What is the history of dressage.
Written by AI.
Dressage is a form of equestrian sport that showcases the harmony and skill of both horse and rider. It involves performing a series of movements, such as transitions, circles, and lateral work, that demonstrate the horse’s balance, suppleness, and obedience. Dressage has a long and rich history that dates back to classical Greek horsemanship.
The earliest work on training horses was written by Xenophon, a Greek military commander born around 400 BC. He advocated for a gentle and humane approach to teaching horses, rather than using force and fear. He also described the importance of rhythm, relaxation, and collection for achieving harmony with the horse.
Dressage continued to be developed by the military and during the Renaissance, European aristocrats displayed their highly trained horses in equestrian ballets. These performances were influenced by the Italian riding master Federico Grisone, who founded the first riding academy in Naples in 1532. He introduced the use of the curb bit and the airs above the ground, such as the levade, courbette, and capriole.
In the 18th century, dressage reached its peak of refinement at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. The school was founded in 1572 by Emperor Maximilian II and is still operating today. The school’s famous white Lipizzaner stallions are trained in the classical art of dressage, following the principles of Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere, a French riding master who wrote the influential book “Ecole de Cavalerie” in 1733.
Dressage became an Olympic sport in 1912, but it was not until 1952 that women were allowed to compete. Since then, dressage has evolved into a popular and competitive sport that attracts riders from all over the world. Some of the most famous dressage riders and horses in history include:
– Isabell Werth: The most decorated dressage rider, with 10 Olympic medals and 17 World Equestrian Games medals. She has ridden several legendary horses, such as Gigolo, Satchmo, Weihegold, and Bella Rose.
– Steffen Peters: The most successful American dressage rider, with four Olympic medals and two World Equestrian Games medals. He is best known for his partnership with Ravel, a Dutch Warmblood gelding who won two bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and two gold medals at the 2009 World Cup Final.
– Charlotte Dujardin: The current world number one dressage rider, with three Olympic gold medals and one silver medal. She rose to fame with Valegro, a Dutch Warmblood gelding who holds the world records for the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle.
– Reiner Klimke: The most successful male dressage rider, with six Olympic gold medals and two bronze medals. He rode several outstanding horses, such as Ahlerich, Biotop, and Rembrandt.
– Anky van Grunsven: The first rider to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals in individual dressage, with Bonfire in 2000 and Salinero in 2004 and 2008. She also won nine World Cup Finals and four World Equestrian Games gold medals.
Dressage is not only a sport for elite riders and horses; it is also a discipline that can benefit any horse and rider who want to improve their communication and harmony. There are many opportunities to participate in dressage at different levels and formats, from introductory tests to Grand Prix Freestyles.
One of the ways to enjoy dressage is to attend or compete in a dressage show. A dressage show is an event where riders perform tests in front of judges who score them based on criteria such as accuracy, fluidity, impulsion, submission, and rider position. There are different types of dressage shows depending on the level of competition and affiliation.
Some of the top-rated dressage shows in America are:
– US Dressage Finals: The national championship for riders who qualify through regional championships across nine regions. It is held annually in November at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
– Adequan Global Dressage Festival: A winter circuit of international and national dressage competitions held from January to March at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. It features CDI-Ws (World Cup qualifiers), CDI 3*s (Olympic qualifiers), CDI 4*s (high-level international events), CDI 5*s (the highest level of international events), CDIO