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2nd Lvl Simple Changes

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  • 2nd Lvl Simple Changes

    Could someone walk me through the simple changes at 2nd Lvl. I have a HJ background so when I think simple changes I imagine just a step or two through the trot. I thought someone told me that for dressage they had to be through the walk. So walk, trot, either? As few steps as possible?

  • #2
    A simple change in dressage is canter/walk two to three steps/canter. No trot steps! It is important, though, to show the walk.
    Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


    • #3
      change of lead through the trot is done in first level and is usually 3 to 5 steps of clear balanced trot. The simple change of second level is, as said, through the walk. The walk must be forward clear and shown. Rushed, the clarity of steps disappear and the evades the difficulty of the movement. Too many walk steps also avoids some of the challenge.

      When well done three steps is best. Done really well the steps are well timed and placed at the marker.
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      • #4
        There is no firm guideline for the number of walk steps. Generally 3 (generally considered ideal) to 4 is best. 2 is not enough for MOST to establish walk steps - and part of your score is on the quality of the walk steps! 5 is pushing it - but better to do an extra step or two and show clear walk and get a balanced canter trans. If you trot or jig, you will be marked down.

        A nice simple change shows balance, canter, smooth, balanced walk trans, walk, walk, walk, smooth balanced canter trans. You don't want the down trans to be abrupt - don't let the horse fall on the fore hand or pound his hind legs down and pop his croup up. Honestly, the simple change is one of the toughest movements (along with TOH) in 2nd level!
        www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
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        • #5
          Three to five steps of walk. Must always be uneven number of steps, otherwise your time is wrong for the canter depart.


          • #6
            Well, since I just happen to have my 2nd level test one test from last weekend beside me, here goes:

            The first one; "Prolong transition, smooth down" and a score of 7. (x2)

            I think the judge wanted to see more walk (I only did 2 clear steps, and it felt a little too abrupt to me, so I noted that for the next one).

            The second one; "Quite smooth" and a score of 8 (x2) because I showed a little more walk than the first one.

            The things to really keep in mind are smoothness of the down transition, the balance of the gait before and after, the clarity of walk, at least 3 steps, and the straightess of the canter from walk depart.

            hope this helps
            Nothing worth having comes easily.


            • #7
              The clean simple change with out any trot steps shows collection, since horse is stepping under himself and engaging his belly muscles to do a transition that skips one gait.

              If the transition has trot steps, either horse doesn't have enough collection or either it is a driver error.

              Simple changes are the Salt of the 2nd level!
              Last edited by Dressage Art; Sep. 4, 2008, 06:40 PM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Dressage Art View Post
                If the transition has walk steps, either horse doesn't have enough collection or either it is a driver error.
                You meant to write "trot steps," right?
                Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


                • #9
                  Perfectly valid question but brought up an amusing memory. My old guy was showing 2nd/schooling 3rd and simple changes were one of his strengths. To support my local breed club, I took him to an open show they put on - you know, English Pleasure, Horsemanship, Equitation, etc.

                  The diagram for the English Horsemanship class asked for "simple changes" on a serpentine. The class was open to Hunt Seat/Saddle Seat/Dressage, so when we lined up prior to individual work, I asked the judge, "..by 'simple change' do you mean, through the walk or through the trot..." (I was the only one in a dressage saddle). She looked at me as if I were some sort of idiot and said..."well, simple...trot....or walk if you want." Uh, okay. I felt compelled to explain that when I was asked for simple changes in a dressage test they had to be through the walk, so I had just wanted to be sure I was doing what SHE wanted...I got 5th out of 7 with clean walk changes and everything else correctly done. The rider that won did... FLYING changes (western horse under english tack) and her horse refused to rein back(but he did look like a nice WP horse). ROFLOL


                  • #10
                    There have been many heated and very lengthy arguments here about how many steps in the simple change, once the arguments about doing it at a trot or not are over.

                    In a dressage test, changes through the trot are described in the test wording as 'Change of lead through the trot' and walked changes are 'Simple Changes'.

                    What I was taught and how I saw judging go - it needs to be an odd number of steps, one is too few, it looks like the horse won't wait for yuou and is anticipating. Five is too many, it looks like the horse isn't listening to you. Trhee is the only choice left. I think a lot of people don't like that idea if they find it hard to hit 3 steps.

                    There has been a lot of debate here too on how it's judged, and how dumb it is to put 'so much importance' on how many steps, and a nice transition is more important than how many steps. The issue remains that too many or too few steps 'avoids difficulty', like doing a 12 m circle instead of an 8 m circle. 5 steps looks like one has to do too much setup and take too much time, or th ehorse isn't listening, one definitely looks like the horse is anticipating. Accuracy, where a lack of it avoids difficulty, IS important in judging and should be important.


                    • #11
                      What I was taught and how I saw judging go - it needs to be an odd number of steps, one is too few, it looks like the horse won't wait for yuou and is anticipating. Five is too many, it looks like the horse isn't listening to you. Trhee is the only choice left. I think a lot of people don't like that idea if they find it hard to hit 3 steps.


                      1.7 FEI Artical 405 The Canter

                      4.7 Simple change of leg at Canter. This is a movement in which, after a direct transition out of the canter into a walk, with 3 to 5 clearly defined steps, an immediate transition is made into the other canter lead.


                      • #12
                        Exactly. And if I did 3 steps, I got a better score than if I did 5 steps.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                          You meant to write "trot steps," right?
                          yes, thanks for catching my typo.


                          • #14
                            What about help on the down transition? My mare has me stymied. We can do strides of pirouette canter, get very good scores on our collected canter (consistent 7s with a few 6's) and at home have schooled some 1/4 pirouettes quite well.

                            Our canter-trot transitions are fine, yet when we go to do the canter-walk, she throws herself against my hands no matter how collected and balanced I have her going into it.

                            Ideas? Our up transitions and walk are flawless most of the time, and the only thing keeping us from good scores on these are our 50/50 cruddy down transitions into the walk.



                            • #15
                              I find the best canter-walk transitions are those that happen when you halfhalt once or twice to get the horse waiting and balanced back for it, then you just sink your heels lower and breathe out while giving slightly with both hands.

                              it works like a charm on every horse I have ridden...it gets the horse away from your hand without backing them off using force and thus creating tension and disrupting the balance.
                              Nothing worth having comes easily.