In the western world the Greeks were among the first to extol this type of equestrian partnership by putting their training methods down in writing. Among the principles espoused was the need to train the horse as a war horse, including all the intricate movements necessary to assist the rider while fighting in close quarters. By necessary, these movements had to be precise and immediate, no matter where the horse was at any particular moment or time, or the soldier risked forfeit of his life. With training, these movements became more rigorously defined, building to a level of detail and precision that often required years of study for both horse and rider to develop and hone.
The ancients may have set the stage for an enduring partnership between the horse and humanity, but it was the French, as great exponents of this art, who were the first to coin it "dressage".
Although the horse no longer participates in the battlefields as it did in the past, the Dressage arts have moved to a higher level in the world of sports, advancing it world-wide on many levels -- from local beginner to international Olympic. It is a beautiful discipline of classic origins -- elegant to watch and a joy to ride.