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View Full Version : Help me with Training Level Test 3: Update post #43



oldernewbie
Aug. 1, 2011, 05:39 PM
I thought this question had been addressed earlier but, if it has, I can't find it.

I am trying to improve my TL test 3 scores - and I always get dinged on the trot loops for not having enough bend. I'll be honest - I don't know which way to bend or how much. The first loop is after a track left at C, and goes HXK. Instead of me telling you how I ride it, could someone please tell me the correct way - for the entire loop? Same for loop tracking right that goes MXF.

I even watched the USDF videos and couldn't get a good idea from that either.

We did get the best score yesterday we've ever gotten on test 3 but there's lots of room for improvement. Help!!

TIA!

Sancudo
Aug. 1, 2011, 05:55 PM
It's a shallow serpentine, change of bend over quarterline.

I sometimes start practice with 3 10 meter circles, the middle one going the opposite direction, the acutal serpetine like the test will have less bend.

I haven't ridden the new test 3, but i have a vid doing the the old test 4 where I got decent scores on the single loop I can dig up. The view is from E and not C, so not sure how much you can see though.

dotneko
Aug. 1, 2011, 05:58 PM
I like to see the rider showing clear bend in the corner
before the single loop movement starts, a change of
bend on the quarter line, the rider hitting X maintaining
the same bend, the a rechange of bend on the quarter
line in preparation for the next corner.
Many riders ride it too 'diagonal' like rather than 'S' like.

ideayoda
Aug. 1, 2011, 06:04 PM
It is not a shallow serpentine, it really is a broken line. The changes of flexion occur at the quarterlies, and the legs ask for the changes of bend. Adding a circle between X and the wall can also improve the flow of the work (while practicing).

oldernewbie
Aug. 1, 2011, 07:25 PM
Oh I wish we could draw pictures on this forum!!

So, I'm tracking left at C with a bend to the left in the first corner. Between H and X I bend to the right, then take a few steps straight at X and then between X and K I bend to the left or right? Someone told me it is a preparatory movement for leg yield in first level, but that just confuses me even more - if you were leg yielding back to the wall after X, wouldn't you be bent to the left?

I think part of the confusion for me is that the Digital horse chart shows this movement as bend to the right between H and X, kind of straight at X, then bend to the right again between X and K. Is that right?

And I did ride it like a diagonal the first time and that was not right at all.

Sorry to be so dense but I got some conflicting info apparently.

quietann
Aug. 1, 2011, 09:38 PM
I was taught to ride it as follows: assuming you're tracking right (because I think that's what you're doing in T3?), come through the corner in right bend, maintain it to roughly the quarterline where you'll switch to left bend, keep that bend through x and when you're back at the quarterline, switch to the right bend again. It seems to work better without a lot of straight steps at any point. (dressagediosa, who sometimes posts here, explained it really well in an article for one of the dressage mags a few years ago.)

This (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Prp5edjFK4o) is me and the mare in a lesson back in 2009, practicing it (but in the other direction). She's not the most bendy mare in the world, and I am far less trained than she is... When we're coming towards the camera you will be able to see the change of bend.

Gloria
Aug. 1, 2011, 10:01 PM
Oh I wish we could draw pictures on this forum!!

So, I'm tracking left at C with a bend to the left in the first corner. Between H and X I bend to the right, then take a few steps straight at X and then between X and K I bend to the left or right? Someone told me it is a preparatory movement for leg yield in first level, but that just confuses me even more - if you were leg yielding back to the wall after X, wouldn't you be bent to the left?


Well, I wouldn't ride it that way... I go by what dotneko says.

At C, you track left, so maintain left bend passing H, continue your left bend till you hit the quarter line. Quarter line is the long line running parallel to the long side of the arena, right in the middle between the A-C line and the edge of the arena. This is not a full circle so your bend is shallow.

When you hit the quarter line, bend to right. Ride yout right bend passing X (you should now returning back to the long side of the arena, approaching K), continue your right bend till you hit the quarter line again.

