• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Do you think you have to earn your way up the levels?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Do you think you have to earn your way up the levels?

    I have always thought that you had to 'earn' the rights to do things in dressage, including progressing up the levels. However, I am wondering if the right thing to do for my horse would be to just push him to 1st level, and would love to hear your thoughts.

    I have shown my guy 3 times at training level, one of which was at a recognized show (under Axel Steiner). We scored a 59.8% with AS and scored in the low-mid 60's at the other two recognized shows. Normally, I would feel that we should be getting scores at the mid 60's and higher 60's to advance.

    However, with my guy, his strengths are not really highlighted/rewarded at training level, as much as they will be at 1st level. He has a *really* nice canter. We got all 7's from AS for all of the work involving the canter, including the up transitions. The downs were 6's as he fell a bit onto his forehand. He has LOVELY lateral work, and his lengthenings are currently his best (and most favorite) movements.

    His trot has a tendency to get short. We have come A LONG way at home. He used to undertrack by 6+ inches (and he is a 17H guy with long legs), and we are now getting him to actually track up and even overtrack at home. But, we still have a long way to go. We both get nervous at shows, and mostly just need experience going down centerline.

    With training level, the coefficients don't really play into our strengths, and they DO in first level. In addition, the more frequent movements seem to keep him focused more. So...if this was you, aside from addressing his weaknesses at home, would you just move up to 1st level, even though you hadn't earned the 'scores', if you felt that your horse was plenty capable of 1st level work?
    Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

  • #2
    I think the importance of "moving up the levels" is not getting your brownie patches and marking off boxes so that you can move up to the next point, but realizing that the horse does or does not have the correct foundation to move up.

    The guy I have now is going to excel at higher levels. He's got a natural collection and can canter beautifully, while his trot leaves more to be desired. The reason we will be riding a training level to start next year (most likely) is because he needs that strong foundation work. He needs to have a strong base at training and first level, if I can ever home to have a correct horse by the time we get up to FEI.

    Think of it as building a foundation. If thats not there, then things along the way are just not going to be as great as they could be.
    http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
    "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."

    Comment


    • #3
      I understand your post and frustration. My boy sounds similar to yours. Our trainer has us working fully collected w/t/c, extension, counter canter and simple lead changes, and has just introduced a solid rein back, with the discussion that he'll be ready for flying leads next year. The one time I asked for a flying lead he gave me a HUGE beautiful change that nearly unseated me. *I'm* obviously not ready for his change!! He has solid lateral work - no half pass though, we haven't gotten there yet - but he has a straight leg yield both ways and we often do shoulder in at w/t/c not only down the long side but also on a 20m circle. Our current exercises include halt to collected trot and halt to collected canter, and vice versa. He depends on his outside rein.

      All that said ... training level he kind of sucks at. He can do all the movements, but is much better when he has a nice outside rein to work off of and if he's in full self-carriage.

      But ... because I do believe we have to "earn" the levels ... we will show at training level next year ... with the goal of earning first level by fall or the year after. My trainer believes he can easily be a strong second level horse ... but we have to succeed at training first. We'll re-evaluate after the first couple of shows.

      Good luck to you too!
      If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
      ~ Maya Angelou

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Quest..I totally agree with you. I don't show often, and spend lots of time working on the basics at home. He absolutely has the foundation to move up to first, though he is no where near 2nd, because we need to build LOTS more strength to start collected work. But, as a person with a limited budget for showing and a need to get more show experience, do I keep trying at training level, even though 1st level presents him better?
        Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

        Comment


        • #5
          Personally, I wouldn't characterize competing in dressage as earning the "right" to move up the levels. I think the horse should be competed when he is ready to be competed and at the level he is correctly and comfortably working at.

          Some hotter do relatively poorly at lower levels but do much better at higher levels when their brains are more engaged in a show environment. Or as they mellow with age or learn to stay on the aids better after years of training. Besides gaining experience, I would see no reason to show this horse at each and every level in order to get to the levels he works best at. Showing is too expensive to do this and if he's too tense or too scattered it only sets him up to have an unpleasant experience in the ring. An alternative is to take him to schooling shows for mileage.

