Dressage Tips At-A-Glance
Thirteen pointers to improve your dressage test.
- Develop a correct, classical seat and aids—longe lessons are great for this.
- Take a lesson with a judge (even if it’s not your regular instructor) to practice tests and glean some show pointers.
- School in a regulation-size dressage arena so you know where the letters are and how to make accurate figures.
- Don’t overschool the tests. Break each test down into sections and individual movements.
- Focus on being precise in your practice.
- Show at an appropriate level—don’t attempt more than you and your horse are capable of.
- Memorize your test. If working with a reader, practice together so you’ll be in sync.
- The walk is responsible for many points, so don’t neglect it. School it properly at home and stay focused during tests.
- Hone your skills at schooling shows before heading to recognized competitions.
- Pay special attention to the co-efficient movements.
- Understand each test’s purpose and requirements so that you can demonstrate these to the judge.
- For the bigger picture, focus on the collective marks scoring the horse’s gaits, submission and impulsion, and the correctness and effectiveness of your riding.
- And although it’s not a beauty contest, a nice turnout makes a good impression. Looking your best also boosts your confidence to ride your best.
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