When you hit the quarter line, bend to left, continue your left bend to K, and continue on to A.

You need to show three changes of bend, from left bend to right bend, back to left bend again, with each change of bend happening at the quarter line.

At each change of bend, you literally feel like you leg yield for one step of two (not the whole time). So From left bend to right bend, one step before the quarter line, leg yield from your right leg to left to change bend, and continue. You don't really leg yield perse, but that is basically the same aid to ask for leg yield for one step.

oldernewbie
Aug. 1, 2011, 10:30 PM
No wonder I've not gotten good scores on this - I've been riding it wrong. Comment is usually "no bend". Guess I've been well judged as I didn't know when to do it or what to do.

I knew you could help me and I really appreciate it. Monty and I thank you!!

cuatx55
Aug. 1, 2011, 11:12 PM
Awesome, thanks guys! I was riding this wrong.....

xQHDQ
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:44 AM
Should you change posting diagonals? For me it helps me change the bend (and half-halt), but I don't know if I should be doing that.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:04 AM
You can change diagonals if you want. There should be no penalty if you choose to do so. OTOH, you and your horse should be able to change bend no matter which diagonal you're on.

(Practice by riding bend/counter-bend on circles and straight lines. Then asking for change of bend on a curving line is no big deal!)

ArabDiva
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:27 AM
I was taught to ride it as follows: assuming you're tracking right (because I think that's what you're doing in T3?), come through the corner in right bend, maintain it to roughly the quarterline where you'll switch to left bend, keep that bend through x and when you're back at the quarterline, switch to the right bend again. It seems to work better without a lot of straight steps at any point.

Yup, like this.

At an "ask the judge" clinic a few weeks ago, this is how the judge told us to ride it.

My trainer says to think of it like 3 10-meter circles.

mp
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:59 AM
I was taught to ride it as follows: assuming you're tracking right (because I think that's what you're doing in T3?), come through the corner in right bend, maintain it to roughly the quarterline where you'll switch to left bend, keep that bend through x and when you're back at the quarterline, switch to the right bend again. It seems to work better without a lot of straight steps at any point. (dressagediosa, who sometimes posts here, explained it really well in an article for one of the dressage mags a few years ago.)


That's how my instructor has me do it. But I've found that if I just think "one step straight" as I come up to the quarter line then change the bend, it's a smoother line.

fuzzy.pony
Aug. 2, 2011, 12:15 PM
Here is a very good article on this movement from back in the Training Level, Test 4 days. http://www.laurensprieser.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/practicalhorseman.pdf

quietann
Aug. 2, 2011, 12:56 PM
Here is a very good article on this movement from back in the Training Level, Test 4 days. http://www.laurensprieser.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/practicalhorseman.pdf

That's it! I completely forgot that it was in PH, not a dressage magazine.

poltroon
Aug. 2, 2011, 01:04 PM
I hate hate hate these loops.

I think it's bizarre that this is the only test at any level with no ordinary trot circles in it.

If a judge type could explain to me why they like this test and these loops, and why it is that they are in this test but no other, I would be grateful.

The shape kind of works in the short arena as a set of connected 10m arcs but is just not right in a long arena.

I miss last year's training 3, with the figure 8 circles, which was my favorite of the training tests. Sniff.

poltroon
Aug. 2, 2011, 01:10 PM
Also, if any test movement ever called out for an explicit diagram for the line to be ridden, it is this one. I very much would like to see the test itself call out the precise expected line in the short and long arena. Given how long these loops have been in the tests, it's nuts that there's not clear understanding of how we are expected to ride them.

Edited to add: even the Practical Horseman article says that as written, the test calls for two straight lines. And yet, the judges seem to want the loopy line. There's no reason to make everyone guess.

joiedevie99
Aug. 2, 2011, 02:20 PM
IMHO, it is pretty clear that they don't want straight lines.

