Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Dressage - A Prissy Word for a Prissy Sport

Photo by Bob Haarmans


Noun. Mid-20th century.
[French, literally 'training', from dresser to train, drill.]

The training of a horse in obedience and deportment;
the execution by a horse of precise movements in response to its rider.

Here's a dose of ignorance for you - I have always considered dressage, with its topped and tailed riders and buff, stately horses, to be a rather prissy sport (and I struggle to call it a sport at all), well-matched with a similarly prissy word, dressage, with its pretentious French pronunciation and aura. What's more, I always assumed that dressage had something to do with dressing, so conspicuous are the finely outfitted riders and horses in their displays.

I was, however, utterly abject in my ignorance, and I do bow my head in deference to the thousands of dressuers (not a real word) who would be utterly aghast at my aspersions. Dressage, you see, and as the OED has taught me, has nothing to do with dresses or dressing, but rather originates from the French word dresser, meaning 'to train'. And that's of course what dressage is all about - training, obedience and (ahem) chevaline deportment.

And chevaline deportment, I can tell you, is nothing to sniff at. It starts with basic training (campagne), but will advance to the cream of the riding crop, the haute école. And with moves like the pirouette, the piaffe, the passage, the levade, the courvet and the capriole, it quickly becomes clear that there is nothing in the least bit prissy about dressage. No sir. Not on your Nelly.

If you've never had the pleasure of watching dressage, here's a video. Feel free to skip to the interesting bits.

Are you a fan of dressage?

Do please saddle us with your most blinkered comments below.
(alternatively, if you'd like an article from someone that actually knows something about dressage, this one is excellent)


  1. I’d should talk to you here. Which is not some thing I do! I quite like reading a post which will make people believe. Also, many thanks permitting me to comment!

  2. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it,

  3. Good post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it! Fixed Matches

  4. Serena Williams Biography – Age, Weight, Height & Family. 3 days ago ... Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player and former world's no Serena Williams

  5. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. http://redditsoccerstreams.cc/

  6. The other way, which has become the most famous one in the ongoing occasions is purchasing unique sports memorabilia online from the specific stores. https://tonysportstrainingequipment.com/best-basketball-training-equipment-for-youth/

  7. Assaulting abilities incorporates spilling, kicking, flinging, turning, weighted pass and infiltrating rival's safeguard through running with the ball. https://www.reddit.com/r/soccerstreams_ontv/comments/javehg/soccer_streams_reddit/

  8. xe máy honda q1 chính hãng. Thegioixedien nhập khẩu xe điện chính hãng

  9. Watch UFC 254 Online Free. Do visit us for UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje Live Stream PPV Fight Online TV Broadcast. UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje Live
    UFC 254: Nurmagomedov vs Gaethje Live

  10. Owners of professional teams and fans very commonly forget the effective sports coach is the most important person in the team. https://onlinegamesbk8.blogspot.com/2020/10/best-malaysia-online-esports-betting.html

  11. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! 가상축구결과

  12. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. 라이브스코어

  13. I admire this article for the well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so involved in this material that I couldn’t stop reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thank you so much. Feshop