OUT AND ABOUT DRESSAGE became a subscription site two weeks or so ago and I would like to thank the many, many people who have already signed up. Without this tangible show of support the future of the site was frankly under discussion. Now I feel totally ‘in front of the leg’, ‘on the hind leg’ and ‘taking the bit forward’!
This week the plan is to put the first day images from the recent Hickstead Regionals in our new Photo Gallery and they will be available to browse and to buy. I shall also be publishing an article about one particular feature of last week’s Hickstead International. Subscribers will be notified in the usual way.
If you have been too busy to look at the redesigned front page of the relaunched Out and About Dressage, please do! The aim has been to make the various categories and wealth of material posted on the site more clearly accessible.
Since it first went live in the autumn of 2015 Out and About Dressage has received one quarter of a million visits from people involved in the absorbing world of dressage: competing, training and caring for horses or training riders. And weekly total visits before relaunch had risen to between 2,500 and 3,000. However, statistics confirm that readers not only look at the latest reports on shows and lecture demonstrations, but also constantly refer to archive material, much of which has been produced with the kind help and collaboration of judges and trainers.
The website was begun with the idea of providing a service to dressage riders, particularly those who are based in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, or adjacent counties, or who compete in the area. It has also been an objective to support venues within these counties for the valuable service they provide by running affiliated dressage competitions. Please see latest Opinion piece!
The Out and About Dressage website menu of material has been rationalised to more closely reflect its most important content. Dressage update will contain news related posts. Regular Show reports endeavour to provide readers with stories about wins, winning riders and horses. Dressage results speak for themselves — but not for the time spent chasing them up, or reproducing them to a standardised, easy-to-read format or for their speedy (same day when possible) publication. Dressage is mostly about Training and trainers and a library of trainer profiles can be found in this category. It also includes reports of training lecture demonstrations. Test analyses have proved extremely popular as they offer tips from top judges on how to maximise your scores. (The latest in the series, Elementary 49, is available on relaunch.) Health & fitness are a priority in any sport and, in dressage, it relates to both the human and equine athletes in the partnership. When someone is brave enough to voice a (non-libellous) Opinion relevant to the art or sport of dressage, we are happy to publish it. However, we have introduced Have you read? menu category. There are now nearly 1,000 posts on the website and this category enables us to draw readers’ attention to valuable material that they may have overlooked on their past visits to the site. However, the website already has an efficient Search facility and if you want to read about a particular topic or person, you will usually find help there.
Finally, Out and About readers frequently ask if they can buy one of its copyright images. The admin time involved usually limits the website’s ability to respond positively to these requests. Photographs are taken to provide illustration for show reports and for record purposes. However, as a service to subscribers only it will in future be possible to browse the new Out and About Dressage Photo Gallery which will contain a limited selection of images from shows and other events, and enable subscribers to buy jpeg files (or have them in various printed media) more economically via a third party retailer.
The nearly 1,000 existing posts (as at July 2018) and future posts on Out and About Dressage represent a great deal of honest toil, often at ‘unsocial’ hours! As much fun as it is watching and photographing the action at shows and talking to riders — or however interesting it is learning about some new dressage relevant topic —bringing this information to website readers represents significant costs. For this reason the relaunched Out and About Dressage is available on subscription only.
The cost charged for access to the whole website has been set deliberately low at £30 for 12 months’ viewing. This works out at approximately 8p/day, 58p/week or £2.50/month. This is lower than any other paid-for equestrian media and Out and About is the only publication specifically and exclusively dedicated to dressage in the area.
Your support to date as visitors to the site has been much appreciated. I hope you will want ensure that Out and About continues to be available and to be successful by subscribing!
Editor and Managing Director
Out and About Dressage Ltd