The time between leaving the dressage warm up and entering the arena shouldn’t be wasted. Four-star event rider Georgie Strang (pictured) has some helpful advice on how to impress the judges before they start marking you. Then, don’t miss our selection of competitions for you to showcase what you’ve learnt…
1. Smile — show the judge that you are relaxed and confident. Looking happy while you’re riding your horse is something all judges love to see.
2. First impressions are vital — show off your horse’s best movements to catch the judge’s eye. You don’t have to just trot round the arena in a straight line add in some flexion and circles to show your horse off.
3. If you need to make any corrections at this stage it is always better to try and do this at a point where you are less obvious to the judge — you want to look as though you are ready for your test following a great warm up.
4. Anticipate that your horse might get tense when you leave the warm up arena. Have a plan for how to deal with this — using transitions is a great way to keep them focussed and relaxed. Your horse can feel when you are tense so try not to overthink it yourself. Leave everything from the warm up behind and focus on enjoying yourself.
5. Give your horse a pat to reassure them that you are in this together and to also show the judges you are not hanging on for dear life!
Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these events and competitions available to enter where you can show off what you’ve learnt…
Fun Halloween dressage show
Date: 3 November
Venue: Speedgate Farm, Longfield
Details: “This show features classes between intro and novice.”
Saturday morning dressage
Date: 3 November
Venue: Beaver Hall, Leek
Details: “This unaffiliated competition has classes from intro to medium. You can enter any two tests for £20.”
British Dressage and unaffiliated dressage
Date: 4 November
Venue: Witham Villa Equestrian Centre, Leicester
Details: “This show has one affiliated class, which is a winter qualifier at prelim level. There are also two unaffiliated prelim tests to choose from with senior and junior sections.”
Date: 6 November
Venue: Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre, near Bridgwater
Details: “This event offers classes ranging from prelim to prix st georges with qualifiers too.”
Wednesday morning unaffiliated dressage
Date: 7 November
Venue: Tumpy Green Equestrian Centre, Cam
Details: “There are classes from intro to elementary. All tests can be called and this competition has a relaxed atmosphere with a relaxed dress code.”
Date: 8 November
Venue: Grove Farm Equestrian, near Steventon
Details: “This unaffiliated competition has classes ranging between intro and elementary.”
Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings