The ingredients of classical dressage may seem simple on black and white when in fact it takes years of practice to perfect them. However it is these years of practice that is the best part of the experience. So what do each of these terms actually mean?

Classical Dressage

    • Cadence: The horse and rider combination’s rhythmic flow of a sequence of movements.
    • Travers: The horse moves with his haunches on the inside track and shoulders on the outside track, bent in the direction he is moving.
    • Pirouette: A complete 360 degree turn in collected canter in which the horse uses its hind legs as a pivot. It’s the movement of ultimate collection in canter.
    • Schwung: When the energy created by a horses hind legs is manifested in an elastic whole body movement.
    • Passage: A slow, cadenced trot executed with great elevation of the feet and characterized by a moment of suspension before the feet strike the ground.
    • Piaffe: A cadenced trot executed on one spot, with a well-elevated leg action. It’s the movement of ultimate collection for the horse.
    • Engagement: Engaging the hindlegs through a relaxed back into the rein with impulsion and energy.
    • Tempo: The characteristic rhythm which should remain consistent throughout all movements.

Would you add any other ingredients of classical dressage to the list?