1. The movement is called "one loop"

2. The directives include shape of loop and changes of bend. Neither of those would occur if you did straight lines.

I don't necessarily love the test either, but I think it serves the same purpose as a serpentine would at this level, i.e. can the horse maintain all the objectives of the level while changing bend.

ETA: the movement with straight lines would be written
"HXF, free walk on two diagonals"

Spectrum
Aug. 2, 2011, 02:58 PM
Scribing this last weekend, the judge pointed out, "I wish more people rode it as a LOOP! It's a LOOP, not a zig-zag!"

The earlier description wherein you maintain the bend out of the corner, change bend at the quarter line, maintain bend until the next QL and then switch is exactly what this judge was rewarding.

Spectrum.

asb_own_me
Aug. 2, 2011, 03:11 PM
I've been having trouble with this as well. Sorry if this is dense - but tell me if this is correct. Another way to say this would be that for the HXK loop, the "lines" from H to X and from X to K aren't straight lines at all, they are really shallow arcs? Is that correct?

joiedevie99
Aug. 2, 2011, 03:19 PM
Definitely not straight lines, but not consistent arcs either. If it was one arc, you wouldn't be changing bend at the quarter lines.

If you start at H tracking left, the first piece of the movement is a 1/4 circle left. As you cross the quarter line, bend right and do a quarter circle right to X. Then keep going in right bend for another quarter circle right- to the quarter line. Then switch to left bend and do a final quarter circle left back to F.

So its quarter circle left, half circle right, quarter circle left.

Alternatively, if you want to think about the lines from H to X and X to F, both are shaped like shallow S

ETA: I found a properly drawn diagram. See if this makes sense: http://www.dressage.net.au/mxfloop.pdf

Paddys Mom
Aug. 2, 2011, 03:20 PM
THIS is the reason I have avoided Test 3 so far.
However, we need to ride Test 3 at the year end championships, so I will try everyone's suggestions.

oldernewbie
Aug. 2, 2011, 03:42 PM
Wow! Thanks everyone! And I'm not feeling so dense after all seeing as how this part of the test seems to be misinterpreted by a lot of folks!

All the explanations are greatly appreciated!! Will let you know how this goes the next time I ride it!:winkgrin:

Now if I could just have the contact fairy sprinkle some dust on me and my silly giraffe, we'd really be makin' some progress!!

Bravestrom
Aug. 2, 2011, 03:46 PM
OP -thanks for asking this question and thank you everyone for responding - I got dinged on the weekend for riding it wrong too.

oldernewbie
Aug. 2, 2011, 03:52 PM
Definitely not straight lines, but not consistent arcs either. If it was one arc, you wouldn't be changing bend at the quarter lines.

If you start at H tracking left, the first piece of the movement is a 1/4 circle left. As you cross the quarter line, bend right and do a quarter circle right to X. Then keep going in right bend for another quarter circle right- to the quarter line. Then switch to left bend and do a final quarter circle left back to F.

So its quarter circle left, half circle right, quarter circle left.

Alternatively, if you want to think about the lines from H to X and X to F, both are shaped like shallow S

ETA: I found a properly drawn diagram. See if this makes sense: http://www.dressage.net.au/mxfloop.pdf

Thank you! An excellent chart.

Most of the schooling shows around here do TL tests in the small ring. All we have at our barn is a big ring. Any hints for doing this in the small ring? Seems like you would be bending like mad.

quietann
Aug. 2, 2011, 04:10 PM
Thank you! An excellent chart.

Most of the schooling shows around here do TL tests in the small ring. All we have at our barn is a big ring. Any hints for doing this in the small ring? Seems like you would be bending like mad.

In my video, I am riding in an arena that's slightly larger than a small dressage ring. The changes of bend happen *really* quickly in the small ring!

You could also use something to "cut" the top third off a large ring, a couple of ground poles or something like that.

