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Hunter/jumper at combined training shows. help!

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  • Hunter/jumper at combined training shows. help!

    There is a lovely farm around here that holds several schooling shows each year. I like to take my green horses over to put some miles on them but I FAIL at the dressage portion of my tests. I've ridden dressage before, and school my horses on the basics, and was the owner of a 4th level superstar. Its the test that gets me. I can not remember these tests to save my life. There is an option to have them call out the tests, but id really like to graduate from that. Any pointers?

    In doing the Prix Caprilli tests (if that's universal) and im not majorly concerned, but I am a perfections, and want to at least give my horses a chance. What are some key points that will help me out in my actual performance?

  • #2
    Do you mean dressage? I am not familiar with message.

    If it is dressage, usually you will know what tests are offered before you get there. (Prize list or something). Then practice it at home. They are pretty easy to memorize especially when they are lower levels. I just try to think of it as a course without jumps

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    • #3
      When I try to memorize tests, I think of them as patterns, rather than as individual movements. So when I repeat it back, I think of "enter working trot, down center line, track right, circle in the middle, lengthen across the diagonal" (rather than thinking of the letters). I find it easier to remember the shape of the test than the specific letters, particularly in the small arena - in the big arena, I often have to be more careful about how I remember a short diagonal or work through the middle. Other folks I know walk through their tests unmounted - literally walk the pattern (in a small space, not in the whole ring) saying the movements to yourself. You can also ride the tests, or sections of them, a couple of times during the days before so that the movements start to flow together.

      And regardless, no shame in having someone read the test to you. I find that harder than just memorizing them, but everyone's different, and if it helps you to remember them that way, go for it! Have fun!

      Comment


      • #4
        not sure what the Prix Caprilli tests are...but if they are using USEF tests, there is a great App for iphones that has diagrams of each movements etc. Helps you know how to ride them and visualize the test.

        If you search USEF--you will find the apps for both straight dressage and for evenitng...most CTs use the eventing tests.

        ETA: Just googled the Prix Caprilli test...those look like W/T tests, so the apps don't help you.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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        • #5
          Well...how do you remember your courses over fences? Apply that same skillset

          When I'm learning a new dressage test, I really like to get out into the arena and walk it myself, sans horse, a few times. Then I will repeat in my head. I find it's easier to visualize mentally if I've actually gone through the movements physically.

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          • #6
            Prix Caprilli is a straight dressage test... with jumps in them! Not often offered, and I've wondered why... eventers should love them.

            I find drawing the test on a piece of paper helps...
            "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GotSpots View Post
              When I try to memorize tests, I think of them as patterns, rather than as individual movements. So when I repeat it back, I think of "enter working trot, down center line, track right, circle in the middle, lengthen across the diagonal" (rather than thinking of the letters). I find it easier to remember the shape of the test than the specific letters, particularly in the small arena - in the big arena, I often have to be more careful about how I remember a short diagonal or work through the middle.
              This is what I do as well...bugs the heck out of dressage coaches!! I came from jumper land and this is the best way for me to remember where I'm going. I also "draw" the test in the air with my finger, similar to what I do when memorizing a stadium course.

              Also, dressage tests get easier to memorize the more you do it. When I first started, I couldn't remember even the simplest dressage test. Once you learn more, you discover a sort of "pattern" to tests and where certain movements are asked for at certain levels (i.e. between letters instead of at letters) and it becomes easier to memorize them.
              "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GotSpots View Post
                When I try to memorize tests, I think of them as patterns, rather than as individual movements. So when I repeat it back, I think of "enter working trot, down center line, track right, circle in the middle, lengthen across the diagonal" (rather than thinking of the letters). I find it easier to remember the shape of the test than the specific letters, particularly in the small arena - in the big arena, I often have to be more careful about how I remember a short diagonal or work through the middle.

                Ditto. I couldn't tell you where exactly the letters in a dressage arena are to save my life... other than a, x, and c. Beyond that it's very vague: I know mxk is one diagonal and the other is hxf and b and e are the two to either side of x lol. I memorize the pattern, if I tried to add letters in there I would never remember the tests.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GotSpots View Post
                  And regardless, no shame in having someone read the test to you.
                  actually, in Eventing, you cannont have a reader for the dressage test under USEA rules.

