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What to Look For in a Dressage Horse

  • Posted: 21 December 2017

Right Horse Right Home logoRight Horse Right Home has a selection of dressage horses for sale from all over the UK.

Dressage, defined by the International Equestrian Federation, is 'the highest expression of horse training' where 'horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements'. These movements can be basic, such as walk and trot through to more technical movements performed at higher levels such as piaffe and pirouettes.

Dressage can benefit any rider, regardless of your current riding ability or riding discipline. It can also be beneficial to any horse because dressage teaches a horse suppleness, relaxation and self-carriage. Horses that are sold as 'dressage horses' are usually trained well in this discipline and have a natural aptitude for this work and will have been out competing, possibly at affiliated British Dressage competitions.

Temperament and conformation play an important role in the success of your horse as a dressage athlete. As it is challenging both mentally and physically for a horse, they must be a willing partner and have the right attitude towards work. The conformation of the horse will also play a part in their ability to perform. A dressage horse should have an 'uphill' appearance, be proportionate when looking at the length of the front end, back and hindquarter. Ultimately, the horse's conformation affects his soundness, quality of gaits and balance. This is something that will be investigated in more depth during the vetting process.

Dressage is very much a partnership between horse and rider; therefore, it is extremely important to have a horse that compliments you. A high-spirited rider may want to consider a less-spirited horse to help offset his own personality. Whereas, the extremely docile rider could consider a higher energy horse to create some flash in the arena. Despite the common inclination to 'learn together', it is far better, in most cases, for either the horse or the rider to have a strong foundation in the riding discipline that you are studying. A 'green' horse and 'green' rider can create a lot of frustration, leading to an unhappy riding experience for both parties because the learning curve for dressage is so steep. The rider must be secure in his aids to be able to train a horse - as much as the trained horse must be confident in his movements in order to tolerate inconsistent aids of a novice rider. If you are a novice rider, it is highly recommended that you purchase a horse that is trained to at least to the highest level that you would like to attain. This will help to ensure that you develop a strong dressage foundation. It is also highly recommended, at any level, that you find and work regularly with a dressage trainer to help and support your development.

Right Horse Right Home have some wonderful dressage horses for sale for all levels of riders. We would be happy to offer 10% to anyone wanting to list a horse or apply for a horse with us. Use code DA10 at the check out.