Getting to high levels in dressage - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 11-09-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Getting to high levels in dressage

Hi everyone I am a 13 yo who loves dressage! I someday hope to make it to the olympics. Does anyone know at what level of dressage you must have a real dressage saddle?? I ride at a place where there is a lot of jumping so we all have close contact saddles which I have so far shown in. But when do I need a dressage saddle??

I don't compete very much yet but I practice a lot. Next summer I hope to start showing at first level dressage or even higher. Any helpful tips on getting better at doing long rein circles at walk and trot??

Thanks everybody!!

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post #2 of 8 Old 11-09-2012, 12:49 PM
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I have seen a few Training Level riders ride in a close contact seat for more of a "one time thing". If you plan on showing Dressage I would suggest to get a Dressage saddle so you are able to sit in a proper dressage position. Think about if two people were showing together, one in a Dressage saddle and one in a jumping saddle, who's more likely to get the more points for their turn out at a Dressage event? Just like if you went into the Hunter ring with a Dressage saddle... you may get looked at like you have three heads

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Last edited by Fulford15; 11-09-2012 at 12:52 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-09-2012, 02:04 PM
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At the lower levels and especially at schooling shows, I see all types of saddles including close-contact saddles. USDF says "An English style saddle is required and a dressage saddle is preferred." So you can use a close-contact saddle.

However. If you are really serious about dressage I would highly recommend getting a dressage saddle. You aren't going to get points off for your turn-out but it will present a more polished picture. Also it puts you in the right spot so that you are most effective.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-09-2012, 02:07 PM
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When you show in FEI levels you need a dressage saddle. In USDF levels you only need an "english" saddle.

If you are planning on riding FEI Children, Pony, Junior or Young Riders you will need a dressage saddle.

Good luck!

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-09-2012, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks!
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulford15 View Post
Think about if two people were showing together, one in a Dressage saddle and one in a jumping saddle, who's more likely to get the more points for their turn out at a Dressage event?
You don't get points off for not having a dressage saddle at lower levels.

I'd suggest OP read the rule's on tack and attire before showing.

See sections DR120 & DR121
http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2012/08-DR.pdf
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 07:10 AM
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Even though you don't have to have one I'd suggest looking around for a good second hand one (that fits your horse obviously) as they really do have an effect on your position. Good second hand dressage saddles aren't expensive (around $500 where I am) so you can start saving up for one and reach the target in a relatively short amount of time (even just with birthday money and stuff from odd jobs).
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks! I have been looking and saving but I don't know if I will have one before next show season. Thanks everyone!

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