Concentration in dressage tests

Nereide is a British Dressage List 1 judge and trainer, and co-founder of the new affiliated dressage competition website 'Dressage Anywhere'
ponyprincess
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Concentration in dressage tests

Postby ponyprincess » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:11 pm

Me and my new pony are only just starting out with some very low level dressage tests. It appears he has never done anything like it before and tends to lose concentration part way through the test. Would you recommend retiring at this point or persevering in the hope that I get the concentration back further in?

What would you rather see?

pukkapony
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Re: Concentration in dressage tests

Postby pukkapony » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:48 pm

Practice makes perfect - don't give up work at it. Even the smallest of goals need the most work sometimes.

Expert_Dressage
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Re: Concentration in dressage tests

Postby Expert_Dressage » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:51 pm

I think what is important is to try and get your horse going as well as you can before competing in a live competition so you are both confident that you can ride the movements reasonably well. Then if something goes wrong - don't panic - it is only in one set of marks and hopefully you can pick marks up again in the other movements.
You can even start with a British Dressage Introductory test in which you do not have to canter and the movements are very simple. Concentrate first on the correct rhythm: trot is a two-beat pace of alternative diagonal feet hitting the ground and walk is a four-beat rhythm. (Canter will be a three-beat pace follwed by a moment of suspension before the next stride begins) Try to keep the same speed (tempo) of the footfalls. Next try to keep your horse as supple as possible so he is soft over the back and then that he is accepting an elastic contact and is even on both reins. Transitions to walk and to trot need to be smooth and fluent and your horse needs to learn to stretch when asked - to stretch the nexk downward and forward to the bit without losing rhythm or balance. Remember in these early tests the horse should work nicely forward in a working pace.
If you wish to get a judge's opinion on your work before going out you could ride aBritish Dressage test at home, have it videod and send it to www.dressageanywhere Go to the site for further details. Good luck


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