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Frequently Asked Questions 


What is the test for this month?

We run our dressage competition with our own dressage tests. You can find copies of each test and the schedule here –


Which test is right for me?

We run five levels of tests.

Walk only – Designed for those new to dressage, new combinations, older or rehabbed horses, young horses or anyone who lacks or is building their confidence. 

Level 1 – Equivalent to a BD Intro. Designed for those who can walk and trot comfortably but not yet ready to canter 

Starter Dressage – Our newest level. Aimed at those starting to canter but not yet ready for prelim level. Basic canter work.

Level 2 – Aimed at those with an established trot and working comfortably in canter. Equivalent to a BD prelim test

Level 3 – Aimed at those established in walk, trot and canter and wanting to stretch themselves a little more. Start of medium paces.  Roughly equivalent to a BD novice test


What should I wear?

We have no dress code however hats and suitable footwear must be worn. Gloves are recommended. 

You can wear show attire if you wish but it is not required



What tack should my horse have? 

The only tack restriction we have is no martingales or training aids such as draw reins, etc.  A whip and/or spurs is permitted.  

(If you enter wearing a martingale you will incur a 2 point penalty.) 

You can enter with any bridle and bit combination, you can even enter bitless or bareback. Any saddle is allowed.  Boots and bandages are allowed. 



How should I set up my arena? 

Arenas must be approximately 20 x 40m. If your arena is bigger than this then we recommend placing poles or cones out to create a smaller arena. 



How should I film my test?

All tests should be filmed from C and filmed landscape. Sound must be recorded at all times. 

Videos should be good quality and all areas of the arena filmed at all times.  If you miss parts of the arena then you may lose marks for that movement.  For movements at the far end of the arena please zoom in.  If the judge cannot see your movement performed then marks will be lost.  

You can have a caller but no teaching or guidance can be given. 


How do I enter?

The easiest way to enter is to upload your video to YouTube and send the link to Horse Shows Online either via the website entry form, by Email to or Facebook messenger to the main HSO page -   

Please ensure you include the test number that you are entering, your horse's name, your address, and your PayPal address.

You can also send your video via WhatsApp, please contact Horse Shows Online for more information. 


How are tests marked?

Each test will be judged individually and given a mark from 1 – 10. You will be given a comment for every movement and then feedback at the end of the test with a schooling exercise tailored to you. Feedback is encouraging and constructive and designed to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. 

The scale of marks is as follows:  

0 = Not performed

1 = Very bad

2 = Bad

3 = Fairly bad 

4 = Insufficient 

5 =Sufficient 

6 = Satisfactory 

7 = Fairly good 

8 = Good 

9 = Very good 

10 = Excellent

Penalties for error of course: 

1st Error = 2 marks

2nd Error = 4 marks

3rd Error = 8 marks 

4th Error = elimination (test will still be judged and scoresheet sent but your entry will not be entered into the competition).  

An example of how to set up and film your test -

Full Video Dressage Rules

Show attire does not have to be worn.  

HSO accept entries with any different bit or noseband but no martingales or training aids are permitted such as draw reins.  

The video of the test must not have been previously entered in a HSO dressage competition.  

The person videoing must stand behind "C" (ideally slightly futher back), or as close to "C" as is possible, from where a traditional judge would be sitting.  If the person videoing is not directly behind C, it may make judging the accurary and straightness of the centre line difficult and marks could be lost.  

Riders and horses, either the same combination or different combinations, can enter the same class more than once.  If the same combination is entered twice, only the highest % will count towards results.   

Sound must be switched on.  

Tests may be called, but no instruction/help to be given.  

The judge's decision is final.  

If the video is of poor quality and the judge cannot accurately see movements, marks may be lost.  If the video is deemed too poor quality to be judged then the test will not be entered.    

The zoom function should be used when the rider is at the far end of the arena, but the judge must be able to see the full movement - eg. shape of the circle etc.  

The test can be ridden in a field or school, but the area must be approximately 20 x 40 and marked with letters to allow for accurate judging.  

Entry fee covers the cost of 2nd class standard postage, however HSO will not accept responsibility for rosettes being lost in the post.  There is the option of paying extra for tracked postage.  

International entrants are welcome but an additional fee for shipping will be required, depending on quantity of prizes won.   

Each class will be split into open and restricted sections. Once a combination has scored 69% or more three times at the level entered they will automatically move into the open section of that level (this also applies to non ridden entries in the walk section).   If a combination has scored 69% or more in a level above the one entered they will automatically be placed into the open section of the level entered.  On the website each combination will be marked as either being open or restricted.  



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