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First Level Dressage

First Level Dressage continues to develop the horse's suppleness by adding lengthening of stride, 15m circles, single loops and leg yielding. These movements are also excellent indicators of the development of the horse's balance and throughness, as well as his ability for forward movement through thrust (i.e. - lengthening of stride). Here is where they develop the necessary skills, training and musculature to perform the advanced level movements of the higher levels.

First Level is comprised of 3 tests. Rider's may also choose to perform a Musical Freestyle at this level. These tests include walk, trot and canter work. They also contain leg yielding, single loops, lead changes through trot and smaller circles demonstrate the horse's balance and reponsiveness. These movements also illustrate the advancement of the horse's suppleness from the Training level. The horse and rider must demonstrate their ability to effectively perform these movements because they are the pre-cursor to the shoulder-in, travers, rein-back, shortening of stride and collection required at Second Level.

First Level Dressage Required Movements:

Medium walk
Free Walk
Trot - sitting or rising 20 meter circles & changing of rein across the diagonal, working & lengthening of stride, 1/2 circle 10m, leg yield, and the stretch down circle
Canter - 15m circle, working & lengthening of stride, change of lead through trot
Halts - trot to halt

Freestyle Requirements - maximum of 5 minutes in length
Total of 240 points (120 pts each for technical & artistic marks)
Walk - 20m minimum continuous free walk
Walk - 20m minimum continuous medium walk
Trot - 10m circle or smaller (no smaller than 8m) - must be performed on each rein
Leg-Yield in trot - must be performed on each rein
Lengthen Stride in Trot
Canter - 15m circle or smaller (no smaller than 10m) - must be performed on each rein
Change of lead through trot
Lengthen Stride in Canter
Halts - beginning & end of test
Forbidden movements:
rein back, shoulder in, travers, renvers, half pass, flying changes, turn on haunches, canter or walk pirouette, piaffe, passage.
Allowed movements: Counter canter, zig zag leg yield, leg yield along the wall, lengthen canter on 20m circle, canter serpentine, simple change, walk-canter-walk-canter, halt-canter-halt, all figures - including circles - regardless of size, trot circle (10m or smaller), canter circle (15m or smaller).


First Level Dressage Video Clips & Tests

(These tests are based on the 2014 USEF Dressage Tests.)

Video Clips
First Level Tests

First Level Dressage - Test 1
Test demonstrates 2011 First Level Test 1
2014 Test video coming soon

If you can't view this video, click here.

First Level Dressage - Test 1
(introduces 10m half circle at trot; 15m circle in canter; lengthening of stride in trot and canter.)

1
A - Enter working trot
X - Halt, Salute
Proceed Working Trot
2
C - Track Left
E-X - Half circle left 10m, returning to track at H
3
B-X - Half circle right 10m, returning to track at M
4
C - Circle left 20m rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward (X2)
Before C - Shorten the reins
C - Working trot
5

S-F - Change rein, lengthen stride in trot
F - Working trot

6
A - Medium walk
7
V-R - Change rein, free walk (X2)
R - Medium walk
8

M - Working trot (X2)
C - Working canter left lead

9
S-V - Lengthen stride in canter
10
V - Circle left 15m
Developing working canter in first half of circle
11
FXH - Change rein
X - Working trot
12
C - Working canter right lead
13
R-P - Lengthen stride in canter
14
P- Circle right 15m
Develop working canter in first half of circle
15
A - Working trot
16
V-M - Change rein, lengthen stride in trot
M - Working trot
17
E - Half circle left 10m
X - Down centerline
G - Halt, Salute
   

Leave Arena at A in free walk.

First Level Dressage - Test 2

Test demonstrates 2011 First Level Test 2
2014 Test video coming soon

If you can't view this video, click here.

First Level Dressage - Test 2
(introduces leg yield)

1
A - Enter working trot
X - Halt, Salute
Proceed Working Trot
2
C - Track Right
M-V - Change rein, Lengthen stride in trot
V - Working trot
3
K-D - Half circle left 10m
D-L - Working trot
4
L-M - Leg yield right (x2)
5
H-P - Change rein, Lengthen stride in trot
P - Working trot
6
F-D - Half circle right 10m
D-L - Working trot
7
L-H - Leg yield left
8

C - Medium walk

9

M-V - Change rein, free walk (X2)
V - Medium walk

10
K - Working trot
A - Working canter left lead
11
P - Circle left 15m
12
P-M - Lengthen stride in canter (x2)
13
Between M&C - Develop working canter
14
HXF - Change rein
X - Working trot
15
F - Working canter right lead
16
V - Circle right 15m
17
V-H - Lengthen stride in canter (X2)
18
Between H&C - Develop working canter
19

M - Working trot

20
B - Circle right 20m rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward (x2)
Before B - Shorten reins
B - Working trot
21
A - Down Centerline
X -
Halt, Salute

Leave Arena at A in free walk.

First Level Dressage - Test 3

Test demonstrates 2011 First Level Test 3
2014 Test video coming soon

If you can't view this video, click here.

First Level Dressage - Test 3
(Introduces 10m at trot; change of lead through trot & counter canter)

1
A - Enter working trot
X - Halt, Salute
Proceed Working Trot
2
C - Track Left
HXF - Change rein, lengthen stride in trot
F - Working trot

3

K-X - Leg yield right

4

X-H - Leg yield left

5

C - Circle right 20m rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward (x2)
Before C - Shorten the reins
C - Working trot

6

R - Circle right 10m

7

B - Turn right
X - Halt
Proceed working trot (x2)
E - Turn left
8
V - Circle left 10m
9
A - Medium walk

10

F-S - Change rein, free walk
S - Medium walk

(x2)

11

H - Working trot
C - Working canter right lead

12

C - Circle right 15m

13

M-P - Lengthen stride in canter

14

P - Working canter

15
KXH - One loop maintaining the right lead (x2)
16
MXK - Change rein
X - Change of lead through trot
17
A - Circle left 15m
18

F-R - Lengthen stride in canter

19
R - Working canter
20
HXK - One loop maintaining the left lead (x2)
21
A - Working trot
FXH - Change rein, lengthen stride in trot
H - Working trot
22
B - Half circle right 10m
X - Down centerline
G - Halt, Salute

Leave Arena at A in free walk.

First Level Dressage - Musical Freestyle

If you can't view this video, click here.

 

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