Dressage is a type of riding which many people consider an art. In the horse world it is referred to as “horse ballet”. The rider must direct the horse flawlessly to preform a series of predetermined movements. A standard dressage arena is 20 meters by 60 meters. The sides of the arena are split up by letters, the first letter, K or F, is 6 meters from the entrance. The following letters are all 12 meters apart until the last letter which, like the first letter, is 6 meters from the end of the arena. The lines of the arena (quarter lines and center line) are each 5 meters apart. It is super important that the rider remembers this because many of the actions preformed require a deep understanding of the dimensions of the ring. 
Geometry plays a major role in mastering dressage. When entering a dressage ring the rider must direct the horse to the centerline. How the centerline is ridden is extremely important because it is the judge’s first impression of you. The first thing a rider must do is go past marker A while also remaining completely straight. If the rider and horse are not straight they lose points.
Next, the rider will complete circles. To complete a perfect 20-meter circle the horse must always be equidistant from the center of the circle. A horses average length is 2 meters which plays a major role in determining when to turn .
The steps to preforming a perfect circle:
- Leave the outside line at E aiming for the center line 2 meters before I
- As the horse approaches I the rider should already be focusing on B
- The rider should just hit B and begin to immediately look towards L, similarly to I, the rider aims for the center line 2 meters before L
- The rider then returns to E making sure to focus on the roundness of each quarter segment
The rider understanding the geometry of the arena and the spacing of the letters is paramount. If they don’t, the circle usually ends up being an oval and a lot of points are deducted.
The next step in a dressage competition is half-circles and turns. These are tricky because they require the horse to turn on the centerline. 
Steps to preform a perfect half circle and turn
- Turn left at E and go to X
- At X make a sharp left and ride straight towards G
The rider must remember that the arena is 20 meters wide so the turn from E to X should be done 4 meters before E staying straight for 2 meters followed by the turn at X.
Dressage is all about knowing how far you are from each letter. Most dressage riders walk the ring before the competition, learning where each turn should be preformed, remembering how many meters are in between each letter.
: Dressage Academy. “The Dressage Arena.” The Dressage Arena. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2016.
: Heath, Marilyn. “The Art of Riding in a Dressage Arena.” The Judges Box(2013): n. pag. Print.