View Full Version : Next level minus one movement...?

Aug. 25, 2009, 02:21 PM
If you are working well within a level, and some in the level above... have the opportunity to go play at a local schooling show, but have one bug-a-boo movement in that level that you know you might blow... (show nerves, lack of mileage, etc.)

Do you drop down a level, or go for the stretch--the level with the one 'throwaway' movement?

(and just for purposes of argument, you only get one test... and a re-ride of that same test.)

Why or why not?

Which is more important to you: Success overall in a test? Getting the comments, even if you know one might be a 4? Mileage? All of the above?


Just would like to hear thoughts... both from those who compete regularly, but especially from those who don't compete all that often.

Aug. 25, 2009, 02:44 PM
Depends on the horse, the level, and the "missing" movement.

For instance, with a non-warmblood who has to work for her suspension, I would move up to third without a true "extanded" trot (has a solid "medium"). But I wouldn't move up without a solid flying change.

Similarly I would move up from Training 2 to Training 3 with a horse that had not mastered the "stretchy circle". But not with a horse that had not mastered the 10 m trot half circle.

I don't show in straight dressage very often.

Mainly, I don't want to ride a movement that is not-yet-confirmed without the opportunity to immediately reorganize and redo it if we "blow" it.

Aug. 25, 2009, 02:45 PM
If you are going to a schooling show and it is not that expensive, I would try to up the ante a little bit and go ahead and try the higher level. Unless you think it is going to fry your horse's brain, or you are trying to get a score to qualify for year end awards or something, whats the harm? Besides if you are riding it twice (our GMO hosts a few of these each summer) you will get good feedback both times and since it's nearing the end of the season (well, for me it is, since I don't show after Sept usually!) it will give you something concrete and constructive to work on over the winter.

The most important thing to me is that my horse have a good experience and that I get feedback on my ride. If I thought it would stress him out or that he's not fit enough to do the test twice in a row (that's the format for ours anyway - ride it once, comments from the judge on how to improve, then ride it again) I would stick with what you know. Actually, in my case specifically I would ONLY go to that type of a schooling show if I were testing the waters with a higher level. They are a valuable learning tool especially if you think you could move up soon.

That said I have one more show this year and am going to consult w/ my trainer tonight about whether I should straddle TL/ 1st or stick with the TL 3 & 4 combo I have been doing all summer. We've got the moves for 1st and my guy does better when I ride him a bit more collected. Last show I got pretty meh scores at TL 3 & 4 w/ judge's comments that I should ride him longer, more stretched out, but the problem with that is that he tends to fall on his forehand. So we shall see.

Back to the original question though I would say go for the gold if you think your horse would have a good experience! :yes:

Aug. 25, 2009, 02:45 PM
For a schooling show, I would probably go for it, and use it mostly to get comments on the remainder of the test. A recognized show, I would stick with the safe level.

Aug. 25, 2009, 02:46 PM
(and just for purposes of argument, you only get one test... and a re-ride of that same test.)

For a schooling show and particularly if it is a fix-a-test type schooling show (like the above seems to indicate) I would probably go for the "reach" test. Provided that you are truly solid in all of the movements except one and that you meet all the other requirements of the level (in terms of self-carriage, submission, level of collection required, etc.).

Aug. 25, 2009, 02:48 PM
Heck, yeah, go for it! Use the opportunity to school the test in a show situation. So what if you have one movement you think will stink? I usually have more than one that stink, and never let it stop me!

I'd go for the comments, the mileage, the useful "snapshot" of where you & horse are now, and what needs to be improved.

Go for it! Have fun!

Aug. 25, 2009, 02:59 PM
go for it! that's what "schooling" shows are for!

Aug. 25, 2009, 03:08 PM
It's schooling show. Why not just have fun? Who knows, maybe the nerve will help you to get whatever movement you are not getting at home. If not, no big deal. Just grin at the judge.. I'm sure you won't be the only one.