Carol Ames
Aug. 2, 2011, 04:29 PM
I do not have a clear understanding of what is being asked; how does this read?:confused:

oldernewbie
Aug. 2, 2011, 04:42 PM
First loop, right after X halt salute:

C Track left
HXK One loop

Directive:

Bend and balance in turn;
quality of trot; shape and size
of loop; changes of bend.

Second loop:

C Working trot
MXF One loop

Directive:

Quality of trot; willing,
balanced transition; shape and
size of loop; changes of bend.

poltroon
Aug. 2, 2011, 07:34 PM
I can't help but point out that the two diagrams that have been cited as "the authoritative way to ride the line" are different from each other.

Riding this in the small arena, you're always on a consistent quarter-arc of a 10m circle with changes of bend. It rides decently. On the large arena, the arc diameter changes with every step. This is a very complicated figure to draw and it's a complicated figure to see and ride.

I'd much rather it was a full serpentine and cannot fathom why this 'loop' (which is NOT loop shaped !!! :lol: :lol: ) is superior.

poltroon
Aug. 2, 2011, 08:13 PM
I guess the reason I hate it is because since the arc diameter changes (mostly expanding) on each step, that it feels like an irregular circle where I'm actually deliberately asking the horse to fall out of the circular shape. I feel like this figure is teaching what is supposed to be a young horse to evade my aids.

I felt the same way about one of the old second level tests, where they asked for a transition from the counter canter to trot at A... it felt like it was training my horse to fall out of the counter canter. I refused to show that test.

On the 'loops', I can tell myself that it's proving the horse and I have enough harmony to keep our balance and rhythm on any shape, regardless of how irregular or bizarre it is. I would find this more persuasive if we expected upper level horses to show their balance and rhythm on these irregular and bizarre lines. :D

poltroon
Aug. 2, 2011, 08:16 PM
And finally:


loop –noun
1. a portion of a cord, ribbon, etc., folded or doubled upon itself so as to leave an opening between the parts.

2. anything shaped more or less like a loop, as a line drawn on paper, a part of a letter, a part of a path, or a line of motion.


Since it doesn't connect back to itself, it's NOT a loop. Not not not!!! :lol: :D

Carol Ames
Aug. 2, 2011, 08:48 PM
check out the videos on Youtube,:yes: there are several :cool:alleged to have scored in the 70 percentile; I've seen nothing:no: resembling a serpentine:no:

ACP
Aug. 2, 2011, 08:53 PM
Here is a very good article on this movement from back in the Training Level, Test 4 days. http://www.laurensprieser.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/practicalhorseman.pdf

Ride it as shown in this article.

to help you school, come down the centerline and track left.

Ride a 10 meter circle in the corner that starts and ends at H.

Slightly open up the circle but keep bending left as you approach the quarter-line.

As you cross the quarter-line change the bend to the right,by going straight for one step or two, then bending right the same amount you were bent left, heading in an arc for X.

At X, ride a 10 meter circle.

Slightly open up the circle's bend as you cross X, heading in an arc toward the quarter-line.

As you cross the quarter-line change the bend to the left, by going straight for one step or two, then bending left the same amount you were bent right, heading in an arc for K.

At K, ride a 10 meter circle.

NOTE The two 10 meter circles at H and K will NOT touch the short side of the arena.

This is what an FEI trainer has my sister doing with our gelding. It helps you develop your eye for the place you want to go, and makes the horse pay attention to your aids. It also gives you a chance to check your bend: too little, just right, too much.

Gloria
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:14 AM
And finally:



Since it doesn't connect back to itself, it's NOT a loop. Not not not!!! :lol: :D

I think you are analyzing this thing a bit too hard... It ain't rocket science you know. If you try to draw a continuous smooth curvy line on a piece of paper, staring from H, reaching X, returning to long side, and then reaching K, with each bend happening at the quarterline, you basically know how to shape your loop....

LaraNSpeedy
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:46 PM
I saw someone said it is not a shallow serpentine - BUT maybe I ride a serpentine wrong then LOL - I ride this like a shallow serpentine - changing bend on the quarterline. So its like I am agreeing with several people. When I do that - my scores are better.

