Equestrian facilities, training, dressage and competitions at Sheepgate Equestrian
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Home > 2014 FAQ About Shows

FIRST TIME DRESSAGE.

You want to try your hand at dressage but donít know where to start? What are the rules? Will I be out of my depth? Everyone has to start somewhere and if you get confused or feel apprehensive we are here to help. Let us guide you through your first steps to enjoying your time in the competition arena.

What is available for me?

Sheepgate Equestrian runs a progressive schedule of dressage competitions to suit all levels of rider. From the dressage section at our Have a Go Shows to British Dressage competitions.

What if I have never ridden a test before?

Donít panic!

First of all find out which competition is best for you.

HAVE A GO SHOWS

 

Offer walk & trot tests (open to adults and children), preliminary, novice and elementary tests.

Good:

If you are a nervous rider and want the opportunity to try the same test several times on the same day.

If you want to try the next level of test but donít feel confident to do this at a Ďdressage competitioní

If you want to educate your horse about white boards, judges huts etc.

If your horse needs a bit which isnít a snaffle or needs a martingale

If you have a child who would like to compete on the lead rein

UNAFFILIATED DRESSAGE

 

Offers walk & trot tests (open to adults and children), preliminary, novice, elementary, medium, advanced medium, PSG & Freestyle to Music.

Good

If you have a nervous horse who would find the environment at a Have a Go show a bit hectic.

If you want to ride to correct dressage rules.

If you want to see if you should /could eventually affiliate your horse

If you want the opportunity to qualify for a championship.

INDOOR DRESSAGE

Good

If you want the security of 4 walls around you.

WE HAVE NEVER RIDDEN INSIDE BOARDS. IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN JUST TO DIVE IN?

Not always. The facilities at Sheepgate are available for hire. If you spend a session schooling either on your own, with your instructor or with one of our trainers you will feel more confident when you enter the competition. You will get a chance to appreciate the size of the arena, especially important if you school in a field and your horse will get used to the boards, judges huts, bells etc. Also itís quite different working on a surface compared to grass. We are always surprised by the number of people who donít take this option it seems very sensible when written down- doesnít it?

ONCE I HAVE DECIDED TO ENTER A COMPETITION WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE MY FIRST COMPETITION RUN SMOOTHLY?

CORRECT TEST: First check you have the correct test. This may sound simple but BD regularly change their tests and you need to make sure the test you have is current. You can check this online if you go the British Dressage website and visit the shop.

CHOOSE A SUITABLE TEST: If you have a choice of tests go for the one which is more suited to you. For example if you find your canter transitions difficult try not to choose a test where you have to canter at a marker, choose one instead where you canter between 2 markers. If you have a very big horse who lacks suppleness the smaller the arena the more difficult he will find it.

LEARN THE TEST & UNDERSTAND WHAT IS NEEDED FOR YOU: Make sure you have a copy of the test and you understand the movements. There are generally better ways to tackle each movement that others - a good trainer will help you with this. Donít continually run through the test with the horse, especially if he anticipates and make sure you know your test well and if you are likely to forget enlist the help of a caller.

TIME ALLOCATION: Arrive in plenty of time. Have a plan with regards to how long your horse takes to warm up; donít leave yourself too little or too much time.

RULES: Make sure your tack is correct for the competition you are riding in and you are comfortable in your competition gear.

DO I NEED TO DO ANY THING AFTER I HAVE ENTERED?

Donít forget to ring for your times (see schedule) or check the website for times. If you are competing at Have a Go all entries are on the day and you choose your times to compete between 12:30 & 3pm on a first come first served basis.

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I ARRIVE?

Please come to declare by ticking your name on the boards which are situated inside the indoor school outside of the cafe. This allows us to know that you intend to compete. At Have a Go you donít need to do this. Collect your number from the desk so we can identify you. At unaffiliated the warm up arenas are the indoor school and fenced outdoor and the competitions arenas are arenas 1, 2 & 3 at the end of the lorry park. At Have A Go the warm up is arena 3 and competition arena is arena 1.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE WARM UP ARENA

There will be other combinations warming up. Our competitions are stewarded and our steward will give you a 5 minute warning call before your test and then call you in on your time. You will be expected to try and follow the following warm up rules.

Pass other combinations left hand to left hand. Riders on the left rein have priority on the outside track.

Do not halt on the outside track

Come out of the warm up to remove the horseís boots etc.

Watch out for others.

Give lateral work priority. If a rider is in leg yield, shoulder in, half pass etc they have priority.

RULES AND TACK

HORSE: Snaffle bridle (walk & trot, Prelim, Novice). Snaffle or double (Elementary upwards). Grackle nosebands are not permitted.

Brushing boots/ bandages may be used for warm up but must be removed before the test.

RIDER: Long or short boots (with chaps if needed but must be plain colour and no fringes), Breeches/ jodhpurs of a light colour, shirt with tie or stock, black/ blue jacket or tweed jacket. Riding hat. Gloves are compulsory. You may carry a whip and / or wear spurs

IN THE ARENA

Ride around the outside of the competition arena until you hear the bell. Once it has rung you have 45 seconds to enter the arena and start the test.

If you go wrong / ride a movement to the incorrect marker the bell will ring. This is an error of course and you will be directed as to where to restart. If you have found your way you can carry on. If you get three errors you will be eliminated but probably be allowed to finish you test. 1 error equals a penalty of 2 points, 2 errors equals a penalty of a total of 6 marks.

