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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Forsell

Dressage Showing Collective Remarks: Rider Position


rider position

Now we come to the rider score.


This is so important because it can let the rider know when they are presenting the horse well, or part of the problem.


For example, a horse won’t be able to maintain a steady connection, when the rider doesn’t have a secure seat.


The rider score is broken into two parts, the first part is about riding position, so think of equitation.  The second part is about correct and effective aids.


When evaluating the rider, we are looking at their alignment, is the ear, shoulder, hip, heel in line?


Weight distribution, are they collapsing or leaning off to one side?


Is their foot solidly in the stirrup or is it dangling?


Are the hands independent from the rest of the seat?


Let's talk numbers.

If a rider comes in with decent alignment, no big problems and isn’t getting in their horse’s way, I’m at a seven.


If a rider has a positive influence and is making the horse better, I can go higher.

If there are flaws in the position then we are at a 6.


If there are flaws and the rider is unintentionally disrupting the horse we go lower.


If the rider is intentionally affecting the horse in a negative way then we can go lower, luckily this doesn’t happen often, but the judge can send a message to the rider if it does and we can even ring them out if we are afraid for the horse.


Next week we’ll talk about the rider’s effect of the aids!


By the way, we have an awesome lesson on rider position in the Dressage To Go app called “Hack Your Riding Position” under the  How To category!


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