The only way for me to really ride it well is to do 3 10 meter circles in practice - it helps my horse - my horse is so freakin smart - so he then gets the bend better and what I am asking.

I love that someone said - assuming is a judge - wants to see clear bend at the corner - thanks for that - I rarely concentrate on the bend through the corner - which someone else said its to the right and someone else said its to the left - of course - the loop is both directions in T3.

I like this test - the other two are so solid on training level parts and this test is more interesting to me - I like it. I like the canter transition at X to a trot.... its just a nice break from norm.

If dressage is DANCE - then its like T1 and T2 test the actual elements in Training you are supposed to be working on and T3 sort of makes it more creative or something. I like the test.

asb_own_me
Aug. 4, 2011, 02:14 PM
Definitely not straight lines, but not consistent arcs either. If it was one arc, you wouldn't be changing bend at the quarter lines.

If you start at H tracking left, the first piece of the movement is a 1/4 circle left. As you cross the quarter line, bend right and do a quarter circle right to X. Then keep going in right bend for another quarter circle right- to the quarter line. Then switch to left bend and do a final quarter circle left back to F.

So its quarter circle left, half circle right, quarter circle left.

Alternatively, if you want to think about the lines from H to X and X to F, both are shaped like shallow S

ETA: I found a properly drawn diagram. See if this makes sense: http://www.dressage.net.au/mxfloop.pdf

Thank you for posting this diagram! This really helped a lot. I'm printing it out to bring to the show this weekend. My instructor and I were talking about this loop this morning, and I was telling her about this thread. We are all having trouble with it - she's showing a client's horse in this test, I'm showing my horse in this test, and another client is showing her horse in this test. We will ALL benefit from this.

bogiedance
Aug. 4, 2011, 05:50 PM
I have been marked down too for riding it as almost diagonals because my loops were to shallow. Now I know they are quarter circles!! Thank GUYS!!

poltroon
Aug. 4, 2011, 06:06 PM
In the small arena, you can ride it as a series of 10m quarter arcs of constant radius, with your quarterline crosses parallel to the short sides, and it rides pretty well.

asb_own_me
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:06 PM
Just wanted to update that this thread really helped me at the show this weekend. I had a "7" on my loops in T3 with the comment "accurately ridden, nice bending"

Thanks for the input from everyone and especially to joiedevie99 for the link to that diagram. It really gave me a "lightbulb moment" about how to ride the loop!

oldernewbie
Aug. 8, 2011, 08:22 AM
Just wanted to update that this thread really helped me at the show this weekend. I had a "7" on my loops in T3 with the comment "accurately ridden, nice bending"

Thanks for the input from everyone and especially to joiedevie99 for the link to that diagram. It really gave me a "lightbulb moment" about how to ride the loop!

Yay!!! and congrats!!

I take my next stab at T3 this coming Saturday. I hope my results match yours!!

quietann
Aug. 8, 2011, 11:01 AM
Just wanted to update that this thread really helped me at the show this weekend. I had a "7" on my loops in T3 with the comment "accurately ridden, nice bending"

Thanks for the input from everyone and especially to joiedevie99 for the link to that diagram. It really gave me a "lightbulb moment" about how to ride the loop!

Awesome!

dressagedevon
Aug. 8, 2011, 12:45 PM
I am by no means a trainer but thought I would tell you what helped me the most, this is kinda funny, but I ride it like I'm leg yielding and half passing. I come out of the corner, kinda doing weak half pass then change bend and do leg yield to x, the half pass back to quarter line change bend and then leg yield back to wall. I know I am not actaully doing these movements but I found that it helps me really get my horses body in the correct position when I am pretending. I may be wrong but my old man and I consistantly score in the upper 60, even have gotten into the 70 percent so it seems to help imagine yourself doing these movements.

oldernewbie
Aug. 13, 2011, 06:55 PM
Went to a schooling show today and rode TL test 3 for the first time after asking the loop question. Got a 6 on one loop with the comment: correct change of bend...

