The article starts off by reviewing the prerequisites for Second Level. While I hope to get to Second Level in the nearish future, I know I am not there yet. I am riding Training Level though and even schooling some First Level stuff. This article is perfect for the Training Level rider who wants to move up.
In order to move on to Second Level, Baumert presents a series of questions, "Within the requirements of Training Level, how do you stack up?"
- Does your horses move freely forward in a clear and steady rhythm (which includes regularity, tempo, freedom, and forwardness)?
- Is your horse supple?
- Does your horse accept contact with the bit?
For each of the three questions, Baumert gives very clear descriptions of what is meant by the question.
The article continues with a a review of First Level wherein Baumert asks, "Within the requirements of First Level, how do you stack up?"
- Has your horse developed thrust (pushing power/impulsion)?
- Have your horse's balance and thoroughness improved?
- Is the contact more consistent?
And again, each question is followed with a very easy to read description of what she means.
For the lower level rider, this is an excellent article. It's got a great nuts and bolts quality that makes it easy to understand and work on. As I read it, I was delighted to find that JL is working with me on every single one of the areas mentioned in the article. I never doubt her training strategies, but it is gratifying to know that a good foundation is not exclusive to dressage trainers. Excellent trainers can be found in any discipline!