Introduction to National Tests – how are these ratings different from club ratings?

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  • National Tests are the HB, H-HM, C3, H, B, HA and A ratings. 
  • The National Tests are hosted by regions but organized by the USPC national office. A USPC Candidate Application must be submitted to the USPC national office by the appropriate deadline. The national office provides appropriately qualified National Examiners to each test and may add candidates from other regions to fill the tests.
  • Riding and most of the Horse Management skills are tested at separate ratings. The exception is that turnout is included at the C3 level, and bandaging and longeing are included at the C3 and B levels, as you need demonstrate these skills with your own horse. You are not expected to bandage or longe an unfamiliar horse until the H-HM / H / HA level. Switch horse rides are included in all mounted ratings at the national testing level.
  • Three mounted disciplines are offered at the national rating level – riders can choose to focus on the Traditional, Dressage or Show Jumping Specialties.
  • National tests can be very expensive. A National Testing Fee of $160 - $260 (depending on the test) is collected at the time of application; a Regional Fee of $175, to pay for the examiners’ in-state expenses and facility fees, is collected by the test organizer on the test date. Candidates should expect other expenses, such as preps, stabling & shavings, lodging, meals and transportation.
  • The upper level tests are a time commitment in terms of preparation, study time and the actual rating weekend. These tests take advance planning on the part of the candidate. Preparation for any national test should begin early in the year, not 4 weeks prior to the test.
  • Priorities should be set and choices made regarding goals. Be realistic with your planning. It is difficult to achieve a national rating and attend Championships in the same year, especially if both require taking a horse.