Why Dressage is not a Sport!

I have to highlight quickly before I begin, if you do not know what dressage is – leave this site now.

Once you experience this travesty, you cannot remove this from your mind. Imagine a world where you never knew about, or experienced Justin Bieber.

Wouldn’t the world be a much better place for you?

You may say that comparing Justin Bieber to dressage has no comparative qualities.

I disagree, having seen both – Each situation left me with an overwhelming desire to kill myself. If the reaction is the same, the action must be the same/similar.

Action -> Reaction

This site as such will dig into the differing aspects of dressage. We will examine this “sport” from different angles to point out how ridiculous this event truly is and while along the way there will be many words to describe dressage – sport will not be one of them.

In fact on the dressage Wikipedia page you can find the telling quote – Dressage is occasionally referred to as “Horse Ballet“.

Last time I checked Ballet was not a sport, it was art. Why if we include a horse does it become a sport?

If Leonardo painted Mona Lisa while on a horse, would this be a sport? What if the Horse sculpted Michelangelo’s David, does he get a gold medal? (Bearing in mind the horse wouldn’t get the credit; it would be Michelangelo as he trained the horse)

This is just one of many profound arguements you will find as you navigate www.dressageisnotasport.com

As a final point, I realise a lot of people will disagree with this site. My girlfriend has said that I am being silly.

My final point is this.

No, no I am not – Dressage is Silly.

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63 Responses

  1. Blixa says:

    I can’t beleive I am the only one to comment on your site. Dressage is categorically not a sport by any stretch of the imagination.

    I thught I was alone. That only I saw the absurdity of it. The top hat, the perfectly pressed, shirt and matching jospers, the £million dancing horse! Musical Theatre maybe, but not sport.

    The fact that Mitt Romney enter his horse into London 2012 proves exactly what this farce is! Lollygagging rich good for nothing toffs taking the mick out of everyone again.
    Jeeves: Here’s a thought old boy. Let’s teach ol’ nelly how to do ballet and enter her into the Olympics.
    Nigel: Marvelous idea, Jeeves. Marvelous.

  2. mojo says:

    I totally agree, dressage is elitist and should be replaced by a more modern and globally inclusive sport. It is not a sport!

  3. sportsfan says:

    Dressage…..y u no dissapear

  4. Sir Frances Major says:

    Dear Boy,

    Allow me to beg your indulgence for one moment. To understand such a sport you must first ride one of these wonderful beasts. The sheer adrenaline rush of leaping majestically over the London Bus is a feeling which can not be explained. Is it wrong to have a sport for the upper class in society? I beg to differ. We are simply providing sports entertainment of a kind for the less fortunate. I do hope you thoroughly enjoy the rest of the Olympic Games 2012.

    Your Welcome,

  5. rayhan says:

    If i saw a horse doin dressage in the street i would not be wonderstruck, or in awe of the rider, i definitly wouldnt have any future aspirations of riding a horse. it would be more likely that il grab the horse in a headlock and force it to the ground for wasting its physical capabilities. and what of the rider…..i’d probably leave them to the vultures and the hyenas, shouldnt have been in the street in the first place.

  6. Amelia Jones says:

    Dressage is a series of tests, developed long ago to prove the skill, stamina and strength of a horse and rider. Only the fittest and most skilled horses can perform these well. A rider must also be skillful enough to guide the horse into each movement with the least amount of noticeable effort. Any experienced rider will tell you, that also requires skill, stamina and strength. Both the horse and rider are impressive athletes. It’s in the Olympics because the committee recognizes that.
    You are honestly one of the most ignorant people on this site– and that’s saying something! I really doubt you would be able to force one of the huge Warmblood horses that they ride…

  7. Matt Baker says:

    * Your welcome – Correction: ‘you are welcome’ – private school clearly didn’t teach grammar.
    ** Bus – don’t you mean peasant wagon?

