Practicing my dressage test - 17th January 2015

Today I rode Gatsby, it was amazing! I have now managed to remember my dressage test well the 2nd one (the hardest one) and started my walk warm up by practicing it. I walked through the whole test before moving on to doing sections of the test in trot. I warmed up for about five minutes on each rein in walk and then roughly four minutes in trot, before picking up. At this point I did not want to ask for the canter because I know that canter work it what wares me out and this made a whole difference to the test. I managed to ride it through a lot more positively. The only bit of canter work that I did in the warm up was half a 20m circle twist.

I then moved on to riding through the test. For me I needed to not stress out and just focusing on my riding at the end of the day. I KNOW what I am doing, I CAN ride all of these movements separately now all I need to do is string them together. So when I went on to riding through the test this is what I needed to remember.

When I rode through the test, Gatsby got a little bit excited, he wanted to canter as soon as we came off the centre line. We had more consistent amounts of outline and we even managed to pick up the outline again after we did the canter which is something that I normally struggle to do. I rode through the whole test and even managed to get the canter parts right, we had a couple of moments in the canter that I need to work on for example the main part of the canter is cantering up the long side, doing a 20m circle at C and then cantering down the next long side, this is on the right rein. Here I fell out of the canter for about 5 steps on the 20m circle but I DID manage to pick it back up again and ride the rest of the test through. On the next part of the canter I did fall out of the canter just before the marker but this is something that I can work on in the future. Even though this is only the second time that I have rode through the test my positive thinking and attitude is a lot better which meant a greatly improved ride on Gatsby! I even have video footage of me riding through the test. 

We then spent 10 minutes really cooling down, Gatsby worked so hard for me and I am so happy with the work that he gave me, so I made sure that he got a nice stretch and cool down, which he loved. After we had cooled down we discussed the things that we needed to work on and this is what we got. 

- Canter - we need to keep it together all the time and go more in to the corners when we are cantering, this is something that we can do. 
- walk steps, in the test twice you have to transition from trot to walk for 3-5 steps then back up to trot. 
- using the corners of the school more effectively. 
- Getting the outline 100% of the time meaning that we are always working at our best. 
- Riding Gatsby in a snaffle, at the minute I think that he is in a gag, but I think we will ride just as well in a snaffle but we will soon see. 

Now to finish off this post I have decided to do one of the things that is on my list. I am going to list five things that Gatsby did well after each ride for a month so here goes. 

1) Gatsby was listening really well, he knew what I wanted him to do and he did it. 
2) Gatsby softened and worked in an outline very well. This is something we have been working on for a while and today he was very good. 
3) Gatsby was extremely good at putting up with my 'noisy hands', something that I am currently working on. 
4) Gatsby's canter work was strong and forward, he was really willing to give me what I want, I love that this horse will always try his best for who ever it is that is riding him.
5) He was extremely good to be washed down and dried off after our ride.

I hope you enjoyed this post and the videos, feel free to leave my any constructive criticism or comments that you guys have they would be greatly appreciated. 

Until Next Time 
A Girl With A Dream


  1. You guys look great! What is the difference between a gag and a snaffle? I've never used a gag before.

    1. I am not 100% sure what the difference is myself, (I find that bits are really confusing to know what's what) I think a gag applies more pressure and is harsher than a snaffle. (Anyone that reads this feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)


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