Beginner Dressage?

Discussion in 'Horse Showing and Events' started by Sassy, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    I am wanting to get out & about with my mare and I have always wanted to go down the dressage path rather than hacking, but I am pretty rusty when it comes to riding "proper" and been a long time since I have done any competition!
    So where should I start? and would I need to be a member of anything?

    :) Thanks!
  2. BitBankAustralia

    BitBankAustralia Well-known Member

    Wanneroo ARC have a fun beginners show this Sunday with hacking and dressage- see the other thread in this section for details.
  3. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    Hey Sassy,
    The new rules with the EWA are that to compete at anything you need to either be a direct member of the EWA (you'd want the Associate membership) or a direct member of the club running the event.

    I'd look at getting some lessons with someone who knows about dressage. They'll be able to help you with what the judge looks for in each movement/level of test.

    For starters I'd look for shows that run both the prep and the prelim classes.
    Prep tests are just walk and trot, no canter. I always found the prep test a good warmup for the prelim test with Hondy. It meant that we could go in the arena but not have the added worry of cantering as well.

    I know the Perth H&PC often run days that have hacking, dressage and sometimes jumping as well so that would be a good place to start.
    Plus any clubs that run beginner days, fun days etc.

    Good luck and have fun!
  4. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Oh I think this Sunday might be a little short notice, but i will have a looksee :)

    Thanks Beth, I will look into joining EWA :)
    There is an instructor here in Northam I have been meaning to contact about lessons, so I better get onto it!! lol
    I rarely hear about beginner/fun days, I need to pay more attention :)

    I have been cantering with Kazz at home now but one rein is pretty messy & rarely get the right lead so would appreciate a walk/trot option :D
  5. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    There is also the option of joining an Adult Riding club, such as Avon Valley in Toodyay. Then you can have some lessons and also compete in some low key events involving dressage such as the Adult Riding club Interclub challenge that is coming up on the 4th July :) There is also an Interclub challenge scheduled for 12th Sept (hosted by Kelmscott Adult Riding) that is Dressage with the option of also doing a a fun Freestyle test.
  6. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Thanks DH, I was just skimming the EWA membership thread :eek: not too keen on paying $200 (plus joining fee) for 6m membership I might only use on occasion!! ouch...

    I have thought of joining AVARC but I am supposed to be moving soon, in the next few months and didnt want to join and only get a couple of rally's in, I was actually supposed to already have moved but things are going a tad slower than planned!
    Maybe I should just join anyway :confused:
  7. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    Sassy... keep an eye on the calendar here plus this showing section as well as the Events section on the 'other' website and finally the Equestrian Notices in the Saturday paper.
    Personally I find the Events section of the other website the best as events are usually posted there with heaps and heaps of notice so I can plan things more in advance.

    Regarding the canter... I would enter both prep and prelim tests on her. Use the prelim tests purely for training purposes. If you get the correct lead then awesome, if you don't then don't stress about it and move on to the next movement.
    Honda and I went through a stage where our canter was really really average. He wasn't balanced enough and I certainly wasn't helping him. So I would do a prelim test and not worry about the canter parts too much. I'd attempt the canter sections but not make a fuss of it. If the transition was late I didn't care. If we tried several times but just ran out of room then I didn't care either. For example, if we had to canter and then do a 20m circle I would keep asking for the transition until I was about 3/4 around the circle. If we didn't get it then I would leave it and concentrate on getting a nice trot back so that the movement after the downward transition wasn't compromised. Then I would completely forget about that movement and look towards the next one.
    The beauty of dressage is that if you stuff up one movement, it only effects your marks for that movement, not the rest of the test.
    I didn't care in the slightest what our score was or where we came in the field.
    I would go to the event with a goal in mind... be it a nice 20m circle, straight down the centre line or even just a nice calm warm up. The rest was just a bonus. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Set your personal goals for where you are at in your training and stick to those.
  8. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    Depending on where you are moving to you could maybe join one of the other Adult Riding clubs that are closer to where you are moving and just travel to them for a few months until the move brings you closer...
  9. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    Sassy... the problem with joining the AVARC is that if you want to compete anywhere else other than there then you'll need to be either a member of the other club running that event or the EWA.

    Unfortunately EWA membership (and therefore insurance) is expensive. There's not much you can do about it.

