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Video Requirements & How to Make an Upgrade Video
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 Video Requirements and Tips on How to Make an Upgrade Video


From CR Policies & Procedures, Section 8.3               Level III Upgrade Requirements:

Video or DVD Requirements

Candidates must provide the Level IV Committee with a video or DVD (in the form of a link to a website where the video can be viewed or a DVD copy for each Level IV), showing the candidate:

  • Demonstrating riding requirements for Level III
  • Doing hands-on body work with a mounted rider
  • Teaching ground work, and
  • Teaching lessons suitable for a Level III (only part of the lesson needs to be shown.)

Total video length is not to exceed 60 minutes (10 minute segments are preferred.) The purpose of the video is to demonstrate the candidate's riding, teaching and bodywork at the level applied for, and to allow Level IVs who have not worked with the candidate to see their teaching, riding and bodywork skills.

 DVD Technical requirements:

Each video segment (riding, teaching, groundwork, etc,) should be approximately 10 minutes in length. The complete video/DVD should not exceed 1 hour in length. Teaching and narration must be in English, or a transcript in English must be provided.

Please ensure that the video can be clearly seen and heard. It is impossible to evaluate videos with images that are indistinct, taken at too great a distance to see details, or that cannot be heard clearly because of wind, traffic or other sound problems. 

Videos may be copied onto a DVD and/or uploaded to a website for private viewing. If making DVD copies, these must be provided in both formats (for North American & European DVD players.) If posting video to a website, the candidate is responsible for providing a link and directions for Level IVs to access the site and the video.


a. Riding The purpose of the riding segment is to show that the candidate meets the required standards for the level, and to clearly demonstrate that s/he understands centering,  good use of self and can demonstrate the qualities of the 4 basics & grounding in their own riding. Riding segment should include:

  •     riding at walk, trot, canter
  •    lengthening and shortening stride
  •    lateral movements
  •    riding the horse through his back and on the bit.
  •   Jumping, riding outside or cross country, driving and other specialized disciplines are optional.)

Riding segment should demonstrate the use of Centered Riding principles and techniques to improve the horse's movement and use of its body.


b. GroundworkThe candidate must show teaching groundwork incorporating classical CR principles (i.e.,  teaching the 4 basics supported by grounding), and show that they can communicate what CR is and how it relates to students. Groundwork may be taught to an individual, a group, or both, but group work is preferred.


c. Body Work /Saddle FitThe candidate must demonstrate body work, including:

  •   a brief analysis of the  rider and his/her body issues
  •  demonstrate a leg or hip release and/or arm/shoulder release to address those issues.
  •   The instructor/candidate must also address the balance and fit of the saddle to allow for a balanced and level pelvis.


d. Teaching -- Candidate should demonstrate teaching a private lesson and a group lesson, including the  application of Centered Riding principles and techniques to improve the student(s)' seat, application of the aids, use of self, and better movement and harmony with the horse, relative to the student(s)' level and discipline. Lessons shown should be safe, well organized, and show improvement in the student(s); at least one lesson must show work with advanced riders. Teaching segments should include a brief introduction/analysis of the student(s) at the beginning and a wrap/up or evaluation at the end of the lesson


e. Teaching Clinics and/or Instructors - Level III candidates should include a segment showing themselves teaching a group of riders and/or groundwork in a clinic setting.


f. Professionalism and Presentation -- Instructors should present themselves as professionals in their video presentations in regard to dress, equipment, horsemanship and safety.

 The video is not judged on video production qualities, but it must be clear and easy to view and understand.


Steps for Creating an Upgrade Video:

1.      Download and read the Upgrade Checklist and the section in CR Policies and Procedures on the Upgrade Requirements for your level. Pay special attention to the requirements for Riding, Teaching, Groundwork and Bodywork, and what the Examining Committee will be looking for.

2.      Find someone who will video your riding, teaching and bodywork/groundwork sessions. You will also need someone who can edit your finished video. This need not be done by a professional, but you will need someone who knows how to shoot video, upload it to a computer and edit videos.

3.      Review any existing video of your riding and teaching, to see if it is suitable to include.

4.      Make a list of the video segments you need to shoot, and what you should demonstrate in each segment. Keep a list of the video segments and topics you have completed, and which are not done yet. Shoot more video of each topic than you need—you can choose only the best sections when you edit it.