          Keep on with the training and show him when he's ready and at the level he's comfortable at at the time. That's my two cents!
          Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

          Comment


          • #6
            I do agree with J-Lu. I was trying to get it across that it doesn't matter if you show the level, it matters if you have the movements. So, could you show the level and have the strong foundation to get the high scores? If you have evaluated that in fact yes, without having test in hand that your horse has the correct foundation to move up to first, second, whatever... then go ahead... I do personally believe though that if you have a horse that is showing 3rd level, you should be able to get the same, and better scores, on levels below that.
            http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
            "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Quest52 View Post
              I do personally believe though that if you have a horse that is showing 3rd level, you should be able to get the same, and better scores, on levels below that.
              I understand your point...but mathematically I am not sure if I agree?

              For example...T-4 has 14 different scorable movement, 2 of which have coefficients...so essentially 16 scores. BOTH of the coefficients aren't things we score highly on. My horse doesn't naturally overtrack much in the walk. Even though he stretches his topline and marches along, we get 5's because of the lack of overtrack. So of the scoreable movements, 71% of them are trot or walk related.

              In comparison, 1-2 has 23 scoreable movements, with 4 coefficients...essentially 27 scores. Of those, 13 are walk or trot related (not including lateral work). So, 48 % of the test is related to the walk or trot. 1-4 12 of the 29 movements (41%) are walk or trot related. So the actual percentage of the test that is related to the canter increases *substantially* from T-4 to 1-4.
              Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

              Comment


              • #8
                With a limited horse that can't perform something better no matter how much training is put in, we used to ride the tests for experience and practice, even though we knew our ponies didn't have an extended trot(or whatever). Several ladies had very tense horses that never really relaxed at shows, they contined and moved up and showed for experience too. The tension would always cut down certain scores, they had done as much as they could and it wasn't going to change more.

                I'm not so sure that always is the right thing to do. If the horse could perform something better with more training, I would do the training and put in the work before moving up. If it was a whole gait, like a trot, everything in trot, I donno...I don't think I would move up til it's better.

                I don't understand the original post. Overtracking doesn't sound like 'a long way to go'. Is there some other attribute of the trot that's a problem?

                No, I'm not sure I'd always move to a level that catered more to my horse's stronger gait. I'd talk to a good trainer and make sure it made sense.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  slc..his trot just has a tendecy to get short, and he gets over-tempo when he gets tense. I always feel that we have a long way to go when it comes to everything in dressage.... I do work with a wonderful trainer, who is very knowledgable, and she is very supportive of doing 1st level with him. I just wanted some outside thoughts. Ultimately, I am going to make the decision that I feel best with, but like to get different perspectives...
                  Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OdhinnsMom View Post
                    I understand your point...but mathematically I am not sure if I agree?

                    For example...T-4 has 14 different scorable movement, 2 of which have coefficients...so essentially 16 scores. BOTH of the coefficients aren't things we score highly on. My horse doesn't naturally overtrack much in the walk. Even though he stretches his topline and marches along, we get 5's because of the lack of overtrack. So of the scoreable movements, 71% of them are trot or walk related.

                    In comparison, 1-2 has 23 scoreable movements, with 4 coefficients...essentially 27 scores. Of those, 13 are walk or trot related (not including lateral work). So, 48 % of the test is related to the walk or trot. 1-4 12 of the 29 movements (41%) are walk or trot related. So the actual percentage of the test that is related to the canter increases *substantially* from T-4 to 1-4.
                    I guess it depends on what you are wanting out of your show experience. Are you looking to present correct work for good feedback or are you looking for a good score? If you already know your horse's strengths and weaknesses do you really need to pay alot of money for a judge to tell you the same?

