Tips from USDF Certified Instructors!

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Emma Smith a USDF Certified Instructor at Training – First Level.

We asked our USDF Certified Instructors:” What is one piece of advice you would give to your students as they are getting ready to move up to the next level?”  Here, a few of them share their best tips for success!

“Many riders are so focused on the new movements that they forget to ‘ride the short side’ – that is, to have the horse in the new posture and energy level required.”

-Katherine Nelson, USDF Certified Instructor through Second Level

“Don’t confuse collection with going slower, and medium/extended gaits with going faster, running, or getting hurried.”

-Corinna Scheller Fleming, USDF Certified Instructor Training-First Level

“I would encourage them to read the US Equestrian rules for dressage. There is a plethora of information, including definitions of the expectations at each level as well as for the movements. So often, competitors, and even trainers, have never actually read the rules.”

-Mary Mahler, USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level

“Stop trying to skip a level and move along quickly. Nail the highest test of each level before you move on. Any holes in your training will bite ya later!”

-Viviane Pilicy, USDF Certified Instructor through Second Level

“Read the directives and purpose on top of the test sheet and have a heart-to-heart talk with your instructor/trainer about what is there and what might still be missing.”

-Sabine Kallas, USDF Certified Instructor through Second Level

“Work with your trainer/instructor to establish realistic goals and a plan on how to achieve the goals that will help make you successful at the new level.”

-Ken Levy, USDF Certified Instructor Training-First Level

“You should always be training a level above the level you are showing so that when you go in the ring, the movements feel easy, and you can ride them with confidence.”

-Cathy Zappe, USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level

“Try riding the trickiest part of the test for you and your horse multiple times and measure your percent of success. If you can do the thing that has been holding you back from the level at least 50% of the time and all your basics are on track – go for it and have fun! Also, transitions, transitions, transitions…study them, improve them, do more of them, do more difficult combinations of them, do them more precisely – transitions will advance you and your horse!”

-Marina Parris Woodhead, USDF Certified Instructor through Second Level

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