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Dressage Tests: Order of training At the top of each dressage test sheet by Equestrian Australia, there is a summary explaining what is expected of the horse at each level. It is a great resource as a guide to the order of training and to help keep you focussed on what it is you are trying to achieve. It is interesting to note that the words ‘on the bit’ are not mentioned until Elementary Level. Preliminary 1A 2009

Purpose: To confirm that the horse's muscles are supple and loose and that it moves freely forward in a clear and steady rhythm, accepting contact with the bit.

Novice 2A 2009

Purpose: To confirm that the horse, in addition to the requirements of Preliminary, has developed thrust (pushing power) and achieved a degree of balance and throughness. Introduce: 15m circle in canter; lengthening of stride in trot.

Novice 2B 2009 Introduce: Leg yield in trot and lengthening of stride in canter.

Novice 2C 2009 Introduce: Change of lead through trot.

Novice 2D 2009 Introduce: 10m circle at trot; counter canter.

Elementary 3A 2009

Purpose: To confirm that the horse, having demonstrated that it has achieved the thrust (pushing power) required in Novice, now shows that through additional training it accepts more weight on the hindquarters (collection), shows the uphill tendency required at the medium paces and is reliably on the bit. A greater degree of straightness, bending, suppleness, throughness, balance and self- carriage is required than at Novice. Introduce:10m circle at canter; medium paces; shoulder-in; simple change and rein back.

Elementary 3B 2009 Introduce: Travers.

Elementary 3C 2009 Introduce: Turn on the haunches.

Elementary 3D 2009 Introduce: Renvers.

Medium 4A 2009

Purpose: To confirm that the horse, having demonstrated that it has begun to develop the uphill balance required in Elementary, now demonstrates increased engagement in each movement especially in medium and extended paces and in the transitions to/from collected movements - rhythm, suppleness, acceptance of the bit, throughness, balance, impulsion, straightness and collection. There must be a clear distinction within the paces. Introduce: Extended paces, half pass at trot, single flying change, inside rein release at canter.

Medium 4B 2009 Introduce: Half pass at canter, 8m circle at trot.

Medium 4C 2009 Introduce: Release of both reins at canter.

Advanced 5A 2009

Purpose: To confirm that the horse has achieved the requirements of Medium Level. These are tests of medium difficulty designed to confirm that the horse has acquired a high degree of suppleness, impulsion, throughness, plus a clear uphill balance and lightness while always remaining reliably on the bit and that its movements are straight, energetic and cadenced with the transitions precise and smooth. Introduce: Collected walk, very collected canter, counter change of hand in trot, walk pirouettes.

Advanced 5B 2009 Introduce: Working pirouettes in canter, tempi changes every fourth stride, shoulder-in on centreline.

Advanced 5C 2009

Introduce: Half-pirouettes in canter, tempi changes every third stride.


Dressage Training in Australia