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How to film a great dressage test for a virtual show entry

Updated: May 18

Participating in virtual dressage shows has become increasingly popular, offering equestrians the opportunity to compete from the comfort of their home stables. To ensure your dressage test stands out in a virtual show, it's crucial to film and present it correctly. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a polished and professional video submission.

1. Prepare you, your horse and the arena

  • Dress: Make sure you are smartly dressed and wearing an appropriate helmet, boots and gloves.

  • Grooming: Ensure your horse is well-groomed, with a clean coat, mane, and tail. A neat presentation is essential.

  • Tack check: Use clean and correctly fitted tack. Make sure your saddle pad is tidy and your bridle is spotless.

  • Arena setup: Clear the arena of any debris or distractions. Mark the dressage letters clearly, ensuring they are visible in the video.

2. Equipment and setup

  • Camera: Use a high-quality camera or smartphone with a good resolution. Ensure the lens is clean.

  • Helper at C: Position a reliable helper at C (centerline at the short end of the arena) to film the test. Make sure they know how to operate the camera and can follow the action smoothly.

  • Lighting: Natural daylight is best. Aim to film when the sun is not directly overhead to avoid harsh shadows. Indoor arenas should have adequate lighting.

3. Filming your test

  • Warm-Up: Warm up your horse before you start filming to ensure they are ready and relaxed.

  • Test Commencement: Begin recording before you enter the arena to capture the entire test. Make sure to film continuously without cuts to maintain the integrity of the test.

  • Frame the Shot: Ensure your horse and rider are centered in the frame throughout the test. The helper should zoom out slightly to keep the entire performance in view.

  • Steady and Clear: The helper should keep the camera steady and avoid unnecessary movements. A consistent view helps judges focus on the performance.

4. Uploading your video

  • Review footage: Watch the video to ensure it’s clear and captures the entire test. Check for any issues like blurry sections or distractions.

  • YouTube account: Log in to your YouTube account. If you don't have one, create a free account.

  • Upload video:

  • Click on the camera icon at the top right and select "Upload Video."

  • Select the video file from your device.

  • In the "Details" section, add your name; horse name; Class number and test.

  • Set the visibility to "Unlisted" to keep the video private but shareable via a link.

  • Copy link: After uploading, copy the video link to submit to the virtual show.

Final tips

  • Test run: Do a practice filming session to iron out any issues with positioning, lighting, or equipment.

  • Feedback: If possible, get feedback from a trainer or a fellow rider before final submission. They might spot areas for improvement that you missed.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your dressage test is presented in the best possible light, maximising your chances of a successful and impressive virtual show entry. Happy filming and good luck in your virtual competition



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