Equipment for Dressage

Although there is not much equipment needed for dressage, like other equine sports, it tends to be very expensive. Of course, competitors must have a horse to ride, which usually involves owning or leasing a horse. Riding lessons also tend to be quite costly but are necessary, as many of the movements cannot be learned without training.

Essential Element: The Horse

The two essential elements of any dressage competitive team are a horse and a rider. Any horse can be trained with dedicated attention; however, the breeds that tend to excel at the sport are not too stocky or too frail. The most famous breed used at the Spanish Riding School is the Lipizzaner.

As the stocky horses suitable for carrying a knight and all his armor in the middle ages became unnecessary, horses evolved to the lighter horse used mainly for cavalry. By mixing hot-blooded breeds for swiftness and more maneuverability with the former knight’s cold-blooded breeds, the currently favored “warmblood” developed. They make up the more commonly successful breeds in dressage today.

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