This Dressage Test Doesn’t Exactly Go as Planned

Posted by Paige Cerulli
dressage test

While you practice and practice and practice to make sure your dressage test goes perfectly, sometimes things change once you get in the arena.

If there’s anything that equestrians know, it’s that when you’re working with horses, things don’t always go as planned.

This dressage test is a perfect example of that, and is a great reminder that, no matter how prepared you are, sometimes things still go wrong. But it’s also a great lesson in horsemanship and in the importance of always being willing to try things again.

This young rider and her horse begin their dressage test just fine, but it’s not long before things go a little bit….awry. Take a look.

Whoops. Clearly the horse wants to head for the jumper ring, rather than the dressage arena today. But, his rider did a great job of going with him, and we have to applaud the fact that she didn’t get mad or yank at his mouth in anger.

According to the rider’s comments on the video, this was their first time riding in competition. She was allowed to re-enter the arena and perform her test.

When you ride horses, you can never know how things will turn out. Maybe that’s what makes this sport so challenging and what keeps us coming back for more. After all, we’re working with living, breathing partners who are many times our size but who don’t speak the same language we do. There’s bound to be some missed communication, especially when we’re in the busy horse show environment.

If you ride, then you learn to accept that things change in seconds, and your goal for the day may shift from bringing home a blue ribbon to simply calming your horse down while you’re in the ring. It’s part of working with horses, and good riders become skilled at packing their emotions away and accepting the unexpected as they encounter it.

Has this ever happened to you in the arena? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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This Dressage Test Doesn’t Exactly Go as Planned