- Published on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 12:56
The word “dressage” is derived from French and basically means “to train”. Dressage riding has a very long and proud history, it has been associated with most military riding schools through history as well as been a long standing Olympic sport. High school dressage and musical kurrs are never boring to watch and even non riders become enchanted with the grace and beauty of the horse and rider performing as one. Some breeds do excel and are bred specifically for higher level dressage; the dominant breeds at present are the warmblood types. Classical Riding schools take dressage to another level where the horses perform the aires above the ground. Baroque type breeds like the Lipizzaner, Andalusian and Lusitano are mainly used for this advanced type of dressage. Dressage is sometimes referred to as horse ballet and when one takes a look at all the benefits of dressage it makes sense. Some of the most obvious benefits are
- Increased flexibility
- Better rhythm
- Contact and increased partnership between horse and rider
- Mental stimulation
- Improved fitness
Balance is vitally important as without it you cannot be in true harmony with your horse. Dressage is the one discipline that teaches horse and rider to be in harmony and it can only improve your riding experience. All horses no matter how old or what breed can benefit from a basic foundation of entry level dressage. The same rule applies to all riders from children to pensioners, one is never to old to learn or never to old to try something new.