Dressage is an ancient equestrian discipline that highlights movements originally used in warhorses. Many of the same concepts and training systems used today in modern-day dressage can be traced back as far as ancient Greece and are seem to be derived from the first horsemanship book, On Horsemanship, written by the Greek cavalry General Xenophon. Dressage is one of the most artistic forms of horse training as it develops the horse’s natural athletic ability and focuses on the connection between the horse and the rider.
The dressage test is comprised of an established series of movements and is performed in an enclosed arena. Ideally the horse appears to execute movements on its own accord, working in harmony with its rider. The test is scored based on the harmony and precision of each movement.
As a national organization of college dressage programs, The Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) is affiliated with the United States Dressage Federation and offers organized competitions that adhere closely to the US Equestrian Federation rules. In IDA competition there are four levels of Dressage: Introductory Level (Intro A & Intro B), Lower Training Level (Intro C & Training Level Test 1), Upper Training Level (Training Level Test 2 & 3) and First Level Test.