Dressage Art
Aug. 25, 2009, 03:24 PM
I feel your pain. My mare doesn’t have an extended trot. I bang my head on the brick wall, but nothing helps with gaining it. May be we can show PSG in 2010, but I'm sure we'll get a 4/5 on our trot extensions. Our mediums are a 5/6. I wonder myself if I should move up or should I keep on working on the extended trot for years and years and stay at 4th level till the end of our days... Will our Rein Back and Walk Pirouettes that can score an 8 rebalance the 4 for extended trot? My mare was lame 4 times in her life and all 4 after using cavalletti... doesn't make me want to work with cavalletti ever again, but that sure can help with extended trot...

I judge schooling shows myself OP, so if you will be showing affront of me, I would definitely feel your pain. I would score you and will not question your decision to show at that level. It's not often that we see horses that can do it all 100% - and most of us can't afford those horses even if we do meet them. At the end nobody cares as much as you do and most of us riding dressage for ourselves rather than others, so do whatever makes you and your horse a happy athlete!

Aug. 25, 2009, 03:56 PM
lol. everyone is talking about schooling shows.

next time you go to a rated show watch the 1st level riders and note how many of them don't have a lengthen.

Note how many riders don't have a medium canter...

As for HTs. Well Janet. If I was ready to move up to Advanced but knew I was going to blow the lead changes I would do it anyway!!!!! But that is eventing. The changes are all of 1% of the weekend. ;)

Aug. 25, 2009, 04:00 PM
As for HTs. Well Janet. If I was ready to move up to Advanced but knew I was going to blow the lead changes I would do it anyway!!!!! But that is eventing. The changes are all of 1% of the weekend. ;) Oh yes. At an HT, if the horse has the other (jumping) phases nailed, I would (and HAVE ) move up missing MULTIPLE dressage "moves".

But the question was about a straight dressage schooling show.

For me, I don't need the judge to tell me the things I KNOW are missing. I want the judge's feedback on the things I THINK we have mastered.

But it would depend on the specifics- horse, level, movement, judge.

Hampton Bay
Aug. 25, 2009, 04:10 PM
I would stretch it too and go for the higher level. That's what schooling shows are for to me, to get feedback from a judge on a level I am not too sure we are 100% on.

What level and movement are you talking about?

Aug. 25, 2009, 04:31 PM
I go for the stretch - I blew two flying changes in Third Test 1 and still scores like a 62.5% - because the REST of the test was that good.

For schooling shows - that's the reason for those types of shows. For recognized shows - what the heck... I'd still go for it unless the rest of that level was not confirmed.

Aug. 25, 2009, 04:50 PM
I might take a look at the test itself. If the bugaboo movement had a coefficient of 2, I would probably wait because that would indicate that this movement was a big component for this level.

Aug. 25, 2009, 05:05 PM
Aw, it's just a schooling show. What's the harm in giving it a try?

If it's a ride-a-test show (that's what it sounds like), OP might get just the training tip she needs.

Aug. 25, 2009, 05:16 PM
Schooling show? Go for it, absolutely :yes:

If the rest of the work was very solid and I thought I had a shot at the questionable movement (like I can get it at home 80% of the time), I might even do (read actually have done) a recognized show :lol:

Aug. 25, 2009, 05:18 PM
Heck yeah, why not get the judge's opinion on how you're doing on the rest of it? Maybe you'll find out that there is more to fix than just the one thing, or maybe you'll find out that's truly the last brick in the wall, so to speak.

Get your horse out, get yourself out, have a little fun :)

Aug. 25, 2009, 05:35 PM
I think it depends also on how "confirmed" we were in the previous level. If we had shown there and done well and really didnt need more feedback there I would definitely try the next level up. I look at schooling shows as an opportunity to get fresh input and Ideas - especially a re-ride type show. I think you would learn more by attempting more as long as the horse shows that it is developing the training, strength and balance necessary for the new level.

Aug. 25, 2009, 10:14 PM
well, i am a perfectionist, so i would want to be as good as we could be at whatever level (which might explain why i show so rarely;)...

anyway, for me it would depend entirely on what movement was. Basically i don't want to be teaching my horse incorrect "stuff" or over facing her or asking her to do things that blow her trust in me. So i would look at the test and visualize what i am going to be doing instead of the movement.

so, a horse that couldnt balance in a 10 meter circle... what are your options? doing it larger? would that fit in the flow of the test? you sure wouldnt want to over face your horse on a circle that they cant balance on...

