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columbus
May. 1, 2012, 06:28 PM
From the idea that judges are the problem...expand to what exactly do you not like about dressage shows?

For me it is just an excuse for sun stroke without pleasure.

My horses are trained and ridden by the trainer. I am going to see them compete...it is not even hard work for me. To see the 2 or 3 low level tests it is a whole day. I have no problem with the judges scoring...usually I find it completely representative...however we are usually shopping judges to get those who score more optimistically because the traininer is trying to qualify horses for year end competition or trying to get good scores for sale horses. The trainer knows the judges who dislike(even hate) a horse she shows...this is a very rigid mare who progresses through the levels tries very very hard but will never have a soft swinging back. Some judges accept that and score it in one area and some are ruthless about the fault in every exercise. She doesn't show that horse for that judge. She doesn't complain about the judge just doesn't show that horse.

I wonder how lower levels are managed in Europe...group classes? just more rings?

I would much rather spend my money with clinicians.

I think that for me it is past time to think about the purpose of having a well broke horse...enjoying trail rides to the park...field rides. It is time maybe to start(or go back to) taking over the western saddle club shows idea...you can have a lot of group classes in half a day. Horsemanship, pleasure, equitation, conformation...busy half day. The second half is spent with games. When I was a kid our saddle club...The American Stirrup Club...did musical squares...egg and spoon, a steeple chase(nothing like seeing a dead head school horse win and stand for pictures with the look of eagles in his eyes) It was fun. Time that training dressage horses was as much about what fun you can have with a trained horse. PatO

mjhco
May. 1, 2012, 07:46 PM
I hate it that I can ride great while training but when I get to a competition I leave my brain somewhere east of Kansas. And make mistakes you just cannot believe.

carolprudm
May. 1, 2012, 07:50 PM
LOL I must have been to shows where the weather was decent but I seem to only remember the miserable ones.

Somewhere there is a video of me, red faced and dripping with sweat saying which tests I rode and the scores. At the end of the video Mr P asked if I had fun. I honestly had to say "NO".

I never showed again

Action42
May. 1, 2012, 08:12 PM
I have shown in many disciplines (all english though).

I can honestly say that I dislike dressage shows because I feel that they are not very friendly places to be. I love horse trials and jumper shows, everyone standing around and cheering for others as they go.

Dressage shows for me consist of a few friends who help eachother out but everyone else seems very distant.

Maybe that is just the introvert in me or maybe I'm too shy or something but that's what I like the least.

honeylips
May. 1, 2012, 08:22 PM
In Germany the lower level classes and young horse classes are run in groups. Much faster, fewer rings.

quietann
May. 1, 2012, 08:32 PM
I hate it that I can ride great while training but when I get to a competition I leave my brain somewhere east of Kansas. And make mistakes you just cannot believe.

Heh. BTDT!

I do find horse trials/eventers to be SO much more friendly than dressage people. I don't even event (though I sometimes groom or volunteer) and the eventers are always nice to me. Dressage people seem to take things so seriously!

If I was "highly competitive" and trying to get scores for year-end awards or a medal, I'd care more about which judge was in the booth, but I tend to give the judges the benefit of the doubt, especially at my low level. However, judges at schooling shows give a lot more feedback and will usually take the time to have a brief chat at the end of the test.

jcotton
May. 1, 2012, 09:12 PM
Organizers that can't keep their s%^&(schedules) together!
A well run show is wonderful!

Send the ride times out. Other than that check the day sheet every day--nothing much changes--- I'm good to go!

If ride times change within 10-15minutes (that I am aware of), per day, because scratches happen. if I am ready to go to early if my horse is readyI will go early.
The judge gets paid for her/his 8 hrs whether there is a horse in front of their eyes on or not. That is education time for the scribe, if there is not a horse in the arena!

atr
May. 1, 2012, 09:38 PM
Probably because we are in BFE and we are a small and close-knit group of people, most of the ammie riders here are pretty friendly at shows--some of the pros are an entirely different kettle of unintentionally exhibitionist and badly behaved fish but that merely serves to provide endless amusement for the the rest of us smurfs :)

I would love it if we weren't always showing in the heat of the summer. It would be so nice if there were shows in September and October and I could get maybe one or two show pix a year when I was actually done up in my jacket and not puce, and about to throw up... But of course with the pressures of regional finals, that isn't going to happen.

