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View Full Version : Briar and Don Schufro ? Solid rides.. low scores?



JY
Aug. 17, 2008, 12:45 PM
I don't quite understand.... here are two solid, exceedingly obedient horses. They each were correct, tried very hard, but I don't feel they were regarded very highly. Can you figure why?

egontoast
Aug. 17, 2008, 06:45 PM
Lots of expression up front but not matched with engagement behind. Watch the hind end in the extensions, for example. similar issues with both.

STF
Aug. 17, 2008, 07:36 PM
Those are two I follow alot and have for a long time, so Im not "new to them..." IMO, they looked dull compared to their normal. DS looked like he was tired. Yes, super correct test, but lacked "expression" that seemed what the judges look for. Briar rode a clean and correct test and I think he also looked tired. His normal is a bit more on the "alive" side, which he too looked dull.
I really think the travel and heat in Hong Kong took its toll on the normal high ranking competitors. Horse AND Riders. The normal high level players just did not seem "on their game!"
Anyone who follows these horses, and have for the last few yrs can see, there is a lot more to them than what was in Hong Kong.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 17, 2008, 07:59 PM
Honestly, I gave up trying to figure out some of the dressage judging. It's like watching ice dancing. Now, I just watch to enjoy the amazing talent on display, and don't pay too much attention to placings. Otherwise, I would get very frustrated.

egontoast
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:17 PM
No doubt,some horses dealt with the heat and humidity better than others.

Edgewood
Aug. 17, 2008, 09:36 PM
I thought that although they were very solid, that in comparison with some others, they were pretty slow behind without as much activity in the hind leg. Their front end was really expressive but their hindend didn't seem to match. I do think that they, being bigger, heavy stallions, might have been pretty affected by the heat and humidity.

Marydell
Aug. 17, 2008, 10:09 PM
As a performace stallion owner in the hot south, I believe that Hong Kong is taking a toll on the "boys".
That extra package of testes hangs low to start with but add external heat-climate-they hang even lower. That ends up making the hind legs slower so they don't "pinch" them or they start to go wide behind.
Stallions can have a bit of extra expresion, but it is a balancing act LOL!!

Maryanna Haymon
www.marydellfarm.com
www.sporthorsestallionexpo.com
2007 USEF Breeder of the Year!

Bats79
Aug. 18, 2008, 12:56 AM
You can look at the scores and see what the judges "saw" if you want to.

pintopiaffe
Aug. 18, 2008, 03:58 AM
Honestly, I gave up trying to figure out some of the dressage judging. It's like watching ice dancing. Now, I just watch to enjoy the amazing talent on display, and don't pay too much attention to placings. Otherwise, I would get very frustrated.

Very well said. I agree.

Yes, I can look at the judges' scores, and still not UNDERSTAND them at times. Obviously I'm not at that level.

But try explaining to your coworkers why the horse that backed up, popped up etc., won. It's difficult. And I'm not saying I don't think Isabelle is amazing. I do.

But *I* thought Balagur put in an equal test without the disobedience. <shrugs> What do I know. I do feel INCREDIBLY priveleged to have been able to watch every single one so far! To have the replay of the live feed available is AMAZING!

slc2
Aug. 18, 2008, 08:22 AM
I don't know how to say it any better than you just did...if you think Balagur's performance should have scored better than Satchmo's....then it's clear why you are upset by the judging, and probably also clear why a great many people complain about the dressage judging.

Balagur is a lovely horse, and I like him just as well as anyone else.

But I DON'T sit there and blind myself to every single place in the test he can lose a point.

Neither does his rider, by the way. Sitting there and pretending all the other horses suck and the one we happen to like the most (based on some very random fact, such as we happened to read a charming story about him in the media) is perfect and only loses because the judging sucks is the province of the outside spectator, not the rider. The rider has been seeing the same basic scores with the horse for several years, s/he isn't going to get a whole lot of surprises.

