Friday, April 5, 2013

Dressage Test Ride Clinic

  On Good Friday, my mom gave a Dressage Test Ride Clinic at my friend Alayne's; Belcarra Stables.  Alayne and I both rode in it, along with 8 other riders.  If you are not familiar with a test ride clinic, I will tell you they are excellent for show preparation.   How it works is you first ride an assigned dressage test, then you have the test critiqued, and have a lesson based on the critique.  Afterwards, you ride the test again. 

  The idea is not so much how to teach you how to ride, but how to teach you how to ride a test.  There are so many places to lose marks in Dressage, and also gain marks.  It can be invaluable to learn the tricks to help your scores.  Many riders who are just starting out don't know what the judges are looking for in basic concepts like the free walk on a long rein, leg yield, and stretchie circles.  

  All of us were put through the paces and I saw a dramatic improvement in all the riders.  Archie and I did our first Training (eventing) Level test.  He was very good for our first time running through, and so early in the year.  I remember doing the Pre Training level test last year in May and thinking WHY did I wait so long to start working on this!

  Our focus was on our trot - canter and canter - trot transitions.  Archie carries so much tension through the bit that I have to totally give my rein in the transition until he learns there is nothing to be tense about.  We did many transitions where I made sure, or at least tried to, to not grab him in the mouth.  This is a work in progress but I was very happy with his work.  I feel like things are getting somewhere...which a first for us so early in the year and after having a few months off for holiday.

 Things are looking good for our Training Debut this year! :)

{ This post is day 4, letter D of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }


  1. I grew up on horses, but we were trail riders so we didn't do anything formal. Loved it.

    Dropping by from the A to Z Challenge. It's my first year.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

  2. I really like the idea behind the clinic - what a wonderful way to get feedback and focus your preparation. Also have to say that I am loving the A to Z challenge, and have accidentally had my last two post titles start with A & then B, i think today's will be a C - coincidence?! Who knows - I doubt I'll be able to carry on the whole way through the alphabet or indeed post continuously on consecutive days - but i truly admire those that can & do!
    Looking forward to the rest of the month - can't wait to hear more about yourself and Archie. :)

    1. Thank you...I will be over to check your posts out too :)

  3. Its a great idea for a clinic, as you say its a great way to pick up tips for improvement. Hope your having fun on the challenge. Blessings for the weekend. Amanda

    Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
    Art Blog

  4. Test clinics are such wonderful things! I wish more facilities held them - certainly saves using the first show of the year as a test run. So nice you and Alayne have been able to do so much this winter/spring.

  5. What a great way to spend the day :) Test clinics are a great idea.

  6. Sounds like a fun clinic. You guys look great!

  7. That sounds like fun! I have always preferred show-jumping to dressage myself, but I have always admired dressage riders. One day, I will ride in a dressage test and I too will make it look effortless!

    I'm also doing the a to z challenge. Good luck!

  8. Archie looks like he's having fun! You do too:)


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