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2021 Olympic Guide to Dressage Basics, Scoring, and Three Competitors to Watch

What is Dressage?

Dressage is an equestrian discipline in which rider and horse perform a series of movements in a pattern to display the horse's athleticism, strength, and flexibility. Viewers describe dressage as horse ballet as the horse appears to be “dancing” across the arena floor. Dressage is a beautiful sport that dates back to nearly 350BC where ancient greek soldiers rode their horses to battle using dressage movements we still use today.

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How to Start Riding and Learning Dressage

Learning dressage can be done on any horse with any type of riding tack! If you have your own horse, there are many ways to start learning dressage virtually! Ingela Larsson has an online virtual program for riders to learn how to connect with their horses on the ground. Being able to ask your horse for precision and connection starts on the ground before you get in the saddle.

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How to Start Eventing and Where to Take Eventing Lessons

After watching one of the most exciting and demanding equestrian events in the Olympics, three-day eventing, all of us horse lovers around the world are feeling the itch to give it a try ourselves! Eventing is a three-day event that includes dressage, cross country, and stadium jumping, all performed on the same horse. Believe it or not, three-day eventing is offered all around the world for beginner riders to more advanced riders.

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Horse Breed Highlight: The Lusitano Breed Compared to the Andalusian Breed


Known as one of the oldest saddle horses and most prestigious war horses throughout history, the Iberian horse was the foundation for the current day breed of the Andalusian and Lusitano. The Andalusian breed was a culmination of breeds mixing with the ancient Iberian horse as people and tribes traveled through the Andalusia province of Spain. Whereas the Lusitano breed was a culmination of breeds in the Lusitania region, now modern day Portugal, during the Roman period. 

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Pirouette, Piaffe, and Passage Through Portugal!

“Heels down, knees in; back straight, eyes straight ahead, and relax your wrists!” - these are the most common instructions you hear from dressage instructors as they teach beginners. It’s a far cry from the perfection demonstrated by world famous dressage artists perfectly in sync with their Lusitano mounts as they Pirouette, Piaffe and Passage during dressage performances. But if you have a week to spare, you too can learn to ride like a Portuguese pro! Located just 15 kilometres outside of Lisbon, Morgado Lusitano Equestrian Holidays offers a variety of dressage instruction packages suitable for all levels of horse riders. This stunning estate boasts a stable full of professionally trained, purebred Lusitano horses and top notch instructors from Portugal and Europe.

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