The Mane show is delighted to be announce the launch of its new Everyday Dressage concept. The Mane Show is already well known for giving all equestrians the ability to compete their horse without leaving the yard in our vast range of online monthly showing classes (29 classes in March 2016!).
Our photo and video showing schedule, made up of both traditional and fun classes, has proved to be a huge success, so we decided to give some consideration to how we might make other equestrian disciplines more inclusive and accessible.
When thinking through a new idea, we always like to analyse our own behaviours and ask ourselves what stops us taking part in a certain disciplines or why we don’t enjoy something. Our answers to these questions gave us clear path to The Mane Show’s new Everyday Dressage concept.
The Mane Show’s owner, Katie Hudson, knew exactly what was stopping her! “So, why don’t I go out competing in dressage? Well, occasionally I do but…….. I have that age old transport issue still. However more importantly my horse really isn’t a snaffle horse! If fact, he isn’t remotely a snaffle horse! He is a huge big strong 18hh3 warmblood and I can feel every last inch of him down the reins when I ride in a snaffle! It really doesn’t work for either of us. He is beautifully schooled and my bit of choice is a pelham – no struggle, no sore arms, no sore mouth – just harmony and really lovely work! The problem is, where can we go to show off our lovely work? Where can we go and ride that dressage test that we have been working so hard at practicing? The answer is nowhere, because British Dressage rules only permit a snaffle at the lower levels – which is where we are at.”
So, there was our idea – Everyday Dressage – relaxed rules dressage that allows entrants to ride in their everyday tack (and everyday clothes) whatever that may be; bitless, snaffle, pelham, wilkie, martingales, etc – whatever works for you and your horse. All we ask is that no schooling aids, such as draw reins or similar are used.
We are in no way endorsing using stronger bits when they aren’t necessary or using bitless bridles on horses where it may be dangerous to do so, nor do we wish to enter into any debates about bitting. We just want to encourage those, who have found the right tack for them, to dip their toe into the water and try some dressage when they wouldn’t normally be able to.
Bitting is by no means the be all and end all of our relaxed rules; we are also happy for your horse to wear any boots or bandages necessary (get those matching sets out!), for you to ride in your everyday riding wear, and possibly most importantly, you don’t need to have a school to ride your test in. All that we ask is that the area that you ride in has clear markers, so that your test can be judged accurately.
From April 2016, entrants can choose from an intro, prelim, or novice test to enter, they then video their test (using the guidelines set out in our schedule), upload it to YouTube (or post it to us), then sit back and wait for judging to commence. Tests will be judged using the traditional score/feedback sheet which will then be posted to all entrants when judging is finished. Rosettes will be awarded to 6th place initially. Everyday Dressage classes cost £11.
We really look forward to seeing your entries and to inspiring some new dressage diva’s! Now, onto our next idea – Everyday Showjumping! Watch this space………..
Katie Hudson, The Mane Show