In this day and age … rules have been established which permit riders desirous of studying equitation in depth, to be judged in competition. Some of these riders, but it is rare, attain the level of true Art, while others, much more numerous, perform the series of exercises mechanically, while chasing after medals. The true rider feels for, and above all loves, his horse. He has worked progressively, remembering to help the horse to have stronger muscles, and to fortify its body, while at the same time developing the horse’s brain and making it more sensitive.
…The apex of perfection in equestrian art is not an exhibition of a great deal of different airs and movements by the same horse, but rather the conservation of the horse’s enjoyment, suppleness and finesse during the performance, which calls for comparison with the finest ballet, or performance of an orchestra, or seeing a play by Racine, so moving is the sight of perfectly unisoned movements.
Nuno Oliveira, Reflections on Equestrian Art