  8. Matt Baker says:

    Again… why do you think normal, regular, sane people want to force a huge warm-blooded horse to do anything against their will, let alone get them dancing to hip-hop. I mean – what the fuck?

  9. Kim says:

    An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others..

    The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.

    The actual meaning of the words throw your argument straight down the toilet. What makes a sport a sport is merely one competing against another. Your point of liking Dressage to Ballet or Art where no competition takes place is therefore useless.

    re·verse dis·crim·i·na·tion
    (in the context of the allocation of resources or employment) The practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging to groups known to have been discriminated against previously.

    Do you think wealthy people sit about all day designing websites that slander the working classes pastimes?

    Feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.

    Take a good look at yourself and what you’re doing here. It’s sinks you to the same level of a racist and reeks of ignorance and close minded sensationalism. How sad that you choose to scoff and pass judgement on others.

  10. Jarrod says:

    “An activity involving physical exertion AND skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.”

    You’ve got me on the skill part, that’s fine, but if squeezing your legs together and sitting on top of something for a few minutes is classified as “physical exertion” then by your own definition, prostitution is also a sport.

  11. Matt says:

    I would hardly liken it to racism. Dressage should not be an Olympic sport. End of. The there are many sports that promote fair and universal participation / representation across class, race and gender. The only reason dressage has taken prominence and become an Olympic sport is because of the backing afforded by the upper echelons of society that can exert political pressure in order to support their own elitist minority sport.

  12. Simon says:

    Dressage isn’t in the Olympics due to backing from the rich… It has been in the Olympics for a hundred years and was exclusively for the military at the beginning.

    Dressage was originally about training a horse for military activities.

    While the horse might be expensive it is far more inclusive than many other sports. For a start you can take part whether you are young or old – the riders appear to be older cos it takes so many years to gain the skills to perform. You also get to compete in the same event whether you are male or female – pretty inclusive.

    If you exclude sport based on money then you should exclude many many sports. By your logic – Premiership football is not a sport due to the involvement of big bucks, also NFL big bucks therefore not sport, F1 expensive therefore not sport. Horse Racing is expensive therefore not a sport. Most sports at the highest levels involve huge sums of money. This is not something exclusive to Dressage. – The UK winning team had a girl originally from East London and a guy from a modest family from Sark

  13. Simon says:

    A few minutes? Most of these riders are professionals riding 8 -10 horses a day. It is highly physical. How many fat riders were there at the Olympics? None.

    Would you use the same logic and say that racing car drivers don’t do any physical exercise….

  14. Simon says:

    A more modern sport? Ok so lets get rid of all the old sports – Hmm we don’t use Javelin in war no more – better get rid of that – and shot putt – hammer etc.

    Poor countries can’t compete fairly in rowing, cycling, sailing – pretty much any sport involving equipment….. they better go.

    In fact most of the rich countries have a massive advantage due to massive budgets. Better level it all up a bit. Ban all training, coaching etc every country has only the budget of the poorest country. That would make it a touch more inclusive.

  15. Jarrod says:

    If your comment was defending prostitutes, it would still be relevant.

  16. Matt Baker says:

    It doesn’t cost ludicrous money to get good at football, which is the point. The money comes as a reward for being good.

    Good point, I would argue that Formula 1 should be thrown out of the Olympics as well. Oh wait it isn’t in there; I wonder why that is??

  17. Ellie says:

    Are you actually kidding me!!? I am a Dressage rider and if you think that it is not a sport and is easy then I would like to see you try and do what we do! You have no idea how difficult it is to use your legs and body posture the way a dressage rider does! If you think that Dressage is just sitting there trying to look pretty and make your horse ‘dance’ then you are completely wrong! It is an extremely hard task to perform in that way, and takes a great deal of skill and knowledge.Horses are athletes aswell, and although it may not look it, Dressage IS a very demanding sport physically! Take gymnastics for example, does that look easy? but you don’t go around saying that isn’t a sport and that the gymnasts just prance around trying to look pretty!
    So please, think twice before you say that Dressage is not a sport because i bet you couldnt do it if you tried!

