Every few years the USEF releases new dressage tests for eventing and 2018 marked the year in the cycle for new tests. FEI 4* Eventing Judge, Marilyn Payne, led the committee charged with designing the 2018 tests, shares some of the insight of why certain movements were incorporated into the new tests. All the new dressage tests can be viewed here.
Each level of competition has two test options: A and B. All A tests track left and all B tests track right.
Beginner Novice A: In movement #1 you enter at A at a working trot, continue to X and then go diagonally to M, and continue around the arena till E. In this way the green horses and riders never have to look the SCARY JUDGE in the eye! In movement # 13 (to end the test), you proceed past A and go diagonally from K to X and the turn down the centerline. This makes a much easier, more balanced turn for green horses.
Beginner Novice B: Movement # 1 has an identical start, but you now continue from X to H to C. For movement #3 and #8, ask for the canter depart on a circle in the center of the ring as you approach the rail. The helps prepare the horse for a balanced, calm transition.
Novice A: Movement #3 asks for a serpentine of two loops which encourages a smooth, flowing change of direction.
Novice B: Movement #7 asks for a stretch circle in the trot. Now riders can get extra points for correct training!
Training A: Movement #2 has an interesting change of direction with a 10-meter half circle left, followed by a 10-meter circle right. There is also a lengthening of the canter on a circle, the transition back is a separate, but it occurs while you are still on the circle. This helps the riders balance the horse before going straight on the long side.
Training B: Movements #2 and #3 have flowing 10-meter teardrop figures as well as similar lengthenings in canter as Test A.
Modified: There are now two Modified tests – A is in a small arena and B is in a large arena. This allows for a zig zag leg yield and other interesting movements.
Preliminary: All trot work may be rising or sitting. They also both have some interesting ideas, particularly in Preliminary B there is a counter-canter loop that now goes to X since it is in the large arena.
Intermediate A: Medium trot can now be performed rising or sitting.
Intermediate B: Now has a full three-loop serpentine and half-passes.
Advanced: A has little change from the previous years’ test, while B is more difficult and is a good preparation for the four-star tests.
Want to get some additional insight into the test-writing process and the new 2018 dressage tests? Watch Marilyn Payne's session on the new dressage tests from the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention!
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.
Trainers, riders, parents, and more are in for a real treat when the all-new USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is officially released. Those participating in the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first to set eyes on this all-encompassing guide that has been two years in the making.
The USEA established the Young Event Horse (YEH) program in 2004 to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. While the goal of the YEH program is to identify horses that will be successful at the four- and five-star levels, horses with the potential for lower-level success are also showcased by the program.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.