First Dressage show!
   

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First Dressage show!

This is a discussion on First Dressage show! within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Tips for first dressage show
  • What year was the first derrsauge horse show

 
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    09-29-2009, 09:44 AM
  #1
Foal
First Dressage show!

Well I'm going to my first offical schooling dressage show on October 18th! The only thing is that my trainer will be gone to MD, I know quite a few people going but I'm still nervous. I have shown in open pleasure classes and done very well with my horse. Any tips or pointers for a first dressage show?
Thanks
Ally
     
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    09-29-2009, 07:12 PM
  #2
Yearling
Not really, considering I havnt done much dressage at all, but know the times of your test, arive early to give you plently of time to get ready and make sure have a good warm up
     
    09-29-2009, 07:13 PM
  #3
Weanling
Tip #1: Walk and trot your horse around the outside of the dressage ring when they let you in. Some horses are afraid of the judge's booth - try to let him/her see it out of both eyes.

Tip #2: You have 45 seconds to start trotting down the centerline after they blow the whistle. This is actually a lot of time, so don't rush to get back to the entrance at A - you could screw up your entire test if you rush your horse.

Tip #3: After your final salute, walk straight towards the judges booth, pause by it, smile, and say "thank you" before exiting the arena. If you're pleasant, the judges are likely to score you better.

Hope this helps. Good luck, I hope you have fun!
     
    09-29-2009, 07:27 PM
  #4
Trained
Leave yourself plenty of time to get there so your horse can settle and you can take it all in and settle down yourself. Go grab a drink, a bite to eat and look over your tests.

If I'm taking a new horse out to a comp for the first time, I like to leave an hour to warm up. I'll lunge lightly first, moving up and down the grounds (if it's early in the morning), then hop on and just walk around for a while on a long rein to take everything in. Then start your warmup.

At home, figure out a good warmup for the comp, so when you get on and start warming up on the day, you know what you're going to work on first.
Some horses need to be warmed up in canter for a while pony club style, others will need to be walked out for a while, asking them to come off the leg, leg yield etc. Work out what your horse needs to work on and find his/her weak points, and warm up accordingly.

Get someone to stand out with you and tell you what looks good, and what you need to fix, even if it's not your coach, it's always good to have eyes on the ground!!

Make sure your up/downward transitions are lovely and crisp, as this will make a great impression on the judge, plus many of the transitions in tests are worth double points, so you want to get them spot on!!

When it is your turn to enter the arena, trot down to the judge, tell them your name and your horses name, make sure they get a look at your bridle number. Have chat to them, get on friendly terms. I like to give the judges a big smile, ask how their day's going and crack a few 'funnies'. If you start off with a positive manner, and get the judges on side, they'll be thinking positively when you enter the arena to star your test, as opposed to the rider who snobs them off!!

STRAIGHT CENTRE LINE!!! I can't push enough how important this is. If you ride down the centre line with determination, dead straight and marching actively forward, the judges will look at you and think you are confident and really know what you're doing. If you back right off down the centre line, make it wobbly and don't establish a nice sharp halt, the judges assume the rest of your test will be the same.

Accuracy is VERY important too. If your horse doesn't have fantastic paces and isn't totally through and working, you will pick up alot of extra marks by riding dead accurate. So many people starting out panic if their horse isn't working as well as they hoped, and focus so much on pulling the horse's head down that they make their cricles look like eggs lol! Just keep your horse forward, accurate and the rest will come.

Don't ride your tests over and over at hom. Your horse will anticipate the movements and not be on your aids at the comp, because he'll think he knows everything!!

If you make a mistake, or stuff up a movement, don't dwell on it. You'll be thinking too much about the past and what you could have done better, when you should be concentrating on the next movement and making it perfect to make up for those lost marks in the last movement.

When you finish the test, even if it was absolutely terrible and you felt like you got 4's for everything, give the judges a big smile and a sharp salute. Don't go out looking angry and upset, and like you want to jump off and belt your horse over the head the second you get out of the arena!!!

