What is Dressage?

Dressage is about showing the judge that you can get your pony to do what you want him to do, when you want him to do it.

You and your pony have to follow a set of instructions laid out in the dressage test.

A judge marks the test. They give you a mark out of ten for how well you carry out each instruction. At the end of the test the marks are added up and the winner is the horse and rider with the highest score.

How Do I Start?

The good new is that you have probably already started doing some Dressage!

When you are riding at home and getting the pony to do the things that you want him to do you are already practising the basics of dressage.

To improve you and your pony, you might want to have lessons with an instructor. This includes the lessons that you have at a rally, where you will get help with your riding which will make the pony behave better.

Can I Do More?

As you and your pony get better and your confidence grows you may want to take part in a competition.If you cannot remember your dressage test, don’t worry as someone can read the test out loud to you (apart from Area Competitions and Championships).

With lots of practice and competition experience you may get to compete at National Pony Club Dressage competitions.

Rule Book

It is strongly recommended that you buy a copy of the appropriate discipline Rule Book(s) so that you always have it to hand for your competitions.

All Rule Books are available from The Pony Club Shop at a cost of £3.50.

Dressage Rule Book 2020

Dress and Saddlery Rules

Note regarding Tack Checking at Branch and Area competitions in Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing
Please note that, although The Pony Club would like competitors to use plain tack and dress, there is nothing in our rule book to stipulate this.
There is a perception that The Pony Club only allows completely plain tack and dress. We do not want The Pony Club to be saddled with an ‘old fashioned’ label. We would rather retain members and educate them, than alienate them.

The most important aspect of the Tack Check is the safety element, i.e. checking that the stirrups are the correct size, that hats are tagged and that stitching is safe and secure etc.

In order to enter Dressage to Music Competitions, you must be a current British Dressage Music Member/ Full BD Member .You also need to sign and return to BD a Music Sub Licence.

Agreement and a Music Licence Record Form. Once received, BD will then send you a set of PPL stickers .These stickers must be attached to your CD case so that organisers know you are correctly licenced and eligible to take part.

Please give 5 working days for your licence to be processed and the stickers to be posted.
Forms can be downloaded from the British Dressage website.

Dressage To Music is marked on two main factors.

  • First, your riding, for the same sort of things you get marked on in a ordinary dressage test
  • The other aspect is something entirely new. Your choice of music. If you ride a huge cob down the arena to ballet music, then you’re not going to get marked particularly well. Your choice is very important, and you must keep your horse in time with your music, and your horse should move at about the same pace as the music

Even dressage riders will tell you, regular dressage is only a spectator sport for people who do it themselves, unlike show jumping or cross country. But Dressage To Music is also fun to watch. one thing you must always remember is try to put a good show on for your audience. The judges will mark you on this as well.

This is a fun competition that anyone can try. You ride a dressage test along to music. The test has to include walk, trot and canter on both reins but you can choose what order to put them in.

You are given marks out of ten for each movement like in a normal dressage competition. Extra marks out of ten are given for how interesting your test is and how well the music goes with it.

Dressage to music can be done in pairs too. Marks out of ten are given by the judge for how well the ponies perform the test together. It helps to have two ponies that are similar sizes.

Please click here for more information.

There are a variety of Competitions available, speak with Penny Harlington who is our Dressage organiser.

Branch Competitions – Friendly competitions organised by Branches for their own Members and Members of surrounding Branches.

Area Competitions – Open to all Members within The Pony Club Area, including qualifying competitions for the Championships.

Championships – Teams and Individuals from every Area compete to decide the National Dressage Champions.

For more information about Dressage look at The Pony Club website.