Dressage test chaos


What’s the worst thing that’s happened during one of your dressage tests? For me, it was when an Amish horse and buggy drove down the road next to the arena. My poor horse had never seen a horse and carriage before and immediately turned into a giraffe.

That experience pales in comparison to what Imogen Murray and her horse Roheryn Ruby had to cope with when a loose horse bombed through their arena during the Oasby Horse Trials. Kudos for their calmness and poise. I can’t believe the judge didn’t stop the test until the horse was caught. This could have ended very badly.

Imogen said: “The first time I saw the horse galloping towards us I thought ‘Oh, God, what’s Ruby going to do?!’ as she’s usually quite a hot mare and can explode in the dressage, so I was very surprised with how she just carried on. Once I realised she wasn’t at all bothered by it, I was howling to myself — the way the loose horse kept coming back for more was quite funny.” (Horse and Hound)

What would you have done?

10 thoughts on “Dressage test chaos

  1. I’ve seen this and can laugh now. It happened to me, BUT my horse was the one running through my friend’s dressage test. I was entering the ring when a woman in a HUGE floppy hat stood up on that windy day. That was it. My 17.2 OTTB was off to the races and I was splat on the hard ground struggling to get up. It was some time before we all caught up to him, as he eventually ran about a mile and a quarter back to his stable.

  2. I don’t know what I would have done, honestly. Probably stopped the test and just sat aboard my horse.
    In my one and only dressage test…C level…my leased horse, Trooper, was hyped. When I asked for a trot, he bucked!! That COMPLETELY blew my concentration, I yelled at him to knock it off , and the test flew out of my head. The judge was very kind, telling me one isn’t supposed to shout at one’s mount, and she noted that my horse was “very naughty’. Did I want to try again from go? (there was plenty of time as a lot of people had pulled due to the downpour rain. It was raining buckets) I said yes, but was still so scatterbrained it was worthless. The reader may as well have read it in Urdu, it made no sense to me. The judge’s bell was ringing like a fire engines…..;-)
    Sigh. As I said, it was my first ever and forever last dressage test…but I stlil like riding dressage.

    1. Oh no! I’ve had a couple of those moments where the test vanished from my mind. Most of the time I was able to remember the pattern but there were a few times when they vanished completely.

  3. I’m very impressed with the horse in this test, but I’m honestly quite annoyed that they didn’t stop the test and make catching the loose horse a priority.

  4. It could have. What a wreck! I admire the rider AND the horse…despite the commotion and the loose horse, he was paying attention to HER. The judges should have given her high marks for that!!

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