entering the world of stressage...

Hoof_Prints

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Hello, my horse has been injured and had around 2 months off/ light work (suspected mild SDFT, just wasn't tracking up right on a hind leg). I've just brought him back in to proper schooling now he's sound and he's going better than ever! My local riding club are doing evening dressage, so as I don't plan on jumping him for a good while, I thought i'd have a go. I have only ever hunted and showjumped him (with good brakes!) so I'm quite apprehensive. What do they look for? what do I have to wear? and what do you have to do in a Prelim? :p

Thanks!
 

maletto

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is it evening dressage clinics or an unaff comp series?

I know next to nothing about dressage but didn't want to read and run!!

if a competition, wear show jacket in navy, black or tweed, and jods in beige or white. no boots for the horse and dressage legal bit/tack. if evening clinics, phone and ask them but just look presentable!

prelim is v straightforward-some tests you may have to canter across the diagonal (which if your horse is a show jumper, he may find hard without changing!) but other than that it's just walk trot and canter various sizes of circles & straight lines, free walk on a long rein, halt at the end and some other basic stuff. the judge(s) just want to see some relaxation, submission and harmony, and impulsion!

hopefully someone more dressagey will be along to add to/correct my post as required!

enjoy!
 

Hoof_Prints

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Thanks for the reply, its unaff comp series with qualifiers for something. Oh that's good then I don't want to do anything too complicated ! He's normally fairly well behaved so fingers crossed I don't make too much of a fool out of myself :) I was told by a friend that I have to wear white gloves for some reason, I don't own a pair of those so if its essential i'll have to go and get some
 

khalswitz

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Thanks for the reply, its unaff comp series with qualifiers for something. Oh that's good then I don't want to do anything too complicated ! He's normally fairly well behaved so fingers crossed I don't make too much of a fool out of myself :) I was told by a friend that I have to wear white gloves for some reason, I don't own a pair of those so if its essential i'll have to go and get some

Light coloured (white/cream/fawn) gloves are necessary at BD - some unaff comps are happy for black/brown but most now want light coloured.

If you have bridle numbers, take them - I got caught out at unaff once with not having them when they wanted them.

Prelim is mainly just w/t/c with 20m circles and transitions, may have stretchy circles or walk one horses length type movements but nothing difficult for an obedient horse.

Biggest tip is to remember to smile - that's one thing a judge said to me once was it makes such a difference to see a rider smile!!
 

khalswitz

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Not any more. Rule now just states gloves must be worn. Any colour is acceptable.

Oh, was this one of the 2014 rule changes? I checked my 2013 copy and it said white, cream or beige strongly preferred so I assumed it was the same... Will go and look at the up to date rules.. And be changing back to my brown gloves (why draw attention to hands if you don't have to...)

As a heads up though BRC Rules are defo light coloured only as we've been warned for area comps to all have pale gloves.
 

Gamebird

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Oh, was this one of the 2014 rule changes? I checked my 2013 copy and it said white, cream or beige strongly preferred so I assumed it was the same... Will go and look at the up to date rules.. And be changing back to my brown gloves (why draw attention to hands if you don't have to...)

As a heads up though BRC Rules are defo light coloured only as we've been warned for area comps to all have pale gloves.

Actually you (or your RC) are wrong about BRC. The rules only state 'gloves must be worn'. We have this argument every year, but it's in the rulebook in black and white. I think they did state white one year a few years back (the same year BD did), but for the last few years there has been no rule on colour.

The BD rules say 'strongly preferred' (and again have done for the last few years - I think they had one 'white only' year a few years back) so you can wear what you like - I frequently do Elem/Med dressage under List 1/2 judges in brown gloves (depends which gloves I remember to take with me usually) and never have a problem.
 

Gamebird

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Keep up at the back. The rule doesn't even say that any more.
From latest rule book.......
48. Gloves
Gloves are to be worn

I bow to your superior diva-osity :D . Point is, brown's fine, and has been for years.
 

khalswitz

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Actually you (or your RC) are wrong about BRC. The rules only state 'gloves must be worn'. We have this argument every year, but it's in the rulebook in black and white. I think they did state white one year a few years back (the same year BD did), but for the last few years there has been no rule on colour.

The BD rules say 'strongly preferred' (and again have done for the last few years - I think they had one 'white only' year a few years back) so you can wear what you like - I frequently do Elem/Med dressage under List 1/2 judges in brown gloves (depends which gloves I remember to take with me usually) and never have a problem.

All I know is our Area committee warned everyone to wear light coloured gloves... I assumed because Of the BD preference for light gloves (although PM is spot on, this years rules book has changed AND it's not listed as a change in the rule updates book so no wonder I didn't realise).
 

kc100

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Hello, my horse has been injured and had around 2 months off/ light work (suspected mild SDFT, just wasn't tracking up right on a hind leg). I've just brought him back in to proper schooling now he's sound and he's going better than ever! My local riding club are doing evening dressage, so as I don't plan on jumping him for a good while, I thought i'd have a go. I have only ever hunted and showjumped him (with good brakes!) so I'm quite apprehensive. What do they look for? what do I have to wear? and what do you have to do in a Prelim? :p

Thanks!

As I'm sure someone's said on this forum (or maybe it was the BD forum, brain not working well these days!) pretty much any horse with 4 legs can get up to Medium level dressage - so you dont need to worry, you will be fine doing a prelim.

In terms of the outfit - black/blue/dark coloured jacket preferred, can also wear tweed providing its not got any wacky bright colours in it. Generally if its conservative looking with no crazy colours you will be fine to wear it. Gloves MUST be worn, can be any colour (as the debate has shown, white used to be preferred and may still be preferred by some judges as it shows what your hands are doing more clearly, but ultimately you can wear whatever colour you like). Jods/breeches in white or beige. Long boots or jod boots and gaiters in matching colour. Schooling whips are permitted but you dont have to use one if you dont want. Neck straps are permitted. Check the BD rule book for the bits you can and cant use - and NO bit guards. Can wear spurs.

Horse must have a saddle and bridle (with a bit - no bitless), saddle cloth can be any colour but most people go with white. No logos over a certain size so easier to go plain to be on safe side. No boots or bandages allowed in the test arena, but can warm up in boots/bandages. Generally its a good rule to try and use as few gadgets or additional bits of tack etc as possible, as the chances are they wont be allowed. You can use a breast strap for example to keep saddle in place, but no martingales. So keep it simple, as little tack as possible and keep colours plain and conservative.

You can have a reader for your test so if you are nervous at least you have someone shouting at you telling you where to go next! Prelim is generally just showing you are able to walk, trot, canter, move in straight lines and understand how big circles should be.

Generally at prelim the main thing is accuracy - so make you you dont turn too early for your centre line, and equally dont over-shoot either. Stay straight down the CL until you get to C (judges hate a wobbly CL!), ride your corners, make sure your circles are the right size (so a 20m circle is actually 20m not 25 or 18!. Make your transitions as smooth as possible, normally they are between markers so you dont have to be massively accurate but they are looking to see a nice smooth transition, nothing abrupt.

They'll be looking for accurate movements, an obedient horse, a nice quiet rider and good correct paces. Remember to smile (try and look like you are enjoying yourself!) and breathe, and you will be just fine.

Good luck!
 
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