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Thoughts on the 2011 Dressage Tests?

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  • Thoughts on the 2011 Dressage Tests?

    I just had a chance to sit down and really look at the new tests.

    I was wondering what other people were thinking of the changes?

  • #2
    I wonder what they were thinking, putting TWO sets of flying changes in 3/2 -- with only one set in both 3/1 and 3/3.
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    • #3
      Where can we read them? I only saw the article in Practical Horseman and the changes sounded reasonable to me and I'd like to see the tests.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        I saw them on the usef site...

        You have to login (which I believe you can sign up to do even if you're not a paying member.) and at the bottom of your 'member page' they have a link to access both the 2007 and 2011 tests.

        Here's a link:
        http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsd...sageTests.aspx

        Pay attention to the bullet where they say "Complete USEF score sheets are posted for download" ...that's where they are...

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        • #5
          I like the changes to second level, but not to training level. I don't like that stretch trot is in all of the tests now. Stretch trot is really hard for some green horses, and having the coefficient on it for all 3 tests kinda sucks for those horses.

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          • #6
            The Nerd Herd is looking forward to re-doing some of our breed score studies to see if the change in the gait coefficient has an impact on how the different breeds score through the levels.

            *star*
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            • #7
              Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
              The Nerd Herd is looking forward to re-doing some of our breed score studies to see if the change in the gait coefficient has an impact on how the different breeds score through the levels.

              *star*
              oooooh. I am very interested to hear what the Nerd Herd finds out.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Hampton Bay View Post
                I like the changes to second level, but not to training level. I don't like that stretch trot is in all of the tests now. Stretch trot is really hard for some green horses, and having the coefficient on it for all 3 tests kinda sucks for those horses.
                I agree.

                The last tests seemed to make progressive training sense. I'm not sure I feel the same way about the new tests. I came across a couple of ?!WHAT?! moments when I looked at them.

                It will be interesting to see judges scoring the new tests this year.

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                • #9
                  I only read the Second level tests, but I like them a lot. I do miss the canter serpentine with simple changes, but 2-3 looks VERY cool.
                  "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hampton Bay View Post
                    I don't like that stretch trot is in all of the tests now. Stretch trot is really hard for some green horses, and having the coefficient on it for all 3 tests kinda sucks for those horses.
                    Yes our stretchy trot is our weakest part of our work. Ugh!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cyndi View Post
                      I wonder what they were thinking, putting TWO sets of flying changes in 3/2 -- with only one set in both 3/1 and 3/3.
                      Yeah, that last set of flying changes used to be in a 4th level test! Kind of strange that they made 4th level easier but then made 3rd 2 harder.

                      I am excited about the changes in the 4th level tests. Now if my mare would just get fully recovered from her suspensory injury!

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                      • #12
                        I looked at the Training Level Tests, as those are what my sister is doing with our gelding. His stretch circle is still not solid, they are making progress but rather slow progress. She and I both think that T 1 is a rather 'chopped up' test. Not that much change to T 2, just adding the stretch circle, and T 3 is also changed very little. I think some swapping of left to right and right to left, if that makes sense. Not really any new questions.

                        I just glanced at the others so have no real basis for comments.

                        It will be very interesting, won't it, to see how the new method for scoring the rider turns out? I would like to know the reasoning for that. I understand the change from a coefficient on the horse's gaits to no coefficient. I'm not sure I agree with it.....

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                        • #13
                          I only looked at the first level test 1 as that's where we'll probably start this year but it's definitely interesting from last year. Our serpentine was always so bad. I like the lengthening though, that will be nice for us
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                          • #14
                            I am sad to see Training 3 go away (the new 3 is the old 4) especially since I deeply dislike that training 4 doesn't have any trot circles or half circles, just that weird 'loop' that isn't a loop and isn't a serpentine and rides completely differently in a long vs a short arena.

                            I don't understand why they felt it was necessary to cut a test. If shows didn't want to offer all tests, of course there was no rule requiring it. I find T1 to be rather dull to ride and I just like the pattern of T3, especially with the bend from one circle to the other.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by inca View Post
                              Yeah, that last set of flying changes used to be in a 4th level test! Kind of strange that they made 4th level easier but then made 3rd 2 harder.

                              I am excited about the changes in the 4th level tests. Now if my mare would just get fully recovered from her suspensory injury!
                              I've been thinking about the walk - halt-rein back-canter sequence in 4-3

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Thinking about what I wrote above, what IS the rationale for Training 4 (now 3) not having any trot circles? I can't think of any other dressage test with no trot circles. It would be so easy to add one in at the end of each "loop", either 20m or 15 m.
                                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                                  The Nerd Herd is looking forward to re-doing some of our breed score studies to see if the change in the gait coefficient has an impact on how the different breeds score through the levels.

                                  *star*
                                  Remember, the judges still score each individual movement taking into account the collectives - the new test movements still talk about the quality of the gaits, so really the only change it will make is 1 or 2 points (which is a fraction of a percentage point).

                                  And I'm a little worried about how judges will interpret "harmony" in the rider score, not sure if that will hurt or help the average moving horses since it seems a "wide open" interpretation at this point.

                                  Kind of disappointed that the 4th level canter piro seems harder then the old 4th level piro. All in all, I still think 4th level is not significantly easier that PSG - and people will still skip 4th level because of that.

                                  Also agree that stretchy circles in all the Training tests seems kind of tough - most T horses will do them well at home, but with the distractions of a show, it seems to set them up for a bad score. AND - kind of weird that they added canter at Intro - maybe the goal is to encourage young horses to use Intro more?

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                                    Kind of disappointed that the 4th level canter piro seems harder then the old 4th level piro. All in all, I still think 4th level is not significantly easier that PSG - and people will still skip 4th level because of that.
                                    Agree. I suppose it all depends on what one considers the hardest, tempis or pirouettes. For me, the latter is much more difficult to achieve. If someone has the pirouettes, why bother with 4th. Pirouettes are the coefficient movement in PSG, not tempis.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                                      Kind of disappointed that the 4th level canter piro seems harder then the old 4th level piro. All in all, I still think 4th level is not significantly easier that PSG - and people will still skip 4th level because of that.
                                      Yes and no. The working half piro at 4th went from 5m to 3m in all tests, but there is no longer a real half piro in 4-3, just a working one.

                                      So overall, 4-3 lost the 3 tempis and the half piro. I think this makes 4-3 closer in difficulty to the other 4th level tests than it used to be.

                                      I also think adding the multiple changes on a line without any required striding at 4th is a logical progression to tempis that makes sense.

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                                      • #20
                                        Speaking of canter in the intro test, I'm currently riding that test with my greenbean, and I'm not a fan of how it rides. You don't get to pick up the canter until after A, and then before A you have to be back in the trot. With a horse with a very long stride, that leaves very little time to get them into the canter and then back out of it, with decent transitions. I would rather see the canter extended to partway down the long side.

                                        My boy is LAZY, and his favorite gait is the halt, but with that long canter stride, getting him there and back in that short amount of time is difficult, and I don't feel it teaches them anything other than that they only need to canter for 3 or 4 strides at a time. It ends up leading to breaking gait when you then ask for longer stretches of canter. So you really have to school for both, the quick transition and the longer canter, which ends up being a lot of canter schooling for an intro-level horse.

                                        Just my experience with my horse. I don't see it as being as big an issue with a more naturally forward horse who can be schooled with more frequent transitions without contributing to teaching them to break gait, but for the lazy types, it doesn't work too well.

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