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Dressage Levels in Eventing?

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  • Dressage Levels in Eventing?

    I'm confused about dressage levels in eventing so I figured I'd post my question here:

    Basically, it's "What are they?" I know about dressage levels at dressage shows, but not for eventing. So, do the people who compete in the upper levels of eventing do Grand Prix level for their dressage tests? Or is the test called something else in eventing? Are there eventing levels that correspond to the dressage levels?

    I really don't know enough to know how to phrase the question!
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  • #2
    I think I know what you mean.

    The **** (highest level) of eventing uses a dressage test that has a movements you would find at third level dressage. Flying changes, counter canter etc.

    BN and one of the Novice tests is like Training level test 1. 20m circles, transitions between letters.

    Training Level dressage tests use 15m circles at the trot, lengthening at the trot and canter - sort of between Training level test 4 and first level test 1.

    Prelim tests ask for shoulder-in and 10m canter circles and a few strides of counter canter on a straight line. Also halting and backing and medium gaits.

    Intermediate and advanced start asking for 2nd level movments. Collected and gaits are asked for here.

    Does that help?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Wellspotted View Post
      So, do the people who compete in the upper levels of eventing do Grand Prix level for their dressage tests?
      No. There is a set of tests written specifically for the dressage phase of eventing.

      Beginner Novice tests: roughly equivalent to lower training level in the dressage world - walk/trot/canter with 20m circles and diagonals, free walk - however, like INTRO, many of the transitions are now done "gradually through the ---".
      Novice tests: very straightforward, 20m circles, diagonals, walk trot canter. Essentially training level in the dressage world.
      Training: somewhere between training and 1st level. The balance should be that of a 1st level horse, lengthenings at trot and canter are introduced, 15m circles are included. No lateral work, however.

      Prelim: between 1st and 2nd. Reinback, shoulder-in, basic counter-canter, lengthened and medium gaits, 10m circles. Despite calling for medium gaits, the test does not ask the horse to show collection. Tests from here and up MUST BE DONE sitting the trot.
      Intermediate: This is when the horse REALLY needs to start showing correct collection. This is more like true second level. Reinback, half turn on haunches, shoulder-in, haunches-in, simple changes, much more difficult counter-canter, medium gaits.
      Advanced: Equivalent to 3rd level. Collected gaits, extended/medium gaits, half-pass, shoulder-in, single flying changes.

      All of the FEI tests are more difficult than the USEA/USEF tests. Prelim=*, Intermediate=2*, Advanced=3* and 4*. At this point, I would say the 4* tests touch upon 4th level dressage. No pirouettes, but the quality of collection required is similar. The 4* tests are not easy to ride!
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      • #4
        You can look at the tests themselves on the USEA web site.
        Janet

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks! That is EXACTLY the sort of info I was hoping for! I now feel as if I have a better understanding, not only of the tests themselves but of the eventing tests compared to other dressage tests.
          Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hilary View Post
            Training Level dressage tests use 15m circles at the trot, lengthening at the trot and canter - sort of between Training level test 4 and first level test 1.

            Prelim tests ask for shoulder-in and 10m canter circles and a few strides of counter canter on a straight line. Also halting and backing and medium gaits.

            Intermediate and advanced start asking for 2nd level movments. Collected and gaits are asked for here.
            Actually the 1* tests are second level tests. One has collected trot (I havent ridden this one so I dont know what else), the other has a half 10m circle into counter canter, then a half 20m circle of counter canter, so Id say its a legit counter canter. And extended walk and 10m circles. Most of the events around here use the 1* B test, we only have one Prelim test.

            In Canada the Training tests are harder, we have 4, they include lengthen trot and canter, immobility, leg yielding, and one has a counter canter loop (FXM).

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            • #7
              riddle me this then

              How are they judged? If I can take my horse to a recognized dressage show and get in the high sixties in Training 3 and 4 but doing dinky BN B we barely break 40. Why do they expect first level or better at BN? A friend went to AEC at BN and all the comments were need to be more uphill - like at what level is this? I wonder if the new tests will cover this issue.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Flying Hippotamus View Post
                How are they judged? If I can take my horse to a recognized dressage show and get in the high sixties in Training 3 and 4 but doing dinky BN B we barely break 40. Why do they expect first level or better at BN? A friend went to AEC at BN and all the comments were need to be more uphill - like at what level is this? I wonder if the new tests will cover this issue.

