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Question about Intro level tests

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  • Question about Intro level tests

    I'm thinking of taking my newly broke youngster to her first show - a schooling show next weekend. I would be doing Intro Level A, B and possibly C. I was just looking over the tests. I have never done them before; I usually go straight to Training Level, but this horse is likely to be looking at everything so I wanted to keep it simple.

    Question: what does "halt through medium walk" mean exactly? Do we have to perform some walk steps before the halt? How many steps are appropriate? Is it penalized if you go directly into the halt?

    In test C, if I'm reading it correctly, we will actually only be cantering for 4-5 strides before having to transition back to the trot (about half a circle). Is this correct? Seems like that is more difficult for a youngster then just completing a circle at the same gait. That test overall just doesn't seem to "flow" well to me; comments?


  • #2
    Yes - Intro C is a horrible test for a young horse. We sometimes use it for a new rider but for the horse, go straight from Intro B to Training 1.


    • #3
      Good luck with your greenie! I'm riding the Intro tests this year as I get my own greenie used to the show environment. Here's how I've been riding the movements you are questioning.

      Halt through medium walk is just that. A transition from trot down to halt that allows a few walk steps before coming to a halt. I'm working on eliminating the walk steps totally and have reached the point where I have only a couple of walk steps before halting. I haven't seen any comments about too few walk steps before the halt, so you shouldn't get penalized. The point of the halt through walk it to introduce both the horse and rider to the trot-halt transition expected in Training Level.

      The canter circle in Intro C can be tricky, but its supposed to introduce the canter in a test. Canter on a circle is supposed to be easier than a straight line, but some horses are oddballs. The directions say to develop the canter in the first quarter of the circle. I always prep my horse as I'm coming to A, and then as right after I pass A. I'm in the first quarter of the circle, but it gives me time in case I have a late transition (still working on that). Then, the directions say to come back to working trot before A. So a couple strides before A, I ask for the downward transition to trot. My goal is to get at least a half-circle of canter, but I like to show as much as possible while getting decent transitions. There are scores for the transitions into and out of canter, so keep that in mind. Better to do an early good transition than a late, iffy transition in my opinion.

      Hope that helps. I'm looking to move up to Training Level this fall once I get my canter issues sorted out.

      Oh yeah, don't forget to have fun and smile no matter what happens!
      My May boys: Beau, Neon, Criss


      • #4
        if the movement says halt through the walk, you must show walk. The purpose of Intro is calm balance and relaxed. Do not sacrifice the quality of the walk and the halt because you think there should only be a few steps

        and again with the 1/4 circle to develop the canter. focus on calm and relaxed. Prep for the transition should be in the first half of the half circle, like lady says, coming out of the corner before A . The open rail at A can be a problem area for some horses so thinking about a slight shoulder fore ( if your horse knows this) can help


        calm balanced relaxed precision to the letters is a bonus, not expected. Even in early training level there is some leeway.
        -- * > hoopoe
        Procrastinate NOW
        Introverted Since 1957


        • #5
          Welcome to dressage! Please email me and I will give you some tips on Intro test riding so you feel ready. We all started somewhere and survived


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the help! I am not actually new to dressage, just the intro tests themselves. I usually go straight to training level or do the combined training tests (low level event rider here). The beginner novice tests are MUCH more baby-friendly then the intro tests, IMO. They just flow better.

            So I think I will ask for a walk transition slightly before X, then let her walk for 3-4 steps before halting? She's going to be a bit confused by that. I'll have to practice the canter thing in test C. If it seems awkward for her I might just skip that test. She's going to be one of those that is looking around and blowing at everything anyway so I don't need to do C at our first show.


            • #7
              If your horse is already doing balanced halts with no walk steps - my advice (fwiw), don't mess that up by adding walk steps to the halt just for the Intro tests.

              I hate Intro C - the canter work is bad training - most young horses need a few steps to get into the canter, and almost the minute you pick up the canter you are telling them to trot again - it does not flow well and it is not good training. If your horse can canter "in public", do Training 1 instead. Use Intro A or B as a warm up ride, then save your canter for T1.


              • #8
                Our club eliminated Intro C as a requirement for schooling show year-end awards. We usually require the highest test of the level for awards, but felt that the Intro C test is so poor, that we eliminated it.

                I have been riding the Intro A and Intro B tests this year too. I was confused as well on the walk steps before the halt, but they are a directive and if you read at the top of the test, one of the elements that the judges look for. I just do 3-4 steps before X, then halt. I have not been penalized for the 3-4 steps at the last couple of shows, so I would think that would be fine. I also find it awkward. I miss the old Intro tests, where you came in at a trot and halted at X.
                Unashamed Member of the Dressage Arab Clique
                CRAYOLA POSSE= Thistle


                • #9
                  If you don't "halt thru walk" and just go right to the halt, you will be penalized and may even get marked with an error on the movement (-2).Take the advice from a judge !


                  • #10
                    I'd be worrying more about staying in the ring !
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pook View Post
                      If you don't "halt thru walk" and just go right to the halt, you will be penalized and may even get marked with an error on the movement (-2).Take the advice from a judge !
                      You may be penalized by the judge, but... It is all about training, and if the horse already has a good trot to halt, don't mess it up! Take the lower score - it isn't like Intro really counts towards anything anyway... You may lose a few points with comment "walk steps not shown", but in Training Level (where it starts to count), a good, balanced halt with no walk is rewarded (walk is optional in the TL halt).