Emma Carroll – From Polocrosse to Dressige (Yes Dressige)



OK so I’m a Polocrosse player who before that Rodeo’d and came from a Cutting family, and now i’ve decided to have a go at English.


I hated Jods because I came off a pony once got my butt handed to me and it was all the jods fault, Fast forward to the ripe age of 30 here I am saddling up yes in stupid jods at adult riders.


My horse Danger mouse was such a good little egg and did her best but the instructor was giving me all these things to do like shorten my stirrups squeeze with my legs feel my seat bones and I was like WHAT!!? What the hecks a seat bone? This is hard! For the next hour I promptly lost feeling from my eyebrows down and rode properly.

I have mad respect for you English riders now… and jods, so much room for activities!



So I got the courage up to enter in our first ARCA challenge in the “beginner 40cm” class and our Dressige ( yep Dressige) was magical… head as high as humanly possible in the air and I could see more eyeball than I ever wanted to, I was sweating bullets trying not to poop my dacks and stay on I went to the judge and said hello and she said “ok go in and ill beep when we are ready” I said ok no worries so I doing my very best Dressige rider impersonation went into the actual dressage arena and started warming up.

My friend died on the sidelines and did her best angry mum at the shops trying not to look nuts while yelling at her child voice and said what are you doing get out! Get out! And I said but the nice lady said I could go in? she said yeah in the warm up you twit you’ll get disqualified get out! Now I know.

I spun around and stealth-ed my way out of the arena with the judge watching and me pulling awkward don’t yell at me face.
The test went a little like this… Walk quietly to X, crap where’s X, oh the bit in the middle ok got it stop the donkey without her walking off and salute.


Ok done that bit now trot to the middle of up the arena and hang a left do a big youey and stay calm, horse resembles camel grrr get ya head down ya spaz touch rein to try and get ANY sort of collection horse flicks her head higher, awesome mouse ya cow thanks we’ve don’t half the test theres a walkie bit in here somewhere isn’t there?


Oh yep go right at the bottom and walk to the top corner at a loose rein pffff loose rein silly cow will not allow that right now, meanwhile horse is sweating bullets and calling out to EVERYTHING and im trying to hold it together back inside my head… blank blank blank shiiiiiiiittt where to now come on Em don’t spack out now uhhhhh that’s it left again down to the “gate I wasn’t meant to go through” bit and back to x at a working trot halt salute BREATHE OUT.


As mentioned previously she isn’t the neatest little pony in the paddock, but she tries her hardest and she’s coming along even with my wonky I don’t know either guidance. The test resembled a directionally challenged toddler trying to navigate Bunnings with a roofing ladder, bless her we came 5th overall and she even tripped up a jump after I got the giggles in our XC and loved every minute.

Things I’ve learnt, English riders are mental, and they really can ride. I used to think it was easy and you just sat there like a pimple on a pumpkin looking pretty but no, your out there riding in the “shallow saddles” (please don’t be offended I ride on a stock saddle which Is basically a lazyboy with a seat belt).


You guys are tough, you have to use your leg aids so much more and if your horse decides it doesn’t like the colour of that blade of grass way over there and lights up you have this tiny little saddle to stay in and you guys stay on! What kind of sorcery is this!? My hats off to you!


Its also taught me that no matter what who where or how much there are always very kind helpful people willing to help and encourage those who may be just like me and don’t know, lack a little confidence or have changed disciplines and are deep down a little scared. To those people I want to say thank you, you have kept a lot of us riding.


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