1  Early Equestrian Entertainments in England

The roots of equestrian drama in the United States are firmly planted in England, where equestrian drama developed gradually from earlier forms of entertainment involving horses. The earliest documented instance of a horse performing for the entertainment of an audience (in something other than an athletic contest) comes from the late sixteenth century in England, with the public displays of equine sagacity by a “learned horse.” Learned horses perform acts of seeming intelligence and intuition. Another early type of performing horse is found in the “equestrian ballet,” which is a type of choreographed equestrian entertainment featuring cavalry maneuvers performed for entertainment rather than defense ...

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