                I think that a whole different problem. Part of the issue I always had is I would score better at dressage shows...mainly because my test were better being in a large ring. LOVE being in that big ring compared to the small ring.

                The thing to remember about eventing dressage is that except of Advanced level and except for at an FEI level event (a CCI* or higher)....here in the US, we are almost always in the DAMN SMALL dressage rings. That to me makes EVERYTHING much much much MUCH harder.

                So think doing a Second level dressage test....in a small court....and there you have Prelim eventing dressage.
                ** 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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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                  I think that a whole different problem. Part of the issue I always had is I would score better at dressage shows...mainly because my test were better being in a large ring. LOVE being in that big ring compared to the small ring.

                  The thing to remember about eventing dressage is that except of Advanced level and except for at an FEI level event (a CCI* or higher)....here in the US, we are almost always in the DAMN SMALL dressage rings. That to me makes EVERYTHING much much much MUCH harder.

                  So think doing a Second level dressage test....in a small court....and there you have Prelim eventing dressage.
                  Interestingly, I have always been in the small ring for dressage in eventing (up to training level), which is as it should be.

                  I remember going to my first dressage show (a schooling show to benefit cancer research) and had to do a first level test in the small ring - very difficult!

                  I don't think you will find that at a recognized dressage show, but definitely at the schooling shows. If you are talking about Prelim-Adv being in a small ring, I can concur that that is difficult!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                    I don't think you will find that at a recognized dressage show, but definitely at the schooling shows. If you are talking about Prelim-Adv being in a small ring, I can concur that that is difficult!

                    depends on your schooling shows. Around here, most schooling dressage shows are in a large court. In fact...they will also have really good judges too. The one I'm riding in this weekend has a R judge.....I've also ridden in them with a S judge....(that is a higher ranking judge than you see at most events). I find those shows usually translate well with scoring to how I would do at a recognized show or event.

                    I think even training level in a small ring is tough....to win at training level IMO...you need to be solid 1st level as to quality of your movements, gaits and balance. All of which is much easier to show well when you have the time to develop it in a large ring....especially when you are riding the bigger moving horses.
                    ** 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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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                      .to win at training level IMO...you need to be solid 1st level as to quality of your movements, gaits and balance. All of which is much easier to show well when you have the time to develop it in a large ring....especially when you are riding the bigger moving horses.
                      Still seems to me you need to be solid at first level to win at BN. Yes a big ring would definitely help. (But as an organizer that is another whole problem!) But also the movements. But could they at least give BN a trot stretchy circle or a 15 meter canter circle. Straight dressage tests just make so much more sense. right now our best movement is the 10 meter half circle to x.

                      It's funny I need to do dressage shows every now and then just to keep my confidence up for dressage in eventing.

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                      • #12
                        It's like anything else though. You go to a dressage show, if you are the best one at that level, you win.

                        Same with eventing dressage. The first horse that is in the ring sets the precedent. Then the marks go from there. If you come in and you are solid at 1st level movement and are riding the BN division, you're dressage will be in the top. If you are schooling training level, no matter how good you are at it, you will not be in the top if there are horses and riders confirmed at a higher level.

                        Same as anything. The best wins.

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                        • #13
                          Also have to consider that some days you get a great judge who loves your horse, some days you get a grumpy judge who hates your horse. Some days you get a judge who refuses to use anything by 5s, 6s, 7s to score the whole division (so you're all bunched up on top of each other), and some days you get a judge who uses the whole scale. Judging IS subjective in dressage, and you can't necessarily count on getting comparable scores, event to event, dressage show to event, and vice versa. I've ridden tests on multiple horses that I've thought have been deserving a much lower score than they got (and even wonder if the judge was looking in the right ring at times), and I've ridden tests that I've been SHOCKED at how kind the judge was. You just never really know.
                          Amanda

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