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Getting on our high horses

Or not...! Many people are either unable to see their horses, or are choosing not to ride at the moment, due to the coronavirus lockdown. I blogged at the beginning of the month about some of the other things we set up with Demi Dressage to go alongside our ridden Smarties Easter Circles Dressage: I'm very excited to introduce our first Groundwork Tests. We're also running a Spring Photo Show, and three unique Hobby Horse events! So even if you can't get on your real pony right now, you can hop on your Hobby Horse and have fun learning about dressage and competing even while you can't ride!

Our Hobby Horse events can be ridden on any type of hobby horse - we had a great competition at the beginning of the month inviting you all to create your own hobby horse from scratch and share it with us. We ran this as a free photo show, and you can see all the hobby horses who received rosettes on our Facebook page. We had some incredibly creative entries!

Hobby Horse Demi Dressage Rosettes
A brilliant use of this rider's Demi Dressage rosettes!

We've got three different Hobby Horse events for you to try: a pure Dressage test, a Horse Agility test, and a Freestyle Showjumping test. All the tests can be downloaded from the Hobby Horse Events page of our website.

Your Hobby Horse tests will be judged in the same way as our regular ridden dressage competitions - with a few twists for Hobby Horses of course. So you can have fun, exercise, and learn all about competing in dressage all at the same time!

You don't need any kind of special equipment other than an area you can run around in! Your dressage marker cones can be made easily from card circles (see the instructions on our Covid-19 Activities page) or for a weightier option, try wrapping white paper around food tins, with the letters written on. 'Poles' can be made safely out of rolled up leggings, and we all know how creative pony-mad children can be when it comes to making jumps for them to ride their make-believe horses over!

We've added in an extra Collective mark for the creativity of your hobby horse - don't worry if you're using a shop-bought horse, marks will be awarded on their tack as well... So dig out a pretty ribbon, give your hobby horse a lovely dressage 'bling' browband, and get stuck in! As per all our dressage events, children will receive their test sheet and rosette in the post with a little sweet treat to reward them for their efforts.

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