So many people on different threads have responded over and over to complaints on the judging that judging dressage is simply not like judging a western pleasure class where one blooper puts you out of the ribbons. The score is an accumulation of dozens of different movements - SEPARATE movements.

If a problem is seen over and over, it WILL affect the general remarks as well, but how much does one REALLY expect a single moment to affect the standings with a score that's already working on 80?

We were about to see history. We were about to see the largest margin between first and second in the history of the Olympics. That blooper changed that, but it wasn't going to bring the score down enough to allow Anky to win.

Satchmo SHOULD have won. He was doing an incredible test. The scores on each movement were justifiably high. The test, additionally, had an ease, fluidity - oh - and fluency, that was incredible. It was overall, stunning. And other than the blooper, mistake free. Once again, the scoring is set up to ignore 'brief instinctive reactions' except in how they affect the movement.

You all may allow yourselves to make criticism of Isabel and say by pushing too hard she caused the blooper. I think of Isabel as more competent than any of you to decide how much to ask for during a test, and how to work with the horse to get the best score she can that day.

Anky did not put in her best test - even Sjeff was critical of her, and said she rode too conservatively, with 'the hand brake on all the time'.

Satchmo recovered perfectly from the one mistake. It did not affect any other movement in the test, except that Isabel rode him for a little less expression in each movement after the mistake, so she did not score the max in some of the following movements. That I think was out of consideration for her mount, to allow him to keep his composure and not feel pressured.

This, I think just reflects how well Isabel Werth knows her horse. I don't think ANYONE of those riders is so dumb as to push for the absolute max when their horse is showing some tension. It's better in a competition to go for the sure thing.

This Olympics has showed me one thing - people do not understand how dressage is judged - in a much more serious way than I ever imagined. I knew people didn't understand judging, but this time I can see that the understanding runs far deeper than I thought. I thought people just didn't know what the priority points were, or what loses a lot of points in a given movemnt and what loses less. Now I understand many people don't understand the whole thing.

Satchmo got very low scores from that movement from most of the judges, and he still won, because he only showed a problem in one movement. Please go back and look at the individual movement scores.

egontoast
Aug. 18, 2008, 08:33 AM
But try explaining to your coworkers why the horse that backed up, popped up etc., won. It's difficult.

Even some dressage enthusiasts seem to think the scoring is all about having a 'fault free round' as in showjumping. How many times do we see comments similar to "the horse did not halt, why did she win?"

I guess for people who don't 'get it' you could show them a score sheet so they can see how you can botch one movement and still come out on top if the other movement scores are higher. Satchmo's score sheet is a good example for this.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 18, 2008, 09:01 AM
I don't know how to say it any better than you just did...if you think Balagur's performance should have scored better than Satchmo's....then it's clear why you are upset by the judging, and probably also clear why a great many people complain about the dressage judging.

Balagur is a lovely horse, and I like him just as well as anyone else.

But I DON'T sit there and blind myself to every single place in the test he can lose a point.

Neither does his rider, by the way. Sitting there and pretending all the other horses suck and the one we happen to like the most (based on some very random fact, such as we happened to read a charming story about him in the media) is perfect and only loses because the judging sucks is the province of the outside spectator, not the rider. The rider has been seeing the same basic scores with the horse for several years, s/he isn't going to get a whole lot of surprises.

So many people on different threads have responded over and over to complaints on the judging that judging dressage is simply not like judging a western pleasure class where one blooper puts you out of the ribbons. The score is an accumulation of dozens of different movements - SEPARATE movements.

If a problem is seen over and over, it WILL affect the general remarks as well, but how much does one REALLY expect a single moment to affect the standings with a score that's already working on 80?

We were about to see history. We were about to see the largest margin between first and second in the history of the Olympics. That blooper changed that, but it wasn't going to bring the score down enough to allow Anky to win.

