All posts in “Dressage”

Queen Isabell reigns supreme in Dressage Grand Prix

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Queen Isabell reigns supreme in Dressage Grand Prix

By Louise Parkes

Isabell WERTH (GER) rides WEIHEGOLD OLD

She’s 47 and formidable, an exquisite horsewoman and a long-time legend as the most medalled athlete in her sport. Despite a few glitches in her performance with the fabulous mare Weihegold today, Germany’s Isabell Werth won the opening Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Omaha, Nebraska by a comfortable 2.5 mark margin when scoring 82.300..

“I’m completely happy, but I’ll have to calm my horse down before Saturday because she got so excited in the prizegiving!”

Werth includes five Olympic and three World team golds amongst the massive medal haul she has accumulated during her amazing career. She also has two FEI World Cup™ titles under her belt, the first collected 25 years ago in Gothenburg (SWE) and the next in Las Vegas (USA) in 2007, and she’s hungry for a third.

But it isn’t going to be a walk-in-the-park because the home side’s Laura Graves (29) was breathing right down her neck today when posting the runner-up score of 79.800 with Verdades, and is bidding to become only the third American ever to take this prestigious title.

Laura GRAVES (USA) rides VERDADES

Laura GRAVES (USA) rides VERDADES

“I think anything is possible!” Graves replied confidently when asked if she thought she could beat Werth in Saturday’s medal-deciding Freestyle to Music competition, and she has to be taken seriously after finishing fourth at the Rio Olympics with this horse who was so difficult as a youngster that she almost gave up on him.

Britain’s Carl Hester (49) finished third with Nip Tuck and will be another strong challenger on Saturday when just 14 of today’s 16 starters will line out. New Zealand’s Wendi Williamson and Dejavu MH were elminated when blood was found in the horse’s mouth post competition and Hanna Karasiova (BLR) and Arlekino failed to make the 60% cut-off mark.

Result:

  • Weihegold (Isabell Werth) GER, 82.300
  • Verdades (Laura Graves) USA, 79.800
  • Nip Tuck (Carl Hester) GBR, 76.671
Carl HESTER (GBR) rides NIP TUCK

Carl HESTER (GBR) rides NIP TUCK

Facts and Figures:
16 riders from 13 nations (Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland and USA).

A total of 194 human and 215 equine athletes have competed in the four FEI World Cup™ Dressage Leagues, aiming to qualify for the Omaha Final.

The winning rider, Isabell Werth, is a multiple champion and two-time FEI World Cup™ Dressage title-holder.

There will be 16 participants in the FEI World Cup™ Final 2017. Title holder Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED) is not competing in Omaha as his horse Glock’s Flirt was lame on the day of departure (25 March). Jessica Von Bredow Werndl (GER) also withdrew from the Final after her horse Unee B developed colic at the airport in Amsterdam prior to departure.

Isabell Werth GER – 1st

“I was well prepared but you never know what to expect! It was my fault we made mistakes in the two-tempis but I always felt safe. It wasn’t easy at the start of my test though because the crowd went crazy when they announced Laura’s score!”

Laura Graves USA – 2nd

“I came here to win, and to finish second to Isabell today feels a lot like winning! It’s my second World Cup Final, we competed in Las Vegas (in 2015) and this has proved how much my horse has developed over the last two years, he felt very honest and I’m very excited about competing on Saturday!”

Carl Hester GBR – 3rd

“I always give my horse an easy ride in the Grand Prix so that he’s perfectly rideable for Saturday. I don’t expect to be too far behind on Saturday.”

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Isis meets Heather Moffett

During the EE teacher training, Heather Moffett gives a quick lesson for Kelly and Isis. This is Isis’s first time indoors with a gallery full of people so was naturally, a little unsettled compared to her usual surroundings. This is week 7 into her training including time off with mastitis. This mare has so much potential!

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“Blue Chip All Stars”

The “ALL STARS FINALIST’S” parody music video.The “Blue Chip All Stars” get together to film a parody music video at Talland School of Equitation for a bit of fun while their TV series is being shown on H&C TV. This is not an advert for any associated business or association, it is just a bit of fun from a great bunch of people who shared the same experiences. Hope you enjoy 🙂


Kelly Jewell, is a 36 year old mum fKelly Jewellrom the UK. She specializes in retraining racehorses for new careers and also owns a company that specializes in veterinary and medical digital thermal imaging.

I have a successful Vlog on YouTube where I offer training tips and horsemanship advice to everyone who has is as hungry to learn as I am. I also enjoy grabbing the odd equestrian celebrity for an ‘on the spot’ interview too – please subscribe to my YouTube channel for exclusive videos and an all round happy and informative horsey environment.

You can also join our Facebook groups ‘racers to riders’ or ‘Thermology uk’ or pop along to my website atwww.thermology.uk .

Oh and you cannot forget Kelly is also a very successful parody artist who is the genius and talent behind the horse flavored Adele Video.

 

 

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A teaser video for the upcoming series The Equestrians

A teaser video for the upcoming series The Equestrians, filmed on a blustery day and night at the 2015 Dressage at Devon, the premier North American equestrian event since 1975. It combines world class dressage competition and the world’s largest open breed show with the international Fall Festival shops and special activities for the entire family.

The 2016 Dressage at Devon Horse Show will be held Tuesday, September 27 through Sunday, October 2.

Dressage has been called poetry in motion and ballet on horseback. Dressage is an ancient equestrian discipline, and the fastest growing equestrian sport in the USA today. In September, Dressage at Devon brings top competitors, horses, trainers and judges from across the continent and around the globe together for one of the highest-rated international dressage competitions and the most complete breed show outside of Europe.

Olympic medalist Robert Dover calls Dressage at Devon “the standard by which all American horse shows should be judged.” More than 700 horses are expected to compete with an anticipated 35,000 spectators.

Dressage at Devon opens with the three-day Breed Division, in which horses are judged for movement and conformation. More than 29 breeds are represented. The USDF Breeders Championships East Coast Series Finals and the Born in the USA Breeders Awards are among the highlights of the show’s first days. New this year is the first Foal Championship ever to be held in the United States. The combination of breed classes and performance classes gives the spectator a unique perspective.

Thursday, the four-day Performance Division begins. Most Dressage at Devon classes are F.E.I. (Fédération Equestre Internationale) level, including four Grand Prix classes, the level of Olympic competition. Musical freestyles classes, like dancing to the music, are favorites.

Dressage at Devon takes place at the Devon Horse Show Grounds, Route 29, in Devon, Pennsylvania. Tuesday, September 27 through Sunday, October 2. General admission is available for $10 at the show grounds during the show; children under 3 are free and children 4-12 are $5 for General Admission. Reserved seating has no discounts for children.

For more information, visit dressageatdevon.org

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Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art

The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art will be here in London, at Olympia, this Christmas for the first time in 40 years! Here is a brief video of the Dancing Horses from their home in Jerez giving you a taster of their performance to come!

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What should I eat on competition days?

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Rider Nutrition

In general, riders and horse owners have a pretty comprehensive understanding of nutrition…. when it comes to their horse. I’m not suggesting all riders have a bad diet but a good nutritious diet is lacking in a large proportion of riders. When I have been to various riders yard kitchens, the cereal boxes and bars are flowing, the chocolate bars and the hot chocolate/ coffee / donuts are on tap! Yum, yes! Energy? Short term yes, healthy er no. Mostly those that are based on the yard or barn daily, early hours late nights horses to ride. And those of you that are at work in an office etc all day, it’s tiring packing up the lunches in advance getting to your horse before/after work, working out and riding. None of us have it easy, and the first thing to slide is nutrition. Right?

The physiological demands of horse-riding as a whole do not require any particularly extreme dietary considerations. However, the prolonged and varied activity patterns evoke a significant physical demand and riders particularly competitive or those working in yards should plan nutrition to match long days and extended physical activity. Dehydration (too much coffee and tea too little water sound familiar?!) are important factors in riders also.

There is a great chapter ‘Nutrition for Equestrian Athletes’ in the book Equestrian Training Performance which is written by my colleagues Dr C and Dr N Potter (this is the same book you can find my chapters on rider performance). I will summarize the key points they make below.

Energy availability should be the primary concern for riders. A complete days rest maximizes glycogen availability, but equestrian events usually require significant preparation the day before. In this instance riders should prepare and include a carbohydrate rich diet 2-3 days prior to competition.

Approximately 200g of carbohydrates should be consumed throughout the day and ideally 25-30g carbohydrate should be eaten the morning of competition. If one large carbohydrate based meal is not an option due to early rises etc then smaller meals with the same macronutrient intake should be planned. Myfitnesspal is a great app you can track your macronutrients (carbohydrate, proteins, fats).

An ongoing feeding strategy the day of competition should be considered to avoid glycogen stores being depleted. Regular small carbohydrate meals does increase decision making and technical skill execution in other intermittent sports and should be of primary importance in such a risk based sport.

Oh, yes carbohydrates. What I mean here do not include simple carbohydrates! Insufficient sleep and simple carbohydrates causes soporific effects and will leave you tired and making poor decisions-not good!

Dehydration decreases cognitive skill and does affect performance reduces endurance and effects decision making. A fluid replacement strategy should be included as thirst is a poor indication of dehydration. Sports drinks may be used at competition (I would avoid otherwise especially regularly). Fruit juice with electrolyte powders are a more cost effective way of supplementing your drinks.

  • Clean healthy eating avoiding as much processed food as possible with the odd treat is the way forwards
  • It can be difficult when busy to make a list, recipies and meal plan, consider joining an online clean eating challenge. I do them sporadically so keep you eye out. Planning is the key to success!
  • Consider protein shakes to supplement your diet. Many riders have mentioned to me they feel much better taking a shake before/during the morning yard shift. I’ve tried lots of brands and you can get one to tailor to your lifestyle. A high protein low carb for muscle building, a moderate protein and moderate carb for energy/snack. It’s more nutritious than not eating at all then grabbing 7 digestives and a cup of tea 😉

You are as important and your horse, take care of you too. Hope this is food for thought![/vc_column_text][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”About Jenni” color=”custom” accent_color=”#dd3333″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][ig_lightbox_image image=”10203″ thumb_widht=”150″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Jenni is a Visiting Associate Principal Lecturer: Higher Education Equine Sciences, at the Centre for Performance in Equestrian Sport, Hartpury College, UK. Jenni is a certified personal trainer and has taught and published in both human and equine sports science fields. To learn more about Jenni visit her profile page. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ig_blank_divider height_value=”40″][vc_separator color=”custom” el_width=”90″ accent_color=”#dd3333″][vc_single_image image=”10351″ img_size=”526″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” css_animation=”top-to-bottom” link=”http://www.thedigitalhorse.com/membersonly/membership-account/membership-levels/”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row section_mode=”normal” bgmode=”default” bgposition=”top_left” bgrepeat=”no-repeat” bgattachment=”scroll” section_overlay=”no_overlay” sectionoverlayopacity=”0.70″ video_opacity_overlay=”0.70″ padding_top_value=”70″ padding_bottom_value=”70″ shadow=”shadow-off” css=”.vc_custom_1462649010961{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1462647462021{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”What we do.” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-horse-riding”]We train your  mind. When you know your dressage test, you can focus on your horse and your ride. You are prepared, sharp and ready to ride your best. When you become a member you have access to all the content on the site for the life of the tests.  The USEF tests renew every four years.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”Visit a Classroom” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-newspaper2″ animation_delay=”300″]Visit a Dressage Test classroom and experience our visual and auditory aids that help you master the tests and the spatial relationships of movements in the arena. Become a member and have access to the animated classrooms, exercises and the downloadable PDF library.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”PDF Documents” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-print2″ animation_delay=”200″]When you ride your test it is critical, to have a good reference tool. Our tests are viewable on your desktop computer, as color hard copy prints and on your mobile devices. Use the link below to purchase single levels or the entire set. Immediate Download.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”Membership” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-users2″ animation_delay=”400″]We offer flexible membership choices. Be a Dressage Member or a Eventing Member or BOTH depending on your riding style. You can purchase a membership one time and use the site for the life of the tests or  try our monthly option.

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*The Religion of Dressage*

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This week’s Trinity Schooling Idea

*The Religion of Dressage*

So I was planning on writing a little blurb about how you really need to be a perfectionist to do dressage. In my preparation (and with the advice of a writing mentor lent to me about 20 years ago ringing in my head about avoiding overgeneralization and offending your audience) I went to google to find words that would reflect the opposite of a perfectionist. I not only wanted to use them, but also wanted to see if the dragnet of the English language might also catch some of my peers (or worse yet, clients).
And so, not unlike several other of my posts, my googling shocked me enough to write about it, and completely jump in the deep end and start swimming. I might yet drown, but here we go.
WAY BACK when I was in school and striving to be a particularly overachieving student, I was continually taught that anything less than 100% didn’t reflect excellence. The word was everywhere in school: The cafeteria, the gym wall, the cheerleader’s poster-paint banners, even on the sign outside the parking lot. When a paper was handed back with an 88%, I would imagine my teacher’s frustration and disappointment as she completed the last circle on the second 8. I would walk past the desk and see the open grade book and see the numbers recorded on it and quickly scan for my name and torture myself when I saw the 88. Because it wasn’t perfect. And I wanted to be the not only the best; I wanted to be excellent. I wanted everyone to know that I was trying my hardest and succeeding.