If you use your voice in the test you will have 2 marks deducted per incident.

At the end of the test when you halt you are expected to salute. Drop one hand by your side and nod your head.

When you salute make sure you donít salute with the hand which is carrying the whip

Leave the arena at A taking care not to interfere with any one elseís tests carrying on nearby.

SCORES:

Scores will appear on the boards in the indoor school and when the class is finished you will be allowed to collect your sheet / (and hopefully!) your rosette. If you are competing under the same judge later on in the day your sheet will be held back.

THE NEXT COMPETITION- HOW TO IMPROVE

Analyse what you felt and what was on your sheet as this will give you an idea of what you need to work on. The most common problem that people have is that they know what needs to be improved but canít improve it on their own, or are going the wrong way about it to make improvements for the long term. If you are disappointed or disillusioned or think you canít do any better- think again. Ask your instructor for help. If you currently donít train with anyone take a look at our website. We offer training sessions and clinics some of which specialise in test riding. We are more than happy to help riders just starting off in dressage.

Good luck with your first go at dressage!

FAQ about Unaffiliated Dressage

1) ENTRIES

When do entries close?

3 days before each show

Are late entries accepted?

Yes- please add £2 per class

How can I enter?

By post using the entry forms in the schedule or downloaded forms or online at http://www.sheepgate.co.uk/

Is stabling available?

Yes temporary stabling is available based on a charge of £35 per night. Limited permanent stabling is available on a first come first served basis charged at £40 per night. Please state clearly on your entry form how many stables and for which night(s).

Who do I make cheques payable to?

R Grant & Son (Leverton) Ltd

2) TIMES

When can I ring for times?

Two days before each show www.sheepgate.co.uk

Are the times online?

Times will be posted on http://www.sheepgate.co.uk/ on the DRESSAGE TIMES page

3) CLASSES AND COMPETITOR INFORMATION

Which tests should I enter?

Some classes have restrictions please refer to the schedule or go online to make yourself familiar with them.

What information do I need to include when I enter?

Riderís name

Horseís name

Class numbers

Contact address and phone number

Payment

Do I need to sign anything?

If you enter by post please sign your forms. It is a condition of entry that you have read the rules. They can be checked on the website. 

How do I enter online?

Go to http://www.sheepgate.co.uk/

Click on the competitorís page, and then click on Whatís on.

Select unaffiliated competitions and then select the date you wish to compete on.

On the right hand side of the page look for the red ĎEnter onlineí tab.

Fill out your details including credit / debit card details and pay through our secure server.

Where do I pick up my number/ declare?

Near the cafť in the indoor school. Please tick your name on the board if you are going to compete.

What do I do if I want to withdraw?

Please ring 07768 156262 or text to the same number. Alternately email either events@sheepgate.co.uk or sarah@sheepgate.co.uk

What % do I need to qualify for the Sheepgate Unaffiliated Championships?

58%

In qualifying classes can I have a whip / spurs / a caller?

Yes

My horse has qualified. Can it be ridden at the Championship by a different rider?

No the qualification refers to the combination.

My horse has upgraded after qualifying for the championship can it still compete?

Yes.

Do normal BD Championship rules apply at Sheepgateís championship?

Yes - no whips / no commanders in any of the Championship classes.

4) GETTING TO SHEEPGATE

Where is Sheepgate?

We are 6 miles north of Boston in Lincolnshire. Our postcode is PE22 0AS and most Sat Navs will pick up Jenkins Lane as our closest road.

Where can I get directions?

http://www.sheepgate.co.uk/. Visitorís page.

Can I avoid Boston?

Boston is often busy so please leave plenty of time for your journey. Due to new improvements the traffic flow through Boston is greatly improved. If you would like to avoid the area there is an alternative route on the website.

My Sat Nav tells me to turn off the A52 coast road onto Jenkins Lane but it is not signed Sheepgate Equestrian. What do I do?

Please avoid Jenkins lane, it is narrow for horseboxes and the turn off the A52 is on a corner. After leaving Boston stay on the A52 until you come through Leverton. Look out for the lay-by and picnic area. We are signed off the road after at the end of this with brown tourist signs.

6) ARRIVING ON SITE

I have permanent stabling. Where is this?

Please turn left instead of right and park in the lorry park near the office buildings. Permanent stabling is on our main yard which is beside the fenced outdoor school.

Do the stables have bedding in?

All stables have some bedding in them already, if you require more bedding, shavings can be bought from us or you can bring additional bales from home.

Where do I park?

Turn left at the end of the drive and either park in the smaller lorry park to the right or drive past the Sheepgate Tack & Togs and park in the larger park.

Can I buy haylage and feed on site?

Baille Haylage & Laysoft Bedding are available to buy.

Is there any where to buy food?

Our cafť is open for the duration of the show. There is also a small shop within walking distance. A list of places to eat off site can be found on our website.

Where is there to stay off site?

A list of accommodation can be found on our website.

7) DURING THE COMPETITION

I have been placed in a class. When do I get my sheet / rosette?

Sheets are put out after the end of the class as are rosettes.

I canít stay to the end of the class. What do I do?

You can leave a SAE or money to cover an SAE at the office and your sheets will be forwarded on.

IF YOU STILL HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CONACT US 07768 156262 OR EMAIL events@sheepgate.co.uk

Sheepgate Nursery, Leverton, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE22 0AS
Contact Us   Email: spayne@sheepgate.co.uk
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