First Level Dressage continues to develop the horse’s suppleness by adding lengthening of stride, 15m circles, single loops and leg yielding. These movements are also excellent indicators of the development of the horse’s balance and throughness, as well as his ability for forward movement through thrust (i.e. – lengthening of stride). Here is where they develop the necessary skills, training and musculature to perform the advanced level movements of the higher levels.
First Level is comprised of 3 tests. Rider’s may also choose to perform a Musical Freestyle at this level. These tests include walk, trot and canter work. They also contain leg yielding, single loops, lead changes through trot and smaller circles demonstrate the horse’s balance and reponsiveness. These movements also illustrate the advancement of the horse’s suppleness from the Training level. The horse and rider must demonstrate their ability to effectively perform these movements because they are the pre-cursor to the shoulder-in, travers, rein-back, shortening of stride and collection required at Second Level.