We've been practicing at our barn's ring. Our biggest problem is he can be a bit stiff to bend (he is an old H/J lesson horse and wonderful on trails too). Dressage is a bit out of his normal realm but he goes through the Intro A test with no trouble. My question is about the walk.
What are the judges looking for? I try to swing my hips/move with his movement at the walk. He loves the free walk - has a naturally low headseat and loves to stretch down.
I am probably being a bit over the top but I really want to do WELL and place well. It's our first show and I know he/we can do it.
Also, I have an old dressage saddle - it's a Wintec Pro synthetic and have to tell you he and I both dislike it. We've been riding in a close contact Stubben for the last 2 years. I guess it is absolutely imperative we use a dressage saddle? If so I'll break it out again. It should still fit him. I think he moves way better in the CC but I guess it would stand out like a sore thumb at a dressage show and it's brown, and he's a white/grey spotted Appy, LOL.
Also, must I wear gloves? I plan on wearing tan breeches, black boots/half chaps (I don't have tall boots but teacher said paddocks and half chaps are fine for schooling shows). I watched a similar show recently and the riders were casual - some just had black shirts or jackets on (it was cold) - all had tan breeches and ALL wore gloves.
Any advice for a first timer?? Thanks!!