I do dislike a snarky secretary. Yes, of course, I missed that off my entry deliberately to make your life difficult. That's what I'm here for today, after all. (I remember the first show I entered, I'd made a hash of my entry. The secretary was so kind, and it made all the difference.)

Apart from that, as long as the footing is good, and the judge is who I thought I was going to be riding in front of, and there's some shade, I'm fairly easy to please.

oldenmare
May. 1, 2012, 09:48 PM
Wow! I was at a good show this weekend and had a really great time. Licensed dressage show, friendly staff and volunteers, friendly competitors, friendly pros riding. Judging was using the range based on the scores post - and no complaints on the judging. Weather was really good - a little on the cool side which resulted in some fresh horses! A couple of hiccups here and there but nothing to go postal over.

I guess my only complaint for the whole weekend would be the whiny competitor who was eliminated for illegal equipment but then complained she didn't know it was illegal.... ummmm - you're showing above First Level - and although I believe everyone should know the rules from going down c-line at Intro on up, above First - yeah, you should know the rules.

I honestly think a lot of it is what you take to it - I've also made a conscious decision not to show in the super hot months because it's hard for me to breathe which makes me miserable. I also don't like to ask my horses to perform in the heat of the day. But that just makes my other experiences better, imo, because I've learned when and where to show (venues/mgmt I prefer) - which is part of enjoying the experience for me.

Blume Farm
May. 1, 2012, 10:13 PM
In Germany the lower level classes and young horse classes are run in groups. Much faster, fewer rings.

Just a quick question...what do you mean in groups? Like materiale classes here? how does that work?

i am just trying to picture 3 riders riding a dressage test (even lower level) at the same time in one ring?? Am I just being dense?? Wouldn't be the first time:)

honeylips
May. 2, 2012, 12:27 AM
yes - like materiale.
For the young horse classes - it is run like a rail class.
For the low level dressage tests the riders play "follow the leader" and ride the test pattern that way.
Many of their tests (thru about 2nd level) are also done sometimes in the short court.

honeylips
May. 2, 2012, 12:29 AM
I hate people complaining about competitions and judging. Not understanding the rules. Not realizing that show secretaries actually don't work for free. Not realizing the level of financial commitment and services a recognized show requires and that those aren't free or cheap either. Not realizing that USDF doesn't actually run shows or make the rules for shows.

EqTrainer
May. 2, 2012, 12:34 AM
I hate getting up at 4 am, no matter what the reason. Sure not doing it ever again for a .99 cent ribbon. Yawn.

atr
May. 2, 2012, 12:37 AM
Oh, I'm so with you on that, EqTrainer!

FLeventer
May. 2, 2012, 01:43 AM
I honestly hate the expense of showing.

I don't like many of the people. A woman tried to run off with my hose, which is taped up and marked, and when I said it was mine she got in my face and told me that "I needed to not complain about things given to me."? I stood up straight with all 5'11 of me, because I slouch and look quite shorter, and told her if she did not put the hose down and back off then there will be issues. Freaking nutty people out there.

Others are snarky. I was riding a 15.3 QH for one class and he was built well and looked like a mini WB when he was round and moving well. This was not that day at 55 degrees in the morning after 85 degrees the day before. He was a bit pissy and a women commented off her giant wb to her trainer that "at least she could beat that." I won that class with a 61%.

I hate the stress of showing. Sharing hotels, waking up early, not eating enough, and bad days make people not so nice.

If the show staff is nasty then I just smile but fill out my comment card accordingly. I also do not go back, which is fine with me as FL had more dressage shows then I can count, but I would like to always have a good experience.

At the end of the day it is not fun for me. I love dressage, but I miss having a nice gallop over some solid jumps to end my day and move me to my happy place.

Petstorejunkie
May. 2, 2012, 08:21 AM
The coats
The heat
Overhorsed riders posing danger to the rest of us.

