There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle
one is the sense of humor the other one is patience - John Lyons
Namef Dressage


There are a lot of confused people wondering just what dressage is all about and for some reason it is often explained in a way to make it sound more confusing.

The History of Dressage: Dressage is often likened to figure skating, ballet or gymnastics on horseback. The word 'dressage' comes from the French word meaning 'training'. The practice of dressage traces its origins as far back as ancient Greece, where Greek soldiers and philosophers alike used humane and systematic training practices to train their horses for battle and to improve the beauty of their horses under saddle. Later, dressage was used on the medieval battlefields of Europe and as a form of art and entertainment in the courts of Renaissance nobility. Cavalry officers in the modern military also practiced dressage as recently as the 1940's. From these traditions, we get our modern dressage competitions.

What is dressage? Dressage is the systematic development of horse and rider, resulting in a balanced, harmonious team. In its most basic stages dressage helps the horse and rider communicate with each other and develop balance, strength, flexibility and accuracy. For this reason, riders with different backgrounds and competitive goals - jumping, eventing and barrel racing - often use dressage as a way of creating a pleasant, athletic mount and improving the horse's performance. At its highest levels, dressage improves the horse's ability to use his body, producing a horse that is light and balanced and seems to float effortlessly through the arena. The communication between horse and rider becomes so subtle that the horse seems to be performing on its own without any input from the rider. As horse and rider become more proficient in dressage, they begin to perform the more spectacular movements, such as the collected and extended gaits, lateral movements (where the horse travels sideways and diagonally) and collected work such as the pirouettes, passages and piaffe (where the horse trots in place).

Object of Dressage : The object of Dressage is the development of the Horse into a happy Athlete through harmonious education. As a result, it makes the Horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the Athlete. Dressage is a sport of beauty and is only possible when there is a true partnership with the horse and rider.

Our Mission: The mission of NAMEF is to introduce athletes to the equestrian discipline of dressage and to foster continued development, understanding and appreciation in the art of dressage through organized competitions and educational opportunities. NAMEF's main functions are to promote the sport of dressage and to establish and enforce our rules and regulations. NAMEF is affiliated with the FEI and adheres closely to the FEI rules. NAMEF is funded by member dues, contributions and sponsorships.

NAMEF Code of Conduct: Namef members, including riders, coaches, officials, and volunteers must conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner, and are responsible for their actions in competitions, going to and from competitions, and while at areas hosting competitions. Members are responsible for adherence to NAMEF competition rules and regulations. In all equestrian sports the well being of the horse shall be above the demands of trainers, riders, owners, organizers, sponsors or officials. In the interests of the horse, the fitness and competence of the rider is essential. All riding and training methods must demonstrate respect for the horse as a living entity and may not include any techniques considered to be abusive or overtaxing of the horse’s ability or fitness. We are all very proud of our sport, its traditions and its values. We owe it to ourselves and the horses entrusted to us to ensure that equestrianism flourishes in a doping-free environment.

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