9 Seasons

Find training geared toward a specific level, from Intro to Grand Prix.

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  • 2023 Purpose of the Levels - Second Level

    Episode 1

    FEI 5* judge Janet Foy recites the Purpose of the Level for Second Level and discusses changes that were made to the Second Level tests.

  • 2023 Second Level Test 1

    Episode 2

    The 2023 Second Level Test 1 is demonstrated. Kari McClain scores and comments on the test.

  • 2023 Second Level Test 2

    Episode 3

    The 2023 Second Level Test 2 is demonstrated. Mike Osinski scores and comments on the test.

  • 2023 Second Level Test 3

    Episode 4

    The 2023 Second Level Test 3 is demonstrated. Kari McClain scores and comments on the test.

  • Balancing a Strong, Hot Horse Part 1

    Episode 5

    Steffen works with a rider on a sensitive horse that was previously a jumper. With a quick horse, it is okay to go a little below tempo in the trot to start. He suggests going slightly forward and slightly back focusing on keeping the same frame and not getting tense in the bridle. They do an exe...

  • Balancing a Strong, Hot Horse Part 2

    Episode 6

    They move into canter. On the circle they go forward a few strides and then back for a few strides. Steffen encourages the rider to work to develop a frame and tempo where she is able to soften the contact. Because the horse anticipates a flying change, they do slight counter canter and praise he...

  • Balancing a Strong, Hot Horse Part 3

    Episode 7

    They finish the ride with trot work where they do a controlled lengthening on the long side or diagonal into a halt transition. Steffen reminds the rider to use the rein to bend or for a half halt, but not to let the horse pull on the reins. In addition, the horse has to settle in the halt and no...

  • Warm-up to Improve the Connection

    Episode 8

    Laura rides her Arabian/Oldenberg mare that she has raised and trained herself. The mare has shown through Prix St. Georges but recently has been working more at the lower levels. The horse struggles the most with the connection because she can be busy in the mouth, hides from the connection and...

  • Connection in Shoulder-in

    Episode 9

    Laura works on improving the connection in the trot because the horse mouth is busy, and she is a little low in the poll. She works on shoulder-in and goes through the what, how and why of the rider aids and the horse responses. She demonstrates what happens when the rider body gets imbalanced in...

  • Second Level - Trot Transitions

    Episode 10

    In this ride, Laura points out that the horse is a little long in his body. Horses with this type of conformation, she says, often would rather go left and right instead of closing up their bodies. If that the case, transitions between and within the gaits can be very beneficial. The ability to m...

  • Second Level - Trot Leg Yield

    Episode 11

    When going from walk to trot, the rider should hold herself (and her horse) accountable for the trot she really wants and expect it right away. In the leg yield, when the horse moves to the side, he should not only move off the leg, but also fill up the outside rein. A few steps of leg yield can ...

  • Second Level - Canter Leg Yield

    Episode 12

    With this particular horse, the canter work is more advanced than the trot work. They start with canter leg yield making sure the horse doesnt surge forward, even if it means going less sideways. This exercise will help move the horse more into the outside rein and engage the hindlegs. This is th...

  • Second Level - Counter Canter

    Episode 13

    From the canter leg yield, they move into some counter canter. Counter canter should have the same balance as true canter. Typically a long horse wants to pull himself along with his front legs so he has to learn to make the hindlegs quicker. Meanwhile, the rider needs to make sure she is riding ...

  • Day 2 Second Level Turn on the Haunches

    Episode 14

    In the turn on the haunches, Laura wants the rider to feel like there is enough energy to go to trot. The hind legs have to be going up and down under the horse belly not sideways. The front legs are going around. As the circle gets smaller, the tempo and quality should stay the same.

  • Day 2 Second Level Trot Lengthening

    Episode 15

    Laura talks about building power for lengthening the gaits. She wants the rider to build the power to the hand from the hindquarters. The horse should wait forœpermission to go forward, and then the rider allows the forward movement. If the horse doesnt go forward, the horse needs an immediate co...

  • Day 2 Second Level Half Pass

    Episode 16

    To finish the ride, they work on schooling a half pass in trot. As they go on a line, Laura wants the horse bent but with enough energy that the rider feels like the horse is carrying her forward without the rider having to push for it. The movement is difficult because the horse has to go in the...

  • Day 2 Second Level Canter Lengthening

    Episode 17

    They take the same concepts from the trot lengthening to the canter lengthening. The length of the horse is controlled by the outside hind, and the rider closes her leg into a steady contact to come back. Using the same basic ideas, they also work on the beginnings of collected canter.

  • Confirming Second Level - Part 1

    Episode 18

    Laura helps a rider with a mare that is fussy in the contact. In order for the horse to start to build the topline, she has to get her to a place where she will hold the bit steady. The rider has to work the horse in many different patterns and a little bit sideways to help the horse release tens...

  • Confirming Second Level - Part 2

    Episode 19

    After the warmup, Laura first focuses on transitions within the trot, shoulder-in and haunches-in to help supple and align the horse. It is important to maintain the forward energy in the lateral movements, and when the horse gives an honest effort, it important to reward and let the horse out.

  • Confirming Second Level - Part 3

    Episode 20

    The next exercise Laura has the rider do is leg yield from the quarter-line to the rail followed by haunches-in. The horse is fussy in the bridle because she doesnt want to close into the connection. Keeping a steady elbow connects better to the seat which is a strong base of support compared to ...

  • Confirming Second Level Day 2 Part 1

    Episode 21

    This pair is back for their second ride, and they build on what they worked on during Day 1. Laura reminds us that tension has to be handled through the leg or hand through counter flexion, leg yield, shoulder-in or whatever movement the rider feels necessary to diffuse the tension. Any time ther...

  • Confirming Second Level Day 2 Part 2

    Episode 22

    Laura reminds us that the horse needs to wait for the rider, and if she gets tense to do a circle or some form of positioning so that the horse doesnt feel trapped. But at the same time, the horse needs to stay on the aids. They practice walk/canter transitions, and Laura points out a horse is la...

  • Confirming Second Level Day 2 Part 3

    Episode 23

    They finish their ride with more trot work. Laura states that the true feeling of forward is felt in the down transitions.œIn the canter, youll feel her take you in the trot. In the trot, youll feel her take you in the walk. If the balance in the trot feels good, Laura suggests pushing her one wa...

  • Riding a 10-meter Circle Warmup Part 1

    Episode 24

    To begin the ride on her 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Olivia spends a long time walking and stretching. To get proper turns on a 10-meter circle, she explains the need to start from a place of having the horse equal on both sides. Once that is the case, the turns will be easy, but there are m...