Returning to the Dressage Arena!

29 Apr

Although I have been riding for longer than I like to remember, it has been a fair few years since I was riding competitively. I used to absolutely love competing and throughout my teenage years you couldn’t keep me away from the dressage arena. For one reason or another it has been quite some time since I was “judged” on my riding and I am feeling more than a little nervous about returning to that environment. However with my new young horse making good progress, and our confidence growing it was in the back of my mind that a return to the competitive world might be our next step forward.

At the weekend a local livery yard was running and quiet dressage show and a couple of my friends were competing. Therefore I thought I would go along to give them a bit of support and see what the day was like. Luckily, it was a nice sunny morning so I headed over to the yard to see meet my friends and their beautifully polished ponies! After spending the morning there I was thrilled to find that the atmosphere was really friendly and supportive. It really didn’t matter how well you did, everyone was so encouraging and if it went a little wrong there was someone there to have a little giggle with and keep it all in perspective. The horses and riders all looked lovely, but there was no pressure to perform or look absolutely pristine. The day was just about getting some experience, having some fun and keeping a smile on your face whatever happened.

Needless to say going along for the day really gave me the bug to get back to the dressage arena. Let’s just hope Skip and I can hold our nerve to actually make it there! Before buying Skip he had mainly been used for hunting so I imagine a day at the dressage is going to be a little different for him. It looks like I am going to have to invest a little more time and money in some further Skippy schooling and treat myself to a new dressage outfit (what a shame!). I am off to do some research on the rules so if anyone has any good tips or articles that will refresh the basics then please let me know.

If like me you are thinking of taking your horse out and about then why not pop down to a local show and watch like I did? It really gave me the encouragement to go along and give it a try and it gives you something to work towards. Plus it will make you feel more prepared when the day itself arrives as you will know what to expect and this can only be a good thing to help combat those nerves (that and a bit of rescue remedy). Why not visit a few local shows and see which one you think may better suit your horse? Or you can even volunteer on the day to get some experience at shows and really soak in the atmosphere. Fun and friendly local shows are often advertised on horsey Facebook groups or have a look at The Riding Diary to see what’s on in your area.

Happy riding x

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One Response to “Returning to the Dressage Arena!”

  1. finlaym1 April 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    I went back to competing (WH & BS) last year after a few years away. I love it! I think I have less nerves these days too, or maybe just being older and not taking it all so seriously is the reason lol Go for it and good luck! 🙂

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