The Reality of Riding A Dressage Test

dolly trots

Because sadly we all cannot be Charlotte….

Dressage test movement: “Enter at A, proceed down centre line in working trot”

Dressage test reality: Attempt to get straight before entering arena. Deep breath, enter at A. Realise you are a little to left. Left leg, left leg, damn too much left leg, right leg. Okay that’s as straight as we are going to get. Sit up straight, smile at judge. Tits and teeth baby! Hey judge check me out, I am having the most awesome time on the best horse.

Dressage test movement: “At A track right”

Dressage test reality: Try to stay straight while planning execution of right handed turn. Try to get as close to C as possible while still ensuring horses ass has room to follow horses head. Focus on staying in arena and at safe distance from judges car.

Dressage test movement: “At B 15m circle right”

Dressage test reality: Okay found B, ride down a little bit. Ride across centre line and find three quarter line on other side. Go up a little bit. Realise you are not sure where to turn. Feck it no one knows what 15m really looks like, just aim back to B and hope for the best.

Dressage test movement: “Between F and A transition to working canter”

Dressage test reality: realise there is far less room between F and A in the arena than there is in the diagrams. Sitting trot, sit up tall, almighty kick with outside leg and hope canter happens.

Dressage test movement:At A circle right 20m working canter.”

Dressage test reality: Inside leg, get off the track, inside leg, get off the track, find X, inside leg, get to track, get off the track, get back to A.

Dressage test movement:Between K and H medium canter”

Dressage test reality: Ride it like you stole it down the long side.

Dressage test movement:At H working canter, at C working trot”

Dressage test reality: Half halt, not so subtle half halt, major come the hell back here halt. Return to some semblance of trot by C. Smile so that judge doesn’t realise your arms are aching.

Dressage test movement: “MXK change the rein showing some medium trot strides.”

Dressage test reality: Turn across arena at M. leg left kick, right leg kick, left leg kick, right leg kick, left leg kick, right leg kick. Hope to hell you can return to some form of balance and control by K.

Dressage test movement: “KCFB working trot”

Dressage test reality: just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Dressage test movement: “At B circle left 15m in working trot.”

Dressage test reality: As on other rein, make it smaller than 20m and bigger than 10m. Hope for the best.

Dressage test movement: “Between M and C transition to working canter left”

Dressage test reality: Slightly more subtle pony club kick to canter given how closely judge can see outside leg. Pray horse canters.

Dressage test movement: “Circle left 20m in working canter”

Dressage test reality: Inside leg, sit up tall. Remember judge is very close by, smile like it all feels just fabulous.

Dressage test movement: “Between H and K medium canter”.

Dressage test reality: Steady in the corner, showing canter down the long side, major woah before K.

Dressage test movement: “KCF working trot”

Dressage test reality: just keep swimming, just keep swimming

Dressage test movement: “At F medium walk”

Dressage test reality: Sitting trot off corner, bounce, bounce, walk.

Dressage test movement: “FB medium walk. B to E half 20 m circle in walk on a long rein.”

Dressage test reality: Attempt to steer horse on half circle with legs while horse is free to wander on a long rein and knows it. Rock body in saddle to make it look like horse is actively walking and not in a half coma.

Dressage test movement: “E to K medium walk.”

Dressage test reality: that awful moment of trying to achieve balance between enough walk and yet not trotting or jogging.

Dressage test movement: “At K working trot. At A turn up the centre line. At G halt and salute.”

Dressage test reality: Trot. Turn head to stare at judges car. Turn down centre line and pray horse is travelling in direction you are looking. Pass X and adapt sitting trot. Use every muscle in your ass and shoulders to sit square and slow horse down without experiencing speed wobble or early halt. Get to what you hope is G, close down every muscle you are aware of in body and ask horse to halt. Whatever version of halt you get, hold it for a count of four, salute, grin like a maniac.

Dressage test movement: “leave the arena at free walk on a long rein”

Dressage test reality: pat horse, breath


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