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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems like the years escape me, my horse is already seven, I've owned him since he was two. Sometimes I feel like we should be more advance and consistent by this age...

So, how old is your horse and what level are you schooling?
 

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My horse is 10 and we're only schooling the basics. The most advanced things we do are side-passing and flying changes. (I really know nothing about the different levels at this point, ha ha.) He's a former showjumper, and most of my riding career I did hunter/jumper, and had crappy coaches. I'm learning to use ALL my aids, ride with my seat, and activate my core. He's learning to reach for the bit, travel a bit more uphill, and how to use himself correctly overall. I've had him for almost a year and our progress is slow, but we've already improved a lot.
:]

Hopefully we'll do a few schooling shows this summer but we're taking our time and figuring this whole dressage thing out.
 

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My horse is a 2003 baby (so he is 7 this year) and he is confirmed third level, schooling canter pirouettes and half steps. He could be further along and I missed all the young horse tests with him because I am not super experienced.
Next year I'm hoping we'll do the St. George.

According to the FEI a 4 year old should be schooling first level, a 5 year old should be confirmed in second level, at 6 they should be doing third and by 7 in the St. George. This is the ideal and what should be strived for with a talented horse and a good rider/coach team.
 

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My horse is 17 and we're schooling/showing 2nd Level and slowly starting a little bit of 3rd Level movements. She got off to a late start in dressage and we are both learning together. We seem to advance one level per year.
 

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My guy is 8-9ish (we don't know for sure), and we're schooling the basics, in about the same place as Gillian, minus the flying changes. We're both learning "real dressage" together, so progress is slow, but we're both improving. I'm not sure if we'll ever show dressage, there just aren't any dressage shows in my area (go figure), but I'm planning on taking him to a few local shows and hunter flat classes this summer to get his feet wet there.
 

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Me and my girl are doing second level this year (crosses fingers!! :D ) and nextyear we are doing FEI juniors.. haha we would be doing FEI childrens this year BUT i turn 14 in december!! haha so i never really got a real chance to try them, haha my mommy just couldnt wait another two weeks to have me in january!! haha.
 

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My boy is will be 8 next month. We're schooling 1st level, but showing training level.
 

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Well since I got my boy last monday and he's done absolutely nothing since racing, he is now schooling the absolute basics. We're just focussing on getting a stop and go button in walk trot and canter. He's progressed VERY quickly though, so I'm hoping to have him going solidly in prelim and training novice in 2 months time.
 

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It's really all relative, so don't sweat it.
My horse was started at 5 years old, and he's turning 8 this year, and we are showing 1st level and schooling 2nd
 

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I have a 6 year old mare and she and I have only been together about a year. We are showing training level and schooling 1st level movements. I grew up doing hunters as well and it's taken some time to adjust to dressage but I love it.
I think the most important thing to remember is that dressage is somewhat a competition with yourself rather than others--if you set a goal of achieving nice transitions and you accomplish that at a show that is the real reward. The basics are really important and without them moving up in levels will be harder and for me be less meaningful and less rewarding. I'm not a trainer but I suggest taking your time with your horse and solidify the basics and the rest will be less confusing and probably easier for your horse and you. Good luck and most importantly have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree with you jhorse. I am not actually too focused on showing it's more that sometimes I feel that at this point we should be more consistent with our basics. I do take it slow and want to develop a solid foundation though.

And I am always having fun when I ride, guess that's most important...
 

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Hope my post didn't sound like I was in it to rush through with the ultimate goal just a ribbon. Definitely wasn't the intention at all. Taking it easy with my boy, just playing and seeing what he'll offer. So far he's picked everything I've thrown at him very easy and taken to it like a duck to water, which has given me the opportunity to move a little faster than I would should the horse have been like my last ottb who was very much one step forward, three steps back.

Whenever I hit a speed bump with a horse, straight away I go back to total basics, just getting that forward established and build up from there to re-install their confidence. I most certainly will NOT be pushing him beyond what he is capable of to simply get to a competition. I'm not a hugely competitive rider either, I'm in it for the fun and to do that absolute best that I can :)
 

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According to the FEI a 4 year old should be schooling first level, a 5 year old should be confirmed in second level, at 6 they should be doing third and by 7 in the St. George. This is the ideal and what should be strived for with a talented horse and a good rider/coach team.
Wow, this sounds pretty fast. I know horses do mature diffierently, but I'd think serious collection would wait until around 6 at least. The horse's bones (in the neck?) are still fusing, I believe, until around 7.
 

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Wow, this sounds pretty fast. I know horses do mature diffierently, but I'd think serious collection would wait until around 6 at least. The horse's bones (in the neck?) are still fusing, I believe, until around 7.
The way the FEI young horse tests are structured, there is not a ton of emphasis placed on having a high degree of collection, it is more about does the horse have the ability and natural aptitude to sit. The tests are intended for horses of the highest quality for dressage who don't necessarily find the work particularly difficult because of how they are built.

Also - collection has nothing to do with cranking the neck around. The neck naturally lifts from the base and comes "higher" as the haunches lower and gain more power to propel the horse. So - the only reason we would be worried about the neck is if we had the horse crammed into a degouge or draw reins.
 

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My horse is nine and schooling 2nd/showing 1st. He's a talented boy, but spent the last couple of years in a field and raced until he was 5. He's also shown Novice eventing and will do so again this year - I'd love to somehow qualify for the Novice long-format at GMHA. :)
As someone said, dressage is really all relative. It's about progress, so as long as you and your horse are making (correct) progress and having fun, that's all that matters!
 
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