|PURPOSE: Tests provide an introduction to the discipline of Western Dressage; the horse performs only at the walk and jog. The rider should demonstrate correct basic position, use of basic aids, and understanding of the figures. The horse should show relaxation; and harmony between horse and rider is important. The horse accepts the aids and influence of the rider. The jog should be a natural gait within the horse's scope and should demonstrate a swinging back.||RIDER #||6109|
WDAA INTRO LEVEL TEST 3
|Enter working jog|
Halt through the working walk, salute Develop working jog through the walk
|Straightness; regularity and quality of the jog and walk; balance in transitions; square straight halt; immobility; willingness.||7.5||7.5||Active and straight on entry. Halt could be straighter.|
M - X - K
|Track right, working jog |
Change rein, working jog
|Balance and bend in the turn and corners; straightness on diagonal; regularity and quality of the jog.||7.5||7.5||Needs smoother bend through corner at M.|
|3||A||Circle left 20m, working jog||Balance and bend on the circle; regularity and quality of the jog.||6.5||6.5||Neck overpositioned.|
|4||F - X - H||Change rein, working jog||Straightness on diagonal; regularity and quality of the jog; balance and bend in corners.||6.5||2||13||Against hand at F. Slightly fussy. Needs better bend at H.|
|5||C||Circle right 20m, working jog||Balance and bend on the circle; regularity and quality of the jog.||7.5||7.5||Forward. Slightly unsteady in bridle.|
|6||Between C & M||Develop working walk||Willing, smooth transition; balance and bend in the corner; regularity and quality of the walk.||7||7||Transition could be smoother.|
|7||M - X - K |
|Change rein, free walk |
|Horse willing to freely stretch the neck forward and down; relaxation; swing through the back; ground cover; regularity and quality of the walks; balance and bend in corner; willing, smooth transition.||6||2||12||Must stretch down more and show more swing through back. Not straight after X. Working walk should be more active.|
|8||A||Halt 4 seconds, proceed working walk||Balance in transition to square, straight halt; immobility; willing, smooth transition; regularity and quality of the walk; balance and bend in the corner.||7.5||7.5||Well sustained. Could be better balanced behind.|
|9||B||Working jog||Willing, smooth transition; regularity and quality of the jog; balance and bend in the corners.||8||8|
|10||H - X - F||Change rein, working jog||Straightness on diagonal; balance and bend in the corner, regularity and quality of the jog.||7.5||2||15||Good energy. Some resistence to change of bend at F.|
Halt through the walk, salute
|Balance and bend in the turn; straightness; regularity and quality of the jog and walk; balance in downward transition to square, straight halt; immobility.||6||6||Overshot centerline. Neck overpositioned in turn. Halt could be straighter.|
Leave arena in free walk. Exit at A.
|1||Gaits||Freedom and regularity||7||7||Walk needs more freedom.|
|2||Impulsion||Desire to move forward with suppleness of the back and steady tempo.||7.5||7.5|
|3||Rider’s Position, Seat, and Hands||Well-balanced elastic seat demonstrating vertical, centered alignment, with light independent contact from hand(s)||8||8|
|4||Rider’s Correct and Effective Use of the Aids||Evidenced by the horse's responsiveness; steady elastic connection cultivating athletic expression. Accuracy - precise placement of the figures and transitions, the effectiveness of the rider's aids determines the accurate fulfillment of the required movements of the tests||7||7||Aids need to create more downward stretch in free walk, and, create more consistent right bending.|
|5||Harmony||The horse accepts the aids and influence of the rider with attention, relaxation and confidence; and demonstrates a willing partnership between horse and rider resulting in a free flowing performance||7.5||2||15||Moments when connection is unsteady.|
Overall Impression: Horse and rider show confidence. Horse shows willingness to go forward.
High Points: Straight entry gets a judge's attention every time! This horse is very obedient in halts.
Low Points: The downward stretch in the free walk needs to improve and show more difference than in the working walk. Horse could be more equally supple left and right.
Focus: Work to develop suppleness over the topline to support equal bends and more stretch over the topline.
Exercises: 1) For the stretch in the walk: Have you ever noticed a dressage ride when the horse didn't stretch at all until the very end? This also happens on the "stretchy circles". Why? Because, horses pull against pressure. (And that's when the rider takes contact to come back to the working gait.) To get a horse to stretch over its topline at the walk or trot, you must first take a little more contact. As soon as you feel a tendency to pull forward against your hand, allow your hand to follow and PRAISE the horse! Some horses learn this better first in the trot.
Be sure you don't use a heavy seat, as the horse needs to bring its back up under you to stretch. Your horse is actually doing a movement that, to a person, is like touching your toes. Too much leg will also make a horse raise its poll. So, your leg should be more passive here, so you don't give "conflicting aids".
And, about that part about touching your toes.....If you were to touch your toes, and you probably can, you might not be able to hold that position for very long. (Our back muscles start to complain about being overstretched.) That's why, when a horse is learning to do this, they can't really keep a low stretch for long, they have to work up to it. That's another reason why you shouldn't ask a horse to really stretch until it's warmed up. Just keep asking and rewarding any positive stretch.
2) Straightness: Sometimes your horse isn't straight through the neck, especially when turning right. Use your outside leg, at the girth, to keep the horse from popping its shoulder out and overbending in. Be sure that you are not restricting on the inside rein. More support and straightness should come from the outside aids. Exercises to use this outside support are turns on the forehand and leg yields. Leg yields can be introduced at the walk to give you more time to work on that outside leg support.