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Ways To Easily Improve Your Dressage Test

There are several small tricks that many people tend to miss in dressage. These can ultimately improve your dressage test and score.

Brett Parbery


First Halt 

a fabulous halt by Kate Farrel

In the sport of dressage a good first impression is imperative and can be the difference between being forced to fight for points from the start or being a benchmark to begin your test. You should break the halt into components to ensure a flawless performance.

  1. Entrance- Have a smooth entrance aimed to the center line sporting a confident canter. Concentrate on staying straight, and the quality of your pace.
  2. Transition to halt- Make sure you are straight and your horse is responding to your seat and hand aid to create a smooth transition.
  3. The halt- Make sure during your training sessions you have someone watching you practicing the halt. Try not to look over the side as this will result in an unsettled horse and increases the possibility of the horse moving. Make immobility your goal, keep your seat balanced and your eyes through the horses ears.
  4. Exit- Make sure you leave the halt precisely. Keep it simple with a graceful salute and a nod to acknowledge the judges. This transition requires a lot of practice.



Transitions are highlighted by judges as important and is where a lot of riders will loose the majority of their points. Practice all of your transitions in and out of movements ans gaits. This is a very simple way to improve your score.



Lorenso and Brett Parbery - Photo credit Roger Fitzhardinge

Execute each movement with precision and aim, focusing on the letter you are aiming for and strive to maintain straightness and accuracy. When doing a diagonal line with a change at the end, remember it is not supposed to be executed on the wall but on the diagonal itself.



A corner is a good opportunity to correct yourself so make sure you are utilizing every corner to gauge your performance. Take advantage of the corner by doing a half halt, to let yourself bring everything together to come out of the corner confident and well prepared to start the next movement.



Arena Marker-7977

It is very important to visualize the arena you will be riding in for the competition. By doing this you will feel more at ease on the day of the test and you will be able to focus on your performance better.






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