A 3-week preparation plan for a dressage competition

Australian representation Grand Prix rider Brett Parbery gives advice on preparing for an upcoming dressage show

I have a few years of dressage competition under my belt! Over the years, I’ve come up with a preparation routine that suits me and keeps my horses happy and healthy.

In between the shows, it’s all about training and progression. It’s when I’m concentrating on the actual training of new movements, higher levels of collection, sharper responses, all working towards progression to the next level.

3 weeks to competition:

With a few weeks to go before the big day, I start to ride lines from the tests and run through set-ups for the movements.

It’s not super repetitive, just a line here and there, getting the feel for the tests. It’s important to do this because you may not naturally ride the lines that are in the tests.

I have all the dressage tests on the wall of my arena so I can refer to them when I’m on a horse.

2 weeks to competition:

This is when I introduce the half passes. I tend to steer clear of them at other times, I think they’re quite hard on the horses’ legs.

I start to ride more of the transitions that are needed in the test.

1 week to competition:

This is the first time I ride through the test as ‘working’ tests. What I mean by that, is that I keep training the horse and correcting mistakes. So if something goes wrong, I go back and correct it.

You definitely don’t want to overdo the riding of the whole test. It doesn’t take long for the horses to remember and start anticipating.

Competition time:

For the big shows that span a few days, it is essential to set up camp there but honestly, I don’t like to hang around too long. I feel the horses are better off at home, in their paddocks.

Remember if you are travelling a long distance, try to schedule a stop to get the horses off the float and grazing with their heads down. Avoid travelling in extreme heat.

For the young horses, I arrive so I have two training days with them at the venue. For the experienced horses, I allow for just one training day.

I hope this helps give you some ideas on how you can prepare for an upcoming competition.

Good luck!


  1. Tank Tops says:

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot
    of spam remarks? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you
    can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving
    me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

  2. Greg Lennon says:

    I’m 65 old man and I have just started riding dressage this has given me some ideas for the training my dressage horse .thank you

  3. Arabella says:

    Hi, very nice website, cheers!
    Need cheap and reliable hosting? Our shared plans start at $10 for an year and VPS plans for $6/Mo.
    Check here: https://www.good-webhosting.com/

  4. oprolevorter says:

    great issues altogether, you simply gained a logo new reader. What could you recommend about your publish that you simply made some days ago? Any sure?

  5. Epígrafe 4 .4.- Comercio al por menor de labores de tabaco, realizado por establecimientos mercantiles en régimen de autorizaciones de venta con recargo. Epígrafe 4 .5.- Comercio al por menor de labores de tabaco, realizado a través de máquinas automáticas, en régimen de autorizaciones de venta con recargo. Epígrafe 4 . .- Comercio al por menor de tabacos de todas clases y formas, en localidades donde no esté estancada la venta. Pero es lo mismo, un compresor llena las bombas de aire cuando éstas se desinflan.

  6. Que dispongan de un buen Servicio Técnico Oficial de Fabricante para atender la garantía de los aparatos y también las intervenciones de fuerte de garantía. No nos olvidemos que legalmente es el vendedor el responsable de los aparatos que vende, por lo que, ante cualquier reclamación, exigencia de cambio del aparato problemas con el Servicio Técnico, hay que dirigirse al vendedor y exigirle la resolución del problema. Con el premio de la Comunidad de Madrid se reconoce a la empresa BSH la calidad de la gestión y atención a sus clientes, siendo la primera empresa del sector electrodoméstico en España que obtiene este premio. El objetivo de Madrid Excelente es fomentar la competitividad del tejido empresarial.

  7. Situados en Alcoy, provincia de Alicante, cuenta con las instalaciones adecuadas para realizar mecanizados de precisión, y con las necesidades de la actividad a la que está dedicada; con una amplia experiencia en el sector. Acumulamos años de experiencia en el sector del mecanizado de piezas para la automoción, garantizando la máxima calidad en cada pedido.

  8. Los centros de mecanizado son máquinas de gran automatización capaces de realizar diferentes operaciones de mecanizado dentro de una sola instalación bajo CNC (Control Numérico Computarizado). La decisión recayó sobre un centro de mecanizado CNC de 5 ejes PRO-MASTER 7125.

What are your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.