  18. Paige says:

    I ride dressage, I can tell you it is a sport! First in dressage we train everyday on and off our horses. Dressage takes an huge amount of core muscles leg muscles along with years of training. It is a expensive sport but not for rich only, I ride at a high level and I’m not rich. The main point of dressage is to train our horse to be “war” ready. By this we mean and horse that listens and calm, for example when you see and dressage with his head tuck we ask our horses to do this it makes them us there back muscle , which helps the horses be stronger and sounder over time. Dressage is an amazing sport , that people should be more understanding of!

  19. Matt Baker says:

    It’s more likely he couldn’t do it because he can’t afford to do it; unless that is he wins the lottery or marries in to the royal family.

  20. Tony says:

    You train them to be ‘war ready’? Now THAT’S a sport.

  21. Matt Baker says:

    I love how you’re all pulling out this ‘ready for war’ argument??
    Doesn’t that make it even more irrelevant. Are we going to send the poor
    horses into battle now? Didn’t we sort of get past that somewhere in
    the middle of WWI?

    Also those in the cavalry ranks of the army were never exactly poor.

    Gymnastics looks easy?!? – it really
    really really doesn’t. Rhythmic gymnastics maybe, but that shouldn’t be
    an Olympic sport either.

  22. Flash says:

    It’s patently obvious to me, and I’m sure most readers, that dressage is quite clearly not a sport. I salute the individual behind this website and salute your triumphant campaign.

  23. Ellie says:

    I never said that Gymnastics was easy! I was using that to back up my point! some people would say that gymnastiics is just prancing around and i bet any gymnast would tell you just as we dressage would do that it isnt easy in the slightest!
    You have obviously never ridden a horse before, and i bet you are saying it isnt a sport just becuase it doesn’t look like we do any work, but let me tell you…it looks that way becuase we train everyday for years to make it look that way! You never see any fta dressafe riders in the olympics do you!?

  24. Matt Baker says:

    I rode a horse for 5 years.

    I would never dream of saying Gymnastics (rhythmic excluded) was easy. That thought would never even enter my mind; that would be disrespectful to all the hard work and dedication that goes into bettering yourself in a real bona fide Olympic Sport.

    BTW the way there are plenty of fat athletes. Take one look at the British darts champions. True athletes, yet rotund. Weight should not be indicative of athletic prowess.

  25. Charles W says:

    All Matt is doing is voicing a commonly held belief amongst the British population, that is very rarely discussed in the public domain due to fear of tirades from wealthy and powerful people like you. Think of the children.

  26. Charles W says:

    There are many overweight Paralympians too. Have they not earned our respect?

  27. Ellie says:

    I didn’t say fat athletes, i said fat dressage riders! and that is a statement proving that dressage IS in fact a sport becuase it takes alot of physical strength to do it! What are your reasons exactly, for saying that dressage isn’t a sport huh!? and yes, you may have ridden a horse for 5 years, any one can ride a horse, but it takes years of hard work, dedication and ALOT (and when i say alot, i mean ALOT) of hard training. I train every single day and i actually feel as if i have done more excercise than i would do working out at the gym! anybody could ride a horse just plodding around, but i bet you would really struggle if they sat you on one of those big powerful grand prix horses that are in the olympics! becuase you would not have the physical strength or capability to ride it.

