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Mary Liz 11-20-2012 04:25 PM

Advancing to the next level
Hey guys so I was wondering what the general consensus was of when it is appropriate to move/advance to the next level of dressage. I'm just getting back into truly showing dressage and I would like to get a variety of answers of what you would expect from a horse and a rider competing at intro to move up to training level. :-)

tinyliny 11-20-2012 05:53 PM

my teacher used to say I had to get a 70% to advance a level. I got a 69, and she thought that was good enough

But, it also depends on the horse.

Kayty 11-20-2012 06:14 PM

Some horses are just not capeable of achieving big scores, so going by scores at official competitions isn't always a great indicator of how you are going.
I move up a level when I am scoring consistently, and feel happy with how the horse is travelling. If it is well established at that level, finding the work easy. You should be training at least one level above what you are competing, so the next step up should be on its way to becoming established.

I am hoping to bump up a level next year, as I feel that the prelim/novice work is becoming boring for us both, he is finding it very easy.

Tigo 11-20-2012 06:27 PM

I agree with Kayty completely.

I had a pony that would do all his work very correctly but was not capable of getting those big, impressive scores. He was very consistantly a low 60's kinda guy. I think if you are starting to find the work easy, and score consistantly in the 60's (at least) then you may be ready to move on. I knew my pony wouldn't get those high scores at shows but he flew up the levels at home and took to the work well and correctly. However, my warmblood now could do a 70% + first level test and find it easy, heck, I could (not that I would) run him through the movements up to third level at home, but he's still not even ready to show second level (strength issues for the collection etc.).

Basically, I feel that if your horse is doing solid consistant work at his current level, you are pleased with the work, his fitness levels and feel moving up is appropriate then you could likely considering working towards a higher level.

Mary Liz 11-20-2012 07:07 PM

Thanks! I took my boy to a show at the first part of Nov. and it was our first show back we did intro a and b. He got very high 50s (57.2 and 58.5) along with good comments. We got the comment counter-bent on several things but we've been working on bending and he is doing great at it so hopefully that will be a lot better this go round especially since at that show I was so stressed about going in the ring. This time I'm doing intro a,b, and c and the show will be at the very beginning of Dec. so I can't wait to see how it goes. :)

core 11-29-2012 06:44 AM

I work with my trainer to determine when my horse is ready to start showing at the next level up.

Since we're working one level above what we're showing, then I have a good idea of when the horse and I are ready to start showing the next level. When we're able to do all the movements of the next level pretty well and with good energy (and relaxation), then its time to seriously consider moving up.

Personally, I feel that if you can do Intro B or C then you can do training level. But it depends on your specific situation.. A more timid person may find Intro a big confidence booster. Or if the horse has issues with shows, then Intro is a good choice. If you're a more confident rider with a horse that doesn't mind shows, then I would seriously start working to compete at Training level in the spring. I don't think there's a lot of benefit to staying at Intro for very long. However, again, its completely situation dependent. Your trainer is probably the best person to help you with this question.

You also have to take into consideration why you show. If scores and winning are important to you (not a bad thing), then waiting to move up will allow you to earn higher scores. If you're just showing for the feedback, then moving up even if your not quite solid at everything isn't a big deal. you'll get a lower score, but the comments and scores can help ferret out issues you weren't aware of. So again, it depends on how you view showing and what your goals are.

What would you like to accomplish by showing? Do you have specific awards you want to earn, or scores you want to achieve? Or timelines of accomplishments you're thinking about?
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