10 Tips to Improve Your Dressage Test

Kentucky Performance Products’ newest sponsored rider is Reese Koffler-Stanfield. She offers 10 tips to improve your dressage test at horseshows.


  1. Organize all your clothes, tack, and equipment the week before the show.
  2. Practice riding through your test before you get into the show ring.
  3. Develop an overall plan and timetable for the day of the show. Be sure to include your warm-up time.
  4. Understand the geometry of your test. You can gain valuable points by being precise in the test movements.
  5. Ride into the corners when the test calls for it and use that time to reorganize yourself and your horse.
  6. Don’t rush through your test—remember that you prepared properly at home and paid a lot to be at the show.
  7. Always ride a straight center line.
  8. Make sure that whenever you ride halts in the test you make them square.
  9. Practice staying relaxed, and if you need to, have a “dress rehearsal” at home. Braid your horse and wear all your show clothes to get a feel for the “real thing.”
  10. Remember to smile and be grateful. You and your horse have the pleasure of showing. It should be fun!


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