Satchmo SHOULD have won. He was doing an incredible test. The scores on each movement were justifiably high. The test, additionally, had an ease, fluidity - oh - and fluency, that was incredible. It was overall, stunning. And other than the blooper, mistake free. Once again, the scoring is set up to ignore 'brief instinctive reactions' except in how they affect the movement.

You all may allow yourselves to make criticism of Isabel and say by pushing too hard she caused the blooper. I think of Isabel as more competent than any of you to decide how much to ask for during a test, and how to work with the horse to get the best score she can that day.

Anky did not put in her best test - even Sjeff was critical of her, and said she rode too conservatively, with 'the hand brake on all the time'.

Satchmo recovered perfectly from the one mistake. It did not affect any other movement in the test, except that Isabel rode him for a little less expression in each movement after the mistake, so she did not score the max in some of the following movements. That I think was out of consideration for her mount, to allow him to keep his composure and not feel pressured.

This, I think just reflects how well Isabel Werth knows her horse. I don't think ANYONE of those riders is so dumb as to push for the absolute max when their horse is showing some tension. It's better in a competition to go for the sure thing.

This Olympics has showed me one thing - people do not understand how dressage is judged - in a much more serious way than I ever imagined. I knew people didn't understand judging, but this time I can see that the understanding runs far deeper than I thought. I thought people just didn't know what the priority points were, or what loses a lot of points in a given movemnt and what loses less. Now I understand many people don't understand the whole thing.

Satchmo got very low scores from that movement from most of the judges, and he still won, because he only showed a problem in one movement. Please go back and look at the individual movement scores.

Just to be clear -- I was one of the ones who defended Satchmo's score. Isabel's ride was literally jaw-dropping. I actually was teared up at the end; I don't believe I have ever seen anything like that.

And give me a break. I have been riding and showing since before many who post here were born, and have ridden at the highest levels (albeit not in dressage) and have always had top trainers. You have people like JY -- clearly VERY knowledgeable, questioning the scoring. Clearly, some of the Olympic judges probably would say that *they* would question some of the scoring, given that one judge was so far out of whack with ALL the other judges. But, you probably would defend the disgraceful gymnastics judging as well. THAT was something.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 18, 2008, 09:06 AM
Even some dressage enthusiasts seem to think the scoring is all about having a 'fault free round' as in showjumping. How many times do we see comments similar to "the horse did not halt, why did she win?"

I guess for people who don't 'get it' you could show them a score sheet so they can see how you can botch one movement and still come out on top if the other movement scores are higher. Satchmo's score sheet is a good example for this.

You can exclude me from people who don't get it. I get it just fine, thank you. I just choose not to get wrapped up in placings, because until it is one of my horses in that ring, I would simply rather enjoy watching all of those amazing people and horses and not get aggravated when there is CLEAR nationalism reflected in SOME of the scoring SOME of the time.

egontoast
Aug. 18, 2008, 09:57 AM
YL, I was replying to the following comment:




But try explaining to your coworkers why the horse that backed up, popped up etc., won. It's difficult.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 18, 2008, 12:16 PM
YL, I was replying to the following comment:

Oh, okay. Sorry Egontoast. I must be Olympics-related sleep-deprived : ).

Dune
Aug. 18, 2008, 12:42 PM
Honestly, I gave up trying to figure out some of the dressage judging. It's like watching ice dancing. Now, I just watch to enjoy the amazing talent on display, and don't pay too much attention to placings. Otherwise, I would get very frustrated.

I don't know why it's difficult to figure out or there's any need for frustration. :confused:




This Olympics has showed me one thing - people do not understand how dressage is judged - in a much more serious way than I ever imagined. I knew people didn't understand judging, but this time I can see that the understanding runs far deeper than I thought. I thought people just didn't know what the priority points were, or what loses a lot of points in a given movemnt and what loses less. Now I understand many people don't understand the whole thing.

