Gettin' crazy up in here
Training level is pretty basic, right? You walk, trot, and canter, plus free walk, stretchy trot, and direction changes in the trot. Basically it's like a couple circles and arena laps and off you go.
So first level. How hard can it be?
I read the scary box labeled "PURPOSE" first.
"To confirm that the horse demonstrates correct basics, and in addition to the requirements of training level, has developed the thrust to achieve improved balance and throughness and maintains a more consistent contact with the bit."
Hm, ok. Correct basics now with more forward. Not sure about this throughness thing, but Dressage Queens talk about it, so maybe we'll figure it out as we go along. And hey! Our contact is roughly 19.5x better now than it was last year.
But then each test introduces new movements. Conveniently, there is another text box at the top of the test that tells you what to expect to be added to the previous set of movements it's assumed you can do.
|you know what they say about assumptions|
10m half circles at trot
15m circle in canter
lengthening of stride in trot and canter
A couple deep breaths, right? Half circles are something we've worked on. I know we can do the 15m circle. The lengthenings aren't there, but Courage is getting stronger and more broke and we're going to need those canters to jump anyways, yeah? We can probably do this.
Then USEF First Level Test 2:
I've been leg yielding horses since I was a kid. This seems pretty innocuous. OR WELL. IT DID, but then I was watching Marissa's youtube channel because I needed to see the tests (bear in mind, I haven't actually READ them yet) and I realized that the harmless lil' "leg yield" is actually LEG YIELD FROM THE WALL TO X AND THEN ALL THE WAY BACK ON ONE LONG SIDE LIKE SOME SORT OF LATERAL BEASTMODE CRAZY PERSON.
I don't really have the capacity to react more than that. Pretty freaking intense if you ask me. I was hoping that move was reserved for like "people who are actually good at this" and not just "people who are starting out but a little bit terrified right now".
So there's that. But maybe we can still figure this out, right? I mean. A year+ of prep, right? It's only first level, right? I want this, right?
|back when we could ride outside|
10m circle at trot
Change of lead through the trot
COUNTER CANTER WUT
Uh yeah so for some reason I was laboring under the misconception that Counter Canter was like a 2nd level move? No. Apparently first level. And 10m is not very many meters on a 16+ hand Thoroughbred OH AND if you go watch Marissa do the 1-3 test, her change of lead through the trot is like one stride and perfect. ONE STRIDE.
I'm over here like "on our good days, he doesn't try to kill me when we canter" and OMG BRAIN OVERLOAD.
|just because i like this picture|
So maybe there's hope?