                    To me, first level 2 is not a great leap from training level 4. If you have to split serious hairs in the scoring between training level and first level then maybe your guy isn't ready to show yet. This isn't bad - there are many horses who benefit from schooling at home until they mature or they get on the aids better or become more supple from gymnastic training. THe overtrack can significantly improve from proper gymnastic training. I guess I am not sure WHY you feel the need to show if you are getting down to the minutia of training 4 versus first 2 scoring. Why not wait?
                    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My choice was Intro vs. Training, so it barely counts, but maresy's best gait by far is the canter, so I chose Training for her. (Also -- while *I* had never shown dressage, she had been shown at First Level and was schooling Second Level under a more competent rider.)

                      OP sounds knowledgeable, is working with a trainer, who supports her idea to move up. Yes, some people get moved up too fast but it doesn't sound like this is what's going on here.

                      Don't some trainers start competing their horses at First rather than Training?
                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        J-Lu..as I mentioned in my original post, we have improved it significantly . And, his work at home is nice, and coming along well. And, his work with a trainer when we haul away from home is nice too. But, much of showing is showmanship, and you only learn that from going down centerline.

                        Here is a link to his last show (at training level) so you can see where we are. I not looking for critiques for the picture, I know there are lots of things I need to work on, but just to give you a general idea where we are with his training level. I am sure much of the reason for scores is rider error. I am an adult ammy, and was at the show solo, with no coaching help at all.
                        Last edited by OdhinnsMom; Nov. 1, 2009, 10:57 PM. Reason: To remove pics...am not looking for critiques.
                        Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think that any horse, even one with so-so gaits, should be able to perform training level and be getting well into the 60s. If you can't do that, perhaps you should continue to work on the relaxation in the trot work until you are more solid at that level. Is he only tense in the trot at shows, or at home as well? Maybe he just needs some more showring mileage? You guys look great in the pictures!
                          www.saraalberni.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So here's my take, and I am trying to be constructive, not negative....

                            Many professionals "skip" levels with horses. That is, they skip showing them, not training them. This could be for many reasons, spooky horse that needs more training to be rideable, horse for whom collection is easier than lengthen, etc.
                            But then those pros don't usually skip Training and go to First--they bring out at 2nd, 3rd, or even PSG (again, when the competition career starts, not the progression of training at home).
                            So, no, you don't have to start at Training, you could move on to First.

                            BUT. There isn't that much difference between Training and First IMO. First requires transitions more on the spot than between letters, there is leg yielding and lengthening, but the overall picture is just one of forward, accepting contact, and now developing some push.
                            So if you are not scoring consistently in at least the mid 60s (and it's not a spooky issue or whatever), I'm not sure that it's gonna be any different/better at First level. And if you are scoring high 50s to low/mid 60s at 2 consecutive levels early on I would say you aren't as ready as you think.

                            And if it is more "pilot error" or experience down centerline for YOU, then why not just do schooling shows ad nauseum until you are not the limiting factor?

                            Certainly there are horses that did not score well at Training level and then went on to very successful upper level careers, but since it is a training pyramid, you have to make sure it ISN'T because you have a gaping hole somewhere. Your test comments should guide you here, (and if you want to PM me about your comments I could help.) In other words, if you got lots of 5s or 6s with comments of "circle not round" "late transition", that's a lot different than "resistant to aids", "inverted", etc.
                            From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Forte View Post
                              I think that any horse, even one with so-so gaits, should be able to perform training level and be getting well into the 60s. If you can't do that, perhaps you should continue to work on the relaxation in the trot work until you are more solid at that level. Is he only tense in the trot at shows, or at home as well? Maybe he just needs some more showring mileage? You guys look great in the pictures!

                              At home, we are relaxed. We definitely need show mileage .

                              Pony Fixer...thanks for the feedback. Definitely no 'inverted, resistant to the aids' comments. We get 'a bit tense in the trot, needs longer strides...but definitely pilot error stuff...but certainly no gaping holes. We usually get 6's for collectives, often get a 7 for submission and *sometimes* 7 for the gaits. I got a 6 for my rider position at the show yesterday with the comments "nice quiet aids, correct position". When I asked the judge later how I could improve the score to a 7, she said 'when your horse takes longer strides at the trot'.

