DRESSAGE SHOW ETIQUETTE
ON ARRIVAL AT THE SHOW GROUNDS
- Report to the show office where you will be provided with your show numbers, show program, stall assignment and settle any outstanding fees.
- You will hand in your passport if you are competing in a Gold show.
- Purchase any extra stall bedding when you check in at the office and determine where you go to pick it up.
- If you reserved a warm up ring, confirm time and location.
- Ensure you are familiar with available rings for longing or non reserved riding
- Once you have obtained you show numbers you must have them on your horse at all times when outside of the stall.
- Ensure your saddle, bridle, bit, noseband and whip meet the requirements bychecking with the show steward.
IN THE BARN
- Assigned stall must be used unless you have prior permission from the show office.
- Maintain clear aisles at all times, free of any tack, hay, saddle holders or other objects which can obstruct or limit the passage of other competitors or horses walking in the aisle. Keep stall doors closed at all times.
- Clean up any horse droppings in the aisle and keep the area around your stall clean.
- Use only bedding that has been approved by the show office - straw may not be permitted by the venue.
- When cleaning your stall, ensure that you deposit used shavings in the appropriate storage area designated by the show grounds.
- If a barn wheelbarrow is provided, ensure you put it back in the appropriate place after you use it.
IN THE WARM- UP RING
- Boots, bandages and whips are permitted when warming up.
- Riders must wear approved head gear.
- Make adjustments to tack outside the ring if possible or near the middle of the arena but without obstructing the diagonal or centre lines.
- When entering the warm-up ring, be careful not to cut off another rider.
- Slower gaits take the inside track.
- Ride considerately.
- Be courteous to other riders who are trying to concentrate on their own warmup.
- Foul language is never tolerated.
- Do your schooling in a constructive, positive manner with a purposeful approach.
- Any instruction should be given discretely so as not to break the concentration of other riders in the ring.
- Don't obstruct the entrance, exit or the track in the ring.
- Pass left shoulder to left shoulder and look where you are going.
- When overtaking traffic in the same direction, pass to the inside with care and plenty of clearance.
- Keep at least one horse's length from any other horse.
- Plan halts for the center of the ring. Do not halt or walk in the outside track;always leave ample room for other riders to pass.
- When turning, check your "rear view" first.
- If there is a possibility that your horse may kick another horse or spectator then you should identify it with a red ribbon in the tail.
- Be aware of stallions as they can be unpredictable and should be treated with respect.
- Use the longeing area to settle an excited or young horse.
- A horse doing lateral work has the right of way (shoulder-in, half pass, leg yield).
- A horse doing more advanced work (tempi changes, extended trot,etc.) has right of way.
- If you would like to use the diagonal or centre line,announce it in a clear voice.
- Riders with a disability may wear a white arm band while warming up as an indication to other riders. Give them extra space.
- The warm-up ring steward's duty is to protect the sport and ensure safe and fair warm-up experience for all competitors. His/her decision is final: if you are reprimanded or warned, obey and learn from your mistakes.
- Make way for ring maintenance crews in the warm-up ring. You may be asked to temporarily leave the ring while maintenance is being completed.
PEOPLE WHO ACCOMPANY YOU
- Remember the warm-up ring is for work and many of the competitors may be feeling the stress of competition. Respect their need to focus.
- Only competitors and their horses are permitted in the ring.
- Coaches should use a quiet voice speaking only to the student so as not to disrupt other riders. The use of radio communication between coach and rider is permitted in the warm- up ring but not in the performance ring.
- Inappropriate behavior by a competitor or his/her assistants can be an unpleasant experience for others at the show.
IF YOU NEED TO SCRATCH OR WITHDRAW
- Advise the show office as soon as possible if you are withdrawing from a test.
- If there is a "whipper-in" at the warm-up ring, they will relay the information to the show office.
- If you are withdrawing from the competition, you must obtain permission from the show office before you leave the show grounds.
IN THE SHOW RING
- Be familiar with the Dressage Canada Rule Book, dressage division.
- Know your test even if you have a reader. Instruct your reader to read each movement only once and not to speak to you under any other circumstance; it could result in your elimination. If there is reason to doubt that the rider heard the call, the reader may read a movement twice.
- Do not engage in conversation with the judge while circling the ring prior to performance. Do not discuss the test with the judge at the ring, either before the bell or after the final salute unless the judge approaches you first.
- After the signal from the judge (whistle, bell, horn) you must enter at A within the required time period or you will be eliminated. Be sure you know whether your judge has a bell, whistle or horn.
- If you go off course, get direction from the judge, not your reader. In times of distress, the rider must ask and receive permission from the judge before leaving the ring or dismounting.
- After the final salute, it is not necessary to ride to C before leaving the ring. You may ride one horse's length forward, turn either direction and leave the ring in the manner specified in your test.
- Do not speak to the reader or your friends until you have exited the ring.
- If there is a scratch of another horse, you do not have to ride ahead of yourtime. If you choose to ride ahead of your time, your arrival at the ring informs the judge that you are ready to begin. Do not expect additional warm-up time around the perimeter of the ring.
- If you are scheduled to ride immediately following a break, you must wait until the judge is in place before you enter the show ring area.
- Dressage competitions are scheduled to the minute and usually run on time.
- Check for the official show time at the show office and adjust your watch if necessary. It is your responsibility to present yourself at the in-gate on time.
- Arriving late for your scheduled ride will result in elimination.
- On occasion the competition may get behind schedule. While it can get behind, it can also get back on schedule surprisingly quickly. Be particularly observant when a competition gets off schedule. Know when you ride in your class, keep track of scratches and plan your warm-up accordingly.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR TEST
- Ring stewards are required to spot check tack of horses competing in Gold shows. This happens after you exit the competition ring. This includes looking at your bit(s), noseband, spurs, whip and both sides of your horse. If your horse is anxious about this inspection, let the steward know and you could dismount and help the inspector. Tack check is not required in Bronze shows.
- Read Dressage Canada Rule Book to learn what tack is permitted on the show grounds, in the warm-up ring and in the competition ring.
- Be especially courteous to show volunteers. They keep the competition running smoothly and facilitate communication between competitors and management. They are there to help you but it is your responsibility to get to the right place at the right time.
- Random drug testing is carried out at some dressage shows. If your horse is selected, you would be approached immediately on completing your test. You would be led to a designated stall as soon as your check with the steward is finished. The tester will collect a urine specimen from your horse.
AFTER THE COMPETITION
- Awards ceremonies, organized by management, should be attended to maintain sponsorship participation and as a common courtesy to show management.
- You are expected to appear in riding apparel with your horse bridled to receive your award. If you do not attend, you will forfeit the award.
- Remember to hand in your show numbers and pick up your passport at the show office.
- Leave your stabling area clean and neat.
- Remember to thank the people in the show office for their hard work.