If it is all so simple.....
Why have so many books been written?
Why are there so many controversies?
Why has it only recently become available to ordinary riders?
Why do some people dismiss it totally out of hand?
The answer to this question is more complex, but basically classical dressage has always been available throughout the world but has required some searching out. The main stumbling block has been an elitist image, due probably to a world shortage of national institutions where it is demonstrated and taught. Where once the courts or the military, for the purpose of cavalry, maintained the status quo, nowadays only the truly dedicated maintain the high standards, which were once the preserve of all who taught dressage.
However, on an individual basis, there are still many who teach classical dressage quite unconsciously. These may vary from quite 'ordinary' instructors in 'ordinary' riding schools, to a handful of our top competition riders as seen - very happily - at the London Olympics. Unfortunately not all teachers and trainers are classical. There are some who are positively barbaric but often this is down to ignorance or simply a lack of feel and sensitivity for the horse. When their methods get copied and adopted as correct ones, then it is time to worry.