TOC Dressage Show

This past weekend our barn hosted a Test of Choice dressage show. Since I’ve been riding Val pretty consistently, I decided to enter him. I wasn’t sure what test to enter (I wanted to do a trot lengthen but not canter- there’s a test for that, right?) and trainer Sarah suggested the new eventing Modified Test. I was excited to try out this new test, meant as a stepping stone for riders looking to make the move from Training to Prelim. I’ve obviously never ridden Val in a dressage show, or a dressage arena, and had no idea what to expect, so we decided to practice the test in our lesson earlier in the week.

#dressage #dutchwarmblood

His trot is way too cute

The test is very similar to the T3D test but is in a small arena, and I found it to be a bit easier it doesn’t have all the movements the T3D does, and it sets you up really nicely for all the movements. Things come up quickly and the first thing I realized when riding the test on Val was that I needed to prepare and ask for the next movement with much more time than I did on Georgie. In the lengthen canter especially. I really needed to half halt and insist that he come back to me.


He also has a cute canter, now that I can ride it…

The test went pretty well. Val was relaxed and easy to ride. He knew his job and was a very good boy. In retrospect there are lots of things I would have liked to do better. He has a lovely trot lengthen (such a treat!) but I didn’t ask for much on our first go. I also could have kept my contact a bit more consistent throughout.

We had one flub going left in the canter he swapped leads. Argh. We have been struggling with this, but I did a bad job setting him up for the canter and using my body correctly to help him.


His walk ain’t bad either…

I’ve only been riding Val a little over a month so I was proud of how we did, considering when I started riding him all we worked on was getting him fit enough to be able to do these movements. I’ve also found a dressage saddle that fits him (although the stirrups are bit long for me at the top hole) that I can borrow and it has made a difference in how I ride him and the ease of asking for things.

I’m super lucky to have this fun horse to ride. I decided to make his show name Valiant Effort for the day and it seemed to suit him well. I have lots more going on this week, some good, some not so good, but am excited to fill you in on all of it!

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9 thoughts on “TOC Dressage Show

  1. KateRose says:

    Val is super cute! Sounds like you guys are getting along great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SprinklerBandits says:

    So fun that you have horses like him to play with while Georgie recuperates. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. draftmare says:

    He is super adorable, and you two look great together. How is Georgie’s recovering coming along?


  4. He looks lovely!!! Congrats and great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. carey says:

    Valiant Effort, I like that! Looks like fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emma says:

    That sounds like a really cool test, now I wanna go look it up and read it (tho the new guy is still firmly in intro territory haha). Val looks fantastic – nice job giving him such a solid ride for a new mount!!


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