When I googled the word “perfectionist” I was shocked to find an entire page about how to overcome it . . . About how to keep your children away from the perils of perfectionism . . . About how bad it is for you, and all sorts of other things written by people with a lot more letters after their name than me. Everything was about how to ‘lighten up’ and change your perspective to allow for differences (that to me, also interpreted to include failures).

My mind put her hands on her hips and said a loud “hmph.” Since when did trying to be perfect at something become offensive? Our peers, colleagues, and friends might regard us perfectionists as uptight, accuse us of overthinking, say we are judgemental or even call us hypocrites when we vocalize the standards we hold ourselves to. However, how often do we hear eulogies and news program mentions of famous perfectionists who describe them as geniuses who pursued excellence Who devoted themselves to perfecting their music, or performing as an athlete, or in the great length, they took to fulfill their vision as a humanitarian. Were they not perfectionists? Or are we just allowing the spin doctors to weave their web of rhetoric around something we aren’t supposed to be? Because heaven forbid, we try harder than someone else to do something well.

First of all, I think we could all use a little more perfectionism in our lives. Take handwriting, for example. My dear little daughter Paige will not learn cursive in second grade. Her time spent learning to write her letters on lined paper was terrifyingly short, and she didn’t learn the wonders of connecting all her letters together with swirls and lilting lines. She can hardly read anything written by hand unless it is in block letters, or printed in Arial or Times New Roman. This is astonishing to us “old folks” that spent tireless hours copying cursive letters and developing our handwriting, or later when I learned shorthand in high school. First, we learned the perfect way to do it, and then we developed our own style. But it had to be perfect first. If you followed the dotted lines, you got an A+, and then you practiced it, and you added your own little flourishes and made it your own. After it was perfect, after the time was put in. Then you could add to it.

I know my own desire was linked to my faith. Being brought up in a Christian home and school where every Sunday, we were reminded by the pastor that we were asked, nay, expected to be perfect in God’s eyes. It was impossible, of course, but it was still the standard. Without divine intervention, our inability to meet the standard would result in our eternal damnation, and only our belief and our faith could save us. Even so, we had to try – the standard of perfection remained, like the cross behind the altar at the front of the church. Most human actions and interactions could be described as either right or wrong, either an A or and F. . . for the things that didn’t have written direction, there was the examples of leadership to look to, and their advice was offered when requested. The attitude of the church that I grew up in was one of structure, diligence, education and self-examination. There was little that fell under the umbrella of “tolerance,” though there was always an ear lent to understanding the reasoning and elder words of wisdom to guide decision-making. Those words of wisdom often stressed one’s personal values: the things that no one else could see, that very few ever even knew – personal struggles, quiet victories, prayer and remorse, and forgiveness known only to the one who requests it and He who offers it.

Often people view religion as ‘antiquated’ and ‘out of date.’ Most often, the people that feel this way are offended by the structure, and the standards more than the social aspect of people assembling to worship: Whether it’s because they feel they are being judged, or it’s a result of their belief system and desire to be inclusive instead of exclusive, some people seem to be left feeling alienated by perceived standards which remain unknown to them, perhaps simply because they don’t want to be associated or don’t feel comfortable with learning more. I understand this.
Does any of this sound familiar?

Dressage can seem unfair, impossible and also antiquated when you’re standing on the outside of the ring. If you know enough to recognize which test you’re watching, you probably know enough to know what’s hard and what’s not. If you have no idea, and you only see the horse going sideways and forwards and around, it may seem ridiculous to see that the rider didn’t score well.

Dressage is amazing, and it fulfills so much of the drive for perfection in me, but in a constructive way. Not unlike religion, there is an impossible standard, and until I read a blog or Facebook post about your last 100% dressage score, I will maintain that position. We see photo after photo of beaming, proud riders – the most educated and brilliant riders of our time wearing medals and holding aloft bouquets of flowers, proudly passaging in front of adoring masses, often over wins with scores that are little better than a C+. And yes, it is called a test, after all! The only comments I’ve ever received that said anything like “nice try” were largely sarcastic (yes, and I still have that test). Every score on my score sheet shows where I am lacking, and there are no extra points for wearing spurs to try harder, or grip tack to sit better, or the custom boots to keep from wiggling my heels. In fact, the better you get, the less these things matter, and the more I have to do without them (and without help from a whip, even!).

