What Does Dressage Mean?
The term Dressage means “trained” and in dressage the horses are extensively trained to perform precise movements that respond to the rider’s subtle commands. Both horse and rider are beautifully groomed to display their excellence. Dressage events comprise the first day of the schedule of equestrian 3-day eventing competitions. The ideal horse community found in the Charlottesville region attracts top equestrian athletes, thus many award-winning dressage horses enjoy the horse farms and estates here.
How Is Equestrian Dressage Conducted?
The United States Dressage Federation oversees the education and calendar of equestrian dressage. In dressage, both horse and rider respond to movements such as change of gait, walk, trot, canter, loops and pirouettes. Horses will be braided, riders wear English riding habits, and women pull their hair up into a bun style. Some competitions are designed to be performed to music. Dressage requires unspoken communication between horse and rider, and both must be strong and agile to perform the exacting movements that allow advancement in dressage. Dressage is the Day #1 activity of 3-day Equestrian Eventing (other events are cross country and show jumping).
What Are The Rules of Equestrian Dressage Competition
You can learn many details about the rules and regulations of dressage as it pertains to the dressage portion of three day eventing in Virginia… by going to the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association site. There they address their current requirements for saddlery and reins, nosebands, shirts and jackets, and protective headgear for competitions. During training a rider may use voice commands but during a competition there are no voice commands and the horse must respond to other signals from the rider.
Where Are Equestrian Dressage Events near Charlottesville?
Below are links that offer a wealth of details about dressage events in Virginia, including calendars of upcoming shows and links to dressage training facilities in VA.
Virginia Dressage Association
Central VA Dressage
University of Virginia Dressage
Stonebridge Equestrian Center
Virginia Summer Dressage
Dressage Training Facilities in VA
Basic Dressage Movements