5 Misconceptions About Dressage

Photo by Cathi Jensen, entry in the 2017 USDF Arts Contest.

As with most sports or activities, there are a lot of misconceptions about dressage.  Here are a few of the most commonly held ones, as well as the truth.

Misconception: You can learn to ride dressage in a few lessons.

Truth: Riding dressage is a lifetime passion which takes years or dedicated practice to master.

Misconception: You have to spend a lot of money to do dressage.

Truth: When done correctly, dressage is a training program that can enhance the physical development and rideability of most horses. This training can be done in a variety of economical ways.

Misconception: Dressage focuses on fancy tricks.

Truth:Most of a training session is focused on gymnastic exercises and practicing basic lines and transitions.

Misconception: Dressage movements can be learned in one lesson.

Truth: As horse and riders move up the levels, time must be taken to development the proper muscles needed for the horse to perform the movements with ease.

Misconception: Dressage is for riders who don’t want to jump.

Truth: Dressage is a training program that is often used in many aspects of other equestrian sports, including eventing. Dressage can help condition all types of equines, as well as aid in communication between horse and rider, no matter the chosen competition discipline.

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