About Dressage

Janet Walker & Weltspeigel

Dressage is French Term meaning “training” and its purpose is to develop the horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to work making him calm, supple and attentive to his rider.


If you are a history buff, you might be interested in reading more about the beginnings of dressage that date back to Xenophon in Greece and include a long line of riding masters, both from the military and the famous riding schools which developed during the Baroque era.

Currently, competitive dressage involves nine progressive levels incorporating multiple tests within each level. Special tests are also written for musical freestyle, sport horse breeding and performances incorporating multiple horses and riders. Tests are revised every four years by the United States Dressage Federation, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

Competition occurs in a regulation size arena with specific apparel and equipment all regulated by USEF. Judges are licensed by the USEF and the FEI and are assisted by scribes who write down the judge’s scores and comments about each section of the test.

INDA History

INDA was formed by a group of women in the late 1980's. These women wanted to bring dressage to Spokane. They held a recognized show and had a prestigious dressage trainer hold a clinic in Spokane. The first dressage show held in Spokane was in a dusty, rock laden, weed filled roping arena.

INDA has come a long way. The members hold Dressage schooling shows at regional riding facilities and sponsor local, national and international riding instructors at clinics. Educational programs in horse health, rider fitness and other horse related topics are scheduled throughout the year. The INDA membership remains committed to promoting knowledge and understanding of dressage in the Inland Northwest.

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