learning dressage test
Does anyone have any suggestion on the best way to "learn" (or memorize) a dressage test? I'm just starting out at pre-novice and beginner novice level eventing this summer. What has worked for you?
Practice, practice, practice! For me it's very hard to memorize unless I ride it a few times. The nice thing about dressage tests is that they are always the same, unlike jumping courses so you can really work out the kinks in your test at home to show to the best ability at the shows. The only problem is that you don't want to drill the tests and sour your horse. So do a few practice tests, then work independently on the sticky components then do another run through, etc over the course of a few weeks. It will be super easy to recall if you work at doing it at least once a week.
I just practiced it a few times, walked it out myself. Also, seeing as it's pre-novice and whatnot, you can probably get a scribe to read the test out for you if you don't think you'll be able to remember the whole thing.
I doubt you're test is more than transitions and circles, so practice and ride it a few times, and you'll be fine. Good luck!
Pretend ride it at home, wherever you have room enough. Or some people like to draw it. Draw your dressage arena first, with the letters marked, then draw where you will go on your test. Use arrows to show which direction you're going.
I just learned my new test today by reading the test while I walked around on my horse. First I learned the pattern and then where the transitions take place. I marked out the arena size by using ground poles for the corners, and I bought some cheap plastic dressage cones to mark the transition spots. Now it's just a matter of perfecting everything.
You could ride it with a caller a few times, but be careful. If you ride it too much on the one horse he will start antisipating the movements and that can be really bad when you compete.
OR you could be a total loonie like a lot of other dressage riders out there and set up an arena in your lounge room and "ride" the test yourself. Or you could run around the dressage arena on foot like you would be doing the test. I'm NOT crazy :shock:
Something that I do when I'm at work is get a bit of paper and draw the arena on it and laminate it and get a pen that you can wipe off and use a solid line like this _________ as walk, broken line like this for trot - - - - and a wave line for canter ~~~~~~~
I like to go through my tests by running through them on the ground. Luckily I have been riding dressage for so long that I now need to read a test once and depending on the difficulty, usually can memorize it. It gets easier the more you do it.
You practice a lot even when it's dark you can, if you have a big area in your house pretend it's an arena and walk your test. Draw it on a piece of paper so like dots are walk lines are trot etc... I had to learn a new test and i just kept reading over it. :) good luck
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