Satchmo got very low scores from that movement from most of the judges, and he still won, because he only showed a problem in one movement. Please go back and look at the individual movement scores.

Yes, very interesting, and something I've just taken for granted, I guess.


Even some dressage enthusiasts seem to think the scoring is all about having a 'fault free round' as in showjumping. How many times do we see comments similar to "the horse did not halt, why did she win?"

I guess for people who don't 'get it' you could show them a score sheet so they can see how you can botch one movement and still come out on top if the other movement scores are higher. Satchmo's score sheet is a good example for this.

That might help, it's just not judged in the same manner. I think it's pretty simple and clear, but then you have the OP's question. I'd be curious to know if JY still feels the same way after reading some of these posts and re-watching some of the rides. :yes:

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 18, 2008, 01:03 PM
Dune, unfortunately we all cannot be as knowledgeable and talented as you are. Obviously you live in a perfect world where judges do not make mistakes and politics play no role in the outcome. It must be nice.

I do not always agree with the judging, but as I am aware that sometimes judges make mistakes and sometimes make decisions based on illegitimate factors, I don't waste a lot of time trying to figure out why. That was my point -- not that I *could* not understand the judging.

pintopiaffe
Aug. 18, 2008, 02:57 PM
I already admitted, *I* don't get it *at that level.*

I don't think that means all we peons are idiots.

From both scribing at medium and higher levels, and judging weeny leetle schooling horse-trials dressage, I understand *completely* how the scoring works and how you can watch all the rides and be surprized at the outcomes sometimes.

It's true, if I look at the scores, with a test sheet alongside, I can see WHY a test with a major mistake can still win.

But the part I can't/don't see because I am just an enthusiast, not a professional by any means, is why one horse scores so *dramatically* higher over another, when for both the movement was correct.

Sometimes I know it is because MY EYE prefers baroque movement, so I think that say a baroque trot movement which is done correctly, should receive as high a mark--if the hind end is pushing, etc--as the other type of mover.

It is SO MUCH about the transitions too, and I watched them very closely. The walk-piaffe is amazingly hard. The P&P tours are where the men are separated from the boys. I *do* know that.

Maybe it's because I don't know it all yet, but I DO think there is some personal preference and subjective 'artistic appreciation' in the scoring. Nothing wrong with that.

And truly, the only way we are going to learn why the horses that *we* thought went well didn't score as well as we expected, is if rather than condescending and demeaning us, someone helps.

Examples of things like "Oh, well, one of the spots Briar(Don Schuffro, Balagur) lost quite a few points was in the walk-piaffe transition, his hind end was really trailing... Or "oh, well that big mistake in x movement had a co-efficient so really hurt... "

We ASK because we WANT to know why, and WANT to learn.

Not because we're stupid. :uhoh:

cheekyhorse
Aug. 18, 2008, 04:59 PM
Lots of expression up front but not matched with engagement behind. Watch the hind end in the extensions, for example. similar issues with both.

This is precisely what I saw as well. Neither of those horses were using the hind end correctly to bring full marks.

slc2
Aug. 18, 2008, 05:05 PM
No one said you were peons or idiots. Check back. You chose to take it that way, it was never stated as that. It's a way of discounting what someone says, by twisting what they say to devalue it.

I don't understand how to use a Fourrier Transform to make a optic, either. I'm not real upset about it. But I also don't sit there and complain about how my friend uses Fourrier transforms, you get my meaning?

I said that alot of people don't understand how a dressage test is to be judged. That's why they're always furious after every Olympics, and complain bitterly that they are judged so badly.

Keep in mind, if one sits there and bitches constantly about how bad the judges are, eventually you're going to hear some disagreement. There will always be enough disenfranchised, competition-shy people who will agree with you that judges suck, how does that exactly surprise you.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 18, 2008, 06:53 PM
No one said you were peons or idiots. Check back. You chose to take it that way, it was never stated as that. It's a way of discounting what someone says, by twisting what they say to devalue it.

