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how do you remember where the letters are?

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  • how do you remember where the letters are?

    Give me any and all of your tips on how to learn the dressage letters of the arena.
    ...don't sh** where you eat...

  • #2
    A F B M C H E K--A Fat Bay Mare Can Hardly Ever Kick there are lots...
    "Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


    • #3
      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


      • #4
        For a small (40m x 20m) ring: All King Edward's Horses Canter Many Big Fences. That's starting at A and going clockwise--A, K, E, H, C, M, B, F.

        My trainer has another mnemonic device for a bigger ring, but I don't know that one offhand.
        I love my Econo-Nag!


        • #5
          All King Edward's Horses Can't Be Mended because they're Fixed-AKEHCBMF


          • #6
            All Kind Elephants Have Cute Mothers Bad Fathers

            Then add "RSVP" for the standard arena

            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


            • #7
              Poor King Edward.

              All King Edward's Horses Carry Mighty Brave Fellows.

              As for remembering them when teaching, just practice.

              As for riding a test, I don't really. I just remember what has to happen where.
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


              • #8
                I pull out a test that I know the pattern to, and then work backwards.. Kinda like "I know that I turn here, so this must be B" type of thing.

                It works for me.
                Member of "Ride an Event(er)" Clique: If you haven't ridden an event(er)...you haven't really ridden at all!


                • #9
                  I never bothered learning the letters. I just learned where the markers are in the arena, and then learn the pattern of the test movements. After years of riding tests, I finally got familiar with M-X-K and H-X-F and that the midpoints of the long sides are B and E, but the specific letters and their locations never mattered if I knew the sequence of movements and how the test flowed.

                  That said, there's A Kitten Entered Here Calmly Munching Bad Fish, too.
                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                  Spay and neuter. Please.


                  • #10
                    and in between is RSVP - like on an invitation.

                    We have a rug in the front room that is rectangle with patterns on it. I used to "ride" the test on the rug so did my kids, with walk trot canter imitations. You could put the letters up with bits of paper until you got used to them.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                    • #11
                      Do what Monstrpony said, and make an association of some sort with each letter -- K is for Kallie, H is for Horse, M is by the mirrors - whatever works for you. KXM - Kallie likes to look in the mirrors. At C, run over the judge! Enter at A, Attagirl! the four "inside" letters are RSVP. If you ride in one arena all the time you can learn them by visual landmarks like the mounting block or the door, but then you'll have to transpose that on top of the new arena when you ride away from home. Another thing that might work is to take a chalkboard, draw the arena with letters on it, and with chalk trace your dressage tests over and over and over. You'll learn how the movements fit in the arena and how the letters help them flow, which might help make relationships clearer among the letters and help you remember them better.


                      • #12
                        Honestly I DON'T remeber the letters, not "exactly" I know from years of experience that A is enter and C is judge, E and B are midpoints on long side and I know H-X-F and M-X-K are diagonals but I couldn't tell you which is where. Reason being I don't NEED to know. What I need to know when I ride a test is the movements, flow and pattern of the test. The way I remember a test is like this (like a training level test, obviosuly a bit more detailed for higher level):

                        Trot up centerline
                        halt, trot and track left (or right), mid way circle left (or right)
                        A canter, up long side and circle mid way (10, 20m whatever)
                        trot at corner marker (H,F,M,K doesn't matter)
                        Walk at C
                        free walk across diagonal
                        trot a A
                        circle at mid point of long side (E,B whatever)


                        It clutters mymind to have to worrk about the letters, you ride enough tests and you know how things flow. Partially too I think this comes from having memorized so many jump courses over the years, you memorize the TRACK of the course (or at least I do) not the actual jumps.


                        • #13
                          how do you remember where the letters are?
                          I don't. I know I enter at "A" and the judge is at "C." Past that, I couldn't begin to tell you what order the letters are in. I just remember to look up when I'm riding.
                          "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                          the best day in ten years,
                          you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


                          • #14
                            I'm with shawneeacres.

                            When I'm learning a new test, I know if its test 1 or 3 you track left (after initial halt) and if its 2 or 4 track right. (for the USEA tests not FEI). That fact has been INVALUABLE for learning tests. After I know which way to start, I just learn the pattern.

                            There are "corner letters" "E or B" and "funny letters" (the letters inbetween the "corner letters" and "E or B")

                            So this year, I'm riding 3rd level and PSG. 3rd level test 1: track left (because its 1), shoulder in "funny letter to funny letter" half circle half pass.....


                            • #15
                              All King Edwards Horses Can Make Big Fences =]
                              Words to live by:
                              There's always another box on your test
                              Over or through
                              Throw your heart over the fence and go after it


                              • #16
                                All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

                                Use whatever "rhyme" works for you, but I haven't worked with a trainer yet who didn't expect me to know where "E" was when they said, "do such-n-such at "E"!
                                You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


                                • #17
                                  How do I remember.....wait.....what?
                                  2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                                  A helmet saved my life.


                                  • #18
                                    LOVE the kitten one! I remember them going clockwise using the mnemonic from Carolyn Banks' dressage mysteries (haven't read them? hunt them down!)
                                    A Killer (Vicious) Enzyme (Seriously) Harmed Crazy Mr (Raoul) Banks' (Precious) Face.
                                    I still even remember the part in one book where the character completely bewilders someone at a show by telling them they mixed up "vicous" and "precious".
                                    I also say the letters in a line like words: KVESH (ka-vesh'), FPBRM (feep'-burm) and ADLXIGC (ad-el-ex'-a-geek) but have to think about the killer enzyme to remember which side is kvesh and which side is fpbrm.

                                    ETA: when we'd go to shows with our quad group, the first question from at least one rider woudl be "OK, so where's the mounting block and where's the gate?" to orient herself based on how our ring at home is set up.
                                    Last edited by slpeders; Aug. 24, 2009, 04:12 PM. Reason: adding


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by baysngreys View Post
                                      ... but I haven't worked with a trainer yet who didn't expect me to know where "E" was when they said, "do such-n-such at "E"!
                                      Well, yes, but usually they mean "when you get to the middle of the next long side, do such-n-such". It is pretty necessary to know which letters are at the corners, which at the middle of the long side, which in between (not to mention A and C) and on the centerline, but that comes as much from practice riding the figures that go with the letters (i.e., diagonals vs 20-m circles). At least that's fairly true at the lower levels (which is where the question usually arises).

                                      Knowing the sequence of the letters around the arena has never been of much use to me. If I had to run through the sequence to figure out where to do such-n-such, the trainer would be yelling at me for having missed the marker before I located it mentally and then found it in the arena. Not to mention that I can't ride and think at the same time anyway .

                                      If a trainer were to say "at M, begin shoulder in" I'd be pretty sure he/she was talking about the corner after the next short side. In other words, you can tell from the context where to do the movement. Or, you can glance up and see if the next corner marker is the right one. Of course, you should be looking up already, but we all know how that goes ...
                                      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                      Spay and neuter. Please.


                                      • #20
                                        Look like King Edwards horses were busy

                                        All King Edwards Horses Consumed Much Bad Feed