Eurobodalla Dressage Association hosted their Protocol Dressage Day last weekend, allowing club members to practice their tests in a non-competitive and more casual environment at Moruya Showgrounds.
Dressage Protocol Days are a great opportunity for riders to learn how to improve the riding of a dressage test in a more relaxed environment, by giving them access to the dressage judge. Unlike a riding clinic, these protocol days focus on how the test is ridden, rather than whether a rider can walk, trot or canter.
The day provided a great opportunity to learn about the language used by a dressage judge and to gain insight into what the judges are looking for, without the added pressure of competition. Protocol days are a great educational tool and of great benefit to riders and their horses at all levels.
No plaiting was required for the horse and riders could wear neat and casual attire, including approved boots and helmets.
A group of 15 club members rode tests at various levels, including Preparatory A, Preliminary 1.1 and Novice 2.1, under the watchful eye of Maggie Brennan, and the ever trusty penciller who sits in the car beside the judge and scribes the comments and scores for each movement completed.
This gives riders helpful comments and advice to the rider and horse to improve on their test. The rider is then allowed to re-ride the same test, and a second scoresheet is completed. Scores are not compiled on the day and there are no winners or losers.
The day saw a cool but sunny beginning, with the first rider ready at 9am.
Irene and Jeff Adams bring the arenas and set them up early in the morning, a task that is always appreciated.
There were two arenas which allowed riders to practice and familiarise their horse with white railings and small entrance.
Hetty Munda organised the day for the riders and she also had her horse Windalee Khoster (known as Khossi) introducing keen young rider Isy McGee to dressage, riding him in the Preparatory A.
Keedah Throssell rode her young mare, South Winds Harmony for their first dressage experience, and her breeder Robyn Gamble, rode in the Preliminary 1.1 on South Wind Fibonachi.
Other riders and horses were: Sue Berry and Charlie; Rachel Lord and Kurio; KA White and APH Snowdrop; Jenny Andrews and Cashman; Lucinda Casey and Freya; Sue Elliot and Langtree Southern Comfort; Heidi Hewitson and Starkey; Brittany Jones and Sherry; Joanne Freebody and KA Roscoe; Sue Lawson and KC Royal Romeo; Margaret Ogilvy and Prince Charlie; and Lee Mason and Caralta Paris.
The Eurobodalla Dressage Association’s next Competition Day will be the Club Championships on Sunday, November 25. More information about the club can be found on the website, http://eurobodalladressage.org/. Photos are on the club’s facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/eurobodalladressageassociation/