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  1. #11

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob notacob View Post
    Enjoy,Improve and remember that the only person you should be competing with is yourself last time.
    Great advice - love it!!

  2. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pixie27 View Post
    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.
    Totally agree with you there if I;m going to do it I may as well kick myself up the bum and get on with it! I just have a GP saddle so I'll be in the same boat as you there! My horse is a show hunter type - not a fine slender type haha! Thank you Pixie always great to receive nice comments

  3. #13

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

    Quote Originally Posted by KautoStar1 View Post
    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.

    Ooo Kauto I feel we may be in the same boat here my boy is a show horse we compete in show hunter pony/small hunter classes, he is probably a similar build to yours! Thank you for your advice, I'm expecting to be judged more harshly.. like you said I need to get my circles and center lines nailed to bring up the 'easier' marks. Thank you

  4. #14

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

    Quote Originally Posted by coss View Post
    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
    I think we do Coss! that sounds great actually, thank you for that tip i will defo give some unaffiliated a go! But yes like the sound of the bronze!
    Thank you Coss, really appreciate it

  5. #15
    Veteran
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,989

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

    Make sure you read the rule book - there is no point in losing marks or being eliminated for breaking some rule.

    Don't look at the other horses in the warmup thinking how much posher / better / whatever they are than your horse - you have every right to be there.

    Don't worry if your marks are lower than at unaff - that is normal.

    Enjoy it.

  6. #16
    Schoolmaster
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    723

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

    Definitely go for it. I took the plunge late last year and so pleased I did. I took club membership which covers prelim bronze and is much cheaper. I can then upgrade to full membership to enter pet plan rounds later this year (I gained the qualification whilst a club member).
    I think I’m a bit unusual as no difference in my scores regardless of whether affiliated or unaffiliated or even online!
    And I’m another on a non-typical dressage horse whilst wearing tweed!

  7. #17

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

    I have never done BD, but have you ever been a writer for a judge? I would definitely recommend it, because you get the judge's eye view of the competitors and it will give you a lot of information on how a test should be ridden and some of the mistakes riders make (if you judge doesn't want you writing an essay on every competitor!)

    So you can see the nodding heads, riders looking down, stiff arms, unsteady hands and you resolve never to look like that!

  8. #18

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

    People think it's such a big thing going affilliated. It's really not. When I joined I was half expecting rich snooty people and tbh have always found all BD comps extremely friendly. It really is for everyone. If I can do it, you definitely can !!

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