There is no lower age limit or height restrictions on horses and ponies and all ages and sizes compete on equal terms.

To compete in affiliated classes it is necessary for:

  • The rider to be a full member of British Dressage

  • The horse must be registered with the British Horse Database – a one-off registration.

  • The horse must be registered with British Dressage

  • The owner(s) to be a member of BD – but they can be non-competing members.

  • All horses must wear a bridle or saddle cloth number which can be acquired from BD

  • British Dressage runs British Young Riders Dressage Scheme (BYRDS) for riders between the ages of 12 and 21 and Fledglings for riders between the ages of eight and 11. Children do not need to be a member of BD to join Fledglings.

    Membership fees

    Full – this covers the competitor for a year. Cost £46

    Non-competing member – for owners of horses who do not wish to take part in competitions. Cost £25

    Horse registration. Cost £40 up to advanced medium – £55 advanced and above

    Application forms can be found on the website of British Dressage

    Understanding the “ticket” system

    Members on unregistered horses and non-members on registered or unregistered horses can buy six tickets per year at £6 each. Each ticket will allow you to enter one affiliated class. You will have to pay the normal entry fees and follow British Dressage rules. You are entitled to win prize-money and rosettes, but they will not be able to earn grading points or qualify for any championships other than Area Festivals.

    British Dressage starts at preliminary level. Horses and riders are expected to show correct training at the basic level to include walk, trot and canter on both reins, the ability to work straight and to stand still at halt. Circles, turns and transitions are made easy and are progressive. Two prelim tests include a few lengthened strides.

    Once this levels has been mastered you can progress onto Novice, which requires increased evidence of balance and more complicated movements such as rein back and counter canter.

    Equipment for rider

  • An approved hat to the standards of PAS015, EN1384 or ASTMF1163 which has a dark blue or black cover is advisable

    However, the BD rule book states that: “Uniform hats are allowed. BSI Standard hats or such other protectiveheadgear as may reasonably be expected to offer a similar or higher level of protection are recommended by British Dressage but are not compulsory.”

  • A hacking jacket, or navy blue or black jacket

  • Shirt and tied or a stock

  • Beige or cream coloured breeches or jodhpurs

  • Long black or brown (worn with hacking jacket only) boots or short boots with jodhpurs

    Equipment for horse

  • Plain coloured black or brown saddle which can be leather or synthetic

  • Plain coloured black or brown bridle which can be leather or synthetic

  • A snaffle bit

  • Bridle or saddle cloth number

    For more information contact British Dressage, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwicks, CV8 2LR (tel: 02476 698830) or visit www.britishdressage.co.uk