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Dressage sometimes referred to as equine ballet, derives its name from the French term training. Competitors use a variety of pace, halts, changes of direction, movement and figures, through minimal commands. A test of horse and rider.
Once thought of as elitist and exclusive, dressage over the last few years has exploded in popularity, as riders view dressage as an extension of basic schooling with the aim of getting more enjoyment from their horse through a different discipline.
With the rise in popularity in dressage, there are now competitions and training events held throughout the year all over the country, well within all riders reach.
Any competent rider of any age can learn basic dressage, as it is at the most basic level only an extension of schooling. To compete at senior level a rider must be in the year of their sixteenth birthday.
Firstly all sections of dressage must be mastered, and then and only then can they be put together in a fluent style. Dressage is an understanding between horse and rider built up over time. Calmness and patience of rider is essential.
Dressage competitions are held in arenas measuring 60m x 20m and must be perfectly level. The test is carried out entirely from memory, and all movements must follow in the order, and arena position laid down by the test sheet. disciplines include the halt, walk, trot, canter, counter canter, change of leg, collected paces, rein back and submission. Transitions include, change of direction, riding corners, passage, piaffe, lateral movement, leg yielding, shoulder movement, travers and renvers.
All activities related to keeping or looking after a horse need dedication, with dressage even at novice levels, add hours of necessary regular schooling in the search for improvement or perfection of the various paces and transitions.
The highest level of dressage potential must be to compete at the world championships or olympic games. To most riders however it must be to get the very best out of their horse, and to get an understanding as one between horse and ride.
All equine activities particularly disciplines needing a higher degree of schooling or understanding between horse and rider. Three day eventing contains an element of dressage 232.
Dressage carries all of the normal costs of keeping a highly schooled horse and of traveling to competitions. In dressage there is an added rider dress code, as well as long hours of tuition (£20+hr) and meinage (£5+hr) fees.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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