The Intercollegiate Dressage Association, IDA began in 1995 as an informal competition among a small group of colleges and secondary schools in the northeast. Michelle Hoffman, who was a student at Mt. Holyoke during this time was the originator of the IDA concept. She personally drew up the basic structure for the team competition and the guidelines for calculation of team points, which, for the most part, are still in use today.
Johnson and Wales University, Mt Holyoke College, Ethel Walker School, Williston Academy, Stoneleigh Burnham School and Savannah School of Art and Design were all among the first school-sponsored programs seeking to develop dressage as a “team” sport. The rapid international growth of dressage inspired greater development within college and secondary school riding programs. This led to an increase in participation and interest in a more formally constructed national organization.
In the spring of 2001, the first eastern region finals were held at Virginia Intermont College. During the finals, representatives from numerous colleges and secondary schools met to approve by-laws, elect officers and create the structure for the organization that is dedicated to increasing interest and participation in competitive dressage at the college and secondary school level.
The organization began with a handful of college members and quickly grew to include riders from all over the US and Canada. In 2003, the IDA became a college only organization.