  28. Lilly says:

    Ha ! I would like to see you try to get a 1/2 ton horse in a headlock with out getting kicked to the ground! The horse would be taller than you and you think the rider would sit there letting you do that to their horse?!? Do be so stupid! Do you really think that vultures would kill the rider? Vultures are SCAVENGERS and so are hyenas! Also getting a horse in a headlock would not kill it you idiot! Headlocks are performed by getting ONE ARM around the neck and let me tell you your arm would not even get around one side of the neck. Dressage is a sport and everyone on this site should face facts! THE OLYMPICS HAVE INCLUDED DRESSAGE BECAUSE IT IS A SPORT! IT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE BECAUSE OF SOME FUCTARDS WHINING BECAUSE SECRETLY THEY WISH THEY COULD DO IT. JEALOUSY. Dressage is a test of PROPER skill I have competed in several dressage tests and it is very difficult to do and it deserves to be recognized as one of THE MAIN EQUINE SPORTS THAT THE OLYMPICS HAVE INCLUDED. Here’s a thought take your head out of your own ass and try to do 3 day eventing and see how EASY it REALLY is! and to the creator of this site you are a nob and an ignorant bastard!

  29. Demetrius Vikelas says:

    Lilly, can I suggest you trial your incoherant ramblings on a friend or family member prior to writing them on a public forum. Unless your family and friends are as incompetent as you are they might help you to understand that what you say is utter rubbish.

    As someone who has often partaken in killing horses with headlocks I can confirm that Rayhans fantasies can become reality. It obviously takes a bit of training – particularly the bulking up of ones arms.

    I note you have competed in several dressage tests. I have a vulture.

    The Olympics Committee is one of the most corrupt organisations in existance. Dressage is for the rich. Coincidence? I think not.

    Thanks for the offer, I would love to put my head up your arse.

  30. Carl Jones says:

    You can’t comment on what people on this site can or can’t do – you know nothing about them or their abilities.

    What we do know about you however, is that you are a narrow minded idiot. Many things require physical exertion and skill but this still does not warrant their inclusion as an Olympic sport. If you don’t like the tongue in cheek nature of this site, why not visit another site instead of trolling this one with your vile toff talk?

  31. Carl Jones says:

    I too have killed many a horse with a headlock. What a ridiculous argument. Yes it took a lot of training to reach the required muscle mass and extended reach, but it was a proud accomplishment.

    One could almost describe the commitment required to reach this feat as Olympian. Wait a minute… there’s a thought.

  32. Ellie says:

    I am not the one commenting on this site about what people can or cant do! The person who is behind this site is the one you should be saying that too! He has probably never even tried Dressage, therefore should not be saying whether or not Dressage is a sport! do you even know what sport is?
    “Sport is all forms of competitive physical activity which through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants”
    Now, is it just me or does dressage seem to come under that?hmm..??
    and the reason that i am commenting on this site is because people shouldnt’ just assume that becuase it looks easy, that it isn’t a sport becuase they are too arrogant and narrow- minded to understand the amount of effort and dedication taht goes into it, becuase no matter what you all say, dressage is not easy and is in the olympics for a reason….becuase IT IS a sport.

  33. Carl Jones says:

    IS NOT!

  34. Bec says:

    So after reading the whole article and the most of the comments, I have yet to find a legitimate reason as to why dressage is not a sport. Well played anti-dresage people! We’ll just keep on competing untill somebody who actually understands the sport comes up with some relavent criticism.

  35. Shane says:

    Hey Bec,

    You may need to look at the many articles on the site rather than the one article above. Although I have to say you may still not find a legitimate reason

    But I suppose they are arguments????

    e.g. http://www.dressageisnotasport.com/jim-henson-professional-athlete/

  36. Ellie says:

    Okay then, lets look at the actual term of what dressage is shall we?
    ‘Dressage (/ˈdrɛsɑːʒ/ or /drɨˈsɑːʒ/; a French term, most commonly translated to mean “training”) is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as “the highest expression of horse training”, where “horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements”[1] Competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse’s gymnastic development’ Now, is it just me or did it say that it IS a sport in there? Oh yes it did!

  37. Randy McFuckhard says:

    Well you’ve convinced me Ellie. I guess it’s now time to shift focus and start campaigning for toe wrestling to gain inclusion into the forthcoming Olympic games. Who knew that if someone, somewhere called it a sport it automatically becomes gospel.



