Virtual Show Filming Guidelines

2016 Virtual Test Guidelines (PDF Download)

Setting up for a North American Western Dressage (NAWD)

Virtual Test Submission Guidelines

Congratulations. You are joining hundreds of other equestrians around the country and world participating in Virtual Horse Shows. North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is proud to be a leader in hosting Virtual Shows for Western Dressage, NAWD Six Feet on the Ground (groundwork), NAWD Trail, and Freestyle Western Dressage tests. Here is our Virtual Show Filming Guidelines.

What do you need for filming a Virtual Show test?

  1. Level and safe arena. It can be dirt or grass. The key is that it needs to be level and safe.
  2. Arena dressage lettered markers (center line cones can be used for Six Feet on the Ground).
    1. The markers should have dressage court letters that are at least 4 inches tall.
    2. We recommend 6 to 8 inch tall letters as the best option for the judge to see.
    3. Lettered markers can be purchased from a variety of sources or you can make your own with press on letters and 5 gallon buckets, cones, plackards, etc.
  3. A video camera
    1. A camcorder/video recorder with a zoom function is recommended; however, a really nice cell phone will work.
  4. A tripod for the camera.
  5. Someone to operate the video camera.
  6. An internet connection to upload your Video to YouTube.
    1. Fast connections are best (i.e. 4G network provider)

How should the arena be setup?

Set up of your arena will take about 15 to 30 minutes the first time. After that, you will need less than 15 minutes for each set-up. Most commonly, you will set up your arena for either a 20 x 40m or 20 x 60m size. NAWD has resources available to help you set up a smaller arena, but the smaller arena must be at least 16 meters wide (55 feet wide) and 33.5 meters long (110 feet long).  See NAWD Ranch Horse guidelines for set up of Ranch Horse arena. Should you have questions, feel free to contact NAWD on how to set up your arena and for the NAWD Dressage Court Calculator.

How do you convert meters to feet?

Below is a quick reference guide for dressage marker spacing.

1 meter = 3.28 feet                                          6 meters = 19.69 feet

12 meters = 39.37 feet                                    14 meters = 45.93 feet

20 meters = 65.62 feet                                    40 meters = 131.23 feet

60 meters = 196.85 feet

Virtual Show Tips

  1. Virtual show entries are best filmed using a video camera on a tripod with zoom capability. A nice cell phone works. Practice using the zoom feature
  2. The camera is your ‘judge’. Place it about 5 to 8 feet behind letter ‘C’ and elevate it 3 or 4 feet if This placement makes it very similar to where a judge would view your ride at a live show.
  3. Ensure you can video all corners of the Film a practice test to ensure you can see the entire horse and rider throughout each test.
  4. Rides may not be submitted to be judged more than once; unless it will be double judged during a special 'Double Up' event.
  5. Once a test is started, the video must run continuously from start to finish. It is okay to “start over” if the show host allows it; but it is not OK to splice two tests together. Spliced tests will be disqualified.
  6. Upload each test as an ‘unlisted’ video from your camera to your personal YouTube Be patient as upload time is dependent on video size and speed of your internet connection (4G is opti- mal).
  7. Video tests are emailed to and must include Test Name, Handler/Rider Name in the subject line. Within the email itself, include Show Date, Test Name, Handler/Rider Name, Horse Name, and YouTube video link.  You can include multiple video links in one
  8. Upon submission, you will receive a confirmation receipt from North American Western Dressage and test(s) will be forwarded to a judge. Be patient for results since it takes time to review, make scorecard comments, and determine placing’s (if for a virtual show event).
  9. Judging: Western Dressage Tests will be judged by a NAWD Judge that holds a license in the area for which the test is submitted.
  10. After your ride is judged, we will email you a link to your "NAWD Vault." This vault is where your tests will be stored so that you can watch your video as you review your scores and comments. On the bottom of the file, you will see tabs. Each tab is a test, and an unlimited number of tests can be stored in your vault. Use the arrow keys to move back and forth or click directly on the tab for the test you want to view. Please save this link so that you can track your progress and view your past score

Call 507-246-NAWD or email with questions!