Items

Forums
How to Ride a Dressage Test - The Eventer’s Version
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   15th May 2013   •   5,564 views   •   2 comments
This article was inspired by my own fantastic event horse, Bronze, who – like most eventers – is eating a lot of high-energy food, and doing a lot of work. Basically, Bronze is a machine, and his main operating function is to bear down on a course of big, solid jumps like a freight train and jump clear inside the time.

When it comes to the dressage function, however, it seems we've found a glitch. Bronze, like many eventing machines, seems to have broken that convenient switch from ‘Cross Country mode’ to ‘Dressage mode’ that we all wishfully believe that our eventers have.

Sad news for you on that one, folks: It’s a lie.

So, in light of this sad realization, allow me to instruct you in the art of riding an eventing dressage test, step by step.

Tack up your eventing machine. Be sure to have the tanks and chains at the ready to secure him. No, no, put the Pelham away, this is dressage. Here, your only weapon is a snaffle. Good luck.

Mount your eventing machine. Don’t beg polite strangers to hold him still, that’s just plain rude. You got yourself into this mess, now get his legs out of the reins, and get onto his back before he kills somebody.

Gather up your reins and hold on tight. Hang on for the bolt away from the scary grooming brush, and sit tight for those bucks when he sees one of those terrifying ‘horse’ creatures. It’s not like he’s one of them – those things are scary.

How to Ride a Dressage Test

Enter the warm up arena. Okay, fine, bolt out. Now gather up your reins, and enter the warm up arena again. Try not to run anybody over this time; judges are more likely to mark you down if they see you trample a pedestrian.

Survive the warm up arena. Apply superglue to saddle for bucking fits, and make sure to sit pretty and pretend you’re smiling (and in perfect control) while your eventing machine bolts across the warm up and practices his cross country gallop. No, don’t haul on that flimsy snaffle, you know it’s not going to help you. Try not to jump the arena fence, it’ll only get him more jazzed up after all.

Article: Surviving The Warm-up Arena

Great, it’s time for your test. Stop crying. Seriously, stop. Okay, keep crying, but at least strike up a smile and pretend that they’re tears of joy.

How to Ride a Dressage Test

Walk around the arena to salute the judge. Don’t let your eventing machine spook at the letters. Okay, maybe just the first letter, but not the next one. Alright, then let him spook at all of them, but try not to let him bolt. Hang on tight. Don’t let him spook at the judge’s box. Now smile at the judge, salute, pretend you don’t notice his spooking. Get your tears under control, and ride on. Wait for the whistle.

Turn down the centre line. What are you doing? This isn't supposed to be a serpentine. Straighten him. Leg yield left. No, no, too far – try going to the right instead. Hey, wasn't that X back there? Quick, get him to halt, never mind that you’re 5m off the centre line.

Remember the immobility; hold that halt. Hold it. Hold - Okay, just let him go. Trot on in giraffe mode until you’re past the judges’ box (It’s not as scary when his head’s in the air).

Turn the corner and proceed in working trot. No, not gallop, trot. Try a half halt. Try another one. Alright, try hauling at that flimsy snaffle until he stops.

Ride a 20m circle. Try to trot. Fine, then keep galloping, but try not to let him trip. Give those reins another tug. Still nothing? Well, then sit tight and stick on through the bucking fit.

Change rein across the diagonal. Try to get the trot again. Try a little harder. Keep trying. Okay, just gallop faster instead.

Hey... Hey, watch it! That’s the arena fence. Don’t let him jump! Don’t let him- Well, that’s it. Try to get him back before he tramples someone. Well, brakes are clearly broken. Never mind, just abandon ship on the next buck. You’ll have a better test next time.

Curl up in the fetal position and cry for a while. Let someone else catch your eventing machine – he’s probably off creating his own cross country course by now anyway.

Cut your losses, enter the next show, and start getting ready to do this all again. Make a mental note to research whether body protectors are allowed in dressage.
Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Polo the Weirdo
Dark Star  
Is Bronze really that crazy? lol


That was funny, kinda like me trying to show my (barrel) show horse in a cloverleaf shaped equitation pattern with a slow twist snaffle. Turns out great every time. Honestly...-_-
  May 15, 2013  •  5,864 views
 
RememberMeForThis  
Jane is trained like a dressage horse as I am told by my Have-Been-In-Pony-Club-Longer friends but is just a mad powerhouse. No spook, just...no stop, really, very strong in all gaits. Loves jumping though. I think we just need a lot of transition work, some work on not chasing squirrels (she races them as they run along the fence, I swear) and more reliable breaks in the canter.

Why did I buy a 4 yo thoroughbred. -.-
  May 17, 2013  •  5,545 views
 More News by Polo the Weirdo
Baby Horse Diaries - If Baby Horses Could Name Things
28th Sep 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
If you’ve ever owned, trained, or otherwise interacted with a baby horse, you will know that sometimes they just seem to see the world differently to us. Whether it’s the shallow rain puddle that’s clearly hiding sharks, or the in ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Sass Levels Reach All Time High
7th Jul 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
This is not fake news. Our sources have confirmed that Baby Niro displayed excessively high levels of sass recently when being ridden in the arena after a week off work. Witnesses report high levels of head tossing and neck flicki ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Starter Kit
16th Jun 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
So you just bought yourself a baby horse? I bet you’re wondering what you’ll need to help you in this new chapter of your life! Well never fear, Baby Horse Diaries is here to answer all of your questions. To create your own Baby H ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Playtime (AKA the Hunger Games)
9th Jun 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
Baby horses, like most babies, are curious, energetic and playful beings that constantly seek out new means of entertainment. In fact, one of the most fun things about having a baby horse is all the wonderful new games that you ge ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Energy Levels
3rd Jun 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
Here is my top 10 SECRET list of master plans for dealing with excess energy in horses. ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Baby Horses Are Stupid
26th May 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
Baby horses are really neat. When you get them they are stupid. You know they’re stupid, any rational human being can expect them to be stupid, and they don’t know they’re stupid because they don’t know anything. Because they’re s ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Meet The Babies
19th May 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
Today I would like to introduce the stars of our series, VanRee De Niro (Baby Niro), and Little Miss Sunshine (Baby Sunny). ...
Baby Horse Diaries Introduction
12th May 2019   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
Some of you might remember that about 8 years ago I created a series on Ponybox documenting my progress in retraining a young Thoroughbred racehorse, Moonfire, for his eventing career. Those of you who continued to follow my (admi ...
  View All News by Polo the Weirdo
 
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
95 Members Online 253,504 Registered Members 2,618 News Articles 11,084,882 Unique News Article Views 259,248,758 Website Views