Dressage is a sport of skill and athleticism for both the horse and rider. It combines a series of prescribed moves by the horse that are part of subtle leg cues given by the rider. These minute changes are barely visible.
At the elite international level the freestyle competition is one of the most fun to watch as a spectator because they're set to music and the team has a greater latitude in putting together their program.
It takes many years of training to reach this level of skill, making a ride look this effortless, but you can tell the horse is a willing partner. The ride of Andreas Helgstrand on Blu Hors Matine, a nine year old Danish bred mare in 2006 is still one of the best rides ever recorded on video.