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#trainingtip Saluting the Judge

This week we’re talking about your salute!

The halt and salute occurs at least once in every dressage test. In some tests, particularly the higher levels, it occurs twice!

A dressage salute is really a very simple affair – but a lot of people get it wrong. Probably the biggest mistake we see is riders rushing through the halt and salute – more on that in a tick. Second most common is some riders who will try to perform a more ‘military style’ salute by raising the hand up to the forehead before dropping it – you don’t need to do this (and it irrationally annoys our judge Susy! 😂)

Check out our #trainingtip The Final Halt blog from last week if you need to work on your halt – remember the perfect halt is straight, square and still – and on the centre line.

You will lose marks if you salute before your pony has fully halted – all four legs must have come to a halt! Susy’s top tip is to count the motions from 1 to 5 – you can count aloud with your child when helping them practice (but obviously remind them to count in their head in the actual test!) These are the five simple steps to a correct salute: 1. Ride the pony into a positive halt – and make sure they have actually halted! 2. Take both reins (and the whip, if carried) into one hand. DO NOT salute with a hand that still has the whip in it! 3. Drop the other hand neatly down to the thigh 4. Nod the head down and then back up (it helps to smile at the judge at this point!) 5. Return the saluting hand to the reins ready to ask the pony to move off.

Whilst there shouldn’t be eons of time between each of these five steps, if you encourage your rider to break them down into these stages, you are more likely to encourage them to take their time a little in the halt and salute, rather than rushing through it as fast as possible and potentially losing marks for a halt which loses it’s ‘immobility’.

Whilst we won’t penalise you as heavily at Demi Dressage for an incorrect salute (some kids have even waved…!) it pays to teach your young rider the correct way to salute from the start, ready for when they are able to progress to more serious tests. #demidressage #rainbowrosettes

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