If you’re planning to do a dressage test this summer, there’s loads of ways to impress the judge and maximise your marks. Check out our top tips…
Dress the part
Although you won’t gain any extra marks, making sure you and your pony are turned out smartly will make you look like a more competent partnership. You should wear white or beige breeches, a jacket in any conservative colour, such as black or navy, an up-to-standard riding hat and gloves.
Make an entrance
Riding a smooth turn onto the centre line at A, then staying perfectly straight all the way to C is your chance to give the judge a great first impression. Plus, if you ace the centre line, it’ll give you a confidence boost that’ll help you ride well in the rest of the test, too.
In some tests you’ll need to halt at the beginning and end of your test, but in others you’re only asked to do it at the end. Some even have a halt in the middle! The judge will be looking for your pony’s legs to form a square, with his front and back legs in line with each other. His body should be straight, and his head facing the judge, so don’t let him drift to one side.
Let’s go round
Circles appear in every dressage test, but loads of riders lose precious marks by making them the wrong shape or size. If the test asks for a 20m circle, the judge doesn’t want to see a 15m oval!
Find out more ways you can impress your dressage judge in July PONY, on sale 5 June.