For riders enjoying unaffiliated competition with riding clubs, the Pony Club, or with local riding centres, the move to affiliated is an easy transition with many rewards!
Breaking down the myths...
'Can I trial competing in affiliated competitions?'
If you're looking to take your first step into affiliated competitions, our Club Membership offers a fun and accessible way of trying our grass roots competitions, such as Saracen Horse Feeds Quest and the Associated Championships. Club Membership will cost you just £35 per year for your membership, and £15 for your horse registration.
If you're already competing above Prelim Bronze then we also offer a Trial Membership for anyone who has not been a British Dressage member before but wants to try the benefits of a Full Membership, such as being able to compete above Prelim Bronze.
'The tests are going to be too tricky for me'
British Dressage tests are regularly used at unaffiliated competitions so you don’t have to worry about being out of your depth with tricky tests! You can also choose your test depending on your level, the lower the number the easier the test. So if you’re just starting out at Prelim level, try Prelim 2 before making your way up the numbers towards the more detailed tests for each level.
'My horse isn’t a fancy warmblood, I’ll be out of my depth!'
Our judges are trained in line with the scales of training, so you’ll be marked depending on how correct your performance is against these dressage fundamentals. Dressage isn’t about comparison, it’s about the individual performance so try not to think about the people you’re competing against and instead try and focus on achieving your personal goals and enjoying the experience! We also offer loads of opportunity for different breeds and types to excel against their own, including the brilliant Associated Championships.
'Only professional riders qualify for championships'
Our competition structure has a championship pathway for riders from dressage first-timers all the way through to senior international stars. If you’re just starting out, the Saracen Horse Feeds Quest Championships are a fun introduction to dressage with relaxed rules, or the Petplan Equine Area Festivals offer exciting championship finals for bronze and silver riders. The Bronze, Silver, Gold structure will define your level and direct you towards the right championship for you. Professional riders compete against one another in the Gold category, so you don’t need to worry about trying to beat Charlotte Dujardin to a qualification ticket!
Hear from someone new to British Dressage
We spoke to Lauren, who has recently joined British Dressage, to ask all about her experience and top tips about giving it a go.