Training scale - Just a tool
Competitive dressage training in the U.S. is based on a progression of six steps developed by the German National Equestrian Foundation.
This system is arranged in a pyramid or sequential fashion, with “rhythm and regularity” at the start of the pyramid and “collection” at the end.
The training scale is helpful and effective as a guide for the training of any horse, but has come to be most closely associated with dressage.
Despite its appearance, the training scale is not meant to be a rigid format. Instead, each level is built on as the horse progresses in training: so a Grand Prix horse would work on the refinement of the first levels of the pyramid, instead of focusing on only the final level: “collection.”
The levels are also interconnected. For example, a crooked horse cannot develop impulsion, and a horse that is not relaxed will be less likely to travel with a rhythmic gait.
Suppleness is the key.