The perfectionist in me turns into the second grader peeking at the teacher’s grade book when I scan my scoresheet. It’s easy to get bogged down in the “needs more . . ” and “crooked . . . ” and “not enough . . . ” but the dressage rider in me, instead has learned to make a mental checklist to either work on these things and adopt them into my riding, or sometimes to ignore them because it was just bad ride! To me, the low scores stick hot pokers in my eyeballs, and the words punch me in the gut a little. Other riders might be able to laugh it off, and they instead see the “elegant pair” comment and the words “active” near the walk score and smile when they see the 8s pop out at them. This is the personal part of dressage, and why I respect riders who don’t wave their scoresheets around for everyone to read. If you’re someone who takes these comments to heart, who tears down, rebuilds, and regroups all in the 5 seconds, it takes to scan a scoresheet and speed read the comments (maybe wincing a little). . . . You are in good company.

As the education, we require our judges to seek out before licensing becomes more and more comprehensive, and as our tolerance for abuse disintegrates and the requirement for respect of these noble animals becomes more and more apparent in how we develop the definitions for dressage, the standards will continue to be fortified. If it is to follow history, Dressage will become an older religion, with less tolerance and a firmer resolve. While its aims may change, as they already have from military need-based to recreational, it will always find the perfectionists challenging themselves at the top: those who are willing to accept the impossible standard, those who will follow the directives, those who will change themselves to help the horse pursue perfection, even though they may feel the feeling of it so few times, if ever, in their lifetime compared to the hours spent in the pursuit. There will also be others who will pay lip service, who will attend the show, commune at X and return home only to do whatever they feel they are justified in doing. And for those, they fail themselves in their personal journey, even if they achieve in the eyes of others.

So after your final salute at your next show, I dare you to mutter under your breath as you walk a few steps toward the judge . . . Dearly, Beloved, we are gathered here to repent of our transgressions, our late changes, our humongous pirouettes, our egg-shaped circles. We ask forgiveness for our late canter departs, and our lateral walk. We glorify the standards of dressage, to which we are held and which we can never achieve. May the judge have mercy on our poor white full-seats and forgive us as we accept the judgment passed down upon us. Thank you for your time, have a nice day. . . .Thank God that’s over.


[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”About the Author Eliza Banks” color=”custom” el_width=”90″ accent_color=”#dd3333″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”10060″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Eliza Puttkamer-Banks (Trinity Dressage) is a dressage trainer, competitor and instructor with a diverse discipline and breed background. Originally from the Midwest, Eliza married her husband Stephen and moved to England, and then returned to the USA to New Jersey, where they have settled and are parents to a horse crazy 7 year-old daughter, Paige.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”10351″ img_size=”526″ alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”http://www.thedigitalhorse.com/membersonly/membership-account/membership-levels/”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row section_mode=”normal” bgmode=”default” bgposition=”top_left” bgrepeat=”no-repeat” bgattachment=”scroll” section_overlay=”no_overlay” sectionoverlayopacity=”0.70″ video_opacity_overlay=”0.70″ padding_top_value=”70″ padding_bottom_value=”70″ shadow=”shadow-off” css=”.vc_custom_1462649010961{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_separator color=”custom” el_width=”90″ accent_color=”#dd3333″][ig_blank_divider height_value=”40″][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1462647462021{margin-right: 0px !important;margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”What we do.” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-horse-riding”]We train your  mind. When you know your dressage test, you can focus on your horse and your ride. You are prepared, sharp and ready to ride your best. When you become a member you have access to all the content on the site for the life of the tests.  The USEF tests renew every four years.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”Visit a Classroom” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-newspaper2″ animation_delay=”300″]Visit a Dressage Test classroom and experience our visual and auditory aids that help you master the tests and the spatial relationships of movements in the arena. Become a member and have access to the animated classrooms, exercises and the downloadable PDF library.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”PDF Documents” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-print2″ animation_delay=”200″]When you ride your test it is critical, to have a good reference tool. Our tests are viewable on your desktop computer, as color hard copy prints and on your mobile devices. Use the link below to purchase single levels or the entire set. Immediate Download.

[/ig_box_icon][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ positionalign=”center”][ig_box_icon icons_select=”icon_only” position=”top” title=”Membership” animation_loading_effects=”fade_in” animation_loading=”yes” icon=”icon-users2″ animation_delay=”400″]We offer flexible membership choices. Be a Dressage Member or a Eventing Member or BOTH depending on your riding style. You can purchase a membership one time and use the site for the life of the tests or  try our monthly option.

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  • Learn your test online
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  • Download a color coded diagrams with memory markers.
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