- Horse Training

Dressage ranges in Britain and the US defined

  • When competing at or coaching for dressage, whether or not you’ve a younger or established horse, the general goal is to make use of the scales of coaching to work your means up by means of the dressage ranges.

    Every of the degrees of dressage options various completely different dressage assessments. Every take a look at is exclusive, however assessments inside the identical degree share the identical actions. As you progress by means of the degrees, assessments will embody actions and paces learnt at earlier ranges in addition to the brand new ones which might be launched at every stage.

    Many riders compete at one degree, however practice at a better degree at dwelling. This ensures that the horse and rider are assured with the actions being ridden in competitors, giving the partnership the chance to show their expertise to the most effective of their means.

    Ranges of dressage competitors in Britain

    The game in Britain is ruled by British Dressage, who’re liable for the supply and regulation of competitors, whereas worldwide competitions are run by the FEI. British Dressage host two main championships yearly at every degree, that are referred to as the Nationals (prelim to grand prix) and the Winters (prelim to inter I), in addition to many regional championships, festivals and different group competitions. 

    The British dressage ranges are as follows…


    “Intro” is the primary degree and consists of halt, plus easy stroll and trot actions, together with free stroll on an extended rein, trot-walk-trot transitions, 10m circles at stroll, half 10m circles at trot, 20m circles and three-loop serpentines at trot and permitting the horse to stretch in trot. The assessments are ridden in a 20×40 enviornment and designed to indicate that horse and rider are starting their coaching on right traces, with an emphasis on rhythm, suppleness and contact.


    Canter is launched at “prelim” degree. You must anticipate to trip 20m circles in canter, 15m circles in trot in addition to stretching in trot, plus 10m half circles at stroll. The entire work requires the partnership to indicate they’re establishing rhythm, suppleness and an excellent contact. Checks at this degree may be set in 20×40 and 20×60 arenas.


    Novice assessments introduce some medium trot and medium canter steps, however the high quality of the steps is prioritised over the variety of steps proven. Novice additionally sees the introduction of counter canter and progressive transitions from stroll to canter when just a few strides of trot could also be proven. In trot, circles of 10m or bigger in addition to serpentines, are required. Canter circles may be 15m or bigger. Giving and retaking of the reins, 10m loops in trot, and modifications of canter lead by means of trot may be anticipated.  The scales of coaching needs to be changing into extra established, together with rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and the beginning of assortment proven by means of the downward transitions.


    This degree is the primary that requires the early levels of assortment to be proven within the type of ample engagement of the hindquarters to hold out the actions with ease and stability. Elementary is the primary degree to introduce lateral work with the leg yield in trot. You’ll even be required to trip collected trot, collected canter, stretching in canter and easy modifications. Canter circles may be right down to 10m. Within the easy change of leg, the downward transition could also be progressive, however stroll to canter needs to be direct with the stroll steps clearly proven. Rein again is first seen at elementary degree. Double bridles are first allowed at this degree, though they aren’t obligatory.


    As soon as at medium degree all the scales of coaching needs to be established, with the horse exhibiting suppleness, elasticity and impulsion to have the ability to accumulate and lengthen its paces on request. The horse ought to present a marked diploma of self-carriage, lightness and cadence. Prolonged trot and stroll pirouettes are first seen at medium. Extra lateral work is required together with shoulder-in, travers, and half cross at trot and canter are additionally launched. Medium is the primary degree at which sitting trot is necessary, though you may rise for medium and prolonged trot actions.

    Superior medium

    Count on to see single flying modifications at superior medium, and the introduction of 8m circles (or voltes) which might be ridden at trot and canter. Sitting trot is required for all trotwork at this degree.


    This degree requires you to trip canter half circles with the quarters in as a stepping stone in the direction of canter pirouettes, plus four- and five-time tempi modifications. At superior degree you’ve the choice to start carrying a tail coat as an alternative of a quick competitors jacket. All take a look at are within the 20×60 enviornment.

    Prix st georges

    Typically shortened to PSG, this degree marks the beginning of worldwide competitors. It introduces the half canter pirouette, three-time tempi modifications and easy modifications of leg after a canter half cross (from counter canter to true canter).

    Intermediate I

    At “inter I”, anticipate to trip two-time tempi modifications and a full canter pirouette.

    Intermediate II

    “Inter II” introduces one-time tempi modifications, flying modifications after a half cross, piaffe and passage.

    Grand prix

    That is the very best degree of dressage and is considered the final word take a look at. That is the extent you’ll see on the Olympics, World Championships and FEI World Cup competitions.

    US dressage ranges

    Nationwide degree dressage competitors is ruled by the United States Equestrian Federation. There are 5 ranges of nationwide assessments, that are adopted by worldwide ranges.


    Akin to prelim in Britain, at this degree opponents ought to present the horse has true pure paces, is obedient, calm and relaxed. The USEF states that the extent ought to “introduce the game of dressage, confirming that the horse and rider are starting to develop an understanding of right dressage fundamentals. The horse needs to be ridden freely ahead in a gradual tempo and clear rhythm, accepting contact with the bit. An understanding of take a look at accuracy and geometry needs to be demonstrated.”


    Akin to British novice degree, at first degree the horse ought to now be capable of present some lengthened strides within the trot and canter and carry out some 10 or 15 metre circles in trot and canter. The USEF states that degree goals to make sure “the horse demonstrates right fundamentals, by exhibiting suppleness each laterally and longitudinally, shifting freely ahead in a transparent rhythm with a gradual tempo, and readily accepting contact with the bit. Right geometry and features of journey needs to be proven.”


    This degree, which has similarities to the British elementary degree, introduces collected trot and canter, counter canter and rein-back. Based on the USEF, this degree “confirms that the horse demonstrates right fundamentals, and now begins to simply accept extra weight on the hindquarters because the collected and medium gaits develop. A larger diploma of straightness, suppleness, throughness, and stability are required to carry out the actions with ease and self-carriage.”


    Akin to medium and superior medium, the actions at this degree needs to be executed with out pressure. It introduces the stroll half pirouettes and flying modifications. The extent, based on the USEF, “confirms that the horse demonstrates right fundamentals whereas sustaining constant uphill stability and self-carriage. Elevated engagement facilitates clear variations in collected, medium, and prolonged gaits with well-defined, balanced transitions. Actions needs to be achieved with concord and ease as a result of elevated stability and assortment. The horse should show a larger diploma of throughness, suppleness, straightness, and bending.”


    At this degree, which has similarities to superior degree in Britain, half and full pirouettes are required in canter, and counter-canter and four-time modifications are additionally anticipated. The USEF says that this degree exhibits that the horse “has developed ample throughness, suppleness, stability, and impulsion to carry out with ease the workout routines at this medium degree of issue. The horse has established constant self-carriage and lightness by means of improved connection, engagement, and assortment. The actions and transitions are carried out with larger straightness, impulsion, and cadence.”

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