Driven dressage is an elegant and precise equestrian discipline that focuses on the harmonious partnership between drivers, and their horses or ponies harnessed to a carriage. The goal is to achieve a seamless and graceful presentation that reflects the unity between the driver, the carriage, and the horses. Driven dressage requires a deep understanding of dressage principles, skilled horsemanship, carriage handling, and an appreciation for the artistry and tradition of carriage driving.
The object of the dressage test is to display the basic training, freedom, regularity of pace, harmony, impulsion, suppleness, lightness, ease of movement and correct bending of horses and ponies on the move.
During a driven dressage test, drivers guide their carriage through prescribed movements and patterns within a designated arena (usually 100m x 40m). These movements include variations of gaits, transitions, circles, diagonals, and other intricate figures that demonstrate the horses’ responsiveness to the driver’s commands. The driver’s ability to maintain precise control and communication with the equine(s) while executing these movements is a central aspect of driven dressage.
The competition may be conducted as part of a CDE or as a stand-alone competition.
Driven dressage seamlessly blends the foundations of traditional horse training with the art of guiding a horse-drawn carriage. This fusion creates a visually striking and unique spectacle.
Precision and Finesse
The discipline highlights the high precision and finesse required by the driver and the equine.
Harmony and Unity
Driven dressage emphasises the unity between the driver and the horse(s). The smooth coordination is a testament to the partnership and training that has gone into perfecting the performance.
Diverse Skill Set
Competing in driven dressage requires a diverse skill set, including horsemanship, the handling of the carriage, and a deep understanding of dressage principles. This makes it a well-rounded and challenging discipline.
The highest expression of horse training
Driven Dressage events through to the end of 2023 include:
NSW Dressage Championships in Mullengandra, NSW
Australian Dressage Championships in South Australia
See the Events Page for other events
The NSW Branch of the Australian Carriage Driving Society has 17 clubs located throughout NSW.
Once you become a member of an ACDS affiliated club, you may participate in the activities of any other affiliated club.