I don't understand how to use a Fourrier Transform to make a optic, either. I'm not real upset about it. But I also don't sit there and complain about how my friend uses Fourrier transforms, you get my meaning?

I said that alot of people don't understand how a dressage test is to be judged. That's why they're always furious after every Olympics, and complain bitterly that they are judged so badly.

Keep in mind, if one sits there and bitches constantly about how bad the judges are, eventually you're going to hear some disagreement. There will always be enough disenfranchised, competition-shy people who will agree with you that judges suck, how does that exactly surprise you.

SLC, my problem with what you said is that I felt you were attributing points of view to me that I do not have, and making assumptions about me that are untrue. Now, perhaps I misunderstood and your posts were not intended to include me at all.

slc2
Aug. 18, 2008, 07:45 PM
Well, you can do what alot of people do, and include yourself so that you can get mad and have something angry to say. Then I can say I didn't mean you, and you can do an Emily Latella.

My comment means I see a GENERAL lack of understanding of dressage judging, and a general excess of judging of dressage judging, without a general knowledge of dressage judging. There is also the little intimation in there that I'm sort of tired (as usual) of hearing how corrupt and stupid the top dressage judges in the world are. ;)

I know a few dressage judges. They are about the most rigidly principled people I know. I would rather do ANYTHING in the universe than try to convince one of them to drop their principles.

I'm sure some do, and I'm sure there are problems in judging and with individuals. And as a whole, I still say, they are very well trained, far better than any of us, that most of them have extensive experience riding, competing, training, teaching and judging, and I would also say, the majority of them aren't in it for the incredibly huge financial awards, the public accolades, or the fan clubs. They do it because they WANT to, because they think it's important, because they think it needs to be done and done well.

Last time, I had to listen to chest beating and wails of 'We Was Robbed' about Brentina, a horse that I absolutely love, but one with whom I think our biggest problem is looking at her with rose colored glasses. It was nauseating at the last Olympics, and it's nauseating at this one, too.

I love what the owners have done for Dressage in America, I am in awe of how well Debbie rides, and what a NICE horse Brentina was. But come on.

"two solid, exceedingly obedient horses. They each were correct, tried very hard"

I don't know where you get that Don Schufro was 'trying hard', or how you evaluate that ANY horse is 'trying hard' vs getting the hair rode off his back.

"two solid, exceedingly obedient horses. They each were correct, tried very hard"

The fact remains, that alone doesn't win big classes. It's not enough to be obedient and correct. Once again, this is not western pleasure, where the horse that is the most 'consistent' (keeps his head down, goes slow, and does what he's told) wins.

Don Schufro looked very flat and lacking in impulsion compared to what he usually does. He is capable of much more expression, range of motion, impulsion, engagement, collection. He is an incredible horse.

To WIN, the horse and rider need to TAKE RISKS.

What does 'Taking Risks' mean?

It means asking for more impulsion, more suppleness, more throughness, quicker reactions, which allows you tighter pirouettes, more on-the-spot piaffe, more suspension in passage, more accuracy, more expression in changes, more reach in extended gaits, more range of motion, more well marked out transitions, etc.

I've ridden in many classes where I had an obedient correct ride. Guess what? It isn't enough. At any level. Not if anyone else shows up.

egontoast
Aug. 18, 2008, 08:16 PM
I haven't read everything because we are haying today and tomorrow so I will likely miss the freestyles ( SIGH) :(:cry: too but I digress,

What exactly do people here NOT like about isabel/ Satchmo? Other than the one movement with the problem in the GPS , please tell me what is wrong with the rest? Honestly, I doubt even Klimke would have a lot bad to say about Isabel and Satchmo in the GPS. I did not see the GP so can't comment on that.

Is she just criticized on principle because she is successful or is there some substance to it?

pintopiaffe
Aug. 18, 2008, 08:59 PM
oh, man, I LOVED him. He's very neat. He's not 'my' type, but I still hugely appreciate his talent.

