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  1. #1

    Default Competing with more advanced horse?

    Iíve never competed before in any discipline or at any level, and soon Iíd like to do my first dressage test ó most likely at the lowest possible level. Would there be any problem doing this on a horse that has previously been competed at a much higher level? Iím under the impression that the level a horse and rider can compete at is determined by the ability of the rider and not the horse, but Iím also aware that with an inexperienced horse an experienced rider can compete at low levels. If thatís the case, are there any rules regarding experiences horses with inexperienced riders? Like I say, Iíve never competed before so Iím not sure how everything works. Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran j1ffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Competing with more advanced horse?

    There's a simple and more complex answer to your question! The simple answer is yes, you can compete at lower levels on a more advanced horse.

    The more complex is that it depends on the competition. If you are doing 'unaffiliated' (which means local competitions that are not affiliated to the national federation, in this case British Dressage), then you need to check the rules of that specific competition as they can essentially make up whatever entry restrictions they want. Some place will allow any rider with any horse to do anything, but some will put restrictions on lower level classes. Just read the schedule and see what it says. You'll definitely be able to find plenty to target though, unless you turn up on Valegro!

    For 'affiliated' competitions you can compete at any level from Prelim (a basic walk, trot and canter test) upwards on any horse, but you may be in the 'Gold' section. However I doubt you'd be going straight into affiliated if you've never competed, I certainly didn't!

    My first ever dressage test was on a former eventer, who had competed to 2*. He was at a local riding school and I had him on part-loan. We did an Intro test (walk and trot only) and it was a disaster as he hated dressage ;-) but in theory it should have been easy for him!

    If you can share a bit more info on your plans and on the horse you are planning to ride, I'm sure we could help more! xx

  3. #3

    Default Re: Competing with more advanced horse?

    Hi j1ffy, thanks for the detailed answer, itís really helpful! So far I think Iíd only be comfortable doing a walk and trot test but as it gets nearer to summer and I get to ride more that will hopefully change. My horse at the moment is only on loan (my first horse, had him since last September, so it still feels very exciting to have a horse after at least 7 years of riding lessons, a few years of which we could only afford fortnightly lessons). I donít know the details, but his owner has told me that in his younger years he was competed in dressage up to Grand Prix level. Being 18 now I would say thatís long behind him and I know I certainly canít bring out the Grand Prix in him when Iím schooling him 😂 At any rate I know that when I first got on him all his owner had been doing schooling wise was 20 minute sessions of walk trot and canter.
    Last edited by Normsrp; 02-03-18 at 08:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    South Worcestershire

    Default Re: Competing with more advanced horse?

    Lucky you having a proper schoolmaster! 18 isn't old and most horses don't get to GP until they are in their teens so I doubt it's that long since he was strutting his stuff. Trouble with well schooled horses is that you can't get awaywith muddled aids so they teach you to ride properly. As j1ffy has said, if he's competed at the higher levels and got points then you'll have to ride in the gold section at the lower levels. it's easy to check his record if you know someone who is a BD member, they can look up his record for you. Enjoy! I am happy to do it, if you'd like.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Competing with more advanced horse?

    Most unaffiliated competitions have their own rules so youíll have to check but generally they limit the combination not the horse or rider individually.
    If you want to look up exactly what he has done in terms of bd points etc just get his registered name and you (or a member) can search then you can check with bd if you want to aim for that.
    Last edited by Littlebear; 03-03-18 at 05:33 PM. Reason: C

  6. #6
    Veteran shortstuff99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Currently Cambridgeshire! (or where ever I fancy)!

    Default Re: Competing with more advanced horse?

    There are also points restrictions for unaffiliated competitions like trailblazers, but for a normal unaffiliated competition you should be fine.


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