                              I definitely go to as many local schooling shows as I can, but they are often just as far as the the recognized shows, and I prefer to show under judges with more experience. I work with a very, very good trainer (as often as I can) who is brutally honest. If we weren't ready for a show, she would tell us for sure. I was also a demo rider for the USDF judging clinic as a training level combination, and got really nice feedback from the instructor/judge who was NOT nice to everyone that day.

                              Thanks for the feedback!
                              Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I looked at your pictures, and think you should practice at home. It looks like you need to get more relaxed down deeper in the saddle, sit up straighter and relax. I think that will help you improve your horse's trot.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                                  I looked at your pictures, and think you should practice at home. It looks like you need to get more relaxed down deeper in the saddle, sit up straighter and relax. I think that will help you improve your horse's trot.

                                  Ahh...but relaxing at home is much, much easier than relaxing at shows. Just as a frame of reference for those pictures, SLC, that was my FIRST USDF show (ever), and my horses first as well. It was our first test at our first USDF show...with NO trainer to help us warm up (and remind me to relax and sit up). I agree that I can help my horse when I ride better. But, one has to have show experience to DEAL with the show nerves that prevent us from riding like we do at home.
                                  Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    i looked at your pics too. super cute horse! what a nice boy... i love his face

                                    i know you did not ask for a critique, so i wont give one, but i will say this....

                                    something is bothering his back... it is down in most of the riding pix, but in the confo pics he has a nice back. when a horse is down in the back they cant step through with their back legs.

                                    also, you look like a nice rider, but you pull. and pulling is also something that inhibits a horse from taking longers steps. (pulling will basically stop the hind leg from completing its full stride.

                                    so... i guess what i am saying is..... these are items that need to be addressed before moving up. in fact if it were me, i would not show until i had them addressed.

                                    as for your original question.... i don't think you need to pay your dues to move up - however, you do need to be working competently at a higher level at home, so that when you are at a show with the show nerves, etc you are able to be competent at the level you are showing.

                                    your guy looks very capable. my question for you would be: what do his gaits look like when he is free? if he can track up when free then there is your answer.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I don't think anyone can tell if there's something wrong with a back from a still photo. And I'm not so sure this lady really pulls the reins. I think her horse needs to be more supple and his balance needs to change.

                                      To OP, I understand what you're saying and respect your opinion, and I think you have accomplished an immense amount with this horse.

                                      But I don't agree with you on this, and I think it's a separate issue. First of all, it sounds like you're getting defensive of yourself, rather than showing interest and introspection about different ideas. I don't think you have any cause to be defensive, you've accomplished a lot.

                                      I would stay at the lower level, and I think it is possible and desirable to work on the things at home, and I think what happens at a show is an exaggeration of what goes on at home, not a whole different thing.

                                      I think work on your position at home will improve your scores at shows and your horse's trot and prepare him for first level. Strengthening and suppling yourself makes loosening and suppling your horse possible. Your horse goes the way you sit. To improve gaits, work on position and seat. That's been my experience.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                                        I understand what you're saying and respect your opinion, and I know you have accomplished an immense amount with this horse, I recall seeing earlier pictures and of course you have worked very, very hard and done a lot.

                                        But I don't agree with you on this. First of all, it sounds like you're determined to show at the higher level regardless of what anyone says, and disagreeing with anyone who doesn't support you and getting defensive of yourself, rather than really showing interest and introspection about different ideas.

                                        I think it is possible and desirable to work on the things at home, and I think what happens at a show is an exaggeration of what goes on at home, not a whole different thing.
                                        What I am ultimately going to do is what I decide WITH my trainer, not as a result of what someone on a BB says. If I wasn't interested in anyone's ideas, I wouldn't have posted here for an outside opinion. Thanks for the feedback.
                                        Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X