"On the Levels is a three disk DVD showing the dressage tests from the perspective of the judge and the instructor with scoring, judge's comments and training tips."
Okay, I copied that from the front of the package, but it's kind of need to know info. What all that means is that every 2011 test, Introductory A through Fourth Level, Test 3 is ridden at a show, or at least staged to resemble an actual show.
An audio track of commentary and scores for each movement is added to the video by Judge Gary Rockwell, FEI "O" 5* and USEF "S" Judge. His final score is also included.
On a separate disk, the same video footage of each test is included with a different audio track. This one is done by Lilo Fore, FEI "I" 4* and USEF "S" Judge and trainer. She narrates the test from the perspective of a trainer. She also pauses the tests to offer lengthier explanations of what needs to be corrected.
Disk Three, the one I've been watching, has a menu feature that allows you to select the test level that you'd like to watch. There is then a second menu that allows you to select which actual test that you want to see. During the test, Lilo narrates the ride. At the end of the test she gives a summary of the ride praising the horse and rider for what went well and then offers advice for what needs to be improved.
Of course all of this is done kindly. Since this is the fifth version of the DVD, I am sure that future versions wouldn't happen if the judge and trainer were overly critical of the riders. And from what I can see, the riders aren't professionals and are clearly making some of the very same mistakes that I am.
Overall I am quite pleased with the quality of the DVD. The footage is of good quality, the narration is loud enough to hear, and text of the test movements is even displayed on the screen. My only complaint was that at the end of the Introductory C test, there seems to be a slight glitch in the DVD as I am not able to return to the main menu. It seems to work well for the other parts of the DVD that I have seen. So far it has been worth the 40 bucks.
More on the Introductory Test tomorrow ...