In the August issue of PONY mag we took you for a walk through the dressage alphabet from Arena to Markers! Now get set for 13 more fascinating facts about this epic discipline!
N is for neckstrap
It’s a great idea to pop a neckstrap on your pony, because you can hold onto it whenever you need an extra bit of security in the saddle. You can even use one in a dressage test, too, whatever level you’re competing at. Don’t feel embarrassed about needing one, as many top riders wouldn’t get on young horses without a neckstrap!
O is for outline
This is the shape your fave pony’s body makes when you’re riding him. To help achieve a correct outline for dressage, he should push himself forwards with his hindlegs, then you need to capture all that energy by keeping a soft, steady contact with his mouth. This will encourage him to engage his tummy muscles, lift his back and round his neck. When he’s in a correct outline he’ll be able to carry himself – and you – in good balance.
P is for plaits
It’s usual for riders to plait up their pony for a dressage competition, although you don’t have to. You won’t get extra marks for turnout, but it’ll make your pony look super smart, will really show off his head and neck and it’ll make a great first impression on the judge.
For the rest of the dressage alphabet check out September PONY, on sale 29 July 2020.