New Rules and Criteria for USDF Freestyles! by Ruth Hogan Poulsen

Quick tips and facts about the new Freestyle requirements!

1.  There is a maximum time limit but NO minimum time.  Maximum time limit for all USDF freestyles is 5 minutes.  Your time begins when your horse moves off after the entry salute and ends at the final salute.

2.  One point will be deducted from the total artistic score for exceeding the time limit.

3. Movements done above your level will be penalized by a four point deduction from the technical score for each “clearly forbidden” movement done.

4.  The rider must enter the arena within 45 seconds of the signal from the judge and within 20 seconds of the start of the music or will be eliminated.

5.  Halt and salute are now judged at the beginning and end of a freestyle.  The halt with a salute must be facing “c”.

6.  In the First Level Freestyle, posting will be allowed.

7.  In the First Level Freestyle, turn on the haunches in walk (and canter) are NOT ALLOWED.

8.  In the First Level Freestyle, Walk-Canter-Walk and Halt-Canter-Halt ARE ALLOWED.

9.  In all of the USDF freestyle, the gaits, impulsion and submission are scored as part of your technical execution.  They do not have a coefficient like they do in a regular test.


These are just the highlights – if you would like to print the requirements to YOUR test, click on one of the links below.

First Level Freestyle (print two pages)
Second Level Freestyle (print two pages)
Third Level Freestyle (print two pages)
Fourth Level Freestyle (print two pages)

Easy Links to some of the new USDF tests:

Training Level Test 1
Training Level Test 2
Training Level Test 3

First Level Test 1
First Level Test 2
First Level Test 3

The new tests will be used from December 1, 2010 for the next 4 competition years.

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