By Mistress Lycia M73
• The presentation should be done like a ballet dance performance. Trainer and Pony should show perfect harmony, fluid motions, understanding without words or gestures.
• For a perfect dressage, you will need a lot of rehearsals.
• When a Pony doesn’t stop perfectly on the yellow square, do not try and correct. That looks silly.
• Trainer needs to be considerate of the Ponies approach to the yellow squares and of the way it will walk the figure. Stand where you are not blocking the path of the Pony, and avoid corrections.
2. Entering and exiting the field
Trainer and pony step to the bottom of the field, not yet entering, just below the Letter A. Once both are settled, the Trainer gives the pony a signal and they enter the field in unison at the A sign. Once in position on the field just above the lettered A sign, pony and trainer bow or curtsy for the judges.
After the bow the trainer should move into the first position given on the dressage course card. This card will only be given to you moments before the event. During training, simply decide ahead of time what progression of movements you will use and guide the pony as you would in an event.
Each step is followed until completion of the course listed on the card, or until you have completed working with the pony on the progression of movements.
3. Transition between the figures
There are three different ways to transition between the starting points, listed here in order of difficulty.
3.1 Straight Line
This transition is the most straightforward. After finishing a figure, the Pony waits for the trainer to stand at the starting marker for the next one. The pony then turns towards the start marker of the next figure, walks there gracefully, stops and turns to face in the correct direction for the current figure.
This approach is similar to the straight line, but more graceful. Instead of walking a straight line, the Pony walks a graceful, curved line in such a way, that the pony arrives at the next start marker facing already in the correct direction. In short: No turning on the spot in this transition.
Traverse was developed to recreate RL dressage. In Traverse, the Pony always walks inside the outer rectangle to reach the appropriate letter. To reach the first figure, the Pony must always start in a clockwise direction (unless the first figure is the figure 8).
The Pony must gracefully walk along the outer edge without touching the rectangle. Once it reaches the letter that corresponds to the figure indicated by the trainer, Pony turns 90 degrees, walks towards the starting point, then turns 90 degrees again to face the correct direction.
If the figure is the circle, the Pony must enter the field facing the correct direction. 180 degree turns are not allowed, so walk around the field and approach the starting point from the other side if necessary.
There are two exceptions:
• If the next start marker is on the same intersection (from H to C or from G to D), the Pony must go directly to the next start marker. This only applies when transitioning between the lines and the circle.
• The figure 8 is always entered from the letter A, not from J nor B.
4. Walking the Figures in Silent Dressage
The following explains how to properly walk the figures. The trainers need to know where to position themselves, and the ponies need to know what their behavior should be when they see a trainer in these positions
4.1 Figure 8
Figure 8 can be started in two directions: starting either towards marker B (starting towards the left) or towards marker J (starting towards the right). Either way, Pony is always facing towards the columns when it starts.
Trainer indicates the direction to start towards by standing next to the yellow dot and either pointing/facing/looking at the B or the J sign. Pony always enters the Figure 8 from letter A and comes into position on the yellow dot in the middle, facing the slalom. Pony starts the figure 8 towards the direction the trainer faces and completes three full figure 8s.
Two lines on the field, Line C – D and Line H – G. Trainer stands on the inside of the line sign facing one of the lettered signs. Pony moves into position on the yellow block facing the slalom columns, then walks down the line towards the opposite yellow block, pony walks down the line to the opposite yellow block and stops.
When starting on C or H, pony walks forward towards the columns. When starting on D or G, Pony must walk backwards – again, facing the columns!
Circle has two starting points: one is close to figure 8 (between C and H), the other close to the slalom (between D and G). Trainer stands outside of the circle next to the yellow square. Pony moves
into place on the yellow square facing the same Letter the trainer faces and moves around the circle three times, stopping at the completion of the third circle on the yellow square where they started.
The Slalom is started from either marker E or F. To indicate the slalom, the Trainers stands on the outside of the slalom, facing the yellow block.
The Pony walks the slalom once, no running, and once at the last pole walks around it and returns in the same weaving way to the yellow point where she started. When doing straight or curved transitions, the Pony turns 180 degrees to face the slalom poles. In traverse transition, Pony finishes facing outwards, away from the slalom, as 180 degree turns are not allowed in traverse transitions.
4.5 End of the presentation
Once the presentation is completed, pony and trainer return to the starting position facing the slalom course. With their backs to the letter A, both bow or curtsy in unison. After that trainer and pony exit the field in unison. Once they are outside the field the performance is over.
Optionally the trainer and pony may turn towards each other and bow or curtsy one last time, to show their respect to each other.