Judges don't bother me. There are a few rude nutbags out there, but if they are truly inappropriate, report them! I'm paying for their opinion of my moment in time, if I don't value their opinion I don't ride for them. I want judges that give me scores I EARN. Like Janine Malone; if I scored a 65% with her I know I rode really well. Her 65 means more to me than another's 72.

runnyjump
May. 2, 2012, 08:52 AM
Inconsistent judging, rude warm-ups, catty remarks.

I work very hard as a trainer/rider to compliment where it is deserved, from warm-up ring to post ride. I teach all my students (not that they all remember during the stress of the moment) to tell the rider before them (as that rider is leaving the ring), "Nice ride," or "Well done." And to tell the rider after them to have a nice ride or good luck (which I don't like because it can be taken the wrong way.. lol).

I have been known to search out a rider who had an unfortunate ride, but did well under the circumstances, and let them know that I thought they did great. Watched one lovely young rider last year on a beautiful horse do all she could during a complete equine mental shut down during her test. She was excused and came out of the ring in tears. I made my way from the stands over to where her coach was standing and told her that the young lady had nothing to be embarrassed about and that she is quite the rider. Her coach asked me to tell her, which I did. I think it brightened her day and her next test was spot on!

That said, I have heard more snarky, back biting remark while standing around a dressage ring! Sometimes people are so "high school." I am the first to admit that I will critique a ride while watching with my students as a way of them developing an eye, but I try to do it quietly and without attitude.

I think what I hate the most are those who come with little knowledge of what is required or expected, or who think they are "all that." I also dislike people either riding below their level (unless there is a reason they felt the need to back down) for the ribbons, scores, and points... and the people who ride beyond their own or their horse's ability.

OK... one more dislike.... the cost of recognized shows. Most of my students stay on the schooling circuit to cut expenses. We can do 4 schooling shows with 3 classes each for the price of one recognized show with 2 classes at the local show facility. I think that's one reason attendance is going down. To spend $400 (including stabling and fees) at the local facility around the corner, literally, for two classes just doesn't seem right. And you are not allowed to work from your trailer or have a day stall!

quietann
May. 2, 2012, 09:25 AM
A few more:

-- white breeches (I just decided I don't care, I will NOT wear white breeches)
-- heat in summer shows, and feeling pressure to wear my coat even when coats are waived. ditto stock ties on a hot day!
-- any rude comments about a horse, a horse's tack, a rider, etc.
-- rude crowded warm-ups. I actually have more trouble with UL riders who think they own the warm-up than with LL riders who are, like me, just trying to get themselves and their horses loosened up.

(Also, per the last, when show management doesn't listen to one's complaints. At the most recent show a nearby farm brought their UL Lusitanos, including a couple of stallions. They weren't there to show, just to get their horses out and about. This was a schooling 2-phase show with lots of little kids on ponies. Yes, the riders had the Lusitanos well under control, but I *swear* they were trying to intimidate people, and "targeting" anyone with a nervous horse, especially a mare. Having a stallion doing a canter half-pass right at you, or passage-ing up your mare's butt, is NOT OK. I pretty much got blown off by show management when I complained.)

Best View
May. 2, 2012, 09:36 AM
I have shown in many disciplines (all english though).

I can honestly say that I dislike dressage shows because I feel that they are not very friendly places to be. I love horse trials and jumper shows, everyone standing around and cheering for others as they go.

Dressage shows for me consist of a few friends who help eachother out but everyone else seems very distant.

Maybe that is just the introvert in me or maybe I'm too shy or something but that's what I like the least.

I have also ridden in many disciplines and I feel the exact opposite about the people. Dressage people are nice, welcoming and supportive - even those I do not know - where the hunter jumper group is not welcoming at all.

The thing I hate the most is the "outfit" for shows. We are athletes, why not allow us to dress conservatively in short sleeves so that heat stroke is not a worry?!

Bluey
May. 2, 2012, 09:39 AM
What do I hate about going to shows?
The hurry up and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and ...

