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Cal Poly Dressage Team



The word "Dressage" comes from a French word meaning training. Horse and rider work together to perform intricate movements that test the horse's obedience and agility. It is sometimes called ballet on horseback, because the movements are supposed to flow, and the audience is not supposed to see the rider doing any work. Dressage is the art of riding with control and balance to produce harmony between horse and rider.

The dressage team started 4 years ago when a group of girls got together at a barn off campus and decided that Cal Poly needed a team. It was their hard work that got the team to where it is today. Last year, the team was recognized by Cal Poly and is now able to be called the Cal Poly Dressage Team.

For the past three years Cal Poly has sent a team to the IDA (Intercollegiate Dressage Association) National Competition and done very well. Each team consists of 4 riders, one from each level: introductory, lower training, upper training, and first level. Each rider receives a score from the judge. The lowest of these scores is dropped, and the remaining 3 are averaged to form the team's score. Each rider also gets awarded in individual placing for the specific level she rides in. Team points count towards qualifying for nationals, and individual points count towards individuals going to nationals. At the national competition there are two days of competition, one for team competition and one day for individual competition where the top 2 individuals from each region in each level compete against each other.

There are about 15 active members on the team. Anyone can join the Dressage Team. You just need a little proper training. Anyone who puts in enough effort can find someone to give them lessons and gain experience. There are also trainers in the area that provide lessons. Most of the girls on the team have their own horses, but not all of them. It is possible to be on the team and not have a horse of your own; you can lease from other girls on the team, or just take lessons. If someone is interested in joining the team, he or she should email the president of the team, Sarah at or Elinor at The team is always looking for more people to join. Meetings will begin the fall, and they are usually in the Agriculture Building 10.

Dressage Team Website


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*Picture provided by Dressage Team website