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What is Dressage

Dressage is a French term meaning "training" Dressage promotes riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance, thus making any horse more tractable and enjoyable when participating in any riding activity whether it be hacking, trekking, hunting or jumping and dressage competitions

Competitive dressage involves progressive levels incorporating multiple tests within each level that increase with difficulty. Each test is a set of routine movements which are performed. The sequence of movements is designed to show the suppleness, obedience and strength of the horse. There are tests specifically written for young horses (4,5,6 years) and the ever popular Musical Freestyles.

Success in dressage is dependent on the rider's execution of the requirements of the test at each level, but because of the goal of the training, many horse breeds can be very successful.

Competitions occur in internationally sized arenas (40m x 20m or 60m x 20m) with all rules for national competitions administered by EA. International rules are administered by the FEI.

Dressage competition is delivered by Dressage NSW on a state level and by Dressage Australia on national level. Affiliate clubs with ENSW assist in the delivery and hosting of events at club, state and national level. These include the Sydney CDI, NSW State Championships, Dressage By The Sea and the National Championships when held in NSW.

Graded Tests are divided into levels which are ridden from Preliminary to Advanced level and they get more difficult as riders progress through the grades. Upgrading points can start to be acummlated from Elementary level and above, provided the horse is competing above its current grading. Upgrading points are allocated to each horse based on the percentage gained in each test, with a minimum percentage of 61% required. These points are accumulated on the EA Online database and a horse moves from one grade to the next once a predetermined number of upgrading points are accumulated.

Dressage NSW website

National Dressage Rules & Tests