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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2009

    Default Advice for 3rd level debut

    I will likely be showing my horse at 3rd level this year.

    My one concern/ area of weakness would be the extended trot, this is not something my horse has huge ability in yet, we are still working on the consistency/regularity of the steps as he will go "out" in a big way yet not have the best balance (and me and my hands, not hanging on and squishing his neck shorter).

    I plan on just not going for a super impressive extended trot at this point, knowing it will affect my marks for gaits as well as not showing enough difference between the mediums and extensions.

    I find the 3rd level tests seem quite smooth in terms of good set up before the half passes ect.

    Where have you found the biggest challenges in the third level tests?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2008


    First of all have fun! And I wouldn't worry about the extended trot. If you watch alot of these tests you won't see much difference between the medium and extended trots. Focus on the moves that have the coefficients and try to get as many points as you can out of these.

    I always thought the turn on the haunches was the hardest part of this test. If didn't ride it just right my horse would step out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2007


    I very much agree with last poster. Most Third Level tests do not show a huge difference between medium and extended. I see much more of a difference at Fourth Level. Just stick to the basics, show a lengthening of the frame, keep your rhythm, etc. Don't try to force an extension and end up with a loss of balance. Have a GREAT time!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Horse Land


    i just went out at third level and I just pushed for the extentions I could ride well. My big isssue was half pass acutually. I rode 3-1 and 3-3. 63% and 64%. but I led with haunches and did not have enough bend.

    Just have fun-- you will need to ride it a lot and just get comfortable with the tests. Don't push for more than you can ride.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2003
    SE Ky


    Just over-collect medium just before asking for extended trot - the idea is to show a noticable difference.

    My biggest challange was the changes. Once she got them she wanted to do tempi's so I had a hard time getting her barin back. Then when I diid whe started being late behind, once I fixed that she foundered.

    But we're on our way back now.
    Now in Kentucky

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2009


    OneFineMess...I too am planning (hoping) to show my horse 3rd level this year. I am working on half-pass and changes right now. Can I ask how long your horse was at 2nd level? I am finding that this is a big jump from 2nd to 3rd and that it will take me longer than usual to start my season. I am thinking June instead of the beginning of May. I also need to get lessons started again. I had great scores at 2nd 1 and 2nd 2 for the end of 2010 and spent last year just at 2nd 3 with consistent scores in the high 60's. Unfortunately outside for the winter, even though it was mild. Still developing strength. Good luck and have fun!
    Mirror Image 2001-2007

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010


    I am also in Second/Third purgatory. Would like to get my scores at Second a bit better first, but I don't expect high scores at Third regardless, since mare is older and a bit stiff. We're currently working on the changes now - it's hit or miss for us, and I'll be thrilled when I can get them consistently, as mare is very particular about the way I ask, and this is my first time really training myself with the changes, as well.

    Agree on the extensions - we don't have spectacular mediums or extensions so the biggest thing for us is just showing a difference. I'm really learning to get her set up well before asking so that we can show a clear difference in the gaits. We can pull everything else off, though still working on sharpening up our half pass. If I could just get the darn changes, I'd be super happy.

    Good luck with your debut!
    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    A Voice Halted

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001


    Extensions (in the same tempo) are dependent upon the proper quality of collection. If the horse is up and active and folding the hind legs properly, the better the extensions will be. Ride deeper into corners, set the horse up with hh there for EVERYTHING.
    I.D.E.A. yoda

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2011
    Dutchess county, NY


    Quote Originally Posted by ideayoda View Post
    Extensions (in the same tempo) are dependent upon the proper quality of collection. If the horse is up and active and folding the hind legs properly, the better the extensions will be. Ride deeper into corners, set the horse up with hh there for EVERYTHING.
    I could not agree more! IME, if you are having problems with the extensions - it is showing weakness in the basic quality of your collected work. For example, it is very easy to ignore a mommentary bobble in the connection, or rhythm, or bend, or straightness, in the collected trot - but the same bobble in the EXTENSION will be magnified and the horse and rider will lose enough balance that it will not be just a moment.

    That said I do hope you have fun, personally, I think 3rd level is where the fun begins.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2010


    For my mare (also in the Second/Third of the circles of hell that Dante left out), it's all about fitness and strength. Over the winter, with the wet, wet, wet weather, we lost a bit. But, over the last month, I can tell a big difference in her ability to properly sit and lift through the wither. I'm still posting the lengthenings right now to help out her back, but they're definitely getting more loft and push off the hind.

    In our daily work, I do A LOT of transitions within the gait (especially trot). I'll ask for bigger steps for just a moment (a few strides), then supple the neck and bring her back slowly...nothing jarring, no chasing, no running around...just nice, easy "go out, come back" kind of transitions. That's helping to make her stronger for those first few strides of lengthening (the strength to MAINTAIN is coming...slowly but surely).

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