Changing levels in the middle of a show season?
   

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Changing levels in the middle of a show season?

This is a discussion on Changing levels in the middle of a show season? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        12-13-2011, 06:03 PM
      #1
    Green Broke
    Changing levels in the middle of a show season?

    Earlier I asked when you know your horse is ready to move up and I got some really great answers, now I have another question.

    Suppose I Start off this season with Intro and Training level and I start seeing some upper 60's for Intro. Would you advise someone to move up to Training/1st mid season? What are the pro's, what are the cons? We are currently schooling 1st level, and a few 2nd level just because Cin gets board to death doing the same things, but he is still a little inconsistent with "submission and obedience" which were are main mark downs last time.

    I'm asking all these questions because last year I was just playing with showing to see if Cinny would take to that atmosphere, and he did. There year I want to be a little more serious which means making sure he is always where he should be to succeed, but I don't want to be a level too low and be unfair either.
         
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        12-13-2011, 06:40 PM
      #2
    Banned
    There are more con's to doing this than pro's.
         
        12-13-2011, 07:11 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Spyder    
    There are more con's to doing this than pro's.
    I see. Do you have time for a little more enlightenment. I am just trying to learn all the ins and outs of showing Dressage than I can. It's very different than the 1993 Hunter shows that I'm used to :)
         
        12-13-2011, 09:11 PM
      #4
    Showing
    Cinny, I don't want to sound as an evil advocate or discouraging, but how do you know he schools 1st level (or even 2nd)? Do you have a good trainer telling you that or you just feel/guess? I started with my qh last year (both knew nothing), and we are not nearly close to the 1st level. Just went through Intro and Training 1 this summer. Now I have no idea how experienced you are as a rider, but personally I wouldn't try to jump to the higher levels, but start with Intro and see how it goes. If you get high scores then you can just progress through the level fast.
         
        12-13-2011, 09:26 PM
      #5
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
    Cinny, I don't want to sound as an evil advocate or discouraging, but how do you know he schools 1st level (or even 2nd)? Do you have a good trainer telling you that or you just feel/guess? I started with my qh last year (both knew nothing), and we are not nearly close to the 1st level. Just went through Intro and Training 1 this summer. Now I have no idea how experienced you are as a rider, but personally I wouldn't try to jump to the higher levels, but start with Intro and see how it goes. If you get high scores then you can just progress through the level fast.
    I don't think you sound like an evil advocate at all, your question is well grounded.

    Last year we did show schooling shows at Intro Level with high 50's. Since then we have worked on our holes. I've had other people at my stable who ride dressage watch and give some hints now and then about what is good, what is bad about our rides.

    There is a website geared towards mainly dressage riding that is run by some pretty prominent trainers and clinicians. I can't link to it so you can see it because it does have a message board and that's against the rules here. Anyway there is a training area with a checklist that you go through for each level. You can mark off how well your horse does something whether it has just learned it, is schooling it, or accomplishes it well, etc etc. You can see what things your horse has to be able to do in each level. It doesn't just say what your horse should be able to do for the tests, it has other exercises for building muscle, brain etc too.

    Anyway, we are working on many of the 1st level exercises and accomplishments. A well balanced 10meter circle at working trot (sitting). A well balanced 15 m circle at canter. Light serpentine work at walk and working trot. Shoulders in/out and haunches in/out. He actually has a really niced 10m circle trotting with shoulders out (I'm so proud). Leg Yields. I think most of these are 1st level and our workouts usually are on this stuff because, well, it makes Cinny happy to work on this stuff instead of Intro stuff which seems to bore him to insanity.

    I'm hoping to get some vid up soon of this stuff, but I have to coordinate with my DH LOL.
         
        12-13-2011, 10:19 PM
      #6
    Showing
    Yeah, videos/pics would be great!

    Usually you are allowed to enter 2 tests (at least at all shows I've been to). So you can start with, say, intro C and Training Level 1 for the 1st show to see the scores/how confident you feel. If you get good ones at the Training Level 1 you can try Training 2 and 3 next time. And so on. That's basically how I did (started with intro B and intro C on my first test and gave up B after that as it was too easy of test really (no canter)).
         
        12-13-2011, 10:40 PM
      #7
    Green Broke
    I was thinking of doing intro B/c and training A/B. And possibly playing with Prix Caprilli at Intro Level. But many people at my barn think I should do training B/C and 1st A/B.
         
        12-13-2011, 11:08 PM
      #8
    Showing
    Sounds like a plan to me. Good luck! :)
         
        12-13-2011, 11:13 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    The later only worries me because we do not do "stretchie circles." I intend to do a stretchie circle and then set us up, Do a nice 15m half way, or sometimes a whole one and then let him slowly munch the bit down and then it all goes wrong. Cinny always says "yay, I can do what I want, and then does." LOL Forget a circle, forget a trot, they both go by by as soon as he thinks he has freedom.
         
        12-14-2011, 09:20 AM
      #10
    Showing
    ^^ Cinny, to do a good stretched circle your horse should work from behind through its back (and have a nice established working trot with the bend). Otherwise you won't get what you want. Basically I start with the half halt and then "feeding" the rein (inside, then outside, a little bit in time, while still giving tiny half halts). You still keep a (lighter) contact (don't let those reins go) and ask for the bend with your inside leg. If you feel horse is "losing" it pick up reins back again and go back to the working trot on circle.
         

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