Everything you need to know about dressage

Dressage is like dancing with your horse.

Dressage...most kids hate it but all kids need it.

As parents we want our kids to have fun, so when they tell us that there is one discipline they don't enjoy, it makes sense to just skip it.

However, dressage is one of those disciplines you don't want your child to skip. In this video I will tell you why. 



Here is a standard 20mx40m dressage which is the size that most lower levels dressage tests are ridden in.

Notice that there are markers/letters. (Click on image to zoom)


Dressage Arena 20m x 40m


It is good to know off by heart where the markers/letters are in an arena and for that purpose there is a little rhyme to make it easier to remember.

We start at A and we go anticlockwise around the arena:

A Fat Black Mother Cat Has Eight Kittens

Centre line:

DXtra Good

With the help of this rhyme, you will find it easy to remember where each marker/letter is in the arena.

Here is a full size dressage arena in which formal and higher level dressage tests are performed. A full dressage arena measures 20 x 60m. Notice there are extra markers/letters in between. (Click on image to zoom)


Here is another rhyme to help you learn the letters. We start at A and we go anticlockwise around the arena:

A Fat Palomino Broodmare Rarely Makes Calm Horses, Several Extend Vicious Kicks

Centre line:

Doing Lots Xtra IGood

These are just a couple of examples of rhymes. You can have a go at making one up yourself! Click on the arena images for a downloadable and printable version of the dressage arenas for reference.


The importance of dressage training

Remember that you are still learning and making mistakes is the best way to improve. After every test ask yourself:

  • What was good about my test?
  • What do I need to work on?
  • What am I proud of?