british dressage levels

Scoring, Concepts & Required Test – Dressage Levels

Dressage is the art of training a horse to perform specific maneuvers that evaluate his strength, balance, agility, and willingness. It’s usually called an art due to the fact that it takes many years to learn, and many more to grasp.

As horses relocate with their training in dressage, they execute examinations in competitors that measure their progress. Each level raises in difficulty, abilities, and knowledge, and training. Both horse and rider ought to have an excellent mastery of the abilities at their current level prior to transferring to the next.

In national dressage competitors in the United States, there are five fundamental levels of dressage tests: Training, First, Second, Third, Fourth & Next Again Levels. These are additionally referred to as Preliminary/Introductory, Novice, Elementary, Medium, and Advanced.

In worldwide competitors, the tests and levels are similar, however they have various names and slightly various requirements. International dressage competition levels are called Prix St. Georges, Intermediare I, Intermediare II, and Grand Prix. The advanced Grand Prix level is what you would certainly see at the Olympics, and it represents the very best of dressage.

The Dressage Levels Examination

Throughout a test, horses are judged on each specific movement with a rating from 1-10. The biker additionally receives a cumulative rating at the end of the examination for the following classifications: flexibility and regularity of the strides, proper impulsion, the horse’s entry, and the rider’s placement, seat, and aids.

A score of 65% or better is normally a great indicator that a horse is ready to move up to the following level.

Many people pick to educate at a level or two over that in which they contend, and some individuals pick to contend just for the experience of it. Horses frequently act extremely in different ways in a strange competitors arena than they do at home, where their surroundings are comfortable and familiar.

Generally speaking, you want your horse to be able to execute all the required movements with an appropriate level of accuracy prior to going up a level.

Common Dressage Levels in The World

dressage levels
dressage levels –

Dressage represents the highest degree of training for horse and biker. Dressage movements build on the previous level to integrate the horse’s training into the next higher level. It is necessary to continue sequentially, and make certain that you and your horse can carry out the movements at your existing level of training prior to continuing to the following level. Not all horses can carry out at the highest levels, however all horses can find out the essentials.

Training Level (Dressage Levels)

Training Level is the first level of dressage tests and the place to begin dressage training. Horses at Training Level are evaluated on their determination to execute the movements and their suppleness. Movements likewise include circles, straight lines, bends and gait shifts.

Leveling Movements Required

New movements include riding one loophole or 10 meter fifty percent circle, which develops the foundation for serpentine work at greater levels, as well as the leg return. Bikers additionally might perform a simple Musical Freestyle at this level.

Second Level (Dressage Levels)

Second level presents activity related to collection. Every one of the movements at Training and First Levels are consisted of at Second Level. Judges look for smooth and crisp transitions between accumulated and extended strides at numerous gaits. New movements presented at Second Level include the counter canter, shoulder in, travers, basic lead modifications, the rein back, and accumulated canter and trot.

Third Level (Dressage Levels)

Third Level tests the horse’s capacity to expand after the collected work at the Second Level. Movements examined at the walk include the medium and cost-free stroll, with horses asked to extend and reduce their strides at the stroll. Canter movements include a medium and collected canter.

Fourth Level (Dressage Levels)

Fourth Level checks the building blocks for the upper level movements of dressage. Horses should demonstrate impulsion, flexibility and readiness. New movements added to the previous levels consist of the walking half pirouette, quarter pirouette at the canter, and flying lead modifications done every fourth or third stride.

Prix St. Georges (Dressage Levels)

Prix St. Georges begins the elite levels of dressage evaluated at worldwide horse shows. Horses must go to least 7 years of ages prior to carrying out the Prix St. Georges. All of the movements required at previous levels are examined, plus the volte (turn) in an 8 meter circle at the trot, along with the stop from the collected canter.

Intermediare Levels (Dressage Levels)

Intermediare Levels I and II set the stage for the utmost dressage level, which follows Intermediare II, Grand Prix At the Intermediare Levels, the zig zag half pass is contributed to the movements required from previous levels, and horses have to now be able to alter leads with every second or third stride rather than at the third or fourth stride. Intermediare II requires leads modifications with every stride along with the Passage and Piaffe.

Grand Prix (Dressage Levels)

Grand Prix stands for the pinnacle of dressage, and its the level the majority of people are familiar with from watching the equestrian competitors at the Olympics. The FEI regulates Grand Prix dressage rules and needs. While no new movements are added, the movements from Intermediare II have to be done as completely as possible.

US Dressage Levels

US dressage levels
US dressage levels

As horses and cyclists advance through their training together and obtain high ratings in competition, they can include maneuvers to their ability and move up to new levels.

The examinations and levels are based upon a pyramid of training principles that was originally established by the German army as a method to keep consistency in their bikers. All of the standard basics in the training pyramid work together to generate good-quality dressage, but the degree to which they are judged differs.

Rhythm rests as the foundation of the pyramid, followed by Relaxation, Link, Impulsion, Straightness, and at the top– Collection. At the most advanced levels of dressage, every one of these concepts work flawlessly with each other at the same time.

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No Dressage Levels Other Name Levels
1 Training Level Initial or Introdutory
2 First Level Novice
3 Second Level Elementary
4 Third Level Medium
5 Fourth Level Advaced

Training Level (Initial)

Concepts Required: Rhythm, Relaxation, Connection.

The Training Level is just that– the earliest competitive stage of a dressage horse’s training. In these horses, tests and cyclists are finding out to do the essential fundamental principles of dressage.

