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Am I the only one who thinks that the 2011 version of Training 1 sucks?

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  • Am I the only one who thinks that the 2011 version of Training 1 sucks?

    I just took a look at the new training level tests, and I have to say, I do not like the new test 1. I think the canter part is sort of weird, with the half a canter circle, then straight down the long side, then another half a circle. The part that I really don't like is the stretchy circle. I think the stretchy circle is really important and I'm glad it's in the tests, but I don't think it should be in T1. There are many young horses at their first shows doing training 1, and personally I don't really want to be required to give the reins on a 4 year old that is at it's first show. The stretchy circle is right after the canter too, which I think is just asking for problems. Am I being a big baby? I have two talented but hot young mares I will be showing Training this year, and I am a bit worried. I guess I could always do walk/trot.
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  • #2
    I hadn't looked at the training level tests yet, but that's interesting. I agree with you on the stretchy circle in test one. I guess the point being made is that it is integral to the most basic training?

    However, I also have been on the hot/green horse who, despite performing the required movements well at home, once at the scary show his only thought is to flee the ring.

    Which end is the stretchy circle on?
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    • #3
      Well, you could always do the new Intro. C which has canter work in it.

      I just started doing Training Level in September. While I'm not looking forward to the new tests, I really don't want to do another year of Intro.

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      • #4
        I believe (and don't quote me on this because I don't have the test right in front of me - I'm at work) that the stretchy circle is right there at A by the exit! :P. I can see a lot of horses deciding to get outta dodge at that point, particularly after getting ramped up by the canter RIGHT before that. I also have the impression that the stretch, gather back up/walk transition happens VERY quickly in this test. It seems like a more advanced test than necessary, imho, but I do like the #3 test.

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        • #5
          Stretchy circles could be a way of seeing whether or not the horse is actually reaching for the bit or if he has been trained incorrectly (ex. constant draw reins) and does not stretch and reach. I've seen it before in free walks. The horses hold their heads in a flexed postion, with noses in, even though the reins are slack. Very obvious how they are ridden are home.

          I can see some squirrly youngsters taking advantage of this, but at the same time it certainly has an important point.
          Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
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          • #6
            We've stumbled through that test this morning. What a weired flow! Everything happens at A. I felt we were stuck at that end of the ring. (Probably safer for the judges)

            I think once I know it from memory, it'll be okay. Going to a "New Test" Symposium in a few weeks. Can't wait to see what people have to say there.

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            • #7
              I stumbled through First Level Test 2 today as well, after deciding that I wanted to start the show season back at first instead of going into second...wow, what a weirdly flowing test!
              In my opinion, a horse is the animal to have. 1300 pounds of raw muscle, power, grace, and sweat between your legs - it's something you just can't get from a pet hamster.

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              • #8
                I'm glad to see someone else mention First Level Test 2. Makes me feel better. I don't really care for the flow of that one, either. First 3 is a challenge in how it flows, with the leg yield off the rail to the two 10m circles to the next leg yield to the stretchy circle - if there's a problem anywhere in that sequence, you don't really have time to fix it and salvage the rest -but it does ride nicely when it goes well. First 2 just... doesn't really.

                Maybe we just need to get used to the changes.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by katie+tru View Post
                  Stretchy circles could be a way of seeing whether or not the horse is actually reaching for the bit or if he has been trained incorrectly (ex. constant draw reins) and does not stretch and reach. I've seen it before in free walks. The horses hold their heads in a flexed postion, with noses in, even though the reins are slack. Very obvious how they are ridden are home.

                  I can see some squirrly youngsters taking advantage of this, but at the same time it certainly has an important point.

                  Some horses are just still worried and tight in the mind about showing, working. My guy has never seen a draw rein, a chambon, de gogue, etc in his life. His early years as a baby were bad (pre me LOL) But even after this time working in dressage training and lessons(about a year) when he's worried he hides and chews on his bit- please just bookmark it that it may be how that horse shows tension - not how he's held together at home- not always

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                  • #10
                    no, you are not the only one!! The First Level Tests suck as well.
                    Tell me how they set the horse up correctly in the training scale???
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                    • #11
                      Yeah, First 1 starts right off the bat with 2 linked 10m half circles (E to X left, X to B right). That change is very difficult to do smoothly. Also discourages forward riding because unless you have a very well balanced horse who can has nearly perfected half-halt, people are going to tend to ride very conservatively into the movement to avoided loss of balance and resistance at X.

                      It looks like they are trying to make all of the tests take less time, but even allowing just an extra 12m on the CL to letter I before the right half-circle would be sooo much better. I loved the old first 1 with its tear drops and 3 loop serpentine. So nice to get a lovely forward, supple flow going.

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                      • #12
                        Gosh I guess I'm the odd man out because I like the new tests. I've shown all the training, first and second level tests through 2nd 2. I have two four year olds that I've been doing training level with and find the stretchy circle at A to be better than having it at C. I'm fortunate in that both of my (4 year old) horses caught on to that movement and like doing it. Even my stallion who can be tight in the back and tight between the ears gets to that part of the test and is totally relaxed (it's the canter we have more "see ya later issues" with though that's gradually getting better too). I like the tests because they are busier and things come up fast. My horses (even those at training level) are a bit too busy trying to come up with new "tricks" if we have too long to "think" between the movements. We're heading to a show this weekend and will be riding all of the specified new tests again. Not saying we're doing well score-wise but that has less to do with the tests and more to do with my motley crew and amateur riding ability.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Schiffon View Post
                          Yeah, First 1 starts right off the bat with 2 linked 10m half circles (E to X left, X to B right). That change is very difficult to do smoothly. Also discourages forward riding because unless you have a very well balanced horse who can has nearly perfected half-halt, people are going to tend to ride very conservatively into the movement to avoided loss of balance and resistance at X.

