The Equestrian Eventing Dressage tests are designed to demonstrate that military horses are supple and obedient.
That the military mount is suitable for use at parades and other events where the rider might expect to perform for royalty or military commanders.
The rider uses the eventing dressage tests phase to demonstrate that their horse is willing and able to perform a set routine in a controlled test.
The horse should be submissive to the rider and the riders control should appear effortless; with the horse responding to imperceptible commands.
In a well executed dressage test, the rider will appear to be doing very little, and the horse will be disciplined and accurate.
The Eventing Dressage Tests …
International eventing dressage competitors will undergo an opening veterinary fitness inspection, before the Dressage test is performed.
The test itself consists of a series of compulsory movements at walk, trot and canter, to be executed within a rectangular arena, measuring either 20x40m or usually 20x60m.
To perform a good Dressage test, the event horse needs to be flexible and fluid.
For an event rider to keep a strong eventing horse under control requires great knowledge and understanding, and although eventing dressage; even at the highest level, is not as demanding as pure dressage.
It is difficult to execute a good test with a horse that is more used to lengthy training involving a lot of fast work.
Trotting around obediently in circles can be as frustrating for the horse as it is for event riders who are more used to fast gallops across country.
Competitors are awarded marks (from 0 to 10) for each movement and overall collective marks by the judges. The marks awarded are converted into penalty points and then included in the final classification.
A good dressage test can lay the foundation for the remainder of a one or three day event and horses found wanting in the dressage phase, usually face an uphill struggle to be among the prize winners.
Current British Eventing Dressage Tests include …
What to wear when riding your eventing dressage tests :
For Intermediate and Advanced Level Dressage …
For the intermediate and advanced levels, dressage attire is similar to that of Grand Prix Dressage.
- The rider must wear a dark colored coat (usually black or navy), with a shirt, stock tie, and pin.
- If the rider chooses to wear a shadbelly, a top hat must also be worn.
- Riding breeches are usually white, although any light color is permitted.
- Gloves (usually white, although other colors are permitted) and spurs are required.
- Riding boots are usually black dress boots, and a belt is always worn.
For Lower level Dressage Competitions …
The lower level dressage competitons have fewer rules on dress.
- Riders may wear a dark colored or tweed hunt coat (shadbelly coats are not permitted), with shirt, stock tie, and pin.
- Breeches should be white or a conservative light color.
- A black or navy hunt cap may be worn, although many riders use a helmet.
- Boots may be field or dress, black or brown in color.
- Gloves and spurs are not required at this level.