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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Forsell

Collectives Remarks on Your Dressage Test: Gaits


I just attended the C session of the USDF L Program as an auditor this time, for my continuing education as a USDF L Graduate.

The focus of this session was on the collective remarks at the end of the test.

The collective remarks are another chance for the judge to send a message to the rider to let them know where the weaker areas are in the test.

Each section gets a score, gaits, impulsion, submission, rider (think equitation), and rider effect of the aids.

This week, let's talk about the gaits score.

I know what you’re thinking, this is rewarding the horse with the fancier gait and how can you compete with that?

Well, it can be a little, but it’s only one box out of many considered in your final percentage.

The gait score is important because it can tell you if there is a problem with a gait, which can indicate a hole in your training.

The gaits are also considered in each movement because correct rhythm or footfalls is the most important thing (basics).

Let’s just say, a fault in rhythm is a big deal.

Most of the time, my gait score starts with a 7 (fairly good).

A 7 on gaits means that the horse has good rhythm in all three gaits and has fairly good freedom in his body.

If there is a rhythm fault in one or more gaits, the score goes down accordingly and if there are other problems, like a very flat canter, or a walk that doesn’t over track it will also go down, but as severely as a rhythm fault.

Gaits that are above average and have more freedom, the score will go up.

Keep following along if you want to know more about how dressage tests are judged!

Don't forget to head to over to Dressage To Go to get all of my exercises to ride along to and improve your gaits!


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