intro level

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intro level

This is a discussion on intro level within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Intro level dressage horses

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    03-03-2010, 08:10 PM
intro level

So tonight I told the woman at my barn that I thought my horse was ready for an intro level test and she was like "no your horse has to be 'in form' to even think about doing dressage." wth?? I don't think this is true is it especially for the very beginning, is it?
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    03-03-2010, 08:40 PM
I guess it depends on what she meant by "in form". If she meant, he has to be in shape, then I agree with her. If she meant the many different buzz words such as 'on the bit', 'round', 'collected', etc. then I disagree. The levels of dressage are meant to assist the training scale of the horse for lack of a better description. You start with basic forward, straightness and impulsion aka intro level and work up. Did you ask her to clarify her meaning?
    03-03-2010, 10:31 PM
She mean't on the bit and her belief is it starts with their head.. it's very frustrating!
    03-03-2010, 10:43 PM
Nope, she's very wrong. It comes from the back - seat into legs into hands.

You can do Intro Level Dressage just fine :) It is just walk trot I do believe isn't it? Even Training Level you'd be just fine at :) Go do it, have fun!

The Judge looks for relaxation in the horse. Ease into transitions. Rhythm, hores and rider working together.

Ask Spyder, she Judges Dressage and went pretty high up - she'd be far more knowledgeable about this than I :)

Have fun! Just Git Er Done! :) :)
    03-03-2010, 11:18 PM
Green Broke
Yeah she doesn't know what she's talking about, as long as your horse is physically fit for it, there's no reason you can't do Intro dressage!

Sandie and I evented at the Intro level last summer for the first time ever and I did not have her collected and on the bit yet, but we still did very well! Collection and getting your horse on the bit is, as MIEventer said, from the rear, not the head by itself, and it's something you work towards but isn't going to be expected yet at the Intro level necessarily.

So I second the GO FOR IT!
    03-03-2010, 11:19 PM
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
The Judge looks for relaxation in the horse. Ease into transitions. Rhythm, hores and rider working together.

Ask Spyder, she Judges Dressage and went pretty high up - she'd be far more knowledgeable about this than I :)


To the OP.

I have judged a ton of Intro and Pony Club which would be about the level you are considering.

So in part your friends are correct but like many things they did not give you the full information.

As MIE stated the head position starts from the hind quarters and is a consequence of a driving seat into knowing hands.

As far as what a judge would do at this level here is what I look for.

First...Forward with impulsion that is NOT out of control but carrying the horse forward in a balanced manner

Second...ACCURACY. This becomes more important at the lower levels for two reasons...first it provides the basis of good habits for later levels and there is not a great deal to see/judge at this level for the judge ( such as the multiple movements that occur later on).

Three...... clean transitions. This shows the overall balance of the horse and the riders ability in balance and control.

NOW if you CAN do all of the above with the overall position of the horse in a "form" that is neither over, against or behind the bit or counter bent then bonus marks. Bonus marks are not extra marks but rather just the difference between a 5,6 or 7 score.
    03-04-2010, 08:15 AM
Alrighty i'm never going to ask her any more ?'s and i'm so going to tell her a JUDGE told me that you don't have to! Ha shooting me down like that... no wonder she only made it to level one (:
Thanks guys!
    03-04-2010, 08:51 AM
I did intro level with my mare, and at one show the judge told me I was too concerned with collection. I may have even been marked down for it...I don't remember well, it was a long time ago!
    03-04-2010, 09:36 AM
Green Broke
My trainer told me that "head set" is the last thing to worry about, you want to get your horse moving forward and being consistent at the gaits before you even think about doing anything with the head.
    03-04-2010, 09:38 AM
Yep, that's right. If you get the back end working properly, your horses back lifted up into your seat and forward movement where your horse can move under themselves, the headset will come naturally.

If someone tells you to focus more on the training tree, before they mention collection, that is a sign they know what they are talking about :) If someone tells you that you need to work on collection before you've achieved the Training Scale - they don't know what they are talking about. Lol.

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