Dressage Protocol

When competing at a dressage show, it is important to observe certain rules of behaviour. Most of these points are common sense and should be considered when attending a competition.

When entering the warm-up arena, take care not to cut off another rider. Slower gaits should take the inside track.

Pass left shoulder to left shoulder and look where you are going at all times to avoid a collision. When overtaking traffic in the same direction, pass to the inside with care and plenty of clearance. Better yet, make a circle or cut across the arena to avoid passing.

Keep at least one horses length from any other horse.

Plan halts in the center of the ring.

When turning, check your “rear view” first.

Be careful how you use your whip.. Other horses may react more enthusiastically than yours.

Fractious horses should be removed from the area immediately.

Make way for ring maintenance crews in the warm-up arena. Some competitions post a ring maintenance schedule so take care to observe them.

School your horse in a positive manner, do not school after a test if you are angry. There is no place for anger around a horse. Perform your warm-up routine with a purpose. Stick to your plan.

Always be polite. Foul language is never tolerated.

Horses not entered in the competition do not belong in the warm-up area.

Young riders have a wonderful opportunity to learn and test their skills at Lendon Gray’s Youth Dressage Festival, visit www.dressage4kids for details.