First show. any hints?
Well, i am going into my first show, which is a dressage show. I know the common things to do: know the coarse, look confident, ect. but is there anything that could really help me out during a show? is there anything that judges look for or anything that would give me that extra edge in the competition?
Personally, judges are there to judge the dressage so there is no super secret tip like wearing a purple shirt. I find having a nice support group of 2 people really helps. 1 knowledgable horse person who can saddle the horse for you etc, and a friend who can just support you and fetch drinks :). I always take my Ipod and listen to music, that really helps me focus and centre my energies in a positive way.
try to ride perfectly correct figures =]
I tell all my students to make a good first impression with the judges. Too often I see riders with an expression of fear and worry all over their face. It tells the judge that you may not be having much fun.
My students practice working the ring with a relaxed smile (not a grimace) on their face. They practice entering the ring correctly, look right at the judges face as you go down the center line (looking at the letters with your peripheral vision to see when to halt). As you look at the judge, have a pleasant smile on your face. Even if the halt goes poorly, practice not looking stressed. As you practice this, you will absorb some of this relaxation into your riding. I call this tactical riding.
One of the first thing a judge sees is the riders "attitude". It can't help be make an impression.
Immaculate grooming, gleaming tack, neat tidy appearance is important, even in a schooling show. My students braid at schooling shows. If nothing else, it is good practice.
Breathe and have fun. :) And yeah, it's great to have at least one horsey friend on the ground that can do anyhing from help braid, hold your horse, and shine your boots. Oh and be accurate in your test movements. Each movement sets up for the next one, so if one is messy, it'll be hard to fix the movements that follow.
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