                          It looks like they are trying to make all of the tests take less time, but even allowing just an extra 12m on the CL to letter I before the right half-circle would be sooo much better. I loved the old first 1 with its tear drops and 3 loop serpentine. So nice to get a lovely forward, supple flow going.
                          I loved the tear drops! The weird half circle thing is hard for us though we're working our butts off on it! I hated the serpentine though so I'm glad that's gone

                          Originally posted by Equi88 View Post
                          We've stumbled through that test this morning. What a weired flow! Everything happens at A. I felt we were stuck at that end of the ring. (Probably safer for the judges)

                          I think once I know it from memory, it'll be okay. Going to a "New Test" Symposium in a few weeks. Can't wait to see what people have to say there.
                          Are you going to the one at LEC? I'm going to that one and really looking forward to it!
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                          • #14
                            The new Training Level Test 1 reminds me of the old Training Level Test 2. I really hated the transition from canter to trot on a straight line. I always found that difficult and really wonder why that ended up in the "easiest" new test of the level.

                            I like the First Level tests so far. The 1/2 10's are tough in Test 1 but I think it's good work for 1st level. It'll separate the prepared horses from the unprepared since it demands a level of throughness and balance not seen in the old 1st Level Test 1. Test 2 is rather confusing in terms of flow as others have said but until I memorize it and ride it I'm not sure I'm a good judge. Overall I appreciate the bigger distinction between Training Level and First Level. For the old tests 1st 1 seemed like a slightly fancier Training Level test.

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                            • #15
                              My sister did a GDCTA symposium - ride a test sort of thing, and at the round table on Sat evening, no one liked Training 1. Same comments over and over - NO FLOW. Chopped up, hard to remember, hard to ride.

                              I really liked the old First 1 test with the 'ice cream cones' and the 'snake' as my young grandson said. He was more into girls than arena geometry!

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by thatmoody View Post
                                I believe (and don't quote me on this because I don't have the test right in front of me - I'm at work) that the stretchy circle is right there at A by the exit! :P. I can see a lot of horses deciding to get outta dodge at that point, particularly after getting ramped up by the canter RIGHT before that. I also have the impression that the stretch, gather back up/walk transition happens VERY quickly in this test. It seems like a more advanced test than necessary, imho, but I do like the #3 test.
                                See, with my guy, he settles down after cantering some. But he naturally has a more uphill balance than your typical training level horse, so when we did training level it made more sense for it to relax him.

                                I don't have my tests with me, but when I was going through them I prefer 1st 2 and 3, so am likely going to do them rather than 1st 1 when we get to shows this year.
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                                • #17
                                  Is it just me or isn't the whole point of having an intro division is it being just walk/trot? I am not quite sure why they decided to add canter to into. I have a greenie that I am just starting and it looks like thats the only thing he will be ready for.

                                  I was also shocked to see the leg yield off the wall in First level. Although I did like that they added the canter lengthening at F1. Sadly I don't think I will being seing first level this show season.

                                  I don't think there will be as many riders advancing a level this year than in past years.

                                  All this of course is just my opinion.

                                  I am going to a test riding clinc this weekend, maybe it will shed some light on the changes.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I also think that adding the stretchy circle into the training 1 is going to cause a lot of problems for some people. It will definitely impact scoring on horses who may have an otherwise pleasant test.

                                    I don't mind 1st 1/2 so much. The 10m half circles in 1st 1 are taken from the old 1-3 test. They do ride well, and set you up for the double 10m circles in 1-3. I think it's interesting that in 1st-2 the transitions from the canter lengthening to working canter has a coefficient of 2. That movement did not have a coefficient in any of the old tests, and I think that's going to be a score divider since it was often one of the lower scoring movements in the 2007 tests. I agree with the other poster that the leg yield/10m circle sequence in 1-3 is very tough for a 1st level horse. It leaves absolutely no room for forgiveness and seems like a bit of an intense sequence of aids for a lower level horse, with no place to really re-establish forwardness/straightness. It also doesn't quite make sense to me why they put that movement in since it makes you do one leg yield away from the rail, then one leg yield towards the rail. The old tests were very logical in that they first introduced the leg yield towards the rail since it is genearlly easier for horses, then introduce it away from the rail in the later test. I'm not sure what mixing it up accomplishes, except creating a difficult movement. Further, in the 2007 tests the leg yield in 1-2 is longer (36m) than in 1-3 (24m), so you can encourage forwardness on a slight angle, then ask for a bit more lateral movement in the next test. The new tests both have the same 24m leg yields.

                                    Ok, done complaining, off to practice !!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by VickiNicki30 View Post

                                      I was also shocked to see the leg yield off the wall in First level. Although I did like that they added the canter lengthening at F1. Sadly I don't think I will being seing first level this show season.

                                      In the old First 3 test the leg yields were off the wall.

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                                      • #20
                                        Well I like the new challenges in the tests because I know so many people who ONLY ride at Training level and they never move up because their horse is missing many basics such as the stretchy circle. I think the harder elements in the lower level tests are good for weeding out the people who are stuck at those levels. At the same time, I understand that many people don't have horses that will be competitive at higher levels but enjoy showing at the lower levels, so what else are they supposed to do? I think it's hard to service everyone's needs. I think making the Training level tests a little harder balances the fact that riders can rise or sit at First Level now. I know that change alone has opened up a lot of doors for ammy riders to move up.

                                        I think the concern expressed for young, spooky horses doing stretchy circle at A is legit and I guess you will just have to work through it. I am sure some judges will be more lenient if they see your horse is green but they show a good attempt at a stretch or relaxation. I know my rides get better AFTER the stretchy part so I like it in the tests, but I trained my horse to go long and low and stretch from the time he was broke as a 3 year old.
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