Author: Lynn Palm

Western Dressage: Practice Tips as You Prepare to Advance to the Next Level

Now that you’ve gotten into Western Dressage, you’re eager to do well. But what are the best ways to improve your horse at his current level and move on to advance to the next level?
As you ride each day, make a plan before you get in the saddle. You are teaching your horse every time you work with him, whether you are taking an actual lesson or not. Be sure he’s learning something positive!

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Western Dressage: Preparing for your Test

When it comes to practicing your dressage test, you can use a “call person” or memorize the test. The choice is yours. The length of a dressage test can be very intimidating to remember, but I think it is always better to memorize the test.

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Western Dressage: Understanding Test Scores

In Dressage, it is tradition to receive score sheets from the judge. Horse and rider are judged on each component of the test; a score and comments are recorded. Each element of a test will be scored and most elements will have a comment from the judge.

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Western Dressage: Test Levels

The greatest advantage of the Western Dressage discipline is that you know what you have to do with each levels and test. It is not like going to a hunter show and having to learn the day of the show the course for Equitation or Hunter over fences, or a western show and having to learn the new trail or horsemanship patterns.

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Western Dressage: Are You Ready to Show?

So, you and your horse have been training in anticipation of entering your first Western Dressage show. But how do you know when you’re actually ready to compete?

This is a question of confidence. Your instructor or coach should be realistic and give you advice on whether or not you are ready to compete. If you don’t have an instructor, a video camera is your best tool to see yourself ride. Watch for willingness and smoothness from your horse when you are riding. This will give you a better perspective to whether or not you are ready to compete.

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