Horse Trainer Dato Darren Yaw’s Insights on Dressage for 2022 Competitions

Dato Darren Yaw’s dressage trainer holding a horse’s bridle

Horse Trainer Dato Darren Yaw’s Insights on Dressage for 2022 Competitions

This article focused on brief explanations regarding one of the most famous yet challenging equine sports, the dressage. The explanations are from our special guest, Dato Darren Yaw as he released his latest news and opinions on dressage. All the quotations by Dato Darren Yaw are released from his interview with this official website. 


In Dato Darren Yaw’s opinion, he stated that equestrian contests such as dressage competitions include dressage horses and riders performing preset “figures” or “movement patterns” in an arena that may measure between 20×60 meters and 20×40 meters. It should be noted that this is the general requirement for measurement across the globe. The length is synchronized in every country for dressage competitions. Other than that, Dato Darren Yaw’s suggestion also stated that lettered markers are used proportionately to indicate starting and finishing points as well as changes in tempo or lead. This is to ensure that both the rider and horse are in sync with the paces. Dato Darren Yaw highlighted that in all contests, the horse must exhibit three patterns which are walking, trotting, and cantering. They must also exhibit consistent transitions between these paces, both inside and between them for the judges to see the style of the transitions.


As a retired jockey for dressage now turned trainer, Dato Darren Yaw did mention that training horses for dressage is one of his main challenges back in those days when he was active. Dato Darren Yaw stated that horses might not understand the patterns and paces for the dressage. Hence, this sport ranks with the most difficulties in order for the horses to become comfortable and familiar with the patterns.


In addition, Dato Darren Yaw mentioned that the main goal of dressage training is to create a serene and fluid horse that can move nearly imperceptibly. During his years of training to perfect his dressage movements with the horse, Dato Darren Yaw stated that it took him more than a year to achieve perfection. From this, he concluded that the horse’s overall physical and mental capabilities expand as it develops, which enables it to be more confident, alert, sharp, and fluid. For instance, he stated that the movements the horses ought to master are the four-beat walk without any pauses, the two-beat trot with one pause between each diagonal beat, and the three-beat canter with a pause after the 3 beats. All of these movements carry different types of markings from the judges based on the difficulties featured by the horse and rider.


Dato Darren Yaw’s dressage competition in Singapore

Dato Darren Yaw’s Dressage Competition.


Many of those who are curious about how dressage works would have the same question as how the judges mark the scores. Dato Darren Yaw explained that you will be assessed by up to three judges while competing in a dressage test. Every aspect of the dressage exam is scored as you ride and move your horse. Not only that, but he also stated that the key in winning a dressage test is to show the attitude bond with your horse to portray extreme agility and fluid while completing the courses. From this, the judges will search for compliance, agility, precision, and demeanor from both the rider and the horse. As a start, you will hear a bell or a whistle before you enter the ring. By checking your watch, you know when you have entered the dressage ring, so you won’t incur a penalty. However, there will be times when the timing is altered because of changes that occurred within the competition. Therefore, it is best for the riders to keep track of their own timing. Moreover, Dato Darren Yaw said that you will then salute the judge, and then you will enter the arena to start the test. Following the judge’s orders, you will go in straight lines and around in circles according to your test’s instructions. 


Dato Darren Yaw concluded that the horses ought to be prepared from a young age to help them become comfortable and familiar with all the movements and gestures in dressage. The fluidness from the horse will help the team to score higher marks since it is rare to perfect the fluidness of a horse. 


Dato Darren Yaw’s daughters riding their horses in the pen

Dato Darren Yaw’s daughters practice dressage.

Whether you want to participate in the sport or in another field, basic dressage instruction is important. For your information, dressage competition is a symbol of corporate formality in horse riding. Dato Darren Yaw highlighted that dressage training benefits equines of many types, including jumpers, trail horses, pleasure horses, and show horses. The athleticism and obedience of your horse will improve, and you will also improve as a rider. Therefore, from the interview, we can conclude that the relationship between a horse and a rider will be tighter with great training and discipline.


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