  38. Ellie says:

    I’m all for it! if it’s a sport, it should be in the Olympics just like you said!
    And to be honest, your not gaining much by calling me a ‘dick”.

  39. Randy McFuckhard says:

    I believe you meant ‘you’re’.

    I wasn’t calling you a dick, I merely like the way the word looks. It’s a beautiful thing; unlike dressage.

  40. Ellie says:

    Haha! did you know that people only correct a persons grammar in an argument when they are losing the argument, because it makes them feel as if they are winning. Therefore, you have no comeback to my points.
    And yes, you are entitled to your opinion, if you think Dressage isn’t a beautiful thing, then that is up to you! I just don’t think you should criticize Dressage the way a lot of you have been doing.
    Firstly, because a lot of you haven’t even tried it and don’t understand how difficult Dressage is.
    And secondly because it shows just how arrogant you are, the fact that you aren’t open- minded to trying new things and understanding different sports.

  41. Randy McFuckhard says:

    Ellie, Ellie, Ellie,

    Sometimes you’ve just got to listen to yourself and be okay with nobody else understanding.

  42. Dakota says:

    well you have evidently never tried to move a 1/2 ton BEAST around with just your legs I would love to see you try to do what we equestrians do you wouldn’t last 5 minutes on a horse we have built up stamina and bonds with these animals, I’m a dressage rider and my family can’t afford to buy me a horse yet or buy me the proper attire for the SPORT so any ones argument that this SPORT is only for the rich is COMPLETELY WRONG

  43. Dakota says:

    hey stupid the military STILL USES horses because they can get places that vehicles can’t

  44. Lexi says:

    People are so ignorent, get on a horse and do grand prix dressage and then tell me its not a sport.

  45. Lexi says:

    Actually its not against their will, all dressage movements are natural movements of the horse, dressage just teaches the horse and rider to enhance them in a timly and fashionable manor 🙂

  46. Lexi says:

    It does cost money to get good at football, with no team, theres no practice, with no practice you cant get good silly, its the same with riding. 🙂

  47. Kelly says:

    This site is a joke. How is Dressage any less of a sport than Tennis, basketball, skiing, etc.? A predator sits on a prey animal and asks him to turn natural gaits into trained gaits. He does this by speaking an unspoken common language, aids. The hands, seat, and leg are the natural aids in which the rider “speaks” to his PARTNER. For instance, in collected trot I’d apply slight lower and upper core with a slight thigh then apply pressure with my lower leg to send him forward over his back and into the hand where we will have a nice “talk” before I collect him with a strong amount if core. I’d then use my back to hold him in place before using my leg to send him on again. It takes years of training to achieve ONE MEDIOCRE MOMENT. What this poor excuse for a website fails to mention is that dressage is a sport where the goal is to achieve perfect harmony with a 1300-1500 lb animal that could kill you at any moment. If I put any one of you fools on my horses I bet you would be down in 30 seconds. If I made you ride the way I ride, well, you simply never could. Just as I could never become a professional soccer player in an hour. Dressage is a sport where power and strength meet grave and harmony. We are so fit that it looks as if we just sit there. And the point is for it to look easy! The goal is to make it seem as if the horse moves on his own, as he would in the wild. Because when a rider sits on his horse’s back, the horse’s natural athleticism is lost. In dressage, we try to regain that.

  48. Kelly says:

    Oh and btw..I wouldn’t have a six pack if it weren’t for riding!

  49. Alex says:

    This author is a funny guy. He sounds like someone made to sit through one to many dressage shows where a bunch of rich snobs ride their 500k prize ponies.

    I will let you in on a secret: many riders can only sit through a couple of tests before they want to kill themselves too.

