Dressage is a French word that means training. Dressage has ancient roots. It was recognised as an equestrian discipline during the period of the Renaissance.
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There are two types of dressage; classical dressage and competitive dressage.
Competitive dressage is an immensely popular equestrian pursuit. It is a worldwide sport that ranges from novice standards to the Olympics. When competing in a dressage competition, horse and rider execute a series of movements within a dressage arena this is a “test”. The performance is judged and marks are given for each movement accomplished and for the horse’s way of going. A score is given to determine the rider’s position in the competition.
Many different breeds and types of horses and ponies compete in competitive dressage.
By far the most popular breed is the continental Warmblood horse. Warmblood horses excel at competitive dressage. Warmblood horses possess good looks, elegance and are extremely athletic, intelligent horses, they have a cooperative willing nature and they also boast superior movement. Warmblood horses are bred for performance. Warmblood registries follow meticulous breeding programs to develop the ultimate dressage horse.
Classical dressage was developed from cavalry movements when training their horses for combat. Horses were taught movements that were above the ground these are called “airs” or “schools”. They were to help their riders flee if trapped by the enemy and to aid their combat techniques.
Classical dressage or “High school” is an equestrian art form, where horse and rider work in harmony.
Baroque horses are used for classical dressage. Their ancient roots can be traced back to the Iberian Peninsula; modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. The Baroque horse group consists of the Andalusian, Lusitano and the famed Lippizan.
The group named “Baroque” is taken from the extravagant baroque style of art and architecture. The baroque group of horses have an amazing floaty elevated action; they are intelligent horses with majestic looks and an exceptionally trainable nature.
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