Essay on Public Misconceptions About Competitive Dressage Riding

Essay on Public Misconceptions About Competitive Dressage Riding

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In its origin, dressage riding was a systematic way of training horses for combat, today it’s an international sport. The most referenced division of the sport is the Kur, which is a musical freestyle, also known as horse ballet, and commonly seen at the Olympics. The Kur is also the main cause for much of the ridicule the sport receives. Dressage commonly has three main stereotypes: it is a hobby reserved for the upper-class, it’s a female sport, and the simple belief that it’s easy, since the horse does all the work.
Horses are expensive animals, but to excel in this sport, one doesn’t have to be rich or blue-blooded. Many now famous riders started out as mere stable hands or grooms. Karl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin, two members of the British dressage team, are both prime examples of people that made a name for themselves through talent and a lot of hard work (Blackman). Hester began working as a groom in a therapeutic riding center at the age of 16; thereafter he received a position riding for Dr. Rudolf Bechtolsheimer, a member of the 1995 British dressage team in the European championships (Briggs). Dujardin, 2012 Olympic Gold medalist, is from a middle class family, buying her first horse after inheriting money from her deceased grandmother, she officially began her career working as a groom for the aforementioned Hester (Moss). Although these people started out very small in the dressage world, with no name or money to claim, today they belong to the top riders globally.
The dressage scene is mainly dominated by female riders; but in its origin, being a military sport, only men were allowed to participate in this discipline. After cavalries began to disband many officers who no longer had jobs in the militia began to...


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...ing” Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

Moss, Stephen. “London 2013: Charlotte Dujardin strikes second dressage Olympic gold.” Guardian. Guardian, 9 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.




Works Cited

Blackman, Helen. “ London 2012 Olympics: In Defense of Dressage.” Guardian. Guardian, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012
Briggs, Simon. “London 2012 Olympics: forget class - hard work and dedication won dressage gold.” The Telegraph. The Telegraph, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

“Dressage - FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking” Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

Moss, Stephen. “London 2013: Charlotte Dujardin strikes second dressage Olympic gold.” Guardian. Guardian, 9 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.


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