Critique dressage practice test please! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-09-2011, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Critique dressage practice test please!

I am taking my horse to our first schooling show in about 10 days. We are doing Intro A only...maybe B. Would love any and all feedback on me, the horse, etc. - and we still have time to practice. We are new to dressage....the voice in the background is my trainer's. Sorry it's a bit blurry - not sure why that is happening and I know some of the corners are cut off so I disappear every now and then! Video below :)

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post #2 of 4 Old 03-09-2011, 11:02 PM
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- Nice straight entry, quarters looked a little to the left but I think it's the angle of the camera.

- Your trainer picked what I would say but said it a little differently. You need to try and sit up nice and tall, engage your core muscles (deep internal muscles as opposed to your abs - stomach muscles, and allow your elbows to soften, bend and hang by your sides.

- Again as your coach said, I'm assuming your first circle was meant to be a 20m circle. Before your test, study up on how arenas are layed out in both a 20x40 and a 20x60m so you're prepared for whatever size arena you're going to be competing in. In a 20x60m arena, there are 12m between each marker on the long side, excluding the first markers coming out of the corners, which are 6m from the corner. The centre markers on the short sides are both 10m from the corners.
Learn this and also learn it for a 40x20m arena, unfortunately there is a bit of maths involved with dressage!!

- Nice rhythm

- Again, bending your elbows, relax your shoulders and upper body. Try to keep your hands still. They should be totally quiet and still in trot. At the moment you are rising your hands with your body, which means your horse gets bumped in the mouth at each stride.

- In your trot to walk transition, keep yourself upright, use your core muscles to stop his front end and leave your leg on him to encourage the hind legs to travel a little further under his body in the transition. You're allowing him to tip your forward in the downward, which immediately puts a horse on the forehand.

- In your free walk I'd like to see him stretch down a little more. In free walk, a horse's head should be below the height of his wither. Your horse is ALMOST there, so try widening your hands just a little and push him a little more with the leg to give him more incentive to stretch.

- Your last centre line was a bit wonky. When I ride centrelines, I always try to ride them a little more forward than what I usually ride bending shapes. Having a little more forward helps to keep the horse straight rather than swinging the quarters. Also try to keep your body dead in line with 'C', so hips and shoulders nice and square so that no part of your body in encouraging him to swing his quarters.

Overall, a nice calm, relaxed test with good rhythm. I'd like to see him travelling a little more forward as at the moment it's a little boring. You want to show off his paces to the judges while keeping him calm, so try riding him more forward. Make sure you work on keeping yourself upright, relaxing your shoulders, dropping your elbows and carrying your hands.

Good luck at your show!!!
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-10-2011, 04:00 AM
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Sounds just like a judge!

All I could think of to say for this video is to get a freer free walk. For beginners, free walk is really important and it has a coefficiet of 2 so gets double points!
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-10-2011, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Kayty and Tiny! All great suggestions....yes he does tend to "pull me down" and forward a bit in downward transitions. I too found the video boring so we'll try to perk it up a little at the actual show next week. FWIW he is an older Appy and can be this is all very good for him and so far he is very agreeable. We absolutely need to work on better bend....but I have to do it without drilling it over and over - he can get sour if we do the same things over and over - especially circling. Thanks for the GREAT advice!!
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