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Introductory Level Dressage

Introductory Level Dressage is the very beginning of the horse and rider's development. The purpose of the Introductory Level is to introduce the rider and/or horse to the sport of dressage. To show understanding of riding the horse forward with a steady tempo into an elastic contact with independent steady hands and a correctly balanced seat. To show proper geometry of figures in the arena. It is also to confirm that the horse is supple and moves freely forward in a clear and steady rhythm, accepting contact with the bit.This level is done primarily at the walk and trot with some basic canter work being introduced in the Introductory Level Test C.

New in 2011, the introductory level is comprised of 3 tests. Tests A & B include walk and trot work. Test C introduces a small amount of canter work. They contain mainly straight lines and 20m circles in medium walk, free walk and rising trot. Introductory test C has approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of a 20 meter canter circle in each direction. These movements are designed to show the horses ability to perform the required movements in a willing, supple way. The horse and rider are judged on the following:

  • Gaits (freedom and regularity)
  • Impulsion (desire to move forward, elasticity of the steps, suppleness of the back, engagement of the hindquarters)
  • Submission (attention & confidence, lightness and ease of movements; acceptance of the bridle, lightness of the forehand)
  • Rider's position and seat
  • Rider's correct and effect use of the aides
  • Harmony between rider and horse.

These elements are necessary as the horse and rider progress to more difficult levels.

Introductory Level Dressage Required Movements:

Medium walk
Free Walk
Working Trot - rising - 20 meter circles & changing of rein across the diagonal
Canter - on the 20 meter circle, Introductory Level C only
Halts - halt through walk

Introductory Level Dressage Video Clips & Tests Shown Below

(These tests are based on the 2011 USDF Dressage Tests.)

Video Clips
Introductory Level Tests

Introductory Level Dressage - Test A

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Introductory Level Dressage - Test A

1
A - Enter working trot rising
Between X & C - Medium walk
2

C - Track Right
M - Working trot rising

3
A- Circle right 20 meters, working trot rising.
4
KXM - Change rein.
5
C - Circle left 20 meters, working trot rising.
6
Between C & H - Medium walk
7
HXF - Free walk.
8
F-A - Medium Walk.
A - Down centerline.
9
X - Halt and Salute

Leave Arena in free walk. Exit at A.

Introductory Level Dressage - Test B

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Introductory Level Dressage - Test B
2011 USDF Dressage Tests

1
A - Enter working trot rising
X - Halt through medium walk, Salute
Proceed working trot rising
2
C - Track Left working trot rising
3
E - Circle Left 20m, working trot rising
E - Straight Ahead
4
Between K & A - Medium walk
5
F-E - Free walk
6
E-H - Medium Walk
7
Between H & C - Working Trot Rising
8
B - Circle right 20 meters, working trot rising
9
A - Down Centerline
X - Halt through medium walk, Salute

Leave Arena in free walk. Exit at A.

Introductory Level Dressage - Test C

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Introductory Level Dressage - Test C
2011 USDF Dressage Tests

1
A - Enter working trot rising
X - Halt through medium walk, Salute
Proceed working trot rising
2
C - Track Right working trot rising
3
B- Circle Right 20m
4
A - Circle Right 20 meters developing working canter in first quarter ofthe circle, right lead
Before A - Working trot rising
5
transition in and out of canter

6

KXM - Change rein, working trot rising.
7
E - Circle Left 20 meters
8
A - Circle Left 20 meters developing working canter in first quarter ofthe circle, left lead
Before A - Working trot rising
9
Transition in and out of canter
10
Between F & B - Medium walk
11

B - H - Free walk

H - Medium walk

12
Between C & M - Working trot rising to A.
13
A - Down Centerline
G- Halt through medium walk, Salute

Leave Arena in free walk. Exit at A.

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