What is the IDA?
The Intercollegiate Dressage Association or IDA is a group of college dressage programs from around the country that organizes competitions and provides opportunities for students to learn about dressage and strengthen their abilities. The IDA got its start as an informal competition in 1995. A small group of colleges and secondary schools from the northeast part of the United States met during this inaugural competition. With meteoric growth came a greater focus on development among college and secondary school riding programs. This spawned an interest in constructing a national organization to help guide the growing interest in the sport. IDA started with just a few members from a small group of colleges but grew to include riders from across the U.S. and Canada. The IDA made the decision to become a college-only organization in 2003.
The IDA’s Mission
IDA’s mission is to introduce college students to dressage, an equestrian discipline often touted as the “the highest expression of horse training”. IDA also seeks to foster knowledge, appreciation and skill development through educational opportunities and competitions. IDA focuses on promoting dressage as a sport and preserving the quality of the sport by creating and enforcing its policies.
IDA works in affiliation with the United States Dressage Federation and follows the rules of the U.S. Equestrian Federation. IDA is funded by contributions to the organization member dues, and sponsorships.
During competition, teams of four collegiate riders compete at four skill levels, 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. To add the challenge of the competition, riders are provided horses by the host school. The IDA is broken down into regions with individual and team points being earned towards regional standings. These points also qualify riders for the national finals.