Working Equitation Dressage Trial

The first of the Working Equitation trials is the Dressage trial. During this trial, the horse and rider must ride a pattern of movements prescribed by the Dressage test for their level. The judge(s) score each movement on a scale of 0-10, and provide “Collective Marks” at the conclusion of the test for paces, impulsion, submission, rider, and presentation.

DRESSAGE SCORING SCALE

Working Equitation dressage horse haltingWorking Equitation uses a scoring rubric that parallels the scoring rubric used in traditional dressage competition, as follows:

10 – Excellent
9 – Very Good
8 – Good
7 – Reasonably Good
6 – Satisfactory
5 – Reasonable
4 – Insufficient
3 – Poor
2 – Bad
1 – Very Bad
0 – Failure to Perform

For movements in which there is at least one major problem in performance, the judge(s) will not award a score higher than 4. A score of 10 is rarely, if ever, awarded. Half points are allowed in the scoring.

Judges award their scores based on how well the horse and rider perform each movement against the requirements for that movement, irrespective of the tack or attire worn by the competitors. Horses riding in Western, English, or other tack will be judged according to the exact same standard and criteria.

There may be one to five judges at a Working Equitation competition, depending on the classification of the competition (B-Rated, A-Rated, Regional Championship, or National Championship).

THE DRESSAGE ARENA

The Dressage trial for Working Equitation competitions at all performance levels is held in a 40 meter by 20 meter short dressage court. Letters are used on the ouDressage Courttside of the arena to demarcate points for the dressage test. These letters from the center of the front short wall, clockwise, are: C, M, B, F, A, K, E, and H. When there is just one judge at a competition, he/she will sit behind letter C. Competitors enter at the opposite short side of the court, at A.

DRESSAGE TESTS AND MOVEMENTS

Each Working Equitation performance level has a prescribed Dressage test. As the horse and rider move up the levels, the difficulty of the movements required in the corresponding Dressage test increases. The ultimate goal of this training is to develop a horse with enough collection and engagement to perform the Masters level dressage movements and Ease of Handling and Speed obstacles with the rider riding one-handed.

  • Children’s Dressage Test – This level requires pairs to perform walk, free walk, trot, and halt. The rider may ride with one or two hands on the reins. Trot work may be performed rising or sitting.Working Equitation dressage canter
  • Introductory Dressage Test – This level requires pairs to perform walk, trot, halt, and rein back. The rider may ride with one or two hands on the reins. Trot work may be performed rising or sitting.
  • Novice A Dressage Test – This level requires pairs to perform walk, free walk, trot, canter, halt, and rein back. The rider may ride with one or two hands on the reins. Trot work may be performed rising or sitting.
  • Novice B Dressage Test – This level requires pairs to perform walk, free walk, leg yield at walk, half turn on haunches at walk, trot, canter, change of lead through trot, halt, and rein back. The rider may ride with one or two hands on the reins. Trot work should be performed sitting.
  • Intermediate A Dressage Test – This test requires pairs to perform walk, trot, canter, halt, and rein back, as well as collected  gaits and lateral movements in trot and half turn on haunches at walk. Change of lead should be done through walk (simple changes). The rider may ride with one or two hands on the reins. Trot work should be performed sitting.
  • Intermediate B Dressage Test – This test requires pairs to perform walk, trot, canter, halt, and rein back, as well as collected and extended gaits and lateral movements in walk (half pass) and trot (leg yield), half pirouettes at walk, and flying lead changes in canter. The rider may ride with one or two hands on the reins. Trot work should be performed sitting.
  • Advanced Dressage Test – This test requires pairs to perform walk, trot, canter, halt, and rein back. In addition, one must perform collected and extended gaits, lateral movements, half pirouettes at walk, and flying lead changes in canter. The rider must ride with one hand on the reins, and trot work should be performed sitting.
  • Masters Dressage Test – This test requires pairs to perform walk, trot, canter, halt, and rein back. In addition, horses and riders must perform extended gaits, pirouettes, lateral movements, and flying lead changes in canter. Movements are performed in a prescribed order, but not in prescribed locations within the arena. The horse and rider have 8 minutes to complete the dressage test, and must perform their dressage test to music of their choosing. The rider must ride with one hand on the reins, and trot work should be performed sitting.

DISQUALIFICATION FROM DRESSAGE TRIAL

A horse and rider will be disqualified from the Dressage trial for any of the following behaviors:

  • Failure to follow the prescribed Dressage pattern three times in one test
  • The horse exiting the arena before the conclusion of the Dressage test
  • Failure to enter the arena within 45 seconds of the judge ringing the bell
  • Lameness or blood on the horse

Last updated December 11, 2016.

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