Friday, November 6, 2009

Dressage, Continued

Ok, so you have worked out how to enter the dressage field, and how to walk the figure of 8 from circles B or J, right? Great.

The C and H markers can be used to represent either a circle, or the straight line, so positioning here is instrumental to ensure the pony knows what is required.

Standing just to the right of the marker for Line C, facing the C mark, is my preferred way of instructing the pony to walk the straight line from the C marker (the yellow dot) to the D marker.

The pony only walks this line once. Similarly, standing just inside the center circle, facing the C marker would suggest the pony is to take the walk around that circle, three times.

Naturally, standing in similar positions, facing the H mark means the same, on the other side of the field.

Using the same principles for positioning, facing the D marker while standing closest to the line, would indicate to the pony a straight single way walk from D back to the C marker is required.

The pony should note that this walk is to be done backwards, ensuring she is facing up-field to the slalom poles while doing this walk.

The same is true on the other side of the field with the G marker. Circle D and G is exactly the same as walking circle C or H, only starting from the top of the circle and not the bottom.

E and F are both a slalom walk, from E, weaving between the poles to the F marker, and back. F is the same run only starting from the opposite side of the field.

Once the required events have been completed, the trainer moves to stand about 2 steps infield from the A marker, and waits for the pony to join them, side by side.

Turning to face the slalom poles, and bowing, the pony and trainer both then leave the field, and await the judges decision.

And so, in theory, that is the basics of dressage. Practise makes perfect on this, and is once a few trial runs are completed, enjoyable for both trainer and pony alike.

I hope this helps to bring a little understanding of basic dressage to those that have never quite managed to understand how it works.

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