This month's tests are Test 3: Trot Test 1, Test 9: Canter Test 1, Rising Stars Lead Rein Test and Freestyle Test.
This month's tests are all about transitions. They are the first tests in the series which introduce a new gait. When trot, or canter, are first introduced, we introduce them in short spells, with the emphasis being on the transition. A good, balanced transition sets the horse up for a balanced trot or canter. A quality transition leads to the first few steps of the new gait being balanced. At this stage, it's about quality not quantity - we don't expect the horse to maintain the new gait for very long, so bring him back down a gait before we lose the quality.
Trot Test 1 Half ten metre walk circles set the horse up with balance and correct bend, and from this, a number of walk-trot-walk transitions are carried out. The trot is slow and the rider remains in sitting trot. The horse maintains the trot for only a few strides, and therefore learns to balance himself in preparation for the walk transition. This results in a correct and balanced trot, which the rider can sit to, and which the horse is able to maintain for just the few steps asked of him.
Canter Test 1 We first introduce the canter when the horse is balanced in trot and has done some lateral work. The horse should be established in trot leg yield, and able to perform leg yield and shouler-in in walk. The test uses walk-trot-walk transitions to balance the horse and get him really well on the aids. Then a trot - canter transition is executed - one on each rein. The canter is maintained for just a few strides before bringing the horse back to trot.
Rising Stars Lead Rein Test has its own separate mark scheme, and aims to encourage quiet, beautiful riding and considerate attitude to the horse. It is designed for young riders or those with special needs, but can be entered by anybody.
Freestyle Test is an opportunity to show off what you and your horse enjoy doing. You can design your own test or ride any test that you are working towards. Choose 10 movements within the test that you would like to be assessed on, and write them down in the sheet provided. Each movement is judged on synchronisation and aids (this is measured by how you look at one with the horse, with invisible aids and elegant riding) and correctness and accuracy (basically how well the movement is executed). The test can be ridden with or without music.
Each test is available for a small arena (20m x 40m) or a large arena (20m x 60m). If using a large arena, instructions are included on how to convert it to a small arena, using the existing letters to ride the test.
Each test comes with an advice sheet, which explains how to ride the movements.
Please click on the link below to download your chosen test.