Most importantly, best of luck and get plenty of photos!!! Also try to get someone to video your tests for you, then when you get home you can look over them at the same time as looking at your test sheets, and see where the judges awarded you points, and where they took them off so you know what you need to work on most ;)
     
    09-29-2009, 07:31 PM
  #5
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clementine    
Tip #3: After your final salute, walk straight towards the judges booth, pause by it, smile, and say "thank you" before exiting the arena. If you're pleasant, the judges are likely to score you better.

Hope this helps. Good luck, I hope you have fun!

DO NOT talk to the judge. Certainly acknowledge them with a smile and a nod but nothing more.

Your best tip is to know the test but ride the horse...not the test. It is not about doing a circle here or a line there but in the riding of an ACCURATE test with the horse being the paramount focus.
     
    09-29-2009, 08:43 PM
  #6
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
When it is your turn to enter the arena, trot down to the judge, tell them your name and your horses name, make sure they get a look at your bridle number. Have chat to them, get on friendly terms. I like to give the judges a big smile, ask how their day's going and crack a few 'funnies'. If you start off with a positive manner, and get the judges on side, they'll be thinking positively when you enter the arena to star your test, as opposed to the rider who snobs them off!!
Yeah, don't do this. Judges technically aren't allowed to discuss anything with competitors or have any info about horse/rider.
When doing your "once around" make sure you have asked the ring steward or whipper in whether you should do it inside or outside of the actual dressage fence. Come to a walk before you reach the judges booth, especially if your once around is outside the fence and you have to go in front of the booth. It's a pet peeve of mine to have riders go whizzing by. At this point a polite "good morning" or "good afternoon" is good, and make sure you go by the judge with your number facing them (or just have a number on both sides, bridle tags are like $15 at the tack shop) and don't trot off immediately, so then if they missed your number, they can ask what it is.
It is important to smile and have a pleasant, but respectful demeanor. After your test, walk out on a loose rein, and walk up to the judge and say thank you at the end. At this point, if they feel the need to talk to you they will.

As far as in the actual test, relax, ride accurately and don't sweat what you've done poorly. The score on your next movement is not related to the one you've just done. It is possible to get a 0 on movement 6 and a 10 on movement 7. And don't get mad at your horse, that is a great way to make a bad impression. One misplaced kick or smack can land you with around 10 points off your test!
Check your time around 2-3 hours before your test in case it has changed. About 15 minutes before you mount up for your warm up, send someone to ask the ring steward or whipper in if they are running early, on time or late too. And it is also a good idea to get your test videoed to compare with the judge's scoresheet.

And the last thing to remember is that we show for... fun! So have some!
Good luck!
     
    09-29-2009, 09:17 PM
  #7
Trained
Haha guess Aussie's are far too casual :P We tend to know the judges personally as well as it's a pretty close knit bunch where I am, so generally most competitors will 'Say G'Day' to the judges and ask how they're days going etc. The snobs who don't say anything generally go in on a bad foot because the judges feel like they're getting snobbed off!!! Go South Aussie dressage :P
     
    09-29-2009, 09:45 PM
  #8
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Haha guess Aussie's are far too casual :P We tend to know the judges personally as well as it's a pretty close knit bunch where I am, so generally most competitors will 'Say G'Day' to the judges and ask how they're days going etc. The snobs who don't say anything generally go in on a bad foot because the judges feel like they're getting snobbed off!!! Go South Aussie dressage :P

In N.A. There must be impartiality and the APPEARANCE of impartiality.
     
    09-29-2009, 09:56 PM
  #9
Trained
I neglected to practice the final halt down the centerline. Who woulda thunk that a horse would be nervous about be trotting straight toward a booth of judges?? My goofy horse danced around for 30 seconds before he finally stood still at the end. Definitely have some people stand at the end of your ring and practice the final centerline halt. Wish I had known about that one.

I second what other said about trotting him around the ring on both eyes during your warmup. Let him see everything the let him know he's okay.

If he's an OTTB, know that your starting signal might very well be a bell. Mine thought it was the starting gate the first time he heard it. He got over it after about the 3 time in rang.

Above all, have fun!!
     
    10-01-2009, 10:14 AM
  #10
Foal
Thank you all for the tips!!
     

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