With lots of riders competing at this time of year, there are a few tips to improve the marks in a Prelim test.
To start with, the judge is looking for a smooth relaxed test in a soft round frame but with a workman like feel to it.
When entering at A, come in from the side that you can keep your horse straight, which is very often from the left. Look straight at the judge and keep up the working trot so there are no wobbles. Usually the turn at C is included in the first mark of 10, so keep your contact on both reins for good balance.
Round correct size circles mean you do not lose unnecessary marks. The second half of the circle tends to be smaller if the rider is not careful.
Diagonal lines look easy but there are no edges to support you so look at your arrival point and aim for 1 metre before the letter so that the rider’s shoulder arrive on the letter. This gives you maximum space before the corner.
Very often you are asked for a transition from trot to walk and back to trot in the length of your horse or 3-5 steps. Keep your horse on the aids so that would do not end up walking 7-8 steps!
To end with a good halt, make it progressive and relax into your right seat bone so that the hindquarters stay behind you.
Salute with minimum movement, dropping the arm and a short nod is professional, no sweeping bows.