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It's all about the only native Finnish horse breed!

What class would you show a finnhorse in?

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Thank you, anonymous Google user, for giving me another good topic to write about by visiting my blog with these search terms. Good question!

Saaren Kiho competing in a finnhorse dressage class at Wiurila 2012. Photo by Sini Tuhkunen

Finnish and international FEI dressage tests are somewhat similar. I tried to find the similarities and equivalences between Finnish and international (FEI) tests. The ultimate highest all-finnhorse class would be the dressage championship competition ridden annually at Ypäjä on FEI test B-level.

Finnish dressage tests have a hierarchy from C to A, easy to difficult tests, meaning that easy C is the most simple one whereas the A is always more difficult, before going to Prix St. Georges, Intermediate and Grand Prix levels. Those C tests are most often performed only in club and regional level competitions at highest. They include simple circles, a few lengthened strides, volts and diagonals. Easy B-level tests have more curves and volts in them, but are still somewhat simple. FEI uses the this level for 4-year-old horses dressage tests, for instance.

“Easy A” would be considered FEI test B, which FEI uses in tests fro 5-year-olds, including for example more collected and lengthened trot and canter.

Today the finnhorse dressage championship competition consists of two dressage tests, both in FEI test B-level, ridden on two separate days, one of them showing a kür program, including e.g. half-pirouettes, shoulder-in, lengthened and collected walk, trot and canter. Of course a finnhorse can attend to open classes to compete against warmbloods, and a few horses have competed in open classes on higher level, tests similar to this one.

R-studbook is still only about 40 years old, and has had a good influence on finnhorses ability to perform in dressage. They have become more popular among riders and received more training in dressage, even on professional level. Thanks to their great character and steady gaits there are also a few of them competing in Para Dressage competitions internationally. Maybe we have yet to see even a Grand Prix finnhorse some day!

Sources: Suomen Ratsastajainliitto – kouluohjelmia and FEI Dressage tests (in English)

Style sample from a dressage champion from few years back, stallion Linkker performing in 2008:

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