Going to shows is such a waste of time for how hurried you are getting all ready to show.:(

goodpony
May. 2, 2012, 09:56 AM
yes - like materiale.
For the young horse classes - it is run like a rail class.
For the low level dressage tests the riders play "follow the leader" and ride the test pattern that way.
Many of their tests (thru about 2nd level) are also done sometimes in the short court.

They offered a young horse class (in groups of 3) at the OHBS Horse Show in 2009--it was a nice way to show the young horses and ponies.

Oberon13
May. 2, 2012, 10:12 AM
I don't do much waiting around at dressage shows because I know my ride times. Between rides, I put the pony away and walk around, enjoy other peoples' rides, talk to friends, have a beer, etc.

I DO hate the cost and the heat/jackets/stock tie.

The rude UL riders in warm up who "own" the warm up area are annoying, but I tend to laugh about it rather than get mad. I mean, seriously, they get their ego stroked by flying around doing tempi changes directly at some poor kid doing training level? tee hee....that just makes me want to laugh at them.

I LOVE prepping for a show. Packing the trailer, braiding, bathing, laying out all my clothes, the last few rides working on specific issues - LOVE it!!!

quietann
May. 2, 2012, 10:58 AM
The rude UL riders in warm up who "own" the warm up area are annoying, but I tend to laugh about it rather than get mad. I mean, seriously, they get their ego stroked by flying around doing tempi changes directly at some poor kid doing training level? tee hee....that just makes me want to laugh at them.


Yes, but it can be pretty rough on the kid (or timid adult ammy) who's going through it.

I am a not super-timid adult ammy, but my mare's pretty sensitive and got wound up about the crowds and the stallions. All I was trying to do was get her to settle, and each time I just about got her there, one of those idiots on a stallion would be coming right at us and I'd have to start over.

When it happens to you, it's not funny.

Vesper Sparrow
May. 2, 2012, 12:16 PM
Jackets and constricting stock ties and heat, although I've gotten more used to this as time goes on.

Occasionally snarky comments from rail birds. Snottiness of some people in general. Although I've met some lovely people at dressage shows who more than make up for it.

The way some trainers stake out a section of the warm-up for their clients alone and shoot daggers at you if you venture into their territory.

Muddy, slippery warm-ups.

Feeling like the poor, ignored relative on my TB when all the warmblood people are oohing and aahing over each other's horses. Plan to counter that this year with proactive TB pride... TB saddle pad and baseball cap.

I'm usually happy out there when I'm on my beloved horse and doing my test.

Valentina_32926
May. 2, 2012, 12:29 PM
For recognized shows (in Florida) they want you to keep your jackets on even though it is obviously too hot.

Too expensive.

People can be nasty (hog arena, let their aggressive dogs run loose, throw out snide remarks, etc.).

Lack of flexibility -
e.g. swap a later class for an earlier class so you don't have to stay an additional 2 hrs at the show, and even though there are plenty of scratches in the class which you want to enter they still charge you for the price of a new class. Really - the judge doesn;t want to leave early?

e.g. You arrive at arena exactly at your designated ride time, rider ahead of you is in another ring and you have to wait. By the time you ride your horse has fallen asleep, been woken back up and is very hot and tired. Why couldn't they just take you and give that rider (and horse) a 10 minute break rather than making you, and all the riders following you, later?

Except for the caliber of judges for upper levels that recognized shows have over schooling shows, I prefer the schooling shows.

keepersmom
May. 2, 2012, 01:24 PM
For me, #1 is the expense. I feel that my money is better spent with my trainer who knows me and my horse rather than a judge that sees us for 5 minutes. I am not particularly competitive and don't really care about placings, but still I hate the way my mood for the day hinges on what a judge has to say about me or my horse.

Also, the fact that you get no refund whatsoever if your horse goes lame and can't show is a deterrent. I understand the expense of a show and certainly wouldn't expect a full refund BUT if you have a vet excuse, it seems that the show mgt. could at least refund your stabling money or give you a credit for stabling for another show. A little gesture like that would go a long way in me picking one show over the other to do. Like a little insurance policy.

I hate the heat, early mornings, boredom and waiting between classes and general exhaustion from the weekend.

Things I like about showing: everything leading up to showing, planning and preparing and making my horