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What is Dressage?

Dressage is about showing the Judge that you can get your pony to do what you want him to do, when you want him to do it. You and your pony have to follow a set of instructions laid out in the Dressage Test. A Judge marks the test. They give you a mark out of ten for how well you carry out each instruction. At the end of the test the marks are added up and the winner is the pony and rider with the highest score.

The good news is that you have probably already started doing some dressage!

When you are riding at home and getting your pony to do the things you want them to do you are already practicing the basics of dressage. To improve you and your pony, you might want to have lessons with an instructor. This includes the lessons that you have at a rally, where you will get help with your riding to make your pony go better.


Dressage within the Branch

Achievement Badges

There are several Achievement Badges that link in with the Dressage from Mini to those aimed at C+ level and above. Mini Sequence of Footfalls, Dressage Markers, Riding on the Lunge, Fitness, Plaiting, Rider Nutrition, Sequence of Footfalls and Understanding Training. We aim to cover as many of these within the Branch Programme as we can, so look out for them.

Intro & Competition Badges

Introduced by the Pony Club the Badges are designed to give members a better understanding of how the structure of Dressage Competitions are organised, what members should wear etc. We try to incorporate these Badges into the First Steps and other Dressage Rallies.


We have a variety of Dressage and Flatwork Rallies throughout the year to suit every member.

  • FIRST STEPS – These rallies are aimed predominantly at younger members those on and off the lead-rein. Also a fantastic introduction for new members or even older members with new ponies.
  • FLATWORK/DRESSAGE RALLY -These are open to every member throughout the Branch irrelevant of whether you have an interest in competing in Dressage Competitions. We use a variety of Coaches and Trainers and members are grouped within their abilities. If you are thinking about taking Pony Club Tests these are also a great way to improve your riding. They are also a chance to let your Manager see where you and your pony are, which can help them decide which level may be suitable for Area Competitions.
  • JUDGES VIEW – These are mainly aimed at those competing in the Area Competitions in either Dressage or Eventing but we try to open them out to everyone. Members will ride their test in front of a Judge then spend around 20 minutes going through the test with the Judge, working on how they can improve their marks. They then ride the test again at the end.

Area Dressage 2024

This year we will be hosting the Area 7 area dressage competition, which is a qualifier for both the regional and National Championships later in the summer. We would love to see as many of our members taking the opportunity to represent the Branch at Area level with the hope we will have many qualifying too!

This year the Area Dressage will be on Saturday 6th July at Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex.

Entries will open soon.

If this is something you are interested in, please get in touch with Isabel – contact details below:

Atherstone Pony Club Dressage Manager


Isabel has been involved in the branch Dressage since 2008 taking over as manager in 2018.
With a background in top level showing, stud work and backing & breaking ponies I’ve always had a passion for training horses and their riders.

I’m an experienced Pony Club parent having had two children James and Anna go through the Branch, taking part in almost all the disciplines, every PC Test and many other activities the Branch and the wider Pony Club has to offer.
My daughter is now one of the Atherstone coaches.

I also enjoy volunteering at a number of events having volunteered at every PC Championships held since 2009.

Contact Image

Isabel Meadows

Dressage Manager