There are several small tricks that many people tend to miss in dressage. These can ultimately improve your dressage test and score.
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.
- Entrance- Have a smooth entrance aimed to the center line sporting a confident canter. Concentrate on staying straight, and the quality of your pace.
- Transition to halt- Make sure you are straight and your horse is responding to your seat and hand aid to create a smooth transition.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
15 horses being cheeky
Making a break for it!
Having a laugh.
Trying to blend in.
Making things clear.
Playing hide and seek.
Stealing a kiss.
Sneaking a peek.
Helping out with the work.
Being proud as punch.
A little bit shy.
A friendly bop on the head.
A cheesy grin.
Pulling out of the scary stuff.
Just checking in.
Figuring out the system.
10 Genius Horse Hacks
1. Use emery board to remove minor stains from suede.
Dirtying anything suede can be a disaster. It’s almost impossible to get a stain out. Picking up an emery board and giving you suede a light rub can help roughen up the fibres and remove the stain.
2. Use vet wrap to stop blankets slipping.
Prevent blankets from rolling right off their racks. Wrap vet wrap over the rack to give them a bit of extra grip.
3. Use a dustpan to fill water buckets.
Can’t fit your bucket into the sink? Use a hollow-handled dustpan to funnel water out of the sink and into the bucket.
4. Use tall socks as a tail bag.
Cut off the ends of an old pair of knee-high socks and use them as a makeshift tail bag.
5. Use pool noodles to keep your boots in shape.
Want to keep your riding boots in line? Cut some pool noodles to size and slip them in.
6. Make a DIY bridle rack.
Nail some empty tuna cans to a plank of wood for an extremely simple DIY bridle rack.
To take it up a step and go for a classier look, use old horse shoes screwed into the board.
7. Use coloured zip ties to identify your equipment.
If you’re at a show and you don’t want any of your stuff to go missing, attached coloured zip ties to your things so you can quickly identify them.
8. Use a pool skimmer to remove mess from your horses’ drinking water.
It’s the simplest way to clean up the drinking water. If a pool skimmer is too big, consider using a pet fish net.
9. Line your buckets with garbage bags to prevent spillage.
Instead of pouring water directly into a bucket, line the bucket with a garbage bag. You can then tie the bag close and use a wheelbarrow to transport it without any spills.
10. Bandage your own leg.
Forgot your chaps? No problem, just bandage up your own leg to avoid pinches.
BONUS – Use an old halter to suspend a pot plant.
A great little idea that will make you backyard a little more interesting & unique.
READ MORE: 16 OTHER equestrian tips & tricks