Yay!! We had some other problems today but at least I improved my score on ONE thing!! Well, actually a couple of things as we got a higher score than the last time. It's mighty small steps of progress, but it is progress!!!

Many thanks again for all your comments and help. It certainly did make a difference!

JeanM
Jul. 23, 2012, 07:49 AM
I'm adding my post from this weekend here, to give a heads-up that this movement STILL isn't understood... apparently even by judges!
[QUOTE=JeanM;6451681]Hi,

I would love to find an online Training Level Test 3 diagram of those darned trot LOOPS! I was practicing them at home (in a small ring, a definite liability if one's show rides take place in a large ring -- let's just say that the diagonals are just a bit different! :eek:) withOUT any straight lines; well today at my second schooling show, the judge called me over after my test and explained that there are supposed to be straight lines in them thar' loops. Dang.

I'd understand this, HOW, from the published tests??? I'm frustrated that the powers-that-be who published the tests didn't think to include a diagram of that particular movement; I don't think I am the only one who's been perplexed about it. :no:
QUOTE]

I did research it and in fact, based how I rode it on the very informative posts in this thread. In my first schooling show, the judge didn't criticize how I rode it, so I figured I got it right (& I think I'll keep riding it that way unless another judge tells me it's wrong). I am still very :confused: about WHY on earth the test-writers didn't include a diagram of what they want in this movement.

alibi_18
Jul. 23, 2012, 08:14 AM
The diagram is in the Dressage rule book. Under 'Serpentine'.

-Is it because people don't take much lessons and go to shows without asking their trainers how to properly ride the movements or are trainers for this level of riding are sometimes equally clueless?-

SillyHorse
Jul. 23, 2012, 10:07 AM
It sounds like there are clueless judges too. That's WAY worse than clueless trainers.

JeanM
Jul. 23, 2012, 06:55 PM
The diagram is in the Dressage rule book. Under 'Serpentine'.

-Is it because people don't take much lessons and go to shows without asking their trainers how to properly ride the movements or are trainers for this level of riding are sometimes equally clueless?-

But it's NOT described as a "serpentine" in Training Level Test 3, so why would I look for it? Doesn't the term "serpentine" appear later on, in a 1st Level test? Not the same thing, is it? :confused:

and, excuse me very much, but there are SOME riders who, while experienced, do NOT have "trainers" but instead are journeying on our own. Last I heard, dressage is not exclusively for those privileged riders who have trainers.

alibi_18
Jul. 23, 2012, 07:58 PM
But it's NOT described as a "serpentine" in Training Level Test 3, so why would I look for it? Doesn't the term "serpentine" appear later on, in a 1st Level test? Not the same thing, is it? :confused:

Well, if you ever happen to want to check the Dressage rule book, you might find it quite interresting and helpfull.

A serpentine is a 'sinuous line'; 'shallow loop' fits the description pretty fine I think.


and, excuse me very much, but there are SOME riders who, while experienced, do NOT have "trainers" but instead are journeying on our own. Last I heard, dressage is not exclusively for those privileged riders who have trainers.

Well, no need to excuse yourself. :rolleyes:

There is nothing 'special' about having a trainer...and asking questions about how tests are supposed to be ridden to your trainer in order to train properly and to get the best scores you can at the show. It has nothing to do with being priviledge or not...you are the one being snobbish here.

If you can afford a horse and to show, having a trainer once in a while shouldn't kill your budget, it should be part of it.

Having someone knowledgeable on the ground to help the rider have always been the most valuable training aides of all tools. It is not true that someone can do it all by itself without the eye of a skilled outsider. or as I said earlier, one could also videotape him/herself ridding in order to improve his riding but will always lack of the immediate feedback a trainer/helper can provide.

Anyway, good luck with your riding. :sleepy: