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Guidelines for the Silver Spurs Assessment Day

What shall I wear?

Be tidy. You need not wear show jackets but please do not wear bulky jackets. Hats with a three point harness as per Dressage Ireland Rules. Any colour breeches. Black or brown Riding boots (gaiters allowed).

Gloves should be worn.

Body protectors may be worn.

Spurs are allowed except for Under 12s.

Whips may be carried.

What to wear – Horses/Ponies

In the Under12, Pony and Junior sections, snaffle bridles only are permitted, with a bit that is acceptable in competition under Dressage Ireland rules. See the Dressage Ireland Rule Book, Annex 4, for a full description and illustrations of permitted bits.

In the Open Under25 section, double bridles are also permitted, in accordance with Dressage Ireland rules.

Nosebands may be plain cavesson, flash, dropped or grakle.

Martingales, draw reins and running reins of any sort are not allowed.

Boots and bandages are allowed only for the assessment days.

What to do

Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare for your assessment lesson. A little warm up may be possible but remember you will have a 45 minute lesson and you will want to make the most of it. You may find it very beneficial to have the assessor watch you warm-up from a cold start as she will be able to give you exercises to do which will help your particular horse/pony.

Ask questions, especially if you are not sure what is being asked of you!

Parents and instructors are welcome to watch but must stay out of the arena.

When do I ride?

You will be given a time for your ride. It will be on this website or you can phone for it as per details on application form (Please photocopy this before you send it in). You should be mounted before your time and there may be a warm up area available.

Do I ride a dressage test?

Not at assessment days, but you will do if you qualify for the Semi finals/finals.

The assessment days aims to recognise riders that have good balance, co-ordination, feel and effect in walk, trot and canter, whilst riding various schooling exercises which the assessor might ask for. You may be asked to ride without stirrups. Ability to ride well under guidance and discuss what is happening is all part of the assessment.

What happens next?

Every rider leaves the assessment day with a written report from the assessor to help with future training plans. On the day you will also receive a ‘score’ which will be added to the online master score sheet for the whole of Ireland.

Will I qualify?

After all the assessments have taken place you will be able to see if you have qualified. We try to take the top 25% in each age group through to the semi-finals where you will be assessed on your test riding using specific tests.

What if I don’t qualify?

Even if you don’t qualify this year you should have enjoyed the day and benefited from the training given. You will be able to stay in the scheme for many years as we cater for riders under twelve right up to 25 years of age.