I am not familiar with the eventing tests - is it basic working gaits, lengthen the trot etc.?
If so, just riding forward and balanced, making sure your horse is super responsive to your aids and will wait with your back, and ensuring that he is not dropping his shoulder or swinging his haunches on a circle.
It just dawned on me that I should ask you another question. What should I be working on to do beginner novice eventing for the dressage portion? It seems simple, and I gather that I should be working on transitions, keeping the gaits the same pace, making sure to bend through corners, and being as seamless as possible. Is there anything else I should try? No dressage instructors in my area...my coach is h/j but knows a bit about dressage.
You've got a good grasp of the concepts by the sounds!
Inside rein needs to have a very light contact, and should only be used for asking for flexion.
Outside leg controls the direction of the hind legs, so should be placed behind the girth to ensure that the hind legs track straight.
Thanks for your reply! I have an instructor but she's more hunter/jumper than dressage. We practice shoulder ins and outs a lot in lessons, sometimes do circles, that stuff, but Casper doesn't even know what a should in is! Okay, so let's make sure I'm right about this:
On a 20 meter circle, ask him to leg-yield to the outside and with my inside leg, "push" him into my outside rein for just a few good steps until he starts to build strength and understand the concept. What should my inside rein be doing? And my outside leg would, on a horse who understood lateral work, act as a regulator right? If he started moving too much to the sideways, the outside leg would keep him in between my legs type of thing?
I'e only really read about dressage and have about 0 experience with it.
The first place to start is teaching him leg yield on a 20m circle, then to a straight line and finally turn on the forehand.
These will all teach him to move sideways off the leg into an outside rein, which is the start of beginning lateral movements.
If he's cutting corners, it means that he is not staying upright/balanced and is more than likely dropping his inside shoulder through those turns.
Leg yield will help to keep him upright, when you ride turns think of giving a slight leg yield feeling to pick the shoulders up and keep them straight.
When you start the leg yield work, only ask for a couple of strides at a time, then ride forward and straight again. The key is quality, not quantity. It's much better to get 3 good strides than 10 bad ones.
Do you have an instructor who can help you with this?
In my starting eventing thread, some of the eventers there recommended talking to you about dressage. I'll just be doing beginner novice, but my horse really likes to cut corners and isn't responsive when I ask him to move laterally. What are some exercises I can do to help supple him and get him to respond better to my leg - he's great at moving forward, just not sideways.