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Fri, 2013-02-01 15:25

An Explanation of Requirements In USEF 2010 Preminary Dressage Test A, Movement 6; and FEI 2009 One-Star Dressage Test A, Movement 3

Authored By: Sally O'Connor

stretchdown_web2.jpgBased on the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, I am making this attempt to sort out the confusion on the USEF 2010 Preliminary Dressage Test A, Movement 6; and FEI 2009 One-Star Dressage Test A, Movement 3.

 

Based on the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, I am making this attempt to sort out the confusion on the above two movements. In Training level tests A and B, we ask for a circle letting the horse stretch completely forward and down. This is an accepted way to loosen the horse’s back while maintaining the rhythm and balance. *
The next  stage of training comes when the horse is reliably on the bit. If the horse is properly on the bit and stretched to contact, it will follow the rider’s hand. If the rider either elongates the arm by giving forward or lets the reins slide through the fingers, while still keeping contact, the horse should  reach out and slightly down.Ideally the head should not go below the point of the shoulder during this movement. Then the rider can reshorten the reins and return to the normal position of the head.The FEI test (CCI & CIC) asks for the lengthening for one horse’s length. We felt this was a little vague so specified the distance at 5 meters which is about the same thing.
The next stage in the training of the horse is to have the horse in enough self carriage so that the rider can completely give the reins and have the horse remain in the same position and balance.

I hope that this explanation clears up the mystery.

*based on the theories of Christoff Hess

*Originally published in 2010, this explanation has been reposted for your convenience. 

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