The Murphy’s Laws of the dressage competitor.

These are my favourite 10 of the 30 “REAL rules of Dressage”, whose original author appears to be unknown. Not limited to dressage, in the hunter, jumper or western horse show ring, if anything can go wrong… it just might!

3. Dressage is about achieving a harmonious working relationship with your horse, whose only idea of harmony is eating grass in a field with his buddies.

5. Untalented, difficult, spooky horses have robust health, good hocks and long lives.

7. You will ride the best dressaf test of your entire life just prior to being disqualified for going off-pattern

10. Horses do not improve their movement because you are wearing expensive German breeches.

13. If you are considering the services of a horse clairvoyant to help you with training then you have reached the point of total desperation – try the German breeches.

18. If you fall off your horse in the show ring you will have paid to have the test videoed.

20. Your horse will perform its best piaffe ever when you ask for extended canter.

22. Since runs of bad competitions come in groups of three, the fourth competition is actually the beginning of the next group of three.

24. It is surprisingly easy to end a dressage test with a perfect square halt once you have scored a four for every other movement.

29. Riding clinics given by someone with an interesting accent are not necessarily superior to those given by the homegirl.