People choose to compete in the discipline of dressage for many reasons. Some because they have a natural talent for such a sport. Others do it because they feel they don’t have the confidence to jump. There is also the great influence from the likes of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, which may have inspired some to gather up their reins and take on the world of dressage. Watching such inspirational equestrians perform can make many want to take up the sport. But if you’re new to dressage where do you begin? Where do you start with training, attire or even competing?
Dressage takes great skill from both horse and rider and has been described by many as ‘poetry in motion’. Many of us were glued to our TV screens when the Queen of Dressage, Charlotte Dujardin and her striking ride Valegro competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Charlotte not only took home a Gold Medal in the team dressage, where she broke the Olympic record, but she and Valegro also secured an individual Gold Medal. The superstar pair, then managed to retain their individual title in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games.
While Dujardin and Valegro are a good poster for the discipline. You don’t have to dive right in at their level. The best way to get into dressage is to build yourself up slowly. Trust me it’s not as daunting as you might think. Below I have highlighted a few tips to take on board if you are new to dressage and looking to break yourself in gently.
I hope the above gives you some starting pointers. I hope to see all you great Charlotte Dujardins and your Valegros at my next dressage competition. Happy riding.
A Royal Agricultural University graduate, having studied International Equine & Agricultural Business Management. Niamh is an aspiring journalist, primarily she enjoys writing about the equine world but can turn her pen to anything she finds inspiration from.