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Dressage Writing: the judge’s eye view.

Two days ago I wrote for a judge at BE100. I’ve done this many times, at all levels up to 2*CCI, and it is always fascinating. Notes from my observations based on what the judge said, repeatedly, during the tests:

KatieDrPicPush forwards down the first centre line, your horse is more likely to stay straight.

(It’s amazing how many riders let their horse drift to the right before turning left on the centre line…)

Use your outside leg around the corners (particularly on the first turn, which is 1/2 a 10m circle) to prevent the horse from falling out.

She repeatedly said “WHY don’t they use their outside leg?!?!” (not to be written on sheets, obviously!)

Send the horse FORWARD!!! The ones who were going NOWHERE, who had no swing through from behind, and whose riders looked afraid to send them forward, were just trying to keep it all pretty-pretty, got by far the worst marks.

Rhythm was rewarded, every time.

The trotwork after the first canter was almost invariably better, keep that energy, don’t quash it!

Final halt – once it’s still, even if it’s crooked, leave it alone! I asked why… the answer, was, Don’t fiddle at that point, you’ll only make things worse for next time!


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