Calgary Dressage info on 2012 AJYR Show – Volunteer Scribes & Medic needed

The Show Ring
The Really Big Show

Hi everyone,

 I’m sending this out on behalf of the organizers of the 2012 AJYR Show @ Westerner Fair Grounds in Red Deer.

They are in need of some volunteers for the show:

They need scribes for Friday May 11, Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13. 2 scribes are needed per day for all 3 days and one person to scribe for the bronze show which is the Saturday only.

They also need a medic for all 3 days as well if anyone is interested.

Please contact Kelly Wise at 403-247-0649 or if you are interested in helping out.   (via Karen Mercier)

Calgary Area Dressage Shows…Save the Date for Claresholm

The CC/ADA Gold Show will be hosted in Claresholm June 9/10, 2012.

This is a save the date reminder for Calgary area dressagers, as last year they had to limit the number of entries to their show. This marks the silver anniversary of the show, and it’s sure to be very special.

This is a great local dressage show, one not to be missed.

Calgary Area Dressage Show Dates for 2012

Carrots and Cocktails Series:

January 22nd – open schooling at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Arena (Anderson’s)

Carrots and Cocktails I February 11/12 at Andersons

February 26th open schooling at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Arena (Anderson’s)

Carrots and Cocktails II March 10/11 at Anderson’s

Carrots and Cocktails III April 14/15 at Anderson’s

Thoughts on Performance

Riding the Diagonal LIne
Calgary Dressage

1. We were physically well prepared for our tests.

2. Mental toughness is an area I need to keep working on.
3. I need to practice at “speed”.
4. I need to keep in mind the “set up” for the required transitions.
5. Focus, for me, is a big requirement for showing dressage.
6. I’ll never underestimate the value of having a groom.
7. I learned to practice tests at home, but don’t drill.
8. I did accomplish a great deal in my warm-ups.
9. I will work on making my tests be as good as the warm-ups.
10. I will always have fun and learn at shows.
Kudos to PADA for hosting a brillliant Championship this year. 
                                                              Thanks for the great weather.

Dressage Riders need to know the rules of our Sport….

Suggestion:   Before considering making an accusation regarding a rule breach involving a fellow dressager,  take note of the rules of our sport.  Ignorance may be the reason for a false accusation, but it is not an excuse for making it.

2011 Dressage Canada Rule Book

Check your rule book page 34…article E 4.9 #5.
It reads…

Double bridles may be used to warm up any horse regardless of the level at which it will compete.

Calgary Dressage Tips…What to do if a test goes wrong….

Tips for Riders

When considering why your test did not go as it should, be honest and objective about why.

Your coach can be very helpful in this regard.  You need to look to the reason not the result.

This past weekend, I was dissapointed in my first ride, my horse was not with me and seemed to have his own agenda. I could have blamed it on many things, but that would do me little good at improving my performance nest time.

The test starts in the warm-up.  I forgot that.  Rhythm, looseness, contact…that is how I needed to start. I also needed to remember to “be there” for my equine partner, as he needs me to be confident one for the team.  I let him down in that regard.

The judges table at “C”, the noisey door, dogs and people moving about are distractions and excuses to go off task.  Focus and attention to detail in the spooky areas of the ring in the warm up were critical to performing my test well.  Instead of insisting on his attention where I knew we had challenges, I hoped for the best and stayed away from the scariest parts sof the ring.

My warm up may have looked pretty, but it did nothing to engage my horse and give him the confidence he needed to ignore the spooky bits and listen to me as the pilot.  I allowed him to develop his own agenda during the test, which was to focus on everything else, but me.  I effectively set him up to do this in my warm up.

What did I learn.?…Work things through.  Establish the basics of the training scale and build on them through thte warm up.  Keep the horse calm and confident in the scary end by working through suppleness and bend. Ask and allow (but insist).  Ride it through.  The warm up is crucial and you can’t just hope for the best, you have to make it happen.

The warm up is not always schooling, it’s an opportunity to prepare for something else entirely.  You can use elements from your schooling or test exercises for sure, but don’t let you and your partner down by not using the warm up for 100% effectiveness at the show.  A spooky horse will not be “fixed” in the warm-up, but you can use what you know to help set the horse up for the best possible outcome.  You can plan to half-halt or flex to the inside at the spooky corner.

Yikes…I have been riding long enough to know better.  I have to take this one for the team.  Thank goodness there is always a next time and a chance to do the right thing.  I owe it to myself, my horse, coach and sport.

My second ride was better.

No more Top Hats Allowed in National Level Tests!

A great Poster
Freestyles Rule

Equine Canada/Dressage Canada have issued a late rule change that as of May 1st, 2011, only competitors above 4th level will be allowed to wear Top Hats in Canadian Competitions.  All others must wear a safety approved helmet with harness when mounted on the show grounds. Failure to comply will cause the rider to be eliminated from the show.

Any Comments?

Here is a copy of the new rule as of March 23rd, 2011:

ARTICLE E 4.0 SAFETY HEADGEAR [effective May 1, 2011]

1. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all riders

showing Fourth Level and below, regardless of age, when mounted on

the competition grounds at EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

2. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all noncompeting

riders mounted on horses entered in classes at Fourth Level

or below in EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

3. All riders of any age while on non-competing horses must wear

protective headgear at all times while mounted on the competition


4. The penalty for contravening 4.0.1 is elimination.

5. Non-competing riders who contravene 4.0.2 and/or 4.0.3 will be

instructed to dismount until wearing an ASTM/SEI or BSI approved


Note: At the tack check which follows the test, the steward may ask the

rider to dismount so that the helmet may be inspected for the ASTM/SEI or

BSI label.

My comment is that I will miss wearing my Top Hat until I can ride in the FEI classes. It’s unfortunate that this elegant piece of our attire will no longer be visible at the higher national levels of our sport.  I acknowlege the inherent risks of riding, but always felt that once you reached third level, you were secure enough in your training to make a personal decision as to the head gear appropriate for your level of showing. Equine Canada (Dressage Canada)’s position is to: ensure our safety and protect against liability.  I thought that is why we signed waivers to compete at  shows. 

How to Remember Letters Around the Dressage Arena…

I hope this helps Calgary Alberta area dressage riders.

20 x 60m
Dressage Competition Arena

I’ve come up with a way to remember the letter positions around the Dressage arena.

Starting with A and going clockwise around the ring:

  • A-All
  • K-Kings
  • V-Visit
  • E-Each
  • S-Special
  • H-Horse
  • C-Cantering
  • M-Merrily
  • R-‘Round
  • B-Beautiful
  • P-Pastures
  • F-Free

I understand that the original Dressage letters were abbreviated names of  a King’s horses, whose stalls surrounded the indoor riding school at court. That would explain why Dressage letters are not in alphabetical order. Does anyone have any other information on the origin of Dressage letter placement? Send a comment.