Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New dressage tests!

The USEA has announced the new 2014 eventing dressage tests!

Here's Beginner Novice A, and here's Beginner Novice B.

First, a moment of honesty: these aren't really all that different from previous tests. There's only so much you can do with a BN test and still be fair. So we get a 20m circle at the ends, and a 20m circle in the center, both directions, trot and canter, with some free walks/diagonals thrown in for kicks.

Things I like:
- BNA has the circle in front of the judge to the right, which is our best direction.
- BNA has eons of time to prepare for that turn down the center line.
- BNB has a free walk down the long side: all the marching, none of the steering
- BNB has two diagonals at the working trot, which are a really great opportunity to show of a nice forward trot.
- They do read as really different tests, and BNB has just enough extra complexity to make it a nice B option

Things I don't like:
- BNA is nearly identical to every other circles-in-ends test ever written which means I am going to have trouble finding exactly the right spot for transitions.
- BNA has some fairly quick transitions from canter to working trot to center line which could cause some seriously wonky centerlines and clearly tests should be written so I have all the time in the world to prepare for the things that come up next, right?
- BNB has left lead circles first, sigh, goodbye points.
- BNB actually has a worse transition to the centerline and it puts the free walk at the very end of the test. So you go from working trot to medium walk to free walk to medium walk to working trot all on one half of the arena. That is going to end in tears more than once.
- Neither test has my beloved broken center line. I freaking loved that thing. Way easier than getting a green horse to go straight to C, much softer line all around. *sadface*


  1. Ha, I think you're the only person who likes that broken centerline! Which has always confused me. Yeah, the arrow-straight long centerline should be gift points, but nobody (yours truly included) rides it as well as they think they do. Broken line not staring straight into the judge's box and 20m short end is much more forgiving when you need forgiveness, and we all need a little forgiveness now and again.

    Free walk down a long side is interesting -- never seen that before in a test, but no reason why not and viva variety!

    Not that it matters, but looks like they really are holding the Training tests identical from 2011? Weak. The T3D test is pretty good, even with that brutal end-of-test lengthening/working/stretchy-circle sequence, but A is ridiculous and B is uninspired. Meh.

    1. We rocked that broken center line. It breaks right at the point where a green horse is starting to get squirrelly about the judge and it is basically a gift moment to bend and get your horse together if the center line is not living up to expectations.

      I haven't ever seen a free walk down a long side, either, but I really do like it! Just keep marching and keep the arena on one side. Gooooo!

      I did see that about the Training tests, c'mon, that feels a bit lazy to me, especially since I've heard so many people complaining about Training A you'd think they could have done something? You have so much more to work with at Training!


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