The Position and Aids of the Athlete

1. All the movements should be obtained with imperceptible aids and without apparent effort of the Athlete. The Athlete should be well-balanced, elastic, sitting deep in the centre of the saddle, smoothly absorbing the movement of the Horse with his loins and hips, supple thighs with the legs steady and stretched well down. The heels should be the lowest point. The upper part of the body should be tall and supple. The contact should be independent from the Athlete’s seat. The hands should be carried steadily close together, with the thumb as the highest point and a straight line from the supple elbow through the hand to the Horse’s mouth. The elbows should be close to the body. All of these criteria enable the Athlete to follow the movements of the Horse smoothly and freely.
2. The effectiveness of the Athlete’s aids determines the precise fulfilment of the required movements of the tests. There shall always be the impression of a harmonious co-operation between Horse and Athlete.
3. Riding with both hands is obligatory at FEI Dressage Events. When leaving the arena at a walk on long rein, after having finished the test the Athlete may, at his own discretion, ride with only one (1) hand. For Freestyle tests, see also Directives for Judges – Freestyle tests and Directives for assessing the degree of difficulty in a Freestyle test available at
4. The use of the voice or clicking the tongue repeatedly is a serious fault, which should be considered in the mark for the movement.

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