I am confused by BN Test A. Aren't the BN, N tests usually repetitive mirrors....first you go one way (trot circle, canter circle, walk) then the other? But this seems to have an early diagonal, which isn't repeated. Am I misreading the test?
The tests all changed this year so you go down center line and then when you get to X you go on the half diagonal to M.
The test do not need to "mirror image" themselves. It is very common to only lengthen on one lead, and so on.
That "when in doubt, just do the diagonal" one rode surprising well though. I really don't like short diagonals, although the current guy is wiggly enough that they might be an advantage versus trying to keep him straight on the long diagonal.
From what I've heard that funky opening move in the BNA test is to help out green horses ( and riders) on the first move. It's a tight turn to go up the centerline and turn, so doing a short diag. at X, essential makes what was a 10 m turn to a 20 m turn. Rides nicely!
BN-A did not ride well for me. I totally messed up down the center line to X, then the short diagonal to M. For some reason my vision was not seeing X very well, so I turned too early to M. It made for a "squigley" center line.
What I do not understand is: since you have to finish the test doing a 10 meter turn to halt at X, why should the beginning be made easier? It is dummed down. JMHO.
I just had to learn BN-B for this coming weekend. I agree with Kate Wooten. I have never seen so many changes across the diagonal and so little canter work in a BN dressage test. It is an odd test, too.
I also like that approach as my youngsters are less likely to see the ring boundary as something they are supposed to jump when coming at that angle. I have had several comments reading something on the order of "turn rather abrupt" as I attempted to convince horses that despite the fact that we were trotting forward to something that looked remarkably like a cavaletti, they weren't (this once) meant to lock on and jump it