How to ace your dressage test!

Posted 26th June 2017

Check out our top tips and tricks to boost your marks

Riding well and getting your pony working nicely aren’t the only things that contribute to your final dressage score, and there are so many more ways you can maximise your marks. The judge will be looking at how accurate you are, and it’s important that you make a good overall impression, too. Here are some things to work on before your test that will really boost your score…

Learning your test

It seems obvious, but making a mistake can be costly, so learn your test inside-out to avoid losing any marks. There are loads of different ways to learn it, such as reading it out, drawing it, running round your kitchen, or riding it section by section until you remember. Try lots of different ways and see which one suits you best.

Ask a friend to read it out while you practise riding it, too, and when you’re feeling more con dent, ask them to only prompt you when you get stuck. If it comes to the day and you still aren’t confident you’ll remember it, you can normally have a caller at the side of the arena to help you.

Top tip

It’s best not to rely on the help of a caller – they might get it wrong or you could mishear them.

Making an entry

Make a great first impression with a super-straight and confident centre line. It sounds easy, but a straight line is actually quite difficult, and you’ll be riding directly towards the judge so she will know if you make even the slightest wobble. Work on perfecting your straightness by riding towards an arena mirror so you can see, or ask a friend on the ground to stand where a judge would be so they can tell you how straight you are.

Read more tips on acing your dressage test in August PONY magazine, on sale now!

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