The Dressage Arena


The manège, or arena, is a flat measured area of grass or sand. There are two sizes of dressage arenas: small (20 meters by 40 meters) and standard (20 meters by 60 meters). Riders typically start in smaller arenas and work their way up to the standard size arena. Letters placed outside of the arena indicate where movements are to start, top and where transitions should take place. The horse and rider enter at A, while judges are typically placed at C, although in larger competitions judges can be stationed at different points outside the arena.

Small Arenas

Small Arena

Small arenas are made up of the letters AKEHCMBF posted at the circumference. Some riders use the acronym “All King Edward’s Horses Can Make Big Fences” to remember the order. The letters A and C mark the center points of the shorter, 20 meter sides of the arena. The letters DXG fall along the center line between A and C and are not marked but referenced for moves. The letter X falls in the exact center of the arena.

Standard Arenas

Standard Arena

Standard arenas are made up of the letters AKVESHCMRBPF. The letters DLXIG are not marked down the center line between A and C.

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