Second Level Half Turns on Haunches
USEF ‘S’ Dressage Judge : FEI Trainer : AADA Founder
TRAINING THE MOVEMENTS SERIES
In Second Level test 3, there are 7 out of 27 movements which have coefficients. One movement is the free walk, which I covered in the first Training Level blog. This blog is about movements 13 and 14, the half turn on the haunches left and the half turn on the haunches right.
Specifically, Movement 13 reads “H turn left, Between G and M shorten the stride, half turn on the haunches left, proceed medium walk” Movement 14 reads “Between G and H shorten the stride, half turn on the haunches right. Proceed medium walk, M turn right”.
According to the USEF Rule Book, “The ‘turn on the haunches’ is executed out of medium walk prepared by half-halts to shorten the steps a little and to improve the ability to bend the joints of the hindquarters. The ‘turn on the haunches’ can be executed on a larger diameter (approximately one meter) than the pirouette in walk…”
The important thing to remember in a half turn on the haunches, is that it is still a walk. The rhythm must still be maintained in a clear 4 beats. ticking with one foot or more is a major fault and means the rhythm is lost. Often riders try to make the turn on the haunches too small for the horse’s ability and the activity and/or rhythm is lost. One meter is a large diameter so take advantage of the available size. However, if the horse and rider achieve a well performed smaller turn on the haunches, (closer to the quality of a half walk pirouette), that could be rewarded with a higher score. A step out against the rider’s outside leg is a fault. A turn on
the forehand and turn on middle does not meet the criteria of the movement and would receive a score of insufficient (4) or lower.
So let’s review what the judges look at in the directives on the test sheet for movement number 13. “Regularity and quality of the shortened walk strides”. This refers to the previous paragraph regarding rhythm. “Activity of the hind legs” This can also be thought of as the energy and liveliness of the hind legs in theturn itself.
“Bend and fluency in turn” This refers to the turn from H toward G and would be considered a modifier for the score. For instance if the horse performs a good or 8 pirouette, but in the turn comes above or behind the bit, the score could come down a half or a full point.
In movement 14, the directives are the same. What also is important, while not a coefficient movement is the medium walk before, in between and after the half turns on the haunches. The horse should still maintain the rhythm with strides where the hind feet clearly step over the prints of the front feet and the horse accepts the bits with elastic contact, supple poll, back and soft chewing mouth.
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