5.      Review all the video footage, identifying the parts you want to use. Write down the video time/number of the starting point and ending point for each segment. (You may want to ask another instructor or your mentor to help you identify the segments that best meet the requirements for that level.)

6.      Make a list of any segments that are missing or not up to standard and need to be re-done.

7.      When the final video segments are all assembled, the video should be edited. It is easiest to break it into 10 minute segments for each required topic (i.e, Riding, Teaching, Groundwork & Bodywork/Saddle Fit.) You may wish to make an additional (optional) segment introducing yourself, your facility and what you teach, and showing any riding, training or other activities that are relevant to what you do.

8.      Listen to the audio as you review your video. If the audio is not clear, you may wish to do a voice-over, explaining what you are teaching (or riding). Your technical helper should be able to help you record a voice-over.

9.      If you are not teaching in English, you must provide an English transcript of each segment of your video, or create a voice-over in English. Please be sure that you give details on what you are teaching, and that the voice-over goes with what is being shown on the video.

       It is strongly recommended that you ask a Level IV Clinician to review your video and your application to make sure that it is complete and meets Upgrade Requirements, before submitting the video and upgrade application. If your application or video is incomplete or does not meet Upgrade Requirements, it will not be considered by the Committee.

11.   To make your video available to the Level IV Committee:

  • You may upload your video segments to a website (YouTube is preferred) and provide a link and a password for your videos.
  • f you prefer to send the video on a DVD, you must provide a copy of your DVD for each Level IV.  Please be sure that the DVD you provide is in a format that will plan on any computer.

Tips on shooting videos:

1.     Make a list of the topics, gaits, movements, etc. that you plan to show in this segment, and check them off as you complete them.

2.      Horses and riders should be neatly and properly presented (dressed as for a lesson or clinic—formal or show dress is not required. Plain-colored, form-fitting riding clothing makes it easier to see the riders and how they respond to instruction. The arena should be safe and free from unnecessary obstacles and distractions.

3.      Shoot your video in good lighting conditions—outdoors in sunlight, or in an indoor arena with good lighting. Place the camera so that the sun is behind it. If you shoot toward a light source, it will be difficult or impossible to see the riders.

4.      The DVD should show the horse and rider (in riding segments) or students (in teaching or groundwork segments) at a close enough distance and clearly enough that the viewer can see and evaluate how they are riding or being taught.

5.      Shoot your video in a quiet area where there are no loud distractions (nearby traffic noise, machines, loud wind, etc.) Avoid unnecessary talking by the person shooting the video or anyone watching. Video cameras pick up background noise, and this may make your teaching impossible to hear.  (If the sound on a segment is indistinct, you may need to record a voice-over later.)

6.      It is not necessary to show the entire ride or lesson, but shoot more video than you will actually use. This gives you more to choose from when you edit the video. Show the most important segments (you and or your students preparing for and performing the exercise, making corrections, and if possible, demonstrate improvement in the horse and/or student.

7.      In your riding segment, you must be able to demonstrate that you can ride the required gaits and movements, showing that you use and can demonstrate the application of Centered Riding techniques in your discipline to improve your horse’s use of his body. Choose a horse (or more than one horse) that will help you demonstrate this.

8.      You are not expected to be a perfect rider or, if your primary discipline is not dressage, a dressage expert. However, Centered Riding is based on knowledge of the horse’s mind, body and biomechanics, including the training process and understanding what various movements and exercises are supposed to do for the horse.  You should be prepared to demonstrate, discuss and evaluate riders’ and horses’ performance and use of their bodies, including working "through the back,” "on the bit,” and lateral movements (as appropriate for the discipline.)   If a horse or rider is not able to execute a movement correctly, you should point out what is good or improving, what is not correct yet, and what you will do to help them improve.                                                  

9.      When you demonstrate teaching, choose topics that are simple, relevant to Centered Riding, and that you and your rider(s) and/or horse(s) can do well. Discuss what you will be doing with your students before beginning your video, so they are prepared. At the beginning, give a brief introduction about your student, any problems or body issues s/he has, and what you will be working on.

Remember that the primary goal is to demonstrate your understanding and use of Centered Riding, and your application of Centered Riding Basics and techniques in your riding, teaching, bodywork and groundwork. It is also important to demonstrate good "use of self” in your own riding, teaching, bodywork and groundwork
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