Now that the eventing season is well underway it’s important that you make every mark count. Here is some useful advice for eventers wanting to up their game in the first phase of the competition.

  • Have the courage to change what’s happening while riding a test
  • Ride to get what you want – don’t just accept what your horse gives you if it’s not of a good enough quality/standard
  • The basic way of going is key. It’s not just about riding accurate movements
  • When the rider touches the horse with the leg, his hindleg must react
  • Remember to lighten the rein after a half halt as a reward – don’t hang on!
  • Ride transitions back and forward to get a sharper reaction from the horse
  • Think of halt as a transition in and a transition out – not just stopping
  • Keep the horse equally into both reins and in front of the leg
  • Think more trot/canter, not faster trot/canter for higher marks. Ride for a bigger, more impressive stride rather than just chasing the horse into a faster, flatter pace
  • Don’t let the horse take over. Remember every stride is yours
  • In leg yield maintain the rhythm and ride steps of equal width and length
  • For shoulder-in ride deep into the corner to help set up the correct position
  • Get a good reaction at the start of medium trot, then maintain the strides — less can be more

If you want to specifically practice your dressage, before an event, why not enter a fun dressage competition in order to brush up on your skills? www.equoevents.co.uk has a wide range of events – there’s something for everyone!