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Beginner Dressage?

Horse Showing and Events Thread, Beginner Dressage? in Horses and Ponies; I am wanting to get out & about with my mare and I have always wanted to go down the ...
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Old 21-06-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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Default Beginner Dressage?

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!
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Old 21-06-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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Wanneroo ARC have a fun beginners show this Sunday with hacking and dressage- see the other thread in this section for details.
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Old 21-06-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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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!
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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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
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:17 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
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Thanks DH, I was just skimming the EWA membership thread 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
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #8
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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...
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 21-06-2010, 02:56 PM   #10
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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 - but is a bit expensive to join if I cant always make it this year.
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Last edited by Sassy; 21-06-2010 at 03:11 PM.
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