  50. Grace says:

    You idiots! Don’t judge a sport when you haven’t even tried it! I used to judge all aspects of riding, golf and curling. I tried golf, and it is one of the hardest sports there is. Curling also takes plenty of skill and practice. And so does dressage.
    For the morons who don’t do their research, dressage and other English events originate from the military. These sports were once used for WAR PRACTICE.
    Sure, you need some money to do dressage, but a true dressage equestrian would be able to take a non-expensive, green horse and train it to the best of its ability. That’s what my friend did. Kat is definitely not rich. But she was able to take a free grade horse and after practicing 8 hours a day everyday, she finally succeeded. Now, she enters national and regional competitions. So you don’t need to be rich to do dressage.
    How does dressage take no effort? You need to be very strong to do dressage. I have a 4 pack just from dressage, and my biceps are huge. My arms and my legs are full of muscle. I can win any arm wrestle in my class. I can do air squats for a super long time.
    Almost everyone in my class underestimated dressage. Then, I took them for a little “field-trip” at my barn. I taught them the walk, the trot, and the posting trot. I was going to teach them the canter but after a posting trot, they were sweating and exhausted! And the posting trot is not even something big in riding. When I saw them the next day, their legs were so sore they had a hard time walking!
    For you dressage understimaters…you need to know what real horseback riding is like. NOT TRAIL RIDING, where you ride in the beach for vacation. But real riding, where you control a 1200 LB animal with just slight but tight movement from your legs and arms.

  51. Grace says:

    You idiot. DO SOME RESEARCH. It has been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN that the emotional state of a horse increases when being ridden than when resting. Horses are happier when people ride them, and that includes dressage.

  52. Grace says:

    THe only thing I can say is for you to try it. NOT trail riding, though. Try actual riding. Then you’ll see how hard it is.

  53. Sofia says:

    Wow. You are all acting like children! You were provided with an official definition of dressage written by people who are clearly a lot smarter than most of you and know what they’re talking about. There is no argument!

  54. DressageQueen says:

    After going through the entire website I can conclude that there are many well thought out (if slightly offensive) arguments. Only problem is that none of these arguments have any truth to them.

  55. Bob says:

    Have you ever really ridden a horse? Obviously not.
    Dressage (/ˈdrɛsɑːʒ/ or /drɨˈsɑːʒ/; a French term, most commonly translated to mean “training”) is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as “the highest expression of horse training”

    Have you ever had 1,500 lbs. of pure muscle pull against you as you are doing flying changes? I would assume not. If you have, you would know it takes the strength of a monster and the patients of a mother.

    If you are doing Intro A, on a very well trained horse, that is not dressage. That is called a trail ride. But dressage, now I think that is more of a sport that vollyball. You stand there and every now and then, you jump up and hit a ball over a net. But, that is still in the olympics. So ya. You are being silly.

  56. Anonymous says:

    If you don’t like dressage don’t do it don’t watch it … Simple!!

  57. Anonymous says:

    This is ridiculous… For the first, why do people waste so much time being negative and complaining?! And anyway it is a sport, because we COMPETE (in ballet we don’t compete, I thought everyone knew that) about having to best physical abilities. And if you really mean this isn’t a sport, stop with these childish arguments, and actually say something that can make people think, not *facepalm*.

  58. Dressage rider(athlete) says:

    This whole website just screams ignorance, it’s pitiful really. I’m not going to spend my time writing a lengthy comment. All I’m going to say is this is bs and don’t waste your time.

  59. some guy says:

    Human only sports (Olympics) vs Human + Animal sports (Farm). Do I need to be specific? Just because Horse Ballet was considered a sport in past, this doesn’t mean it is appropriate now. Bicycle riding replaced horses to make it a human sport.

  60. Justme says:

    I will consider dressage a sport is when you command a horse with sounds from a flute. Dressage is an insult to paralympians.

  61. Maaaa says:

    Dressage is a sport as all Riding disciplines ! I ride horses. And actually dressage is very hard some people are working on dressage many hours . You think dressage is not a sport well try it.

  62. K says:

    It’s funny, hardly any of you saying that dressage isn’t a sport have ever ridden dressage. It’s called ignorance you fools. Get some education and experience then come back when you have an actual opinion.

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