|PURPOSE: To confirm that the horse demonstrates correct basics, is supple and moves freely forward in a clear rhythm with a steady tempo, accepting contact with the bit. All trot work may be ridden sitting or rising, unless stated. Halts may be through the walk.||RIDER #||8623|
USDF TRAINING LEVEL TEST 2
|Enter working trot |
Proceed working trot
|Regularity and quality of trot; willing, calm transitions; straightness; attentiveness; immobility (min. 3 seconds)||7||7||Fairly straight.|
|Track right |
Circle right 20m
|Regularity and quality of trot; shape and size of circle; bend; balance||7||7||Steady rhythm. Could show more energy and bend.|
|3||K-X-M||Change rein||Regularity and quality of trot; straightness; bend and balance in corner||7||2||14|
|4||Between C & H||Working canter left lead||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of gaits; bend and balance in corner; straightness||6.5||2||13||Croup high in depart.|
|5||E||Circle left 20m||Regularity and quality of canter; shape and size of circle; bend; balance||6||6||Strides flat. Canter needs more jump.|
|6||Between E & K||Working trot||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of gaits; straightness||7.5||7.5||Smooth transition. Energy from canter improves trot.|
|Circle left 20m rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward while maintaining contact |
Shorten the reins
|Forward and downward stretch over the back into a light contact, maintaining balance and quality of trot; bend; shape and size of circle; willing, calm transitions||5.5||5.5||Must stretch down and show a difference in neck position.|
Change rein, medium walk
|Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of walk||7||2||14||Clear rhythm. Slightly stiff in poll.|
|Change rein, free 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, calm transitions||6.5||2||13||Needs more downward stretch and overstep.|
|10||C||Working trot||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of trot; bend and balance in corner; straightness||7||7||Prompt.|
|11||E||Circle left 20m||Regularity and quality of trot; shape and size of circle; bend; balance||7||7||Could show more forward energy.|
|12||F-X-H||Change rein||Regularity and quality of trot; straightness; bend and balance in corner||7||2||14|
|13||Between C & M||Working canter right lead||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of gaits; bend and balance in corner; straightness||6.5||2||13||Balanced on shoulders.|
|14||B||Circle right 20m||Regularity and quality of canter; shape and size of circle; bend; balance||6||6||Needs ground cover in strides. Losing clear three beat.|
|15||Between B & F||Working trot||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of gaits, straightness||7.5||7.5||Shows better energy after transition.|
|Bend and balance in turn; regularity and quality of trot; willing, calm transition; straightness; attentiveness; immobility (min. 3 seconds)||7.5||7.5|
Leave arena in free walk. Exit at A.
|1||Gaits||Freedom and regularity||7||7||Canter needs more freedom.|
|2||Impulsion||Desire to move forward with suppleness of the back and steady tempo.||6||2||12||Needs more forward energy and suppleness over topline.|
|3||Submission||Acceptance of steady contact, attention, and confidence.||7||2||14||Obedient. Somewhat stiff in poll/connection.|
|4||Rider’s Position and Seat||Keeping in balance with the horse||6.5||6.5||Arms stiffen. Seat should be more following.|
|5||Rider’s Correct and Effective Use of the Aids||Correct bend and preparation of transitions||7||7||Fairly accurate test. Aids need to balance and creat more energy in canter.|
|Willing horse! Needs to be less braced in poll and stretch into a softer connection with more suppleness over topline.|
|Training 1 and 2
Hi Points: In both tests I found that the horse was suitable and steady in doing it's job. It responded to aids as best it could.
Low Points: The rider is working to hard and needs to actually refine and lighten her aids for more positive forward energy to come from the horse.
Things to Focus On: Rider's balance and timing of aids. Developing a more correct canter. Establishing a softer contact with the horse stretching more over it's topline.
Excercises: For your position: Think more about relaxing your legs and allowing them to hang down over the horse's sides like a wet bath towel--heavy, but, the bath towel isn't going to move around much. If you open your hips (like a runner's lunge) without bending you knees, your heels will stay down more and the seam of your pants will be more vertical--up and down. Your seat needs to follow the horse's motion as well as your arms. With your hands on the reins at the walk you need to let the horse pull the rein forward and then take back when the horse raises it's head naturally. The pressure should not change. Try not to lean forward, especially in the canter departs.
To improve the horse's balance at the canter, pulse with both legs when you see the horse's head start to lower. Remember to be soft with your connection because you are asking it to keep the poll higher. Also, be careful not to overuse your seat at this point....
Because, if you want the horse to work over a rounded topline, you have to give it room to come up under you with it's back. Hence, a lighter seat is necessary. You should feel like you're riding a cloud.
To improve the stride at the canter, you will need to pulse with your legs and ask for a little longer stride with your following seat. Pick a line down the rail, say from M to F. Count the number of strides it takes to get from point to point. If you get 10 strides, then, next time, try to do it in 9, or less. Think of jumping down the line each stride.
To develop more self carriage, practice giving one hand (really, show a loop in the reins), then, softly take it back. Follow with a release on the other hand. Then with both hands--only for 2 or 3 strides at a time. Do this at the walk, trot, and finally canter. When you release both reins at the canter, you will understand how much your core has to help keep the horse in self carriage.
If at any time you feel that you are pulling, or being pulled, by the reins--give up the connection and increase the leg. The leg raises the horses head, not the rein.
I hope some of these ideas will be helpful to you. Good Luck!