Improving The First Level Canter Lengthening.

In theory – fairly straightforward, right..?

We’re still working on it!  At least occasionally.  Just touching on it, then leaving it alone so she doesn’t get frustrated.  Full disclosure – I’ve left it mostly alone for a couple of weeks…

Insider tips are welcome of course!


This was the canter lengthening in early July.

how to lengthen the canter at first level

Really pleased with her – straight, focused, withers are up, neck reaching out, and with a bit of power! 

The movement comment was that she needed to show more.  If you’ve scribed for a judge (DO this, it’s very educational, every time!), you know that it’s a standard comment at First Level.

It’s hard to get the lenghtenings right, without creating tension, coming above the bit, or just rushing downhill.  Or not showing any difference at all.

Some schooling practice over the summer.  With various results 🙂

teaching canter lenghtening at first level

I like how she’s sitting just a little more here.  Doesn’t mean she stayed that way, since she’d just come out of the corner here, getting started right at M.

The canter lengthening, or seriously, any lengthening, is very difficult for her.  Extensions?   Forget it.


better dressage canter lengthening
This is about where she is now.  Probably the limit for how far forward she can come with the hind at this point.  I’ll take it!

A Few More Show Shots

Just because I don’t head out and compete super often.

Best to make the most of it! 🙂

And because my husband was so nice and a super star to stick around in the heat for both tests, taking so many pictures.  Very sweet!

first level test 2 2017 dressage


The counter canter loop – she did it well (go Gray Mare!) but I piloted just a bit too shallow, not quite hitting X.  Easy to do, you just want to get back to the corner 🙂

counter canter loop in dressage first level test 3


Next up will be a post on some training issues – yes, with pictures of all the “uglies!’  Figured many of you will recognize a lot of it, and I think it’s so cool when you want to stand on the sidelines and yell out helpful hints.  I’ll promise to try whatever you have to say!

elinor yee dressage on a dime

Competing With A Non Traditional Breed

If you ride a “Non-Warmblood”, here’s some motivational data for you!

The US Dressage Finals is toted as “The Olympics For Amateurs.”  (All the riders on the West Coast refuse to go along with that, but still.)

It’s an event presented by Adequan and is the designated  Destination Championship for AA’s (And tons of Open Competitors too.).  For sure it would be an absolute dream to compete there, for many of us it’s never going to happen – not just because a lack of talent but also because of the huge driving distance.

Elinor Yee

Today’s post is all about highlighting Non-Warmblood breeds placing at the US Dressage Finals.  Simple as that.

These results I looked at are from the Lexington, KY Fall 2016  US Dressage Finals.  Not included:  results from All Breeds competition classes, –  this is looking at “off” breeds competing among warmbloods only.

Also not included, Friesian-Warmblood Crosses and Arabian-Warmblood crosses, who were also represented in the winning results.

The nitty gritty:

304 total competitors.

They all came through the qualifier; the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championship which had a total of 2,698 competitors in 2016.

202  AA’s (Adult Amateur) competitors, 178 Open.

30 total classes, placing 10 deep, ranging from Training Level to Grand Prix, including Freestyles.

For obvious reasons, the states with most riders were Florida, Illinois and Texas.  Lowest numbers came from Wisconsin, California and Pennsylvania.  (A total of 13 states were not represented, such as Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Washington.)

These numbers all came from the February 2017 USDF Connection edition and are correct.  I compiled the list of rider placements myself – apologies if any were missed!

The majority of breeds placing were of course:  Hanoverian,Trakehner, Zweibrucker, Oldenburg, Westfalen, Lippizan, Rhinelander, Pura Rasa Espanola,  Brandenburg, German Riding Pony,  Wurttemeberg, and Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, German, Danish, Belgian, and American Warmblood.


Here are your placing Non-Warmblood Breeds from all classes.  Enjoy!

dressage show with young mare


Aeris, Half-Andalusian at First Level Adult Amateur Freestyle.

Camomila MCD, PRE at First Level Open Freestyle.

Fifinella GCF, Connemara Cross at Second Level AA.

Who’ll Stop The Rain, Arabian at Second Level AA.

Briel B, Friesian at Second Level Open.

Benjamin Blue, Percheron Cross at Second Level Open.

Niko, Friesian at Second Level Open Freestyle.

FWP Princess Juliana, Georgian Grande at Third Level Open & Third Level Freestyle Open.

Infanta, Andalusian at Third Level AA Freestyle.

Dora The Explorer, Haflinger Cross at Third Level AA Freestyle.

Aureo, Andalusian at Third Level AA Frestyle.

Guateque IV, Pura Rasa Espanola at Third Level Open Freestyle.

LP Snickers, Arabian at Fourth Level AA.

Leonidas Van Pelt, Cheval Canadian at Fourth Level AA Freestyle.

Katharina V.V., Friesian at Fourth Level Open Freestyle.

Petrus PJ, Friesian at Fourth Level Open Freestyle.

Centeno XII, Pura Rasa Espanola at Prix St. Georges AA.

Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon, Connemara at Intermediate 1 Open.

Talisman BHF, Andalusian at Intermediate 1 AA Freestyle.

Teske Van G, Friesian at Intermediate 1 AA Freestyle.

Berend W. Friesian at Intermediate 1 Open Freestyle.

Zafiro Dos Cedros, Lusitano at Intermediate 2 AA.

Enebro XIV, Pura Rasa Espanola at Intermediate 2 AA. and Grand Prix AA Freestyle.

Kaboom, New Forest Pony at Grand Prix AA.

Wietze G, Friesian at Grand Prix AA Freestyle.

Malcarat, Pura Rasa Espanola at Grand Prix Open Freestyle.

Queba HM, Lusitano at Grand Prix Open Freestyle.

Fetichini, Pura Rasa Espanola at Grand Prix Open Freestyle.


Go out and have fun!