Watch These Horses Jaunce

The verb ‘jaunce’ means to prance, or to cause a horse to prance. Many riders will be familiar with the idea of a horse prancing as it is a common gait and practice for riders participating in dressage. Dressage is an equestrian event that emphasizes the horse’s smoothness of movement and the rider’s ability to give the horse imperceptible cues for where to move and how fast to get there.

The verb jaunce has no known etymology, but first came into use in 1593. Horses have been a major part of human existence, allowing us to travel longer distances and, eventually, till fields for agricultural purposes. In modern times horses have been used for sport by equestrians seeking the connection between humans and horses.

Dressage is an equestrian event that is designed for the most highly trained horses and riders. During a dressage event a horse and rider have to perform a series of movements by memory. Sometimes a dressage routine could be performed to music, giving the audience a greater appreciation for the movement of horse and rider. Horses may be required to trot in place, switch the foot they are leading with, and jaunce around an arena using important leg movements from their rider as direction.

In the following video you can see a horse and its rider moving about an arena to the tune of a familiar song. Watch the horse- can you see it jaunce?

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