As we have mentioned in other articles, dressage, especially its phases: initial, preliminary and intermediate, serve as the foundation for any equestrian discipline.
This dressage is practiced in a riding arena, track or ring where a variety of exercises are performed that develop the Balance, the flexibility and the obedience of the horse.
Riding a horse on a track makes it easier for the rider-rider to have reference points to perform certain dressage figures with precision, however many exercises can also be performed in the field.
The traditional tracks that are used have two dimensions. They can be 20 × 40 meters for the preliminary and intermediate levels and 20 × 60 meters for the advanced level.
The reference signals to perform the dressage figures are letters that do not have a clear order. Most likely, they were created considering the type of exercise to be performed on those signals.
In addition to the letters there are also the points that indicate the center of the circles. They do not have letters but must be marked. For example a spot painted on the wall in the case of a closed track.
Rules for riding on the track
The marking of the track allows the horse-riders to work together. There are also rules for the use of the track, in such a way that the inconvenience of one rider to another is minimal.
- To enter or exit the track, the rider must request permission to the teacher or to the other riders who are working
- To get on or off the horse and for any adjustment made to the saddle, the rider must do it in the center line of the track.
- You must keep a safety distance between horses, approximately 2.50 meters to all four sides.
- The preference for the work lane (outside) is held by the riders trotting or galloping.
- The outside lane takes precedence over the circle.
- The crossing between two riders is made on the right. The rider who goes to the left has preference to use the outside lane.
- It should not be wound on the track if more riders are present.
- Obstacles that are not being used for gymnastic purposes must be get off track or placed carefully in the center of it.
From the beginning of dressage, it is advisable to perform dressage figures correctly. When making figures, it is important that the horse does not lose its rhythm and the impulsion. The circles should be round and the straight lines very straight.
All work must always be gradual. As dressage progresses, the circles can be reduced and the horse asked to make more complicated figures. This will be possible thanks to the fact that the horse will acquire greater meeting.
The exercises must be performed with both hands with a similar time in each hand, in this way we ensure that the horse’s muscular development is symmetrical.
Below we include a series of illustrations with the main dressage figures that can be made in a 40 x 20 meter square.