What is dressage?

Dressage is all about learning to work with your horse and help him achieve greater suppleness, flexibility and obedience; enhance his natural movements and ability and improve his athleticism.

While doing dressage can take you onto horse riding competitive tests, your horse will also become more responsive to ride. No more leaning on your hands, no more kick, kick, kick… and opening and shutting gates from the saddle is so much easier when your horse will react calmly to your leg.

It is for exactly these reasons that dressage was originally developed by the cavalry in the 17th century – after all, having an unresponsive or undisciplined horse on the battlefield could have meant the difference between life and death. Only later did it develop into some of the more flamboyant moves still seen today at places like the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.

Dressage is a sport for any rider – it is up to you how far you want to take it. But, be warned, it can become addictive!

British Dressage (BD) is the governing body for the sport in the UK. Whether you are already a competitor or just starting out, a regular spectator, or keen to get involved in other ways, British Dressage has plenty to offer you from quality training and a packed schedule of competitions, to the latest news from our international teams.

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