Originally developed as a method for training military horses, the centuries-old disciplin
e of dressage, which is a French term meaning “training,” was used to increase the maneuverability
and obedience of cavalry mounts with some of the very advanced movements being taught specifically as battle techniques.[...]
The specific purpose for dressage is to develop a horse’s natural athletic ability and maximize
its suppleness and attentiveness, all the while fostering ultimate harmony between horse and rider.
In today’s world, competitive dressage is recognized as one of the three equestrian Olympic disciplines,
and as well, is a method for showcasing all levels of training in a competitive format. Currently, there
are nine progressive levels of competition, open to any breed of horse and available for all levels of
riders, in which the horse and rider perform compulsory exercises. Special classes such as musical freestyle
offer creativity and individual expression for the exhibitors and have become spectator favorites.