The first round of a Puissance has six or seven large fences. All fences count in the first couple of rounds. Each round a fence is removed and the rest made higher and wider until there is a smaller first fence, which I believe now still counts if it is knocked down, the triple bar and the wall.
Some riders have a horse that 'specialises' in Puissance but no order does just those classes. You often find that after such a class the rider will take the horse in a speed class where the fences are lower, so it is not worried about the stress of large heights.
As for dressage, agreed that show jumpers are well schooled, but in a different way to pure dressage horses. Most are ridden frequently in draw reins, they can lengthen and shorten a stride easily from the rider's seat and the rider can put any of his horse's feet on a dime!
Going into a big wall the horse is kept on a shorter stride until three or four strides away from the fence whereby most riders allow them to move faster and longer, though not stretched out.
Not a class I particularly like!
That sounds so awesome. Where does one even go to do Puissance? I've been riding in Los Angeles since January and I havn't been to one Puissance class.
I've been to shows at flintridge, burbank, and thermal, and not one.