With the word dressage deriving from the French word ‘training’, the sport of Dressage is designed to improve a horse’s balance, suppleness, and flexibility, as well as improve the communication between horse and rider.

In competition, horses and riders perform a series of compulsory movements at the walk, trot and canter in a pre-set pattern, known as the test. They are then scored by a panel of judges, and points are awarded based on how well they have performed the movements. The standard tests for each level are produced by governing bodies in the sport and must be used in sanctioned competitions.      

Collected Thoughts: Updated Dressage Tests for 2023

Dressage tests are created by discipline experts, updated every four years and once approved for publishing, are readily available online for all levels from introductory up to the FEI level. Replacing the 2019 tests, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) published those used in United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) competitions on Dec. 1, 2022.

Equestrian Canada (EC) holds an agreement with the USDF/USEF to purchase copyrights to use the same tests in Canada. Once formatted and translated into both official languages, they are adopted for Canadian use. The tests for the Introductory Level through Fourth Level, the Developing Horse, and Freestyle were effective as of January 2023 and are now all available free of charge on the EC website.

Due to the copyrights involved, competitions that offer national-level (Introductory to Fourth Level) dressage classes are required to pay a Test User Fee.

The dressage/para-dressage handbook includes all the national level tests, is produced in printed form. Active EC sport license holders who declare their discipline as Dressage or Para dressage each receive a copy per edition. Individuals who wish to have a printed copy of the handbook can order them for $25 from the EC Store.

Interested in learning the specifics about what has changed since the 2019 tests? Find the 2023 changes outlined by EC Licenced Dressage Coach Alison Martin in this Horse Sport article.

EC is wishing all dressage and paradressage riders great success in learning and performing the revised tests in training sessions and/or competitions this year!  

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.