Preparing for Third level, Test 2 movements
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, October 13, 2018 11:51 AM
In the Third level Test 2 we have to ride a sequence of movements in canter that presents a challenge to sensitive horses who like to anticipate things. The sequence goes like this: K - walk to collected canter - A turn on the centerline - DR half pass right - between RM flying change of lead - HK medium canter - K collected canter - A turn on the center line - DS half pass left - between SH flying change. For Regala this sequence was hard to execute and stay calm and relaxed. After extended walk it can be difficult to bring a horse up on the aids for canter transition and immediately turn on the center line without creating unnecessary arousal and tightness. Plus canter can lack engagement and balance. Working with this challenge I modified the sequence to help my horse stay calm and relaxed.
The sequence:
  • Pick up canter earlier than K to allow your horse to settle into the canter, 10 m circle in the corner to work on bending, turn on the centerline and half-pass back to the wall but instead of flying change do a simple change through walk. This teaches your horse to listen and wait instead of anticipate exciting flying change. Walk through short side and pick up canter at H, stay in collected canter instead of doing medium. Do a 10 m circle in the corner. Turn on the centerline and half pass left, between SH simple change.
  • If previous sequence goes well I start picking up right lead closer to K, I will pick up left lead at C and do moderate medium canter between HK but I will still do simple changes after half passes. I may leave circles out and go directly into half-passes or keep circles depending on the quality of the turn on the center line.
  • Then after all feels calm, fluid and obedient I will puck up right canter at K and add flying changes after half passes. What I want to feel before flying change that my horse thinking of a walk transition because she likes to anticipate :) comes back to me nicely from my half halt instead of getting tense. Now I can ask for a flying change :)
The above sequence can be modified to your horse's needs. Ask yourself - what lessons you want your horse to learn or where are the most challenging parts of the test? For example with Santo it works very well to counter canter through the first corner after a half pass and then do a flying change. Counter canter for Santo helps him with rebalancing and making him wait instead of getting ahead of me with a crooked change.
You can play with the steepness of your half pass and finish it at E or B and then make your horse wait for you on the wall for a flying change. My ring is small. If it was 60x20 I would do that with Regala. I do that kind of work in a field where I have room. You can also ask for more bend or less bend, more collection, less collection. Such changes help to teach your horse ridability. When your horse is ridable changing something inside the movement will not feel like a big deal and your horse mentally learned to accept that.
Some horses will take a while to settle into the demands of the Third level work. It can be easy to ride each element of the tests on it's own but putting them together is a different story. Working through modified sequences helps you create a strategy for the show - how to warm up your horse for the test, how to ride through the test working on each moment, each element, feeling like you have all the time in the world to do it. Then it feels easy... :)
Happy riding...
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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