Classical riding and dressage training have been around for centuries, as early as the 4th century BC. This holistic approach to equine training was developed around horses’ natural movements, which, when focused on, increase strength, flexibility, and balance. Classical training teaches patterns that develop both horse and rider in these areas, with the goal of maximizing potential to each horse’s and rider’s level of ability. Classical dressage training also avoids putting unnecessary strain on horses and riders, helping to prevent the need for medical intervention and promote longer, healthier careers.
Classical riding is also noted for the deep connection and bond it creates between the horse and rider. It is a relationship built on trust and teamwork. Horses become more confident in their rider, and are less likely to spook or react poorly. Riders can trust their horse to behave well, moving with the horse instead of against them. Without this relationship and trust, it’s impossible for horses and riders to move in harmony and perform classical dressage movements at their best. Riders must not only understand and trust their horse, but also themselves. The harmony needed for classical dressage requires a rider to be aware of his or her abilities, body, and mind. Classical dressage training, similarly to other methods of working with horses, creates a peaceful and reflective space where you can explore yourself and find your heart’s purpose.