Horse Dressage |  What it is, basic principles and champion horses

Horse Dressage
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Today’s post is a little different from the ones we have been providing lately. An article where we focus on one of the equestrian sports disciplines par excellence, horse dressage.

Here, we will give you a series of basic guidelines on this exciting sport answering questions such as what is the dressage. What are their origins and the breeds of horses that best adapt to this sport. In addition to some of the horses champion of this sport.

What is the horse dressage?

Horse Dressage

First, let’s see what the horse dressage is. It is an equestrian discipline that is characterized by the development of a series of exercises ordered by the rider and that the horse must perform in a harmonious and balanced manner.

What is classic horse dressage

That is, what is valued is that the horse is calm before these orders, assessing the elasticity, agility, and flexibility in the process. Obviously, this implies not only having a horse with an incredible morphology, but you also need to perform meticulous training and generate great confidence between rider and horse.

The discipline of dressage comes from the very nature of the human being to train the horse. In the Middle Ages, this discipline began to be developed so that the different armies – and, specifically, the cavalry divisions – perfected the mountain. If you want to know more about equestrian sports here we present 10 types.

Principles of classical dressage and the purpose of horse dressage

Through dressage, what is sought is a series of general principles where the horse is a perfect pair with the rider.

Among those aspects that are sought, is the openness and regularity of their airs, something that can be seen through the harmony and ease in the execution of movements, as well as the lightness of the previous third and retraction of the previous ones or their submission in the embouchure.

The obedience of the rider’s orders is also valued quickly and skillfully , giving the impression that the horse performs them on its own, as well as the regularity and elegance in its movement, whether at the pace , trot or gallop , showing an ease total in its joints , denoting the harmony that is so much demanded.

Horse Dressage

Similarly, another aspect that is most appreciated is the cadence, both in the trot, as in the gallop. In short, it is verified that the regularity of its air is adequate.

As for the stance of the horse, you should always show your arched, raised and elegant neck, either in motion or standing.

As you can see, there are many aspects that can be evaluated in classical dressage. If you want more complete information on this subject. Here we leave the Regulation for Dressage Contests of the Royal Spanish Equestrian Federation.

Horse races specialized in Dressage

As you will have seen, the classic dressage confers numerous and diverse skills of the horse, which highlights the morphology, its athleticism or the equine temperament.

As a general rule, it is those hot-blooded horses that tend to triumph more frequently. Such as the Hanoverian , the Dutch or the Danish , although they also have qualities that are very apt for dressage. Other horses such as those of the Baroque race, such as the pure Spanish race, the Lusitanian or the Lipizzaner .

Champion dressage horses

Like their riders, throughout history, there are different dressage horses that have marked a before and after in different competitions. Let’s see some of these champions!


Horse Dressage

Those who knew him, say of Rembrandt that his presence alone frightened his rivals. Between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, it had no rival. This Westphalian horse won the Olympic Games in Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992), as well as the Stockholm World Championship in 1990.


Gigolo is one of the most admired dressage horses in recent decades. Hanoverian race, not only stands out for his record, if not for his long career, getting 3 world championships in a non-consecutive, between 1994 and 2006. That is, in 12 years of career. He also devoted himself to the Olympic Games, winning at Atalanta 96.


Another of the last champion horses has been Salinero. Salinera won the 2006 freestyle world championship, as well as two consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). Salinero is of the Hanoverian race.

Moorland Totilas

Horse Dressage

Perhaps the record of Moorland Totilas is not as spectacular as that of the other horses, getting the world championship (special and free) in 2010 in Lexington. The virtue of Totilas is the excellence achieved just the previous year, for which it exceeded 90% of the score, an absolute record of dressage. His fame made him become the horse of this most expensive discipline in the world.


We finish with this review with the last horse more laureate. This is Valegro, a hot-blooded Dutch horse, which has won the 2014 World Championship (Free and Special), as well as the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, a champion!

Some of the riders in horse dressage

Now, let’s see some of the riders and amazons who have achieved a brilliant track record throughout the history of dressage.

Reiner Klimke

Reiner Klimke was a German rider, considered among the best of dressage. Between 1964 and 1988, he won a whopping 6 gold medals, including individual and team competitions, riding horses such as Mehmed, Ahlreich or Pascal.

Anky van Grunsven

Horse Dressage

Another of the most successful amateurs of dressage is Anky van Grunsven. Born in the Netherlands, she won the gold medal in three Olympics in a row, between 200 and 2008, on the back of Bonfire and Salinero.

Isabell Werth

Isabell Werth, also born in Germany, has achieved a record that is more than enviable in dressage. With Gigolo, he won three World Championships and a gold medal in the Olympic Games, as well as a team championship with Satchmo.

Nadine Capellman

To close this list of illustrious riders, we talked about Nadine Capellman. The German rider won the World Championship with Frarbenfoh. In addition to getting the team championship on two other occasions and with different horses: Elvis and Gracioso.

Along these lines, we hope that we have awakened your interest in horse dressage. Hope you liked it!!

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