Aug. 26, 2009, 09:54 AM
ha ha...I am one of those first level riders with almost no lengthen (at least in the canter) so, yes, I totally would do that. My horse can do everything in first level except the lengthen in the canter, so I take him in first level at small shows (can't afford big ones right now anyway). Our first time out we did pretty well (61 with mistakes on my part) so it can't have been all bad. It solidified in my mind what I wanted to school more, and now we will try again (with improved ability to lengthen in the canter). Even at the bigger shows I groom at I see many people going in a level in which they may not have all the movements 100%. I think if you have a majority of the level and aren't going to look totally lost, especially in a schooling show, why not give it a try?

Aug. 26, 2009, 11:11 AM
I agree with everyone who says "go for it!"

I get terrible show nerves and my maresy's behavior often reflects it. (We've done T1/T2 at two recognized shows this year, and it was probably a waste of money on my part, though the *show* experience is very good for us.)

We went to a little schooling show recently -- the kind that gets lots of little kids on lesson ponies, though the "dressage only" riders were mostly adults. I rode T1/T2, did... OK but not great, BUT maresy did not spook once. We were signed up for T4, which I'd barely practiced and never shown. I was going to scratch, but my "team" (husband, best friend, and Fearless Teen who knows me and maresy very well) said "you paid for it, it's a schooling show, why not?"

I was concerned about the stretchy circle, because maresy can get a bit unbalanced and flip her head up and get rushy, but that was one of our better moves, and we got a 64.8% which was better than we did on T1/T2! I think we did this well precisely because this was a "throwaway" test and I wasn't so worried about how we'd do.

Aug. 26, 2009, 11:18 AM
Heck, i've seen big name riders at big rated shows do it! I talked to one (a JUDGE and trainer:lol:) a while back who debuted one of her horses at 3rd level knowing well he had "iffy" flying changes. But he was doing everything else well, so she decided to go for it. Got 2s and 3s on the changes, overall score was high 60s. Think she regretted it? I think she was glad she made the move up!

It is a schooling show - do what will be fun - schooling shows are all about testing the waters, trying things where the results won't be recorded on your USDF record, and getting your horse out there:winkgrin: By the way, we DO expect a report after the show;)

Aug. 26, 2009, 11:22 AM
By the way, we DO expect a report after the show;)

Um, what part of "HYPOTHETICALLY you can only ride one test twice" didn't you get? ??

<whistling lightly, avoiding eye contact...>


Aug. 26, 2009, 01:34 PM
well- HYPOTHETICALLY - if you were to do a test, and get a score on it, we want to hear about it. I'll tell you mine if you tell yours :winkgrin:
I am doing my 3rd dressage show EVER this sunday :cool: My husband likes dressage shows better than jumper shows and I train using dressage so I am trying to do more of the shows to keep him happier ;)

Aug. 26, 2009, 02:55 PM
HYPOTHETICALLY, if you do a test and don't get a score on it, we still want to hear all about it... and see pictures :)

Aug. 26, 2009, 10:14 PM
HYPOTHETICALLY, if you do a test and don't get a score on it, we still want to hear all about it... and see pictures :)

Hypothetical pictures:lol:

Aug. 27, 2009, 12:42 AM
Move up.

The point of this sport is not to be the champion at 1st level ( or 3rd, or 4th, etc)

Move up.

Aug. 27, 2009, 06:57 AM
The point of this sport is not to be the champion at 1st level ( or 3rd, or 4th, etc)

Tell that to the ones who proposed the Performance Standards.

Aug. 27, 2009, 07:52 AM
I would (and have) shown a horse at third who did not have confirmed changes. Considering the changes are a co-efficient, my scores were actually not too bad, even when the changes had problems. If changes are your issue..don't worry, changes are an issue for many a third level horse. Pick the test that has the best set-up for your horse and have fun. Go for it!!!

Dressage Art
Aug. 27, 2009, 04:33 PM
Tell that to the ones who proposed the Performance Standards.

Even with one missing movement you can score above 60% if the majority of the work is correct and get your scores for Bronze/Silver Medals = and those were the scores proposed for the Performance Standards. The point of this sport also is NOT to score in low 50% consistently and keep moving up the levels. There is a middle somewhere between winning and loosing all the time ;)