2010 Eventing Dressage Tests

Monday, November 23, 2009

So the new 2010 Dressage tests for Eventing came out earlier this month. I didn't really have a chance to look at them until just this past week. And I have to say so far I am not a fan. Beginner Novice Test A has the goofy center line from the Young Event Horse Tests. I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now. It's just awkward to ride. Plus the two changes in bend are rather difficult in that amount of space with either a green horse or an inexperienced rider. I don't really get the reasoning behind the change. I've heard it's because making the 10 meter half circle off the center line at C is too difficult. Well that argument is lost because you have to do 10 meter half circle to the center line at the end of the test. Others say it's because riding straight down to a trailer (where many judges sit in lower level HTs) is scary to a green horse. Again you have to ride down that center line at the end of the test. And my thought is this. You know that judges sit in trailers. Park your trailer in the ring and ride your horse up to it like you would in a test. Have someone else sit in the trailer, jump up and down in it, generally make lots of noise. I bet if you do that at home your horse won't bat an eye at an event. The USDF Introductory Tests have regular center lines and I haven't heard any problems. Beginner Novice Test B, well I don't really get why we can't do a full circle at the canter. I mean half of a 20 meter circle at the canter, that's hardly any time to show the gait. Oh and suddenly in Test B green horses can ride proper center lines? They don't need to veer off to the rail because a 10 meter half circle is too difficult?

By the time you get to Novice Test A the horse most have really gotten over that whole center line thing as you do two center lines right at the beginning of the test. I actually don't mind Novice A all that much. The canter work is different. Half circle E-B, picking up the canter as your approach B. But at least you still do a full circle at the canter. Novice Test B doesn't bother me until you get to the end. Dressage tests should be symmetrical, and so the walk should split up the trot and canter work. Not in Novice B, the walk doesn't come until the very end of the test. C medium walk. MXK free walk. K medium walk, A turn down center line, D working trot. G halt and salute. I don't like the fact the you begin your center line at the walk. By the time you ask for the trot, you are pretty much immediately stopping him again.

Training Test A isn't a bad test. I've never particulary cared for the stretching circles, but that's just me. Starts to ask for the lengthening at the trot, and even a little at the canter. Overall not a bad test for the level. Now on the other hand, Training Test B I have some issues with. Mainly the fact that it asks for a stretching circle just strides after you have done canter work!

I haven't looked to closely at the Prelim, Intermediate and Advanced tests. And I will mention that I haven't riden any of the tests completely yet. That will happen this weekend after we clear jump standards out of the arena so I can set up the dressage ring. But just from looking at the tests and my own personal knowledge of dressage moevements I have to say I think I prefered the old 2006 tests.