Even the easiest of dressage tests can be overly complicated for kids, which I found out this week.
Just before their dressage competition this afternoon I snuck over to the judge’s car and stuck a sign on the front with an arrow pointing left. This is because my riders don’t know their left from their right and I wanted the girls to have a successful experience to hopefully encourage them to further their dressage education.
However, I did think that you’d enjoy my adjusted commanding for the test so that the little kids could ride their best.
1. At A walk towards C … straight! … C’s over here! Halt at X … now! Salute (try not to laugh at the flamboyant salute).
2. C turn left … other left! At H walk to F … trot now!
3. At A 20 metre circle … bigger … bigger …
4. Just after K walk. Not yet, keep going … now walk.
5. C halt and count to three SLOWLY! Now walk on. Don’t let them go back to their friends!
6. At M walk towards K … trot now!
7. At A 20 metre circle …. bigger than your last one! Stay in the arena …
8. Just after F … keep trotting … now walk.
9. At H change the rein across the diagonal to F with long reins … keep walking … no, don’t trot, just walk. Short reins at F.
10. Between A and K … wait for it … yep ok, trot! Quick, trot!! At E rainbow across to B.
11. Walk in the corner … keep going, keep going. Now walk. Don’t leave the arena!
12. A turn down the centre line … keep walking … keep walking … straight … stop …. right there. And salute!
All seven of my riders managed their test, albeit with some assistance, and I was pleased with their marks and the huge improvement in their riding over the week. But commanding those tests wasn’t easy!