View Full Version : Fix a Test Format and Judges

Jan. 1, 2010, 01:35 PM
Has anyone done a Fix-a-Test, are they beneficial? and what do you expect from the judge, as far as their experiences and credentials? Is it worth the money or should the money just be spent on schooling shows and you basically get the same thing? MD Horse trials has one scheduled but never heard of the "clinician" looked up her USEA record, couldn't find any judging qualification information on that person either so....are the "judges/clinicians" usually just other riders or do you look for one that actually has some sort of certification, training etc?
Not sure if the money spent will be worth the feedback received. Any body had any experiences at these types of things?

Jan. 1, 2010, 02:17 PM
There may not be any USEA record if the person is
a USEF dressage judge (like me - I haven't evented in
25 years, but am a USEF 'r' dressage judge in the 'R"
training program)
The ride a tests I have done involve me talking to the
rider after their test about ways to improve their score.
They may or may not reride the test.
I think it is a great way to up your score in the dressage
ring (no, wait, you guys want a lower score :) )

When I am judging I often think "boy, if I could have just
10 minutes with this person, their score would improve
a couple of percent"

Jan. 1, 2010, 02:22 PM
We do this in the winter, to scare away the winter blues. The BO/trainer is a judge and we also video each other. Great fun and informative. I am looking forward to this years.

Jan. 1, 2010, 02:30 PM
Another great training session I have done with my local
Pony Club is 'ride a test-give a score'
I start by splitting them into two groups of 4 each.
The first group prepares to ride the test, while the
second group sits with me.
As each rider rides their test, I give the comment for the
movement and the group gives the score (with corrections
if necessary from me) I find it a great way for them to
begin to understand how the dressage 'terminology' relates
to the actual score.
i.e. trot lacks cadence, fussy connection, good figure
score -5
or well ridden figure, elastic connection, good energy and
balance score - 8
Then they switch.

Jan. 1, 2010, 06:44 PM
With the introduction of the new dressage tests, I would suggest anything you can do to get familiarity with them and improve your score has got to be good. Most formats let you repeat your test of choice at least twice with constructive comments between - much better than the single run through at a schooling show. Mrs. KS, who's an L* Graduate, is doing such a clinic for some riders in Area V later this month - as about the only time anyone's seen the new tests was at the USEA Annual Meeting it should be interesting.

Jan. 2, 2010, 09:24 AM
JFS and Sue Hines put on one every spring, before Winona. Sue warms up everyone and JFS judges, then gives a critque. You can either repeat the test that you just rode or ride a second test.

You might send JFS a pm. She would have some great ideas.

Jan. 2, 2010, 03:24 PM
I rode my first fix a test last Fall and it was great. I rode the test and then the judge came out into the ring and worked with me for probably 20 minutes. I did not re-ride the test, but that was ok as I was now much more informed.

All around it was a great experience.

Jan. 2, 2010, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the plug Auburn. I schedule 20 minutes for 2 rides. Figure each test takes about 5 minutes to ride that leaves around 12 minutes or so to work on the things that need improvement. Sometimes it's simply working on the geometry of the figures or tips on smoother transitions or what they could do to not throw points away. Of course every judge is a little different, but since I'm a teacher at heart I often jump out of the judge's stand and get right in the ring and teach. Something I'm NOT allowed to do when I'm judging :)

We do run it like a show, albeit low key, because a lot of the problems are related to horse show jitters :) Some years if we've had time Sue will ride and we will discuss the training scale and what is expected at each level. Sue will ride the figures correctly and then show common mistakes and how to fix them.

Since there are new tests this year & I have since put together a Power Point presentation Sue & I are going to do our "dog & pony show" at South Farm this March to help everyone get ready for the spring season. We haven't set a date yet. We'll post it when we do.