List 1 judge and national intermediaire I kur and intermediaire II champion Isobel Wessels explains how to gaining the maximum marks in a test

Isobell’s test riding tips

  • Make sure the horse is well prepared at home in the basic training.

  • Try to make sure your horse is working at a higher level at home than you’re competing at. This gives the rider the opportunity to show off. If you’re going out at a level barely within your grasp, the overall picture won’t be one of lightness and harmony.
  • The rider should know the test inside out and feel confident about riding it in competition. Confidence is at the root of success. If you’re not naturally outgoing, it helps to know the test. Lack of confidence will translate to your horse.
  • Don’t look at other people too much and don’t feel inhibited by working in alongside “big names”. Concentrate on what you are doing with your own horse.
  • If your horse becomes distracted during a test, put it behind you and concentrate on riding the next movement well.
  • Most judges are happy to discuss a test if they have time afterwards. Bring your sheet with you and, as long as you are polite rather than confrontational, the judge will be happy to explain why you got the marks you did.