Dressage is a french word which is interpreted as ‘training’. It is considered widely as the most artistic and elegant of equestrian sports. This sport requires a rider and horse to be in perfect harmony together whilst performing. Dressage riders and horses perform ‘tests’ that consist of a course of movements and are judged on a scale of one to ten on these.
Dressage is seen to be the foundation for mostly all equestrian disciplines. Due to the precision required in the movements, the rider and horse need to be balanced and aware down to the most subtle aids.
There are ten different levels of dressage. These range from very basic skills up the highest levels which require literal perfection and years of training to master. Each level until the sixth has three tests of which the rider can choose.
For the first four levels of dressage there is only one judge for tests. Judges score movements on a scale of one up to ten. Competitors and their horses are scored on collective marks and the score for each movement is added together to come up with a final number of points. After this the number of points is divided by the highest number of points achievable and multiplied by ten to create a final percentage score.
Dressage riders are required to wear formal clothing in tests. The dress code for all tests up to the fourth level is a short riding coat of conservative colour with a tie, choker, stock tie or integrated stand-up collar, light coloured breeches, boots, and protective headgear. There are more specific rules relating to certain levels.
Generally expensive breeds of warmbloods are used for dressage. Warmbloods are extremely talented horses with nearly all breeds having foundations in European countries. Whist these horses are beautiful and athletic you do not have to have a warmblood horse if you wish to compete in dressage.
5 Inspiring Design Trends for Australian Homes
Small is convenient and stylish
Minimalism is a trend that has taken over home architecture recently. This trend is driven by the current high prices of land pricing and the environmental cost of large homes. Also, the idea of living more simply without compromising quality of life is promoted by minimalism. In accord with this fad architects are needing to factor in the use of space and ease of living when designing homes.
Welcome back nature
The idea of bringing the garden inside the house has come to life in the last few years in forms of rooftop gardens, fern walls and interior design features that celebrate nature. Indoor garden elements bring in a less structured approach to design with a fresh and natural atmosphere.
The trend has been encouraged by largescale projects such as 2009 New York High Line elevated park and the latest Seoul Sky Garden project in South Korea.
Above ground pools
Above ground pools have become common recently in city houses, often around the same size or slightly larger than an inflatable pool. These pools are more design orientated than practical, with the purpose to provide a view of water from the kitchen or living area. They tend to vary in size, with some being big enough to swim laps in while others being only waist-deep in water.
For a long time now kitchens have been designed to be an open space in the centre of the home, with easy access from any room in the house plan. This is changing as more people are taking on the idea of a hidden kitchen called a ‘prep kitchen’. These small tucked away spaces allow for food preparation, necessary appliances and the mess of cleaning up to be hidden from sight. This idea allows for the ‘on display’ kitchen to follow a minimal design and be more of a social area in the house for when having guests.
Energy efficient homes
The ideas of energy efficiency and ecological design have found their way into modern architecture building and design. These homes do not only have a lighter ecological footprint, but they are trendy and in fashion at the moment.