And I have always loved Isabelle.

Heck, I think Anky is amazing too, and Salinero was always really correct and I never saw him BTV or anything like that. A hot ride but wonderful.

I am only saying that I don't get the BIG discrepancies based (I guess) on type of gait?

I for one, am not complaining OR frustrated by the judging, just somewhat baffled *at times.*

When people explain to me why the scores differ, it helps me learn (as Eggy did at the top of the thread.)

slc2
Aug. 18, 2008, 09:06 PM
I don't think the big discrepancies are based on type of gait at all. Unless lack of engagement and activity is a type of gait. I think it's a technical point only. On other days the horses mentioned would have much more engagement and activity.

I think everything adds up to make the score. It is about fluidity, rhythm, engagement, collection, transitions, technical points in each movement (size of pirouette, amount of reach in extension, etc), accuracy, general impressions like noting tightness or restriction of muscles, throughness, etc.

I think the things that bother people most are the same things that bother then when they watch local shows:

1. An obedient, quiet test is not necessarily the best test in the class

2. They have a 'pet peeve' and if they see that 'pet peeve' happening, they think the horse should be penalized much more than it is penalized

Equa
Aug. 18, 2008, 11:36 PM
I saw all these horses live in HK in the GP (only saw the Special on my laptop, via Danish TV).

slc is right about fluidity, risk-taking etc. It is easier to see live. Satchmo and Salinero were above and beyond the rest. Possibly even a little underscored. A couple of the other Dutch and German horses were probably scored too high.

Re the OP's observation about Don Schiufro and Briar - they were both a bit flat, which affects all the transitions. It is NOT about Salinero and Satchmo having "flashier" gaits. There were plenty more horses with fancier, bigger movement (the Austrian horse, for one) who lacked balance and fluidity.

And I do agree that the stallions looked to be doing it tougher. Maybe that's why a couple (including Quando Quando) did not really want to play.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 19, 2008, 01:15 AM
I saw all these horses live in HK in the GP (only saw the Special on my laptop, via Danish TV).

slc is right about fluidity, risk-taking etc. It is easier to see live. .

That is a really good point. I was commenting to my friend yesterday that I wondered how many people are only seeing the replays via internet, as I am finding that although I have a brand new and powerful computer, the connection has not been ideal and sometimes it appears as though the video feed is distorted (e.g., a touch herky jerky at times). Even watching on TV looked smoother to me.

dressagetraks
Aug. 19, 2008, 01:50 AM
Fluidity is exactly what I loved about watching Satchmo. And risk-taking on IW's part, too. But such an overall fluid and truly engaged test still with distinctions between the movements, extensions and collections with a clear difference. I thought it was far superior to the others I've seen (haven't seen all yet). And I get the feeling that he has more, too, that Isabell still hasn't called on yet. Hopefully we will see it tomorrow.

Of course, I know Anky has more, too. I don't think she's hit anywhere near her full capacity so far this Olympics. JMHO. Should be interesting tomorrow.

I haven't seen the two rides the OP mentioned yet, but this thread reminds me of something my trainer said once, when I was riding a test in a lesson before an upcoming show. I finished, and she said, "Not bad. 6s on most." I had really thought it was pretty good, and I said, "Only 6s?" She said, "You get 6s for safe but pretty good. If you want more than that, take a risk and prove to the judge that you want it."

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 19, 2008, 09:22 AM
I haven't seen the two rides the OP mentioned yet, but this thread reminds me of something my trainer said once, when I was riding a test in a lesson before an upcoming show. I finished, and she said, "Not bad. 6s on most." I had really thought it was pretty good, and I said, "Only 6s?" She said, "You get 6s for safe but pretty good. If you want more than that, take a risk and prove to the judge that you want it."

I really don't believe that the Olympic rides under discussion are at all analogous to what you describe.