Richard's Music Freestyle Mastclass

Richard explains how to create the perfect Freestyle test with help from Charlotte Dujardin, Stephen Clarke and Tom Hunt. Filmed at the Espayo British Dressage National Championships. 

Please click here for original video and H&C website.

Hiscox Artemis & the FEI Reem Acra Final

Hiscox Artemis scores personal bests at FEI FINAL
Richard Davison riding the Countess of Derby’s and John Dodd’s 12 year old gelding Hiscox Artemis laid down two outstanding scores at last weeks FEI World Cup Final in S’Hertogenbosch, Holland.
In the technical grand prix test the combination achieved 73.3% and then went on to gain in excess of 78% in the freestyle.
The FEI recognise the standard of their Championships and Finals by awarding riders with a 2% uplift on their World Dressage Rider Rankings, which makes Davison’s scores worth in excess of 75% and 78% respectively compared to scores obtained in other non-5 star events.
Eurodressage reported that Davison’s test were of a quality to be receiving straight 9s and 10s for the piaffe and passage exercises, a key part of the tests at this level.
“This has shot Hiscox Artemis up into another league, and reflects the improvements he has made during this winter season’s World Cup series. ” said Davison. Throughout 2012 the combination have consistently scored above 70% at top level events which is a requirement for selection for this years Olympic Games. So far they are the only British combination yet to achieve this, other than the ‘big three’ riders Bechtolsheimer, Dujardin and Hester, which at this stage makes Davison and Artemis strong contenders for the fourth individual Olympic place. Their next outing is Munich’s World Dressage Masters 5 star event 18th to 20th May.

Richard & Hiscox Artemis complete World Cup Final GP

Richard and The Countess of Derby’s Hiscox Artemis posted an excellent 73.374% in the Grand Prix today at the Reem Acra World Cup Dressage Final. This placed the pair 5th, in front of 6th placed Patrik Kittel and Toy Story and closely behind Hans Peter Minderhoud in 4th. Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival took the top spot.

For full results please see:http://www.indoorbrabant.com/en/results/

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Dodson & Horrell Article: Sponsored Rider Richard Davison Shares His Top Tips…

We recently caught up with one of our sponsored riders, Dressage star Richard Davison to hear about his top tips for success. Whether you’re simply schooling at home, or out regularly competing, his advice should be useful to most riders…

1.    When warming up at competitions do not get too fixated on the movements in the test but instead allow enough time for suppling your horses muscles and getting your horse to respond to your leg and rein aids. Many people do too many repetitions of the actual test movements whilst warming up and this can lead either to the horse losing confidence in that particular exercise or simply that all the good stuff is left behind in the warm-up arena instead of the competition arena where it matters.

2.    At home practice riding different sized corners. A corner is a quarter of a circle. In a highly collected gait that should be a quarter of a 6m circle which means leaving the short side 3m before the corner and arriving at the long side 3m after the corner. At the other end of the training spectrum, with a novice horse in working gaits it should be a quarter of a 10m circle – so that 5ms from the corner. The point corners are a strategic exercise which need planning and practising.

3.    When you come out of the competition arena its tempting to have the post test discussion immediately. But instead spend a few minutes cooling down your horse. Its really important to avoid stiff tight muscles which result from a neglected cool down. Normally we trot slowly for a few minutes in a stretched frame and then walk for another 5 minutes or so. Its difficult to be precise as it depends on many factors such as the length and demands of the test, fitness and temperature of the horse etc but don’t underestimate the importance of this phase. You can chat over your test later in the coffee bar!!

For a link to the article and Dodson & Horrell website, please click here.

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Developing you medium & extended trot out in the field with Richard & Tom Davison.

Trotting up hills is a great way to teach your horse to open up his shoulders, and will help him understand what he’s supposed to do.

Medium and extended trot both have to be mastered if you want to go up the levels in dressage. And it’s easier than you think.

Some horses can naturally lengthen their stride, so if yours is one of them, then when you’re preparing to ride your first Novice test (where medium trot is required for the first time), you shouldn’t have much trouble.

Others may need a bit more help, but you should find that most horses will happily oblige once they understand what you’re asking them to do.

But before you start to teach your horse how to lengthen his trot stride, here’s a reminder of what the trot is and how the horse should move in trot.

The trot: defined
The trot is a two-time pace where the horse moves his legs in diagonal pairs, plus there’s a moment of suspension when all four legs are off the ground.

Ideally – and essentially at the higher levels – the horse should work in good, uphill balance with his hindlegs stepping well under his body. He should be supple through his topline and seeking a rein contact.

If your horse’s trot doesn’t feel up to scratch, don’t panic. Here are some common trot problems we encounter, with some simple solutions, too. I find they work well for my horses, so give them a go.

The hills are alive
If you have access to a long, not- too-steep hill, then use it to your advantage.

Take a light seat, but don’t give the rein away, and don’t allow your horse to fall onto the forehand.

You should find your horse naturally reaches with his stride more than he would on flat ground, so encourage him.

Or if you have a friend who has a horse with an established medium trot, trot up the hill beside them and watch your horse really open up!

In conjunction with Horse&Rider Magazine.