|PURPOSE: To confirm that the horse demonstrates correct basics, and in addition to the requirements of Training Level, has developed the thrust to achieve improved balance and throughness and maintains a more consistent contact with the bit.|
All trot work may be ridden sitting or rising, unless stated.
USDF FIRST LEVEL TEST 1
|Enter working trot |
Proceed working trot
|Regularity and quality of trot; willing, clear transitions; straightness; attentiveness; immobility (min. 3 seconds)||7||7||Straight, almost square.|
|Track left Half circle left 10m, returning to track at H||Regularity and quality of trot; shape and size of half circle; bend; balance; straightness||7.5||7.5|
|3||B-X||Half circle right 10m, returning to track at M||Regularity and quality of trot; shape and size of half circle; bend; balance; straightness||8||8|
|Circle left 20m in rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward while maintaining contact Shorten the reins Working trot||Forward and downward stretch over the back into a light contact, maintaining balance and quality of trot; bend; shape and size of circle; willing, clear transitions||7.5||2||15|
|Change rein, lengthen stride in trot Working trot||Moderate lengthening of frame and stride; regularity and quality of trot; straightness; consistent tempo; willing, clear transitions; bend and balance in corner||8||8|
|6||A||Medium walk||Willing, clear transition; regularity and quality of walk; bend and balance in corner; straightness||7.5||2||15|
|Change rein, free walk Medium walk||Regularity and quality of walks; reach and ground cover of free walk allowing complete freedom to stretch the neck forward and downward; straightness; willing, clear transitions||7||2||14||Could show more stretch and reach, better after centerline.|
|Working trot |
Working canter left lead
|Willing, clear transitions; regularity and quality of gaits; bend and balance in corner||6.5||2||13||Not straight to aids in preparation before M.|
|9||H-V||Lengthen stride in canter||Willing, clear transition; moderate lengthening of frame and stride; regularity and quality of canter; straightness; consistent tempo||6.5||6.5||Should show more ground cover.|
|10||V||Circle left 15m Develop working canter in first half of circle||Willing, clear transition; regularity and quality of canter; shape and size of circle; bend; balance||6.5||6.5||Show more difference.|
|Change rein |
|Willing, clear transition; regularity and quality of gaits; bend and balance in corner; straightness||7||7||Fairly straight at X.|
|12||C||Working canter right lead||Willing, clear transition; regularity and quality of canter; bend and balance in corner||7||2||14|
|13||M-P||Lengthen stride in canter||Willing, clear transition; moderate lengthening of frame and stride; regularity and quality of canter; straightness; consistent tempo||6||6||Strides shorten.|
|14||P||Circle right 15m Develop working canter in first half of circle||Willing, clear transition; regularity and quality of canter; shape and size of circle; bend; balance||6.5||6.5||Needs to show more difference in stride length.|
|15||A||Working trot||Willing, clear transition; regularity and quality of trot; straightness; bend and balance in corner||7.5||7.5|
|Change rein, lengthen stride in trot Working trot||Moderate lengthening of frame and stride; regularity and quality of trot; straightness; consistent tempo; willing, clear transitions; bend and balance in corners||6.5||6.5||Started well, then, lost balance over centerline and becomes fussy in bridle.|
|Half circle left 10m Down centerline Halt, salute||Bend and balance in half circle; regularity and quality of trot; willing, clear transition; straightness; attentiveness; immobility (min. 3 seconds)||6.5||6.5||Left hind out.|
Leave arena in free walk. Exit at A.
|1||Gaits||Freedom and regularity||7.5||7.5|
|2||Impulsion||Desire to move forward; elasticity of the steps; suppleness of the back; engagement of the hindquarters||7||2||14||Needs to develop more suppleness, especially in canter.|
|3||Submission||Willing cooperation; harmony; attention and confidence; acceptance of bit and aids; straightness; lightness of forehand and ease of movements||6.5||2||13||Not always straight to aids. Becomes fussy in bridle.|
|4||Rider’s Position and Seat||Alignment; posture; stability; weight placement; following mechanics of the gaits||7.5||7.5||Balanced.|
|5||Rider’s Correct and Effective Use of the Aids||Clarity; subtlety; independence; accuracy of test||7||7||Could be more consistent in keepin horse straight to aids.|
|Hi Points: Energy and confidence in trot! Clear rhythm in all gaits. Shows ability to bend equally left and right. Shows cadence.
Low points: Tension detracts in canter work. Not always straight to aids (transitions and halts). Rider sits back a little behind horse's balance. My impression is that this horse is young, or green (or both) and can be quick if startled or off balance. Therefore, the rider is positioned a little defensively, for perhaps a good reason!
Focus: Needs to develop more longitudinal suppleness over topline to show more clear lengthenings and return transitons.
Exercises: Capitalize on the stretch circles at the trot with the idea that you want the horse to develop a slower tempo--thereby increasing longitudinal suppleness and strength over topline. The same can be done at the canter--with the emphasis on not increasing tempo, but creating more length in body. Once the horse will stretch out a little more at the canter on the circle, return to the normal working canter and ask for the stretch to be repeated on a straight line, for only a few strides. Speed isn't what we hope for.
You can also ask for lengthened strides on the circle, coming back to a shortened stride once or twice on each circle.
Once the horse is showing more willingness to slow down and increase ground cover, count the number of strides it takes you to travel from a point on the rail to another point, say H to K; or H to V. If you travel that distance in 12 strides, ask the horse to "jump" a little more forward on the next round, and hope for 11 or 10 strides.
Another suggestion: Even if it's shorter than your horse's natural stride, try to show a difference when you are making those circles after lengthenings. The circle itself doesn't always make the horse come back to the working canter.
To make them straighter, be careful in halts not to allow your horse to rely on your reins too much, it sometimes causes the haunches not to be straight or balanced. Work your half halts so that the horse stops on a release of your aids. Timing is everything!