There are 24 Area Festivals and eight Area Festival Finals which lead to the Area Festival Championships; the series is the perfect opportunity for grassroots riders to experience a prestigious championship style dressage competition.
The series, which was launched in 2000, has grown from 15 Area Festivals around the country with 555 tests completed in its first year to 24 Area Festivals, eight regional Area Festival Finals and the Championships with over 6,000 dressage tests ridden in the 2018/19 series.
The Area Festival Championships which was introduced in 2001 had 84 competitors in its first year. The most recent Championships in April 2019 had almost 500 tests ridden.
International dressage rider and trainer Charlie Hutton shares his techniques for those wishing to perfect their movements before the last Area Festival Final at Beacons Equestrian (26 – 29 October), as well as those looking to improve their movements over all.
The video below focuses on balance and suppleness.
For balance you are aiming for more self carriage and you want more suppleness through your horse’s top line and way of going from his poll and through his back around to his hind quarters.
To achieve this you need your horse more in front of your leg and lighter in your rein.
If your horse is getting tense, you can soften him to the inside with flexion, support through the inside leg and balance with the outside leg.