History of Dressage
Dressage dates back to classical Greek horsemanship. The earliest work on training horses was written by Xenophon, a Greek Military Commander born around 400BC. Dressage continued to be developed by the military and during the Renaissance; European aristocrats displayed their highly trained horses in equestrian pageants. The Imperial Spanish Riding School of Vienna was established in 1572 and dressage training today is based around many of the principles from this era.
Dressage became an Olympic Sport in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm with only military officers eligible to compete until 1953 when the rules evolved to allow both civilian men and women to compete.
The growing enthusiasm for the sport, supported by increased access to knowledgeable military and foreign trainers, finally brought together 81 pioneers of dressage in 1973 to found the United States Dressage Federation.