First Level Test 3 Canter Loops
USEF ‘S’ Dressage Judge : FEI Trainer : AADA Founder
TRAINING THE MOVEMENTS SERIES
The next coefficient movements at First Level test 3 are the canter loops on the right lead and on the left.
The movements are #15 and #20. “K-X-H One loop maintaining the right lead” and “H-X-K One loop maintaining the left lead”
The directives state what the judge is reviewing as he/she watches this movement.
First “Regularity and quality of the canter” is listed in the directives on the test sheet. The canter should show a clear 3 beat rhythm with jump and activity. Often I see a horse change the rhythm to 4 beats over X as it becomes a counter canter.
Second, the judge looks at “shape and size of the loop.” The loop must be ridden to X with one straight stride at X with proper use of corners. A loop ridden only to the near quarter line makes this movement easier and the score will go down. If the rider goes past X and the horse loses balance, the score will also go down. But there are no extra points for riding past X and the horse maintaining balance as the judge will be looking at the precision. The corners, as in all corners of First Level, should be ridden as one quarter of a 10 meter circle.
Third, the judge will look at the “positioning.” This means that the poll is flexed in the direction of the canter lead. Counter flexion or over bending of the neck will bring the score down.
Finally the judge looks at the “balance.” The tricky part of this movement is that it comes after the canter lengthening and the return to the working canter at P or R. If the transition is unclear after the lengthening and the horse is still lengthening or rushed on the loop, the horse is not in balance and the score will not be in the high range. Sometimes a loss of balance is shown with a flying change or a break in gait. This will receive a score of insufficient or lower. Likewise if a beautifully rhythmic uphill balanced elastic horse ridden with accuracy is presented, the score could be very high.
Now watch the movement in the videos below
Until Next Time,
AADA was conceived by Lisa Schmidt, a USEF S dressage judge, USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist, coach to many successful Adult Amateurs and former USDF Region 1 Director. Her vision is to make the AADA an educational and community building resource to promote the AA in dressage.
Visit her on her training page at: Lisa K Schmidt