Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘dressage test’

The dressage warm-up arena can be a crowded place. Photo by Amber Heintzberger from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON.

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event 2017 starts today with the first horse inspection, and the dressage phase kicks off tomorrow morning. To make sure everyone’s ready to go, here are five tips for warming up prior to your dressage test from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON:

1  Start in walk on a 20-meter circle if the warm-up area is large enough. Introduce “inside leg to outside rein.” I usually start on the left rein, because most horses go better to the left and it starts them off well mentally. Get the horse walking nicely forward, slightly bent around your inside leg, and encourage him to reach softly down and forward.

2  Use some leg-yielding exercises to reaffirm your training and get the horse listening to your leg in both directions, left and right. Once you have his attention at the walk, go to rising trot. Rather than thinking about the the test, focus more on the correctness of the horse: You want him reaching for the bit softly; obedient to inside leg to outside rein; and with flexion to the inside.

3  Do lots of changes of direction and transitions within the trot to keep your horse’s attention and prevent him from getting “stuck.” Once his back is supple and loose, do a little bit of sitting trot, then ask for the canter. 

4  Do canter-trot-canter transitions on each rein. This is a great way of testing how well the horse is on the aids. I don’t want him to run or hollow out, and he should stay obedient through the transition.

5  You can practice specific parts of the test a few times, but when there is one horse to go before you, go back and work on your horse’s correctness–getting him in tune with your aids. Do lots of transitions, keeping the horse listening and thinking. Also, vary the horse’s frame. This last part of the warm-up is really to reinforce his attention on you.

Find more eventing advice in MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON, available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to download a free chapter or to order.

We’re thrilled to have two TSB authors competing at RK3DE this year: Phillip Dutton and Doug Payne. In addition, professional grooms Emma Ford and Cat Hill, and horseman Dan James, are involved in this exciting equestrian event.

Read Full Post »

Question: My horse lacks “crossing” in his legs (lateral reach) in the leg-yield—what do I do?

USEF/FEI dressage judge Janet Foy has a new book coming...and you could be a part of it!

USEF/FEI dressage judge Janet Foy has a new book coming…and you could be a part of it!

“The difference between a ‘7’ and a ’10’ in leg-yield in a dressage test is that while both horses go from Point A to Point B correctly, the horse that receives the higher score takes fewer strides to get there,” says USEF S and FEI 4* judge Janet Foy. “Later in training you can use the leg-yield to increase the lateral reach in the half-pass.”

We learn in Janet’s hugely popular book DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE that the difference between a high score and a modest score from the judge is really the amount of lateral reach the horse can show. From Point A to Point B, your horse may be able to do it in ten steps, but another can do it in eight steps. Some horses, by nature, have quite a lot of lateral reach—but most horses are not perfect, and need a bit of work here.

So how can I improve my horse’s lateral reach?

“You may have to feel that you are actually pushing the horse sideways out of balance in order to increase his lateral reach,” says Janet. “The horse must really open up the angles of his shoulders. Don’t ride a leg-yield at home as you would at a show. Your job in training is to raise your standards and develop more lateral reach and suppleness than you would need in competition. If your horse can easily do a leg-yield at home with energy and ease, then when it comes to show time and the requirement is easier, he will be a star!

“Try counting the number of strides it takes you to get from Point A to Point B,” she says. “Do this in both directions. One direction will take more strides because the horse will be less supple this way. First, work on this more difficult direction until it matches the other side. Then, when both sides are equal, start working again on improving overall lateral reach. you should be able to take out a stride or two each direction.”

And, fewer strides in the leg-yield means better scores in your next test!

Do you have a dressage question to ask Judge Janet?

TSB invites YOU to ask her your most burning dressage question—it can be about riding, training, competing, judging…whatever! It can be something you’ve asked a million times but still “just don’t get,” or something you’ve always been afraid to ask. It can relate to Training Level or Grand Prix or anything in between.

 

Click the image above to ask Judge Janet Foy your dressage question!

Click the image above to ask Judge Janet Foy your dressage question!

 

Not only will Janet Foy offer you solutions to your riding and training problems and answers to your riding and training questions, YOUR question could be featured in her NEXT BOOK!

Plus, everyone who submits a question is automatically entered to win a personalized copy of Janet’s forthcoming book when it’s published!

So you and your horse could win in more ways than one!

CLICK HERE to submit your question now!

Click image to order!

Click image to order!

DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE, the bestselling book by Janet Foy that Dressage Today magazine called “an inoculation against training despair,” is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: