Balance, Control & Memory

The objective of riding dressage for people living with disability is to improve balance, control, mobility, general fitness, self-esteem and freedom. Riding the movements required for a dressage test and maintaining good rhythm will help fulfil these goals.

The objective for the dressage horse is to develop physique and ability harmoniously. Dressage movements help make the horse supple, loose and flexible, but also confident and attentive, thus achieving perfect understanding with the rider.

In RDA Dressage the horse and rider perform a series of predetermined actions, known as ‘figures’ or ‘movements’ such as riding a 20m diameter circle or down the centre line of the arena.

The arena is 20x40m or for the more advanced rider 20x60m. The arena has 8 or 12 lettered markers placed symmetrically indicating where movements are to start and finish and where changes of pace or lead are to occur.

In competitions the horse has to show smooth transitions between and within paces (walk, trot and canter).  In RDA there are walk tests as well as trot and canter tests for both independent and lead participants to allow for the different levels of ability of our riders.

All RDA riders are able to have a ‘çaller’ to help them remember the movements of dressage test while Vision Impaired riders can have the letters called plus a commander in the arena calling the invisible letters along the centre and quarter lines.