Competing is nerve-wracking enough without your horse deciding every marker and fleck of arena is utterly terrifying. So here are some great pointers from four-star eventer Kate Honey (pictured) to help you tackle spookiness with your horse in the arena…

1. Get your horse used to working with other horses around.

2. Create scenarios at home, such as putting out flower pots or have music playing in the background — whatever you think your horse will react to and let them get used to it at home.

3. Work on different surfaces. If your tests are mostly on grass don’t do all your training on a pristine surface.

4. Make sure you do plenty of schooling at different venues before competing so they can get used to seeing lots of different things.

5. When you are at a competition, give yourself plenty of time in the warm up, so there is no rush and your horse can settle. Doing lots of transitions can help to make sure the horse is really listening.

6. Some horses benefit from being worked before a test, then being put away and then when you get back on them immediately before, they have a shorter warm up. Or you could hand walk them round a venue to get used to the atmosphere. Work out what brings out the best in your horse.

7. Try to actually ride the test and not just survive it. If you make a mistake remember it is only one movement — stay positive for the rest of the test.

Credit: Stride Management

Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these dressage competitions available to enter where you can put this into practice…

British Dressage

Date: 30 September
Venue: Stretcholt Equestrian Centre, Bridgwater
Details: “This competition has a large range of classes from prelim to advanced medium, with a selection of qualifiers and para classes too.”
Enter now

Dressage and dressage to music

Date: 30 September
Venue: Belmoredean Dressage, Horsham
Details: “This competition has classes from unaffiliated intro to elementary and affiliated dressage to music classes from prelim to advanced medium, pairs and pas de deux.”
Enter now

Unaffiliated dressage

Date: 30 September
Venue: Tumpy Green Equestrian Centre, Cam
Details: “This competition has classes from intro to elementary with junior and senior sections. All ages welcome.”
Enter now

Affiliated and unaffiliated dressage

Date: 3 October
Venue: Beaver Hall, Leek
Details: “This competition has unaffiliated classes ranging between prelim and young/green horse prelim to medium, plus affiliated classes with winter qualifiers from prelim to medium.”
Enter now

British Dressage

Date: 7 October
Venue: Hill House Equestrian, Market Rasen
Details: “This affiliated competition features classes from prelim to advanced medium with freestyle classes too.”
Enter now

British Dressage and unaffiliated dressage

Date: 7 October
Venue: Inchcoonans Competition & Livery Yard, Errol
Details: “Affiliated classes ranging between intro and elementary and affiliated classes from intro to elementary.”
Enter now

Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings