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Poll High and The Lowering of Judging Standards

June 2016 by Allan Buck

Dressage, is a dance with a horse. The beauty of the horse rhythmically moving through movements with arched neck and vertical forehead is watched by horsemen and non-horsemen with great emotion. Currently, riders including lower level and novice riders, strive to attain the stylized forms they see winning in the competitive dressage arenas by emulating the riders and trainers who are successful and applauded. 

What is observed in today’s dressage arenas, however, is not what was observed forty years ago. Riders and trainers today say that they have improved upon the sport of dressage, however, the governing international rules established by the Federation Equestre International (FEI) in the 1920’s, have remained virtually unchanged.