|PURPOSE: To introduce the rider and/or horse to the sport of dressage. To show understanding of riding the horse forward with a steady tempo into an elastic contact with independent, steady hands and a correctly balanced seat. To show proper geometry of figures in the arena with correct bend (corners and circles).||JUDGE:||Robyn Nunnally|
|USEA BEGINNER NOVICE TEST A|
|1||A - X - M|
|Enter working trot|
|Straightness of entry; regularity and quality of trot; balance on turns||6.5||6.5||Steady, could be more forward|
|2||E||Circe left 20 meters, working trot||Quality and regularity of trot; bend, balance, size and shape of circle||7||7||correct bend|
|3||Between K & A||Working canter left lead||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of gaits, bend and balance||6||6||hollow in connection|
|4||A||Circle left 20 meters working canter||Quality and regularity of canter; bend, balance, size and shape of circle||6.5||6.5||suppleness improves on circle|
|5||Between F & B||Working trot||Balance and quality of transition; regularity and quality of gaits; straightness||6||6||tense neck|
|6||Between M & C||Medium walk||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of walk||6||6||could be more elastic to bit|
|7||H - X - F||Free walk||Regularity and quality of walk; reach and ground cover allowing complete freedom to stretch the neck forward and downward||7||7||good stretch and activity|
|8||Between F & A||Develop medium walk||Willing, calm transition; regularity and quality of walk||8||8||good steps|
Circle right 20 meters working trot
|Quality and regularity of trot; bend, size and shape of circle||7||7||nicely forward and supple|
|10||Between H & C||Working canter right lead||Willing, calm transitions; regularity and quality of gaits; bend and balance||6||6||neck stiffens in trans|
|11||C||Circle right 20 meters working canter||Quality and regularity of canter; bend, balance, size and shape of circle||7||7||correct bend|
|12||Between M & B||Working trot||Balance and quality of transition; regularity and quality of gaits; straightness||7||7||prompt|
|13||K - X - G||Onto centerline||Balance on turns; quality and regularity of trot||8||8||good balance|
|14||G||Halt through walk, salute||Willing, calm transition; straight attentive halt; immobile (min 3 seconds)||7||7||straight|
Leave arena in free walk. Exit at A.
|1||Gaits||Freedom and regularity||7||7||fairly athletic|
|2||Impulsion||Desire to move forward. Elasticity of the steps. Suppleness of the back and engagement of the hind quarters.||6||6||energy improved throughout the test|
|3||Submission||Acceptance of the bridle. Attention and confidence. Harmony. Lightness of the forehand. Ease of movements.||6||6||keep elasticity in trans|
|4||Rider||Position and seat. Correctness and effect of the aids.||7||7|
|Well matched pair seeming to enjoy their test!|
|Hi Katie, |
You and your horse are fun to watch! I enjoyed seeing a test where both horse and rider are confident and like what they are doing.
You started off lacking in energy a bit but that improved as the test went on. You seemed to become more secure in asking for added effort.
To improve this performance, I suggest working on getting your horse more supple and elastic to the bit. He isn’t pulling against you, yet he could give in a little more with his neck and jaw and be softer with less weight on your reins. Basic suppling can be improved by trotting or cantering a circle and doing half halts at 4 points on the circle. With a supportive inside leg on, bring the nose around to the inside (without leaving your circle), then release the rein. Do this until the horse more willingly offers up some flexion to the inside and holds that flexion longer. Monitor the neck and make sure there is no bracing of the underside; when you see that happening, ask for additional bend and suppling.
If you aren’t already working on leg yields, now would be a good time to start! Teach him to move away from leg pressure as this also helps with suppleness. One place where we did see some bracing is the canter departs. A few well timed steps of leg yield before the canters can help move the ribcage and keep the body softer through the depart. You can teach leg yields on a circle: counter flex a bit and leg yield in, change to true bend and push it back out. This is a great exercise to lessen tight necks and improve suppleness.
I thought your position was secure with good alignment and quiet hands.