Frequently Asked Questions
Yvonne Weal here.
I have had a request from some drivers that we start a page answering questions/queries that anyone requires the answers to. So here it is.
I have posted a list of questions that have already been asked, along with the answers to them.
If you have anything that you would like to know more about, please use this page, it is here to help any one who wants to use it.
You will need to email me your query on then I will write it up on to our site along with the answer.
The answers that I am giving to the questions are from my experiences and if I don't know the answer I will try and find it.
How do you acknowledge the judges before entering the arena? and which ones if more than one?
No acknowledgement is needed prior to entering the dressage arena.
The judge/s have a competitor list with your number on it and as long as you have your number showing that is all that is necessary.
How do you acknowledge the judge/s when leaving the ring?
You salute the judge at C when you complete your test, which is all that is asked for, as a courtesy gesture I always acknowledge the judges at B and E by raising my whip in a salute to them as well as I am leaving the arena.
How far away from the dressage arena do you need to be when warming up?
This is sometimes determined by the ground available but if possible far enough away so as not to distract the animal that is in the arena performing at the time.
When may you start circling the arena prior to starting prior to starting your test?
As soon the the competitor has finished his test and is on his way out of the arena is when you can proceed to drive around the arena, if there is sufficient room. Sometimes there isn't the space to get around the arena.
Is there a better rein to enter on, eg, left rein if turning left at the top of the arena after entering, right rein if turning right at the top of the arena after entering.
There is nothing set in concrete regarding this but my rule of thumb that I always go by is, if I am turning left at C, I will be on the left rein when working around the arena prior to entering the arena and visa versa if I am turning to the right at C.
How do you salute, man/lady?
As some competitors, both men and women now are wearing safety helmets in the dressage, it is acceptable for both genders to raise the whip so that it is horizontal to your head and bow your head as you do.
What side do you wear your buttonhole on man/lady?
As I am never too sure on the answer to this question I referred to the Internet for the correct answer and the following is what I found.
Traditionally, women's buttonholes are on the right side of their clothing, while men's buttonholes are on the left side. The most generally accepted reason for this difference dates back to the days when women of leisure were dressed by their servants.
Walk the arena before doing your test?.
Short and simple for this answer, Yes.
Where should you be looking when driving circles, (horses ears, into the distance, further around the circle????)
Having walked your test prior to driving it you should know where you need to be for accuracy of the circle and remembering that your horses head should be in front of his chest always then it makes sense to be looking between his ears.
What is the protocol if you hear the bell rung during your test?
Make sure that it is your bell being rung and if it is halt and present yourself to the judge at C.
It will be that judge who rang the bell.
The judge will tell you where you made the mistake.
Where do movements start (unless stated)?
The movements in a driven dressage test start when the horses nose is at the marker unless it says "between" and then it is any where between the two markers.
Where do they post the times allowed for the different obstacles on a marathon. I never know how long I am allowed at each one
As part of the marathon phase of a CDE, there are sections A, the walk, and B (historically called section E). In section A and B you will have two times that you need to come between to avoid receiving time faults. In the walk section you just have a time that you need to come under to receive getting time faults.
In section B, there are the obstacles, usually 5 to 7 of them. There are no allowed times in the obstacles, it is simply, the less time you spend in them, the less penalties you will receive.
The times for the sections are normally posted up on the Saturday evening, wherever the results are being posted. Make sure you get the right times for your class - you want to come in between the Allowed time, and the minimum time. IGNORE the Maximum time, this is the time, that if you exceed, you are eliminated. So remember - Section A and B - Come in between the Allowed and the Minimum, Walk section - just come in under the allowed time, and in the obstacles - well - have fun, and try and spend as little time in there as possible!
Question:If you drive a single pony in a 4 wheeler, do you have to carry a groom?
Answer: This question gets asked a lot, and there are a few different scenarios, depending on what type of event you are at, so I'll break it down by competition.
CDT: If you are driving a single pony that is under 128cm (I.e. tiny pony or small pony class) you do not have to carry a groom regardless of what type of vehicle you have. There is no rule saying you must carry a groom if you are driving a pony of this size in a four wheeler. Obviously, if your pony is over 128cm (ie in the large pony class) you must carry a groom, again regardless of if you are driving a two or four wheeler.
Showing: There is not requirement to carry a groom if you are driving a single (of any height) at a show, regardless of vehicle type.
POD / OHCDT: Like showing, there is no requirement to carry a groom if you are driving a single of any height, regardless of vehicle type. However, with PODs, if you start a phase with a Groom, you must finish with them, and if you start without a groom you must finish without a groom.
Graded Dressage: There is no requirement to carry a groom if you are driving a single of any height, regardless of vehicle type.
Question: If I drive a pair of Shetland ponies do I have to carry a groom?
Answer: Yes, for any event run under the NZCDS Rules, any multiple (regardless of size of pony) must carry a groom. 1 Groom for Pairs and Tandem, and 2 Grooms for teams.
Have you got a question you would like to ask? Ask away! Use the form below to send a message to the webmaster who will endevour to add your question (and answer!) to the above list.