Dressage Winnipeg is the organization dealing with the sport of Dressage in Winnipeg and surrounding areas. Each year, Dressage Winnipeg holds at least four shows, and hosts the Manitoba Gold Provincial Championships.
Our membership is strong and increasing in the past years. Our dedicated volunteers make shows and activities possible and their efforts are always appreciated. Dressage Winnipeg also sponsors clinics for it's members.
What is Dressage?
Dressage, from the French word for "training", is the foundation for excellence in equestrian sport. Its aim is for two athletes, human and horse, to work together in mutual respect to achieve personal and competitive riding goals. Dressage can be as basic as learning the correct and effective use of riding aids – the hands, legs and seat in communication with the horse when astride - and it can be as complex as a carefully choreographed and ridden Freestyle or Pas de Deux at the Grand Prix level.
Dressage has moved far beyond its origins in training horses for military functions, when the image of a leader on a well-muscled yet obedient horse was the ultimate symbol of power over the conquered. Now it has much more to do with understanding the athleticism of the horse and rider as individuals and as a team, and achieving their best level of performance. The components that make up the Scales of Training in dressage – rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness, collection – define the principles sought at every gait, in every transition and in each movement. They provide a road map for lessons and training sessions, whether in competition or when simply wanting to ride well. As in any good relationship, the dressage ideal is for the horse and it’s human to submit to each other, to accept the other’s shortcomings and to manifest their partner in the best possible way. The sport of dressage also takes into consideration the well-being of the horse: progress and performance must be achieved through a spirit of cooperation, without fear, pain or coercion.
Ultimately, the dressage rider’s goal of relaxed throughness is a feeling that is never forgotten once experienced. The Germans have a word for it, Durchlaessiskeit, suppleness in engagement and responsiveness, when the half halt comes from back to front and not otherwise. The path to this degree of understanding and harmony can last a lifetime, and we welcome all in their exploration of the beauty and challenge of dressage.