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GETTING STARTED IN DRESSAGE


lives in Stroud, Somerset. She combines running asmall competition yard and competing at elementary level dressage on her Welsh Section D, Coalman, with working for her partner’s agricultural contracting business. Christy broke Coalman in last year


M


and is steadily progressing through the ranks. Waiting in the wings are his two-year-old half brother and yearling son and daughter. Christy, who worked in aprofessional


event yard for many years, has scored many successes on Coalman, both in the show ring and in the dressage arena, producing him carefully so that he consistently produces winning results. His wonderful character and presence has earned him alegion of adoring fans. Christy is huge ahuge fan of Mountain Horse products and particularly loves her Opus High Rider boots and Coalman’s Maestro bridle. If you want to compete in adressage test, but alack of confidence is stopping you, here Christy’s gives some great advice on getting in the dressage arena.


ountain Horse- sponsored Christy McClean is agrass roots rider who


COMPETE IN DRESSAGE. HOW DO ISTART? WHEN IS MY HORSE


HELP –IWANT TO HOW LONG SHOULD


READYTOCOMPETE? When you are confident that your horse is able to move forward in equal and rhythmical paces, and you are confident in his ability in what he is doing in the walk, trot and canter, you’re ready to go. For example if you are doing awalk


trot test, you need to be totally happy he can maintain consistency at walk and trot, you can ride him in an accurate circle, he is aid aware and he listens to ahalfhaltand your instructions. The judges are always looking for consistency, rhythm, the rider’s aids, and the harmony between the horse and rider. Your aids are really important and


you will not do asuccessful walk trot test if you can’t ride abalanced circle, and you can’t ride ahalf halt. So if you are riding abalanced circle in an outline you are ready to go. Also, you should always be working at alevel abovethe one you are competing at.


WHEN AM IREADY


TO COMPETE? Idon’t think there is any right time, and the only thing you can do is to get out there and do it. We all get nervous, and worried, but only by getting out and doing it will you know how you are going to get on.


WHATDOIWEAR?


Ithink in dressage, regardless whether it is unaffiliated or affiliated you should make an effort as it is about the first impression. Iwould always do aplait of some description, either arunning plait, or afull mane of plaits. Turn out to the best you possible can and create that great impression. You are showing off everything about you as apair.


PleasementionCentralHorseNewswhen responding toAdvertisements


WE WARM UP? Ialways keep the warm up really quiet and calm. I’ll walk for agood 15 minutes stretching over his back before Icontemplate atrot. I’ll make sure he’s relaxed with no tension. If he’s working long and low, and listening to me, then the next gait will be easier. The walk is so important. Don’t try anything new, and don’t do anything over and above your test. Keep it really simple and within your comfort zone. Always be aware of horse and riders in


the warm up. It’s atime when you only focus on your horse, but be very aware of what’s going on around you. Be one of those good people and follow the arena rules and have respect for everyone too. Don’t over think anything and


keep it all as simple as possible. Run through the tests in your


head and if it helps to watch acouple of people do so. Above all have fun with it, and always


take away your test sheet, read it, and work on it. They are always beneficial. Don’t use your test as aschooling exercise that’s for at home. Go there to compete.


CentralHorsehasteamedupwith MountainHorsetoofferonelucky readerthechancetowinapair ofProtectiveJodhpurXTR Lite,whichmeetsENISO 20345:2011SBESRA standardforsafetyshoes,


andoffersalightweightalternativetothemoretraditional andsometimesheaviersteeltoecapboots.Withthenew termstartinginSeptemberthesebootsareperfectfor students,andanyoneworkingwithintheequineindustry. Theyareavailableinblackorbrown,sizes36-42and


cost£139.AlsoavailableastheMountainHorseProtective LoaferXTRLiteSize36-46Colours:Black,brownRRP:£119 Seepage23toenter


JULY/AUGUST2018


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