Dressage NZ recognises that not every young horse may be “age ready” for the FEI Young Horse tests for 4,5,6.7 yr olds. Often at the beginning of the season (1st August) horses may have officially reached a particular age but could in fact be six months younger by actual date of birth, and have limited training and competition experience.
Young horse classes are an ideal way to give horses exposure with more importance on the way of going and less on accuracy at a marker, or the occasional moments of inattention. Now in addition to the Young Horse Classes which will continue to held at key events, areas are encouraged to offer Developing Horse classes where the horse may compete in a test for one age group lower. ie a 5yr old may compete in the yrs test.
Developing Horse classes are an ideal way to get younger horses used to the competition environment and for riders to get feedback on their training progress