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  1. #1

    Default New to BD... any advice? :)

    I'm seriously thinking of becoming a BD member and completing my gelding 'officially'.

    We have ridden a few of the prelim tests at various events dressage & mini ODE's scoring no less than 71% always received positive comments. He is a small horse however covers the ground very well & is expressive. I've come to the realization that jumping will never be his forte and we actually both enjoy dressage!

    Do you dressage folk have any advice, recommendations you could pass on before we start our dressage venture?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Probably skiving milliepops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10,886

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Jump in with both feet and have fun!

    Don't worry about the size of your horse, my 14.2 welsh will hopefully be making her PSG debut this year and has received decent scores and nice comments from Prelim right up to Advanced.

    Have a look at the BD website and see whether you might enjoy doing things like My Quest which has its own championships - but if not, then there is plenty of other stuff to aim at - there are new Bronze champs which are designed to people new to each level, there are area festivals and regionals to aim for too.

    I'd have a look on facebook for your BD region to see whether they have any membership offers going on, sometimes they do deals for new members at certain events so it's worth sending a quick message or email to ask - if you don't ask, you don't get

  3. #3
    Youngster
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Go for it! I took my horse who didn't want to event BD and ended up taking him advanced. As milliepops says there are lots of opportunities to aim for. My one piece of advice would be to get lessons with a decent trainer who teaches riders competing at a high level BD as they will help you reach your potential and not put their limits on you, as some riding club level instructors do. I definitely found BD the most accessible of the 3 disciplines to progress through the levels and get to championships. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Probably skiving milliepops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    10,886

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Quote Originally Posted by KittyH View Post
    My one piece of advice would be to get lessons with a decent trainer who teaches riders competing at a high level BD as they will help you reach your potential and not put their limits on you
    ^^ definitely agree with this! And again, don't think that you need a big posh horse for this, decent trainers will help you get the best out of any and every horse. aim high and keep on dreaming

  5. #5
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Enjoy,Improve and remember that the only person you should be competing with is yourself last time.

  6. #6
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    388

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Just do it! I did a handful (if that) of unaff dressage tests then decided to affiliate. We've got loads of good venues near us, and I figured I may as well crack on with BD rather than spending ages 'getting ready' for it. As has been said, there are loads of different things to aim for, and I find it much more motivating knowing that we're competing towards something/a series rather than just a one-off.

    We stick out like a sore thumb in a jump saddle and tweed, and I won't lie, the first time we went I almost put him back on the trailer and went home due to the sheer number of posh horses, posh jackets and posh saddles! But I've found the comments to be really helpful and encouraging, and can't wait to crack on again this year.

  7. #7
    Veteran KautoStar1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cheshire
    Posts
    1,503

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    My Irish Draught went from show horse to dressage horse last August and has already been to the BD Draught Horse Champs. At the moment we are still competing at Prelim level, but we are dabbling at home with changes and sideways stuff, piri's etc (for fun in training) and will be stepping up to novice this season. We've got the Pet Plan first rounds to do in June and will be aiming for the bronze league top 30, as well as another crack at the DH Champs again. There is plenty to aim for at the lower levels for sure. Mine is most definitely not a typical dressage horse and what he lacks in expressive movement, he more than makes up for with his accuracy, rhythmic paces, correct way of going and rideability and consequently pretty much each time he goes out he wins. I know as we step up the levels it will get harder, but that's the beauty of it, you start to test yourself and find out where your limits are (or not).

    Just bare in mind that if you are getting 70+ scores at unaffiliated they are likely to drop by about 5% at affiliated. That doesn't mean you are worse than you thought, just that you are being more accurately marked. Ours dropped a little to start with but climbed back up to our unaffiliated scores as we progressed. its about reading the judges comments and also making sure you are accurate in your test riding - centre lines, circles, riding marker to marker etc, etc. You might get a 7 for a centre line at unaffiliated if its straight but off the centre line or on the centre line but not straight. At BD you'd get a 5 or a 6.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Veteran coss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    NE Scotland
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Have you got any venues locally that do both affiliated and unaffiliated? Most venues up here are and the you can compete unaffiliiated but be judged by a listed BD judge. I have found that it's rare to be marked down in BD compared to unaff if it's a listed judge. In my area I have 4 venues about an hour away and the classes aren't big enough to separate the unaff with the affs so the judge doesn't necessarily know which is which so won't marked harder. If your BD venue does offer unaffiliated I would do a few of those. Riding clubs up here often have leagues for unaffiliated so it's possible to have things to aim for unaffiliated. However, there is much more scope with BD bringing out new championships left right and centre! There is a lot for to aim at in bronze which is what you will be starting as and you can dabble at higher levels if you wish and come back down (though you may have to change to silver!).

    I enjoy competing both unaff and aff - i can't afford for both horses to be affiliated so the more all-rounder type sticks to riding club. There is much to gain when you compete against yourself especially if a venue uses a certain judge regularly as then you can see if there are improvements and where they want you to improve. As always there will be a difference in marks between judges so never be too disheartened if there's a fluctuation in scores

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  9. #9

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Quote Originally Posted by milliepops View Post
    Jump in with both feet and have fun!

    Don't worry about the size of your horse, my 14.2 welsh will hopefully be making her PSG debut this year and has received decent scores and nice comments from Prelim right up to Advanced.

    Have a look at the BD website and see whether you might enjoy doing things like My Quest which has its own championships - but if not, then there is plenty of other stuff to aim at - there are new Bronze champs which are designed to people new to each level, there are area festivals and regionals to aim for too.

    I'd have a look on facebook for your BD region to see whether they have any membership offers going on, sometimes they do deals for new members at certain events so it's worth sending a quick message or email to ask - if you don't ask, you don't get

    Thank you Milliepops, I must say your horses look lovely in your banner!! I like the idea of the bronze champs - I'm reading more into this!
    Fab suggestion for the facebook pages I've had a look and joined some in my area thank you !

  10. #10

    Default Re: New to BD... any advice? :)

    Quote Originally Posted by KittyH View Post
    Go for it! I took my horse who didn't want to event BD and ended up taking him advanced. As milliepops says there are lots of opportunities to aim for. My one piece of advice would be to get lessons with a decent trainer who teaches riders competing at a high level BD as they will help you reach your potential and not put their limits on you, as some riding club level instructors do. I definitely found BD the most accessible of the 3 disciplines to progress through the levels and get to championships. Good luck!
    Will defo be getting some lessons from a BD instructor! Thank you Kitty

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