Dressage Test Movements Medium to PSG Level

British Dressage have a defined a number of dressage tests at each level within the sport. There is a general rule of thumb that you should be competing at one level but training at the level above. This web page lists the movements at each level so that you can quickly and easily see the movements required at the next level up without having to spend time going through all the dressage tests at the next level up.

The levels are split over three pages:

  1. Prelim to Medium – click to go to this page
  2. Medium to PSG – this page … see below !
  3. Small, Medium & Big Tour (PSG and above) – click to go to this page

Flying Changes

One of my highlights of recent dressage training was teaching my horse to perform changes. I knew how to ride changes but I had never taught a horse changes so with the assistance of my trainer, Hayley Watson-Greaves, we taught Razz changes. The next big challenge will be to do a test which includes changes!

This diagram shows how changes are introduced at the different levels:

Dressage Movements Medium to PSG - Changes

Medium tests includes simple changes, through walk, and “proper” flying changes in canter are introduced in Advanced-Medium tests. The most complex changes, in my opinion, are on the serpentine but they are also required after a half pass as well as on, the more conventional, diagonal.

Tempi changes, where the horse changes lead several times across the diagonal after a specified number of strides on each lead, are not introduced until Advanced level tests. In Advanced and PSG tests changes are required at most every 3 strides. One-time changes, change every stride, is a complex movement and is therefore only required until the most advanced tests above PSG level.

Although one-time changes are not required in the PSG test the complexity of the movements in this test is demonstrated by the following sequence of movements:

(1) half pass to centre line (2) change (3) half pass back to track (4) change.

Entrance

Its only a small element of the test but you know the test is advanced when you see the horse entering the arena in canter. In Advanced-Medium tests and above you will always enter in canter and some of the more advanced Medium tests also require you to enter in canter.

Dressage Movements Medium to PSG - Entrance

Lateral Movements

The Half Pass is performed extensively at these levels in both trot and canter:

Qualification Checker Advert
Dressage Movements Medium to PSG - Lateral

Half Passes are generally performed either to or from the centre line with half pass across the full width of the arena only required at Advanced-Medium.

In Advanced tests a movement requires a half 5m circle with the quarters-in followed by a half pass. Although this sounds complex I suspect that this rides quite well. I will try this on Razz … and I will probably find it is much more complex than it sounds because the circle is so small!

Pirouettes and Circles

Pirouettes in walk are required in all tests from Medium to PSG and in canter for the PSG test.

Dressage Movements Medium to PSG - Circles

Pirouettes in Medium tests include the easier large pirouette which requires less collection because the hind legs are permitted to make a half circle of 1 metre in diameter. In a proper pirouette, in either canter or walk, the inside hind leg describes a circle that is as small as possible with the other legs making a circle around the inside hind leg.

In all the tests at these levels you are required to ride 10m circles in both trot and canter. Additionally the even smaller 8m circle, also known as volte, is required in Advanced-Medium and PSG tests.

Paces

Tests at these levels require you to be able to show collected, medium and extended in walk, trot and canter.

Dressage Movements Medium to PSG - Paces

Equine Videographer AdvertThe walk is an important pace so there is often a separate mark for the quality of the walk that is in addition to the mark for performing the walk movement. At PSG there is also a mark for the quality if the transitions into and out of the extended trot.

Counter Canter is required at Medium but is then not required again until PSG. Lower levels that Medium also require counter canter but only on the straight. At Medium and above counter canter is also required either on 20m circles or around the short side of the arena.

Transitions

The following table shows which tests require a direct transition from one pace to a pace that is not the next pace up or down.

Dressage Movements Medium to PSG - Transitions

These direct transitions require a high degree of collection to be able to perform them correctly. In my opinion the most difficult direct transition is canter to halt which is required at all levels. This is one that I certainly need to include in my training.

Tests above PSG

Click to read the final article in this series which covers PSG and above.

Share