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The Eventer’s Nightmare – Dressage!

Dressage arena.jpgI don’t know too many eventers who luuurve dressage.  Most dislike it in varying degrees, from it being simply a nuisance to manic hatred – dressage is considered to be boring, time consuming and unbelievably hard.

However, eventing is made up of three compulsory phases –  cross country, showjumping and DRESSAGE – and even the worst haters of dressage eventually have to concede that they have to take dressage training seriously.  Gone are the days where you could fudge the dressage phase and make up your score by good, fast, clear cross country and showjumping rounds.  Today, more often than not, the placegetters finish on their dressage score, which makes getting a good dressage score vitally important.

Kate Samuels, writing for Eventing Nation, recently posted her experience of attending a dressage show in an attempt to improve her dressage score for her eventing.   We thought you might enjoy reading about her Day with the Dressage Divas and what she learned from her tests …


By Kate Samuels on 

Anybody who knows me will tell you that dressage isn’t my strong point. I’ve blamed it on a lot of things throughout the years, namely that it’s “boring”; that my upper-level horse isn’t a very good mover anyway, so it doesn’t matter since he’s not going to win that phase; and that studying dressage was for weenies. All of these are really legit reasons, right? No … not really.

Nyls also struggles with dressage, which is partly my fault and partly a symptom of his personality. Characteristics that make him an unbelievable cross-country horse, such as having wicked fast reactions, an ability to anticipate the next step in a combination and a bull-headedness that will conquer any scary horse-eating jump, also make him more than a little difficult to ride on the flat. He is the king of memorizing movements in a test and therefore just anticipating like heck and not even waiting for the cue (ahem … lead changes).

However, I finally, finally, finally took the plunge this year and told myself that I had to buckle down and learn this stuff. I was sick of having the casual throw-away score, and despite Nyls’ disliking of the phase, I knew he could do better. Eventing lets you forget sometimes that your dressage wasn’t great, because you can end on the high note of a brilliant cross country or a clean show jumping, but I’m on a mission to change that.

So, yesterday, I competed at my very first recognized dressage competition … [Read more here …]

[Source:  EventingNation.com]

Eventing is a tricky sport in that it involves so many individual disciplines.  Which aspect of eventing do you like best? What problems do you have with your eventing horse and dressage training?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

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