They are also a good intro to the world of dressage competitors itself. New views and smells can be seriously sidetracking to even the most effective or most experienced horses, and they have to be prepared physically and emotionally for these tests.

The purpose of the Training Level examination is to “confirm that the horse’s muscles are loose and flexible which he moves openly forward in a clear and stable rhythm approving contact with the little bit.” (source: dressagetoday).

Essentially, this suggests that the horse should be unwinded and loyal as he moves via the test, even if the implementation of the steps themselves are a little off (blunders with timing, as an example).

Rhythm” at this level is describing the correctness and evenness (or purity) of the gaits– that the canter, walk, and trot have also, stable beats. At the Training Level, a dressage horse ought to have stable gaits and an obedient disposition.

First Level (Novice)

Concepts Required: Rhythm, Relaxation, Link, Impulsion.

After a dressage horse can carry out all of the basics of dressage as exhibited during the Training Level, he prepares to go up to the First Level. He is still anticipated to show correct rhythm, leisure, and connection, and he likewise “has established the thrust to accomplish improved equilibrium and throughness and to keep an extra constant contact with the little bit.”.

Horses in the First Level have the proper power in their hindquarters (established via training and completing at the Training Level) to start focusing work with impulsion and straightness.

Other than having pure gaits, the First Level dressage horse will likewise be asked to lengthen his strides. This is the onset of establishing appropriate impulsion and future collection.

Movements Required

  • Free stroll, medium walk, functioning trot, medium trot, working canter, salute and stop.
  • 15 and 20 meter circles, serpentines, diagonals, straight lines, half-circles.
  • Leg yielding, turning around the forehand, fundamental correct gait shifts.

Second Level (Elementary)

Concepts Required: Rhythm, Leisure, Connection, Impulsion, Very Early Collection.

The Second Level tests need “a higher level of straightness, bending flexibility, self-carriage, balance and throughness“.

In dressage, a horse needs to always be straight.

This implies that both sides of his body are relocating uniformly together, and that his muscles are established appropriately on both sides. When working in a circle, his body must be aligned in a smooth arc completely around.

The Second Level horse need to also start to show collection. This indicates that the horse is relocating from the power in his hindquarters (impulsion), that he’s light and slightly raised on the forehand, and he’s lugging himself well.

You can attempt to force collection by holding a horse’s head and neck up, however if his body hasn’t been properly prepared – it’s a dish for disaster.

Collection includes balance and strength in the whole body, and tests in the Second Level review a horse’s abilities in this field.

Ideally, horses should bring themselves as they relocate openly throughout the arena. Horses that need to be “stood up” unnaturally with gadgets or with a motorcyclist’s hands will not be as effective in dressage.

Movements Required

  • Gathered trot, medium trot, gathered canter, medium canter, rein-back.
  • 8 and 10-meter circles, counter-canter, rein-back to gathered trot.
  • Shoulder fore, travers and renvers, big half-pirouette at the stroll.

Third Level (Medium)

Concepts Required: Skills Necessary: Rhythm, Leisure, Connection, Impulsion, Collection.

Now, a dressage horse performing at the Third Level must have an excellent manage on all of the fundamental principles of dressage. All of the aspects from the pyramid of training collaborate to create high quality gaits, and an excellent degree of collection and extension.

In the Third Level, much more difficult maneuvers are additionally presented. Horses should have the ability to shift well from reached gathered strides, perform flying modifications with equilibrium, execute renvers and travers (haunches-in and haunches-out), and half-passes at trot and canter.

Movements Required

  • Gathered and prolonged stroll, gathered and expanded trot, accumulated and prolonged canter.
  • Changes from collected to medium gaits.
  • 6 and 20m canter circles, half-circles at counter-canter.
  • Shoulder-in, renvers and travers, 20 degree half-pass, walk pirouette.
  • Solitary flying lead modifications.

Fourth Level (Advanced)

Concepts Required: Rhythm, Relaxation, Link, Impulsion, Full Collection, Advanced Movements (piaffe, passage).

This is the most advanced level of dressage, and it’s where you’ll see all the expensive “dance” movements during an Olympic freestyle examination. At the Advanced Level, horses must display every one of the dressage principles as presented in previous levels– however with wonderful accuracy and obedience.

Fourth level dressage horses need to be light and raised on the forehand, and frequently appear as though they are “floating” throughout certain workouts.

This floating impact is developed by a fantastic degree of strength and power from the horse’s hindquarters, and a deep intuitive connection between horse and biker. This is why top-level dressage horses usually execute best with one biker, however are then unable to attain the same levels of success with one more.

Dressage is a true partnership between horse and cyclist, and dressage at one of the most advanced levels of competitors is a representation of that bond of horsemanship and training.

Movements Required

  • All strides functioning and collected, half-steps in trot, prolonged trot and canter, exceptional extensive and collected canter.
  • Transitions from gathered to extended (and back once again) in trot, canter, and stroll.
  • Counter-canter 10m half-circles.
  • 30- level half-pass, counter change of hand in trot, half-pirouette in canter, many flying lead modifications.
  • Advanced movements of piaffe and flow.

Whether you’re thinking of presenting your horse to dressage, or you just want even more info on the sporting activity, the United States Dressage Federation and the FEI (Federation Equestre International) have tons of details on their internet sites where you can discover even more about the complexities of dressage levels.

Any individual can take advantage of doing some dressage training with their horse, but it takes years to absolutely understand the competitors circuit and end up an Advanced Level champion!


a man who likes horses and loves all about horses

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