|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 #||6120|
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.||6||6||Not quite straight at X. Move off needs more energy and lift. (Less walking)|
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.||6||6||Prepare horse for correct bend in turn at C. Needs to be straighter on diagonal with light contact.|
|3||A||Circle left 20m, working jog||Balance and bend on the circle; regularity and quality of the jog.||5.5||5.5||Good rhythm. Needs correct bend and more consistent connection.|
|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||Straighter on diagonal, but, still needs better bend in corners.|
|5||C||Circle right 20m, working jog||Balance and bend on the circle; regularity and quality of the jog.||6||6||Good energy level. But, avoids contact by raising poll. Bend in corners needs to improve.|
|6||Between C & M||Develop working walk||Willing, smooth transition; balance and bend in the corner; regularity and quality of the walk.||6.5||6.5||Clear Rhythm, but, transition goes straight into free walk. Needs to keep poll raised and accept connection in working walk.|
|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.||6.5||2||13||Needs to be straighter. Show more difference in transition at K.|
|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.||6.5||6.5||Not balanced front or back.|
|9||B||Working jog||Willing, smooth transition; regularity and quality of the jog; balance and bend in the corners.||6.5||6.5||Steps short after transition.|
|10||H - X - F||Change rein, working jog||Straightness on diagonal; balance and bend in the corner, regularity and quality of the jog.||7||2||14||Straight. Steps slightly wide behind.|
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.||6.5||6.5||Right 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 with suppleness of the back and steady tempo.||6.5||6.5||Tempo changes. Bends need to improve.|
|3||Rider’s Position, Seat, and Hands||Well-balanced elastic seat demonstrating vertical, centered alignment, with light independent contact from hand(s)||7||7||Hands could be more steady and balanced.|
|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||6.5||6.5||Aids need to keep horse straighter and develop correct 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||8||2||16|
|EXTRA FEEDBACK |
Overall Impression: A balanced ride with good ground cover that shows harmony.
High Points: Forward energy and straightness improved as the test progressed.
Low Points: There needs to be a difference between the working and free walks. Halts need to be more straight and balanced.
Focus: Work to achieve more acceptance of light contact (connection). Ask the horse to raise or lower poll for working and free walks. Create better bending from your aids.
Exercises: 1) Let's think about balancing your leg, seat, and rein aids for different connections in the working and free walk: Starting at the walk, use your leg to raise your horse's poll. Your horse may not understand and just go faster, or break into a jog. That's OK. Bring it back and ask again. The fact that the horse responded means that it knows it has to do something. So, ask again--be sure your seat is light and "neutral"--not pushing. The light taps with your lower leg should raise the poll. When that happens, pet and reward with praise, or even take a break. That way the horse knows its response was a good thing. It you get no response from an aid, you might want to reapply it a little more strongly.
2) I like use a snaffle when teaching the horse to accept connection, but, I also have ridden with western curbs and do driven dressage with straight bits. At the jog, experiment with giving the reins and taking them back softly--one at a time. So, give right, and take back. Then, give left, and take back. You might want to employ a little more leg to encourage the horse to seek forward for the bit, but, be light on your seat aids. Here we want the horse to stretch down and maintain a rounder topline, not raise its poll. Most horses want to lean on one side more than the other. When you discover which side your horse is more apt to stretch into (look for), reward it with praise or a pat so it knows that's what it's supposed to do. If you push too much with your seat, it will make the horse hollow and raise it's head--this often happens when departing for the lope.
3) Work with serpentines to show the horse to change bends. The trick is to straighten the horse first! Ride three loop serpentines in a 20 X 60 ring, or two loop serpentines in a 20 X 40 ring, with the emphasis on make the horse straight across the centerline (parallel to the short sides) and using your inside leg to create the new bend. Use a straightening outside rein to keep the horse from overbending the neck. Not much bend is needed for a 20 meter circle, but, it has to be shown and cannot be bent to the outside. If one side is stiffer or more resistent to the bend, you can add a circle within the serpentine to give yourself more time to establish the bend. As in all exercises, three times each way and then you should think about moving on to something else. You can always come back to an exercise later, but, this keeps the horse more interested in the process.