Dressage needed for Amoeba
Last year on a well schooled beginner novice horse, I was planning on showing amoeba this year, but some difficulties arised. I am now on a horse that was being trained for 4' and shown 3'6, but his past owner trained him with gadgets.
When my trainer took the barn over he was on the last ring of a four ring gag with a running martingale ridden with heavy hands. He does great for me in a d-ring with medium hands. Because of the way his old owners rode him, he never carried himself correctly. He was ridden like a giraffe.
Right now, I'm just working on him relaxing and stretching with a loose hunter/equitation kind of contact. He is not fit enough to do real in frame dressage yet.
But I was hoping to take him to a smaller eventing show this summer, either tadpole or amoeba. However I first need to know if for the dressage test he needs to actually be in frame, and not just have contact with a relaxed headset.
Also, if anyone has any links for amoeba or tadpole dressage, cross country, or jumping tests I would much appreciate having them because I'm setting up the ring again and I want a nice course.
Tadpole is usually BN Test A. It's similar to training level dressage. For the most part, they just want to see the bottom of the scale, relaxation and rhythm. Acceptance of the bit and steady contact are the biggest sticking points.
At the shows I go to, the amoeba dressage test is the usef intro b and tadpole is intro c. At this level, they don't care what your horse's head is doing, when I did tadpole 3-phase a couple weeks ago, my horse was never in a frame, and we got a 34, although you may get a better score with your horse in a frame and round
Honestly, you shouldn't be worrying about a "frame" at all. Get a nice forward rhythm and work on getting him to relax. That's all. If you start worrying about where his head is at you're opening up a whole new can of worms that, at this stage of his re-training, doesn't need to be opened. It sounds like what you're working on now, getting him to be relaxed, is just what he needs. You have plenty of time to work with him until a potential showing situation, so I wouldn't worry about it.
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