Has competitive dressage deviated from its classical roots, and on which side of the fence do you sit? In our dressage special issue of Horse & Hound, Alice Collins investigates what divides and unites the two forms
Classical dressage was born from the fancy footwork required of horses on the battlefield, which then evolved into an art form and a show, particularly when horses moved from necessity to luxury with the rise of mechanisation. But we no longer ride horses bred for battle and the dressage landscape has changed.
Has the modern, competitive version of the sport embraced the founding principles showcased in the courts of old and evolved and refined them, or has it deviated from its roots in a way that should concern riders and fans?
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