Competing for the first time!

Discussion in '2004 Archive of Posts' started by powerticker, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. powerticker

    powerticker New Member

    I am quite excited as I will be taking part in 2 local shows on the weekend of april 11th and april 18th at 2 local schools. Although I am taking part in some baby classes, I feel that it is nonetheless a good start.

    However, as well as being nervous, I am quite inexperienced. I am going to be doing a Preliminary-EFA Test no 1D (ungraded, unaffiliated) 20x40 m dressage test on April 18th as well as another Test no 1C on April 11th. I am being given a sheet of the test and some arena figures. I decided to draw out the 2 tests... the only problem seems to be "how to go about in memorizing" the test. Of course, I'd imagine practice makes perfect but when you are at the test for the 1st time being all nervous, I find it pretty hard to remember all the 10 moves. Any tip?

    Finally, let's say if you were to do 2 tests back to back, one at 10 am and another at 11 am for dressage, it would be pretty tough to remember 2 tests so is it true that one shouldn't do 2 tests in one single day?

    Finally, I am also taking part in a jumping class for JUMPS not to exceed 70cm in the frist round (2rounds). Some recommend me to simply take part in the Beginners Jumping class for jumps not to exceed 50 cm in the first round (NON-immediate jump off). Would anyone give me some tips? I have been doing simple courses and jumps around 60 cm. I have no idea what NON-immediate jump off mean but I have never competed in showjumping. In classes, the coach usually sets up a course of 6-8 fences and tell us the course... she would tell us to trot and get back on the right lead and all that but when it comes to a show, I wonder how I should approach the course. Finally, I asked one friend of mine whether or not I should walk the course and count strides (related distances) but he said unless I'd be jumping close to 1m, I shouldn't worry too much about that as a beginner. Plus, my coach hadn't really explained too much on strides yet so any input?

    I am quite nervous as well as excited and have to start getting my white jodphurs and ties together as well.
  2. ponytude

    ponytude ...Gone Riding...

    Ohh First shows are fun!!! Have fun and relax!!! Good luck to you!!!
  3. kedwards

    kedwards New Member

    How exciting! Good luck on your first show.

    I'm not experienced at dressage, but when I did learn a test, I found it helped to think of it in terms of patterns, rather that seperate elements. I don't know if the style differs where you are from the US, but over here, the tests generally have repeating patterns (i.e., you'll do things one direction, then repeat the pattern in the other direction). Generally, the patterns are pretty easy to learn, so it becomes mostly a matter of remembering where to initiate each of the transitions.

    As for the jumping, I would be inclined to do the lower class, if the other is higher than you are currently schooling courses at home.

    Best of luck!
  4. DavidH

    DavidH BSJA-Big Scarey Jump Asso

    Most dressage tests allow the test to be called out by an assistant. For your first tests it is a good idea to to this. You could have both tests read out or learn the first and have the second read.

    As far as the showjumping goes, always plan to compete at a lower height than you practice in lessons.

    Walking the course is essential, make sure you walk exactly the line you are going to ride and use all the space available.
    Don't worry about striding related distances as there will not be any tricky ones at this level.

    I would imagine a non-immediate jump off means you will all jump the first round then the clear rounds will do the jump off.

    Good luck
    David H
  5. powerticker

    powerticker New Member

    DavidH, thanks, so when you say call out, does it mean that you have someone reading the test to you from the side of the arena? It seems easier said than done cos I might not hear clearly my announcer?

    Finally, I agree with you, maybe 50 cm beginners' jumping would be a good start. If I could, I could also do the 70 cm but if I could only do one, I would do the 50 cm.

    So I presume that it would mean that the first time around would be process of elimination, unless you clear, you are gone and if you do clear, you will go onto the jump off? Does that mean you count time?
  6. IrisSilverMoon

    IrisSilverMoon 206 yo ;)

    don't worry! Memorizing tests isn't as bad as it seems! I always ride two tests in one day, some people do more if they have other horses to ride, I imagine that could be pretty hard though. You should be allowed to have a reader, but I would make sure my tests were memorised too, just in case your reader messes up. That's happened to me before, it was a good thing my tests were memorised! One thing I find works really well in adition to riding through the test, is having a dressage arena drawn on paper and then tracing what i do with my finger. Its stuff like, A enter collected trot, X halt salute, proceed collected trot. I say that part out loud or in my head and then move my finger up the center line on the paper, stop at X and proceed on. You get an idea of where things are supposed to happen and what the patterns look like. Plus, this way you get to go through it a bunch of times without worrying about the horse getting bored with it! 10 moves may seem like a lot, but my last tests had about 25 moves! no worries, you'll get it...:) good luck!
  7. horseychicnz

    horseychicnz Ebony Knight

    I would also recommend someone to read the test out to you, but defiently learn it as much as you can. Also make sure your reader has a practise run with you so they give u the instructions at the right time, to know how loudly to speak etc.
    A good way to learn dressage tests is by getting an old sheet (bed sheet), and drawing on the letters of the arena. Then you can "walk" "trot" and "canter" your way around, thinking about how you would be riding the horse at the same time.

    In your jumping, if you go clear you will be in the jump off and yes it will timed. Some shows are run with an "instant jump-off", meaning if u go clear they ring the bell and to do your jump off straight away without exiting the ring. I defiently wouldn't worry about striding at this level but u should always walk your course before you jump.

    Good luck :)

    HAYLEY GITTOES Shropshire lass....!

  9. Evol_or_revert

    Evol_or_revert Smart Blonde

    Hey, gud luck. Dont stress you will have fun, it's all about learning.

    ok Tests are easy to learn :D.

    1.Read the test over a few times.
    2. Draw up the arenas then using a different colour for each pace draw your test out. repeat a few times (i like to stick on up on my wall as well)
    3. Walk out the test in you room or out side in little scale, do different steps for each pace. Repeat a few time.
    4. Read the test a few times over again.
    5. Say the test out loud a few times, can be matched with step 3 again.
    Hopefully by now you remember it all :D.

    I do up to three test in a day. Learn both test then that morning just run over ** first test. once that test is over forget it and run over the next test.

    Showjumping is great. Just do what you learn in ** lesson!!! this show is just for learning :D, do you changes through trot, and remember to look up and put ** leg on.

    You dont need to count strides, I just started doing that but only for the 1.10m courses.

    So overall have a fun day!!! and dont worry bout anything you want to enjoy yourself not stress out. And tell us all how you went :D
  10. DITZ

    DITZ New Member

    oh good luck! Dont worry yourself too much, its not as daunting as you imagine its going to be!

    I cant advise you on the dressage because I dont do it but in terms of remember anything I find it helps to watch other people do it a few times and then you can visualise it.

    With regards to walking the course, yes you should do this just so that you can decide where to approach/turn etc and so that you can visualise which fence comes next but as for counting strides unless you know how to affect the number of strides your horse is going to take theres really not much point and with fences of that height I doubt your horse will have any problems sorting himself out. (And to be honest you'll be too busy concentrating on other things to count strides!!)

    Just remember its about having fun, no-one will judge you just enjoy it!

    I did one recently where I took a wrong turn and jumped the wrong fence the wrong way round but so what, I just enjoyed being there and doing it.


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