Arcadia Pony Club

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The word "dressage" comes from the French word meaning "to train".  All disciplines of horse riding require the basic principles of dressage to be applied in order for the horse to be supple and obedient enough to perform the specific tasks asked of it by the rider.  A dressage competition seeks to find the rider who is best able to perform these principles in a competition situation before a judge.  Riders are given a set of movements which they are to learn in a sequence and then perform in an arena.  These "tests" are usually between six and ten minutes long and the arena is sixty metres long by twenty metres wide.

The required movements are broken down into separate sections and the judge gives a mark out of ten for each movement.  As well as for the movements, marks are also awarded for the horse and rider's overall performance in the test under the headings: Submission, Impulsion, Paces, and the Position of the Rider and effect of the aids.  The points for all sections are totalled and the rider with the highest total wins.  The tests are usually from a standard set and are themselves graded in difficulty.  The early tests only require basic control of the horse and simple movements while the more advanced tests require expert riding and extremely difficult movements.

All Dressage tests MUST be performed in a snaffle bit.  Dressage whips and spurs are allowed for Dressage.

Dressage Categories at Events
Beginners Led/Assisted
 Non competitive, participation ribbon and certificate
 Beginners Unassisted
 2 Prep Tests
 Novice Riders
 As per Zone Event guidelines
 Championship Classes
 As per Zone / State Event guidelines