rider must perform specific movements. The horse and rider perform a test during their showings. In a competition, there is a group of tests that the horse and rider are put through. Each level of the test increases in its level of difficulty. The highest level of testing that a horse and rider during a competition may be faced with is the Grand Prix level. This is the type of test that one would see at the Olympics or at the Dressage World Cup.

Most of the tests for dressage which is what is witnessed in a competition is based on manoeuvres. In classical dressage, the traditional training exists but it is considered to be a form of art.

As the horse and rider proceed through the tests that make up a competition they are scored by the judges on each test they perform. A test may include just one movement or may be comprised of a sequence of movements. The highest score for one test is ten and zero means the test was not executed.

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