The dressage test movements come up on you so fast, don’t they?
Each section of the test is generally made up of a number of movements.
It is absolutely vital that you prepare your horse in sufficient time to be able to allow him to carry out the movement and whilst you are still in one movement prepare for the next.
Sit down with a piece of paper and plan your test in your head, working through what it is you need to be doing at each marker, coming up to the marker etc.,
So for … Enter at A, C turn right, B – 20m Circle right
- After the entry and whilst ensuring that your horse is still straight all the way up the centre line, prepare by thinking about your right turn at X.
- Once you are past X (at G) half halt, go for the bend and ride the corner
- As you come into the corner, think about straightening and ensure the horse is straight by M.
- At M, think about your circle, as you approach B, half halt, go for the bend and commence your circle.
- You need to really use the markers to think about
In the example above as you come to the last quarter of the circle your focus should swap to the next movement.
If you sit down and write this out, or sit with an arena plan and visualise it, when you come to do the test it will help.
- Re-educate yourself to think ahead.
- Break the test down into bite size chunks as above.
- Every time you ride a circle, prepare for your next move in the last quarter.
- Every time you ride a corner, think about your next move as you go into it.
- Ingrain this into your psyche
Teaching yourself to prepare and then allow the horse to follow through whilst you prepare for the next movement is a difficult but essential part of your training and one that is not often addressed by coaches.
As always, have fun!
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster