||Dressage dates back to classical
Greek horsemanship and the military who trained their horses
to perform movements whilst in battle intended to evade or attack
the enemy. The earliest work on training horses was written
by Xenophon, a Greek Military Commander born around 430 BC.
From this classical horsemanship and training of movements came
the equestrian sport of Dressage which tests the horse's physical
ability, suppleness, responsiveness, balance and obedience - where
horse and rider should seem as one as they perform a series of complex
movements. Dressage can be likened to gymnastics or dance on horseback.
Dressage become an Olympic Sport in 1912 with only commissioned
military officers eligible to compete until 1952 when the rules
changed and today Dressage is a popular equestrian sport in many
During a Dressage competition the horse is scored on its impulsion,
regularity of paces and freedom of movement, responsiveness and
willingness, balance and correct performance of the movements, whilst
the rider is scored on their position and correctness and effectiveness
There are various levels of Dressage competition from Preliminary
where the horse is required to perform walk, trot and canter, circles
and turns to Grand Prix requiring more advanced and complex dressage
movements from the horse and rider such as piaffe (trotting on the
spot) and canter pirouttes where the horse turns on its hindquarters
whilst in canter.