We all have our favourite ways of learning a dressage test, and usually riders stick to one or two methods. However, the more choices you have in learning a test and using different options, the more likely it is you will be able to remember it, even under difficult or stressful conditions.
I have here a list which I not only use myself, but ideas that have been hugely helpful for the riders I work with. These cover many different learning styles and include practical suggestions and mental strategies with the help of NLP, Hypnosis & Visualisation.
1. Start to learn your test a few weeks before the competition. The longer you have to learn it, the better you will feel and the less stress will be associated with competing. Remember, anxiety and tension will affect not only you, but your horse. If you know the test by heart, that reduces your stress levels.
2. I recommend you buy laminated test sheets with diagrams. You can buy these in a folder from the British Dressage Online Shop or at Dressage Diagrams. This makes it easier to ‘see’ where you are going.
3. Draw the test out over and over again. Different coloured markers for different paces. You can get A4 boards with the markers already printed out. Draw out the test, wipe it off. Repeat.