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Thursday, 3 December 2015

E-Dressage First Timer!

I'd come across the concept of E-Dressage a few years ago, but had never really given it a go. I also have transport, so have always taken Louie to dressage competitions. However, balancing a full time job and working around the recent bad weather in the winter, I decided to give it a go.

The concept is fantastic! Not only is it fully available for anyone, but it means you have something to aim for each month, even if the weather gets bad (or work!!). All you need is a 20x40m flat area to ride in and a way to film your test!

Luckily, I didn't need to worry about finding a space to do the test in - we have a lovely indoor arena that is the exact size, complete with letters. However, walking out an area of this size in a bigger arena or in a field is also acceptable.

Filming is simple. Get a friend to film you at 'C', directly in line with 'A', or on a fence post if you're auto filming. The criteria is that the horse must be in full view & in the centre of the screen.

In my typical style, I left mine until the final few days to film it!! Needing to be out of the arena by 5pm, I just had enough time for a walk & trot on each rein before Andrew filmed our test. Overall, it was a bit inconsistent and tense because it was all a bit rushed. But overall, it was a good test & we tried to be as accurate as possible.

Here's the test.

Entry is really easy. You've already selected your class from filming it, so you just fill in a quick online form for the corresponding test & pay using PayPal or your debit card. Once you have done that, you simply upload your video directly to the E-Dressage site (it's not public), or you can upload it to your own YouTube channel. If you do the latter, which I did, all you do is email the team with the link and your entry name (just make sure the video is set to public). That's it - it's really easy!

All entries must be submitted by the last day of the month, and judging seems to usually take place on the 1st of the following month, with fully qualified BD judges. A day or so later, the results are posted online, with your test sheet following in the post a few days later.

E-Dressage offers rosettes up to 7th place, depending on entries, and again depending on entries offer prize money on the top placings.

In my class, there were over 20 entries, so I was pleased to find us in 5th place!! There is also a Winter League running over Nov-Feb, which has a points series based on 1 point per whole percentage point, so my score of 67.83% has given us a starting score of 67 towards the league.

This is also one of the fairest leagues I've seen. It doesn't matter how many tests the combination enters, only your highest scoring test counts towards the league. It offers some great prizes, sponsored fully by Blue Chip Feed, and is named The 2015/16 Winter Challenge.

There's not only BD, but also Bitless, Ex-Racehorse, Music and Veteran classes, with many more classes coming in the future, including British Eventing tests & RDA. Every class has a sponsor - my November class was sponsored by Easibed.

It really is a great concept, & very professionally run, and a good way to keep going throughout the winter. You can also join in all the dressage chat on Twitter - E-Dressage also runs the #dressagehour hour, every Tuesday, 8-9pm.

Have a go!!

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