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The Art and Sport of Dressage Horseback Riding



The Art and Sport of Dressage Horseback Riding
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.23

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    capriole, finesse, pendulum, philosophy, proficient, scrutinize, evaluate, competitor, finest, rectangular, determination, founding, relationship, effortless, purely, long-tailed
     content words:    Olympic Games, Italian Renaissance, Spanish Riding School, United States Dressage Federation, States Dressage Federation, Thomas Ritter, Riding School, As Winston Churchill


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The Art and Sport of Dressage Horseback Riding
By Colleen Messina
  

1     The bond between people and horses has existed for thousands of years. People have ridden their magnificent steeds in all kinds of situations. Indians rode wild horses bareback. Hearty cowboys rode sturdy mustangs across the windy plains. And riders who prefer an elegant, classical style enjoy dressage riding.
 
2     Dressage is both an art and a sport. The horse and rider must share a strong bond in order to perform pirouettes and other dazzling maneuvers in a rectangular arena. Dressage is a challenging discipline that requires a lot of hard work and training. It is a fascinating sport to watch and is enjoyed by many riders all over the world. Dressage is one of three equestrian events at the Olympic Games. The other two disciplines are jumping and eventing, and each has both individual and team competitions.
 
3     Dressage started long ago in ancient Greece. A general named Xenophon started the discipline by writing down the military maneuvers and the training system he used for his magnificent military horses. In the centuries that followed, the discipline of dressage was almost forgotten. It was revived during the Italian Renaissance in the 16th century. Classical dressage reached its peak in 1729 in Vienna with the founding of the Spanish Riding School. The techniques taught at this school formed the basis of modern dressage.
 
4     Dressage was finally accepted as an Olympic sport in 1912. At first, only men were allowed to compete in dressage. In 1952, the first women riders were allowed to be in the Olympics. Dressage became more and more popular. The United States Dressage Federation was founded in 1973. Its mission is to promote dressage and to educate others about the sport.

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