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The first impression of the pair is what dressage judges pay attention to

Untidy appearance, rude work with hands, clamped fit – do not even hope that all this will go unnoticed in the diagram. As soon as the rider appears on the battlefield, he immediately undergoes a thorough, even if not intentional, analysis of a specialist. And what exactly makes up the first impression of the rider and how not to shock the judges in the negative sense of the word, Yuri Romanov, judge of the international category 4 *, told us.
Yuri notes that the most important rule of every judge is the “first time” rule. Whatever the famous horseman, no matter what reputation he possesses, the judge must remain unbiased and give ratings as if every time a completely new, completely unknown person appears before him.

Therefore, you should never hope that you will be forgiven for negligence in appearance and improper fit, remembering past merits. “You will not have a second chance to make a first impression,” Yuri quotes a famous phrase by Coco Chanel.

So what immediately falls the judge’s experienced look and how to try to soften his strict temper — read our article.

Dressage is a sport where particular attention is paid to sophistication, elegance and neatness. Yuri says that the appearance of the rider plays a big role in shaping the first impression. He should be neatly dressed – dirty boots and a tailcoat stained with a loving horse – this is not what the judges expect! The rider’s hairstyle should also be consistent with discipline – all hair should be neatly gathered in a bun, and a braid or ponytail sticking out from under the helmet will clearly not cause a benevolent smile from the judge.

But not only the rider should be tidy – the horse’s equipment should also be cleaned and oiled, and the mane should be neatly braided.

Wear the right shoes
Yuri said that he always pays great attention to the rider’s shoes. Some are guided by the principle of “soft – it means comfortable” and buy competitive boots. And this is wrong. Dressage rider must be dressed in dressage boots with a special style.

Rigid on the outside in order to better keep their shape and soft on the inside, they not only contribute to the formation of a beautiful appearance, but also help the rider to keep his leg motionless, firmly pressed to the side of the horse. Since dressage does not imply such an amplitude of leg movement as in jumping, the meaning of competitive boots is simply lost. And lovers of special softness should take note – well-chosen boots are always comfortable.

Happy horse
Another criterion for a first good impression of a rider is the condition of his four-legged partner. The concept of a “happy horse” that came to us from the West, which implies the absence of resistance, tightness, which turned blue from fighting the iron of the horse’s tongue and open mouth, is increasingly being introduced into the basic principles of dressage.

Therefore, when the rider appears on the arena on a wet, sometimes even a haughty horse, the judge immediately understands that the warm-up was clearly delayed, which means that there was a long struggle. In this case, there can be no talk of any “happy horse”. And this, of course, immediately contributes to the formation of a negative attitude towards the rider.

The first circle – in a speech friend
No less carefully, the judges monitor how the rider rides around the battlefield and, moreover, specially enable him to do this. After all, such a detour will help to familiarize the horse with annoying factors. And at this moment, the judge’s gaze monitors how the rider moves, how relaxed he is, how stretched the horse is, whether it is prepared or not.

Rough use of controls and attempts to “build up” a horse on the battlefield will leave only a negative impression.

Rider Business Card
The most significant element in the ride, says Yuri, is entry. Because it is the visiting card of the rider.

If there are problems with conductivity – the horse will stand crooked, problems with the ability of the rider to sense a location in space – will deviate from the midline. Therefore, it is precisely this element that should be given special attention in preparation.

Europe VS Russia
In recent years, due to the opportunity to watch foreign tournaments online, many riders are trying to take an example from leading foreign stars. But even despite all the noticeable changes, there are still cardinal differences, namely, in the landing of the rider. And if abroad they first learn how to sit correctly, and then learn how to perform elements, then we, Yuri notes, are trying to roll up the scheme as soon as possible. From here, serious errors appear such as a tense upper part of the body, a stiff arm, a leg that does not fit tightly, which, unfortunately, are present in many, even experienced couples.

Many people forget about the simple but important principle of work – “first the foot, then the hand”. Hand movements should be minimized, and the rider himself should be relaxed.

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