Western Style Dressage Association of Canada

HELPFUL HINTS FROM WSDAC

​​WSDAC HELPFUL HINT # 4: TURN ON FOREHAND

(May 24, 2016)


The turn on the forehand is executed out of a halt or working walk. The hind legs must move around the forelegs. The horse must bend slightly in its ribcage around the rider's inside leg. The turn on forehand can be executed on a diameter of up to 1 metre. The horse must maintain the same rhythm, contact, activity and straightness of movement and proceed immediately in working walk.

*In the turn on forehand, the direction of the slight flexion is indicated in the tests. For example: A turn on forehand right (shown here) requires the flexion of the horse to be to the right and the haunces cross under the body to the left.

WSDAC Rules 2016 - WSD 3.14

WSDAC HELPFUL HINT # 2: BASIC LEVEL TEST C MOVEMENTS # 3 & 5

(April 19, 2016)


In the new 2016 WSDAC Western Dressage tests some new movements have been created. In Basic Level Test C, the Half-Circle is introduced. Movements # 3 and # 5 ask for a 15 m Half-Circle from B or E returning back to the track at either M or H respectively.


The basic requirements of the Half-Circle include being clearly on the far quarter line with your horse in correct balance and bend, and returning back to the track on a straight line. Find your 15 m circle (illustrated in green) to the far quarter line and return to the end letter (the bold dotted line). The Half-Circle in the 20x40 ring would be the same. The diagram clearly illustrates the geometry of the movement required. It is not necessary to make a sharp angle onto the straight line back to the track, rather the judge will be looking for a smooth turn maintaining the rhythm, bend, balance and overall symmetry of the movement. ​Note: the red 10 m circle is included on the diagram for reference only.


Now you know how to ride Half-Circles returning to the track for Basic Test C! Practice them all over the arena. This is a great exercise to put in your riding toolbox!

​​WSDAC HELPFUL HINT # 3: THE FREE JOG

(May 9, 2016)


The horse maintains the same rhythm and tempo as the working jog, but the horse is asked to stretch forward, down and into the contact. The poll should be lower than the withers with the nose well in front of the vertical. The free jog may be ridden either posting or sitting. 

WSDAC Rules 2016 - WSD 203 4b

WSDAC HELPFUL HINT # 1: TRACKING VS TURNING

(January 4, 2016)


When you are riding a test, it always starts with "C track right" or "C track left", at the beginning of a test. The track is defined as the perimeter of the inside of the arena. 


In some portions of a test you will see a movement such as "E turn left", if you are turning from the track of the arena toward a centre marker of the arena. 


The mystery of tracking and turning is now solved!


If you are turning onto the track, from the centre line or the middle of the arena, you are "tracking". If you are going from the track of the arena to the middle, you are "turning".