Dressage Horse

 

Dressage

Dressage, a combination of Ballet and Discipline

 
Lusitano-DressageDressage means training in French. The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) defines the sport of dressage as “the highest expression of horse training” where “horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements”. It is a sport considered a form of art where the horse and rider perform a series of movements and dances that are perfectly timed and executed. Not all horses can do it and not all riders have the ability for it either. It takes patience, persistence and long hours of training and practice from both participants; the horse and rider.
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Lusitano-DressageThere are different levels of competitions in the world. They include several beginner and amateur levels, medium levels, and the professional. Professional level includes the Olympic Games, the Grand Prix, the Dressage World Cup and the World Equestrian Games. The classic dressage techniques and rules are kept alive today by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria, Escola Portuguesa de Arte Equestre in Lisbon, Portugal, the Cadre Noir in Saumur, France, and several locations in the United States.
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Lusitano-DressageNot every horse or breed of horses can participate and win in a dressage competition. Breeding and specific characteristics are a must for a horse to be able to perform the moves and routines. Most of the horses used in dressage are warm-blooded animals and descendants from the old baroque horses from the middle ages. Some of these are the Friesian, Lipizzaner, Andalusian, Murghese and of course our favorite the Lusitano. To perform as a dressage horse the animal has to have extremely powerful hindquarters, a muscular naturally arched neck, a slightly convex profile and a long and full mane and tail. This are all characteristics inherited from Neapolitan and Iberian horses which once roamed the European countryside.
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Lusitano-DressageDressage competitions are held in a closed arena and the horses and riders are required to execute a series of moves and routines at a specific speed and time during their performance. Rhythm, limb positioning and movement, the horse’s temperament and poise, the rider’s position and movements, the way they communicate with each other and many other things are considered by the judges while the test are performed. These are graded on a scale of zero meaning “not executed” to ten meaning “perfectly executed”. Each judge keeps his own score card. When the counting is done, all the opinions with regards to each point in question must have a difference of no more than five percent between each judge.
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