    I'm looking at joining the Swan Valley Dressage Association (SwanValleyDressage2010 - Dressage for all) next year. They run a training and development day each month and once you've joined ($150 for the year) you just pay for the days that you go to. It works out at $10 ground fee (either Brookleigh or Swan Valley Equestrian Park), your first test is free and then the 2nd and 3rd tests are $10 each.
    If you're not a member then it's $20 per test.
    What I really like is that you get 15mins to ride your test and then speak to the judge as well, so you get feedback on your test immediately. For me that's one of the big perks of the club.
  10. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Thanks guys!

    Beth I will keep an eye on all of the above! I think the office gets the paper so I should be able to nick that page out lol
    As for the canter, I had the BEST ride on her saturday, probably the best ever on her, she did everything I wanted and softly, the transition on the right rein was near faultless (well for us anyway!) - the left rein was a bit messy but the transition was there just wrong lead, but it was a very rewarding ride anyway compared to before mums visit LOL
    I am wanting to take her to the Winterama Show (25th July) and trial run the ridden classes, she has a tendency to have a spack when I ride her out in the open so will see how she copes with it...

    DH - if I end up moving where I think I will be, then I should be not far from Kalamunda Dressage Assoc :D - but is a bit expensive to join if I cant always make it this year.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  11. kathera

    kathera Active Member

    I ride at SVDA and love it for dressage training. absolute variety of riders (and judges) there from me on prep, lots of prelim / novice and those doing level 4 as well so you get to practise and watch and learn. they use different venues too so get to try indoors etc. and they have lunchtime demos / talks - this next one Lou collins saddle fitting. you can attend as a non member if you want to try this year and at this stage still day membership for insurance

    Also its like joining an ARC in that you dont need to be EWA member. Whole lot of stuff going on with that at the moment - have a read of some of the posts in the showing section :)

    Bit of a hike from northam - if you down this way come and have a look :)
  12. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    Gidge ARC are offering a reduced membership fee for 6 months if you are interested :) Nice buch of people and lots just starting out in dressage, jumping etc
  13. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    Sorry that was meant to read "bunch" of buch lol
  14. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Thanks everyone :)* I think because of distance & cost I might just trial the local ARC for now, since I prob wont compete much this year anyway, and next year I will hopefully be closer to the dressage clubs so will look to join them then :)

    Yes Kathera I almost choked when I flicked through the thread for

    Dirtbug has kindly given me the contact details for AVARC and I will hopefully be attending their rally as a visitor this weekend :D
  15. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Just another 'rookie' question :D

    HELMETS - what is the current requirement/standard? I know I need a new one but didnt realise there were so many differet types :eek: lol
  16. princeton

    princeton Well-known Member


    You need to wear an approved safety helmet with a harness.

    Good to hear you are going to be getting your spunky mare out!:D
  17. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    AS/NZ 3838
    Euro EN1384
  18. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Thanks Guys!! I will order a new one now, geez they are not cheap (miss the days when mummy bought all my horse gear! LOL)

    Ok so while I am here, what is the Jodpur standard these days? I have some old beige ones, I used to have a white pair but havent seen them in a few years... is cream/beige still acceptable?

    Also - chaps, what are the restrictions on chaps? I heard you have to have zip at the back for dressage, is that right? I have recently bought a new pair so I hope they are acceptable...

    It seems so confusing now days! Not that I will be competing at all soon but want to make sure I have the right gear when I do!
  19. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    Hey Sassy,
    Jodpurs... for dressage either cream/beige/white is fine. If you're doing club days then it would depend on the club. The last adult riding club I was part of the uniform was navy jods and a white shirt. But for normal dressage, especially the lower levels then cream/beige/white is standard.

    Chaps/Gaiters... I don't know what the adult riding club rules are but the EWA rules for dressage state that they must be full grain leather (so no suede) on the outer side of the gaiter. There are some that you can get with suede on the inside of the leg and normal leather on the outside, so they're ok. Otherwise full leather ones are the way to go.

    You can read all the dressage rules here... and pages 19-29 have all the requirements for Dress, Saddlery and Equipment.
    If there have been any changes to the rules you can read them here... Error

    As far as I'm aware there is no rule about where the zip has to be on the chap/gaiter.
  20. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    Thanks Beth! That link is awesome!

    The chaps I have are Ariat Crowne Pro (havent used them yet) and I have suede ones that I use at home only which I hope will be ok for ARC cuz I want to save the good ones for competition.. :D

Share This Page