The object of dressage is the harmonious development of the horse in both mind and body.  Every horse, regardless of its type or use, can benefit from this training.  Dressage requires the horse and rider to combine strength and agility with the elegance and beauty of ballet.





Competitions are held at many levels, beginning with Walk-Trot and Training Level, and continuing through nine levels to Grand Prix.  A dressage test is a series of movements, performed at various gaits, designed to test the rider’s ability to communicate with their horse.  Each movement is performed at a specified point in the arena and is scored individually on a scale from 0 to 10.  A score of 0 means no portion of the movement was executed, while a score of 10 shows excellent execution.  The individual scores are added and then calculated as a percentage of possible points to come up with a final score.  The highest percentage wins the class.

Tests are different for each level and are written so there is a way to consistently measure the horse’s progress through the levels.  Judges are looking for accuracy, obedience, suppleness of the horse, quality of the gaits, and the rider’s use of the aids.  There are also musical freestyle dressage tests for individual riders, pairs, and groups of four or more.

Dressage in Pony Club

Pony Club offers many ways to compete in and learn about the sport of Dressage.  Members can participate in a dressage rally - a competition where members compete as a team and are judged not only on their riding skills, but also how well they take care of their mounts.  Pony Club has also introduced Dressage Certifications from the very basic D-2 level all the way through the highest level of accomplishment, the A level.  Certifications are a series of tests completed by members as they gain skills and abilities in both horse management and riding.  Certifications provide a way to measure the rider’s skill set as they progress in their riding careers.


Opportunities abound for those wishing to pursue Dressage during their Pony Club career!  The core values members learn in Pony Club also prepare them for other positions in the Dressage industry.

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Pony Club offers many annual awards to its members who demonstrate excellence in the sport of Dressage, both at Pony Club competitions and at open shows.

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Check out the Pony Club Pizza, where we pile on the knowledge for all things Dressage (and all manner of other Pony Club-related topics)!

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