                  I find several techniques to be quite helpful... I have "ridden" a new test on foot in my rather large kitchen. Easy to visualize the arena, with a judge box at one end.

                  I also walk my horse through the test in an acutal dressage arena, passing by each letter, and saying the gait. For example, at the letter C say "walk walk walk" then at H say "free walk free walk" and at A say "trot trot" so I have both the point of the transition and the new gait memorized... while walking my horse and catching my breath.
                  Inese

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Inese View Post
                    actually, in Eventing, you cannont have a reader for the dressage test under USEA rules.
                    No kidding. OP was asking about a schooling show, with a test that isn't under USEA rules.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
                      Ditto. I couldn't tell you where exactly the letters in a dressage arena are to save my life... other than a, x, and c. Beyond that it's very vague: I know mxk is one diagonal and the other is hxf and b and e are the two to either side of x lol. I memorize the pattern, if I tried to add letters in there I would never remember the tests.
                      A-All
                      K-King
                      E-Edward's
                      H-Horses
                      C-Can
                      M-Manage
                      B-Big
                      F-Fences

                      Or if you need ALL the letters, All King Victor Edward's Sport Horses Can Manage Really Big Plank Fences. Center line is G. I.s cross(X) Large Ditches

                      But yes, best to do the patterns over and over again!
                      The rebel in the grey shirt

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                      • #12
                        Walk it yourself a few times. I've tried tracing it on an arena diagram (which helped me visualize a lot better but it wasn't a perfect solution) but it wasn't until I actually got out into the arena myself that I began to feel confident that I knew it. As I go along I just say "trot trot trot... canter canter... halt" etc. so I know what I'm supposed to be doing where. I think it's also given me good accuracy in each movement since walking around the arena also gives me time to plan out how I'll ride each question.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Drawing them out on paper works wonders. Draw your arena, then draw your pattern using different pen strokes for different gaits.

                          Also, thinking of them as a full pattern vs. individual movements, like others have said, makes a world of difference!

                          If you have an area (living room, kitchen, garage, anywhere!) that can allow you to move around, walk out your test as you say it out loud. The area doesn't have to be huge, but I've found just making my feet move while saying the test solidifies it to memory.
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                          • #14
                            Along w what everyone else has said, you might have luck using much the same language/system you use for learning a hunter course.
                            Center line, right, diagonal, circle at A, diagonal to vertical, circle at C, etc..

                            What fun that you have Prix Caprilli tests available!
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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I find that having the test called out IS more difficult. I like knowing what's coming next. See jumper courses are easier because there are only so many places you really CAN go when you land a fence.

                              Thanks for all the input guys!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                not sure what the Prix Caprilli tests are...but if they are using USEF tests, there is a great App for iphones that has diagrams of each movements etc. Helps you know how to ride them and visualize the test.

                                If you search USEF--you will find the apps for both straight dressage and for evenitng...most CTs use the eventing tests.

                                ETA: Just googled the Prix Caprilli test...those look like W/T tests, so the apps don't help you.
                                Link please to the USEF apps. Can't find them on the site.
                                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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                                • #17
                                  I print out copies of the dressage arena. I have different colored pens for walk, trot, and canter. I draw out the tests several times and then take a clean copy out and trace the test with my finger, calling out what I need to do. That does the trick for me.
                                  ~Veronica
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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                                  • #18
                                    I have rode prix caprelli tests. They are fun and kind of confused my c/t horse lol. Jumps in the dressage ring lol. But he did great and scored in the 70s. Anyways ride the test as a dressage test. Longer irons nice deep seat connection with horse etc. When the jump comes which is usually no higher than 2 ft but usually xrails a nice light 2pt but be quick at picking back up your connection. Have fun and relax. Don't think about the test to hard. My key is to ride it several times before the show. Some people don't like doing this because of anticipation with some horses but it helps me. Just remember the pattern like a jump course. Remember what's next and what your riding don't stick to this letter do this because it can make you stress. Mostly think in stop track right circle walk in corner free walk diag trot etc. Just know the test at where to go
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      @Inese---that's exactly what I do! I also made a print out of a dressage ring and will trace it with my finger and recite the test out loud. Works for me but everyone learns differently.

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