For the first time riders can purchase British Dressage test sheets and diagrams of tests online via the Dressage Diagrams website, which also provides tools for riders and trainers to design their own tests.
The site was conceived and designed by John Lewis. “My wife, Nina, is a dressage competitor and a couple of years ago she had to ride a 12m circle in a test. She said she couldn’t visualise it, so she asked me to draw it for her. I thought there must be a demand for the service.
“I set about creating a way to express dressage tests as a series of diagrams. The site first went live in embryonic form a year ago and it wasn’t publicised at all, but people started using it.
“It’s been online properly since March this year and is used extensively by freestyle and kür riders creating their own tests. It is also used by people wanting to buy British Dressage tests, a service which has been available since the end of June.”
BD test sheets can be ordered online and are delivered first-class. Diagrams of BD preliminary, novice and elementary tests can also be bought online for £1.50 per test and printed immediately.
John said: “I’ve had lots of correspondence with test designers about adding this or that movement into the website. The actual shapes the website will cover are being added to all the time but the vast majority of competitors are at the lower levels so there is most demand for those tests.
“I don’t know anything about dressage so I’ve been guided by my wife. It’s been interesting as a lot of people have said we should have the judge’s viewpoint as the default option, but I would have expected people to visualise tests from where they enter at A.”
John is working on a timing feature so that riders or trainers devising freestyle tests can keep track of the time of each movement. The timing device will be able to carry out all the recalculations for users if they add in an extra movement and can be set to slow, average or fast speed.
He is also trying to publish tests from the US and German dressage federations, as well as British Eventing. He says these bodies are not resistant to the idea but it is more a case of communication problems.
“They seem to be too busy running events to listen to me,” John says. “British Dressage have been great though, very co-operative and imaginative.”
For more information visit: www.dressagediagrams.com