Beat the weather: try online dressage

  • All dressed up and nowhere to go? We have all been familiar with that feeling over the past 12 months as the weather put paid to competitions of all types around the country.

    To ensure that not a single wet weekend is wasted this year we’ve come up with some ideas to weatherproof your competition season.

    Try online dressage

    If you had online dressage mistakenly pigeon-holed alongside other new-fangled internet fads, read on.

    If you are a dressage rider or eventer looking to monitor your progress, but are unable to compete as regularly as you would like — perhaps due to the weather — this could be an excellent solution.

    Dressage Anywhere, which launched in 2010, now has 3,000 members around the world. It offers riders the chance to video themselves riding BD, BE and FEI tests and be marked by, and receive feedback from, a top judge.

    Anyone can take part and classes range from walk and trot to prix st georges (PSG).

    The driving force behind the company, List One judge Nereide Goodman, says: “The concept was quite slow to take-off, but more and more people are signing up.

    “It’s especially good if you have limited access to shows and it gives grass roots riders access to top judges who wouldn’t normally judge lower level classes.”

    Entry fees are comparable to — or slightly cheaper than — BD, and prize-money is awarded.

    Jo Ivimey, a BHSI instructor who competes at advanced level, is a big fan.

    She says: “I used to live in Dubai and signed up with Dressage Anywhere because there were limited opportunities to compete.

    “I found it such a help that I carried on using it when I came home — and I recommend it to my clients.”

    Jo tried her first PSG online recently.

    “My test was marked by a list one judge and the feedback was really useful,” she reveals. “It gave me the confidence to try one for real.”

    For more great ideas on how to weatherproof your competition season see 21 February issue of Horse & Hound magazine

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