Dressage Show Prep

I intended to begin my show prep the Saturday before the show.  The husband was out of town and I was stuck home taking care of a sick kitty.  What better time to clean tack and finally use those clippers I bought.  One thing led to another and before I knew it was drunk off wine with the ladies from the back barn by 3pm.  Nothing cleaned, nothing clipped.  The next morning I drug my hungover bum to the barn to at least clip Savy and attempt to do some chores.  One thing got done.  One. I shouldn’t have worried though, my work week was so stressful that even cleaning tack seemed like a luxury.  Despite my deadline packed work week I managed to get in a little show prep from my office chair.  These are some of my favorites.

This article, The Unwritten Rules of Dressage Test Riding, is less about the technical aspects of riding and more about ring craft.  Something I know nothing about in Dressage.  For my non-horsey friends ring craft is the art of riding a winning test.  Not just riding the movements, but making the test as a whole a step better than the competition.  In dressage the best horse doesn’t always win.  This sounds crazy but there are so many ways the rider can mess things up, through not fault of the horse.  The rider could forget the test and make a wrong turn somewhere (or go the wrong direction and ride half of your test backwards before the judge realizes it…like me).  And it doesn’t even have to be something that big.  Savy has a tendency to swing her butt slightly to the left when she halts.  It’s my job to remember to use the tiniest bit of left leg to keep her straight, but not too much leg because then she’ll swing her butt to the right.  That little detail could cost me an entire point off that movement, if not more.

I also really like this article about riding accurate circles.  I am notoriously bad at riding circles.  And I don’t know how to measure distances in meters.  I know there are 4, 5 meter sections in a circle, but what 5 meters looks like, I don’t know.  At least I think that’s right…either way this article helps me visualize the circles in the arena.

And finally for inspiration I like this video 🙂  Gets me every time!

This one is good too.


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