It looks simple. Those in the know understand that dressage, a competition where a horse and rider compete by performing an advanced sequence of movements to music, takes in-depth training. Once trained, the horse can perform the moves alone, but movement with the rider and saddle on is a bit trickier because the horse must respond to cues.
Judges assign a score to the duo in a series of tests, rating the movements from zero-to-ten. Ten is the highest score or excellent. Outstanding performances receive a nine rating, and teams who receive a six score can continue on in the competition. Riders salute up to three judges at the beginning and end of the performance. During the test, both rider and horse perform various gaits and coordinated movements around the ring.
Specialised trainers coach each rider and horse to improve performance outcomes. A rider gives the horse cues using hands, legs, and the seat. The two work in tandem, focusing on each element of the performance at a time. Competitions include various routines, such as musical performances or team performances. Riders perform creative routines with precision to receive the best scores.