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Getting Started with Prix Caprilli

Lots of interest in our brand new Prix Caprilli Class, and lots of questions too! If you are looking for the ultimate test of rhythm and harmony, then Prix Caprilli is most certainly the answer - and, of course, who doesn't want to spice up their training sessions?

Prix Caprilli is named after the Italian cavalry instructor Federico Caprilli, who invented the modern forward seat used when jumping. It is a great test of assessing what you need to work on on the flat: something that will become pretty apparent after the first jump!

Think of it as a dressage test primarily, but with jumps. These obstacles (and how you and your horse deal with them, particularly before and after!) will highlight any issues in your flatwork training.

Just like a classic dressage test, you will be assessed on your horse's way of going and the effectiveness of your aids. So the overall picture should be one of harmony based on the scales of training: rhythm, balance, bend, submission, impulsion and straightness are all being assessed by your judge.

So what are the rules? To start with the basics: you must compete in a dressage legal snaffle but boots will be permitted. No martingales allowed. Please adhere to the maximum height of the jumps required by your level of test.

If you are just starting out with the Training Level test, all trot work will be performed

rising/posting. The horse should be asked to change though the trot and the quality of the change will be evaluated.

You'll be relieved to know that your test may be called! And it is also useful to have a helper on hand to deal with any knocks-downs.

Refusals will be penalized as an error of course with appropriate deduction of points. Knock-downs will be penalized at the judge's discretion. In the case of a rail/pole in the path, your helper may signal with a hand in front of the video camera for the rider to stop without penalty. After the jump is replaced, the rider will continue from where they stopped.

It is understood that in the working gaits, your horse is not expected to be as round on the bit as a competing dressage horse. The horse must softly accept the bit and may show more “roundness” in the parts of the tests separate from the jumps. However, it is all about acceptance of the bridle, relaxation and harmony.

So, if you're looking for a fresh challenge; a way to improve your horse's gymnastic ability; plus a test to troubleshoot any issues you may have on the flat - then Prix Caprilli may be the perfect format for you.

Email us for access to our three Prix Caprilli tests, and please don't hesitate to ask any questions at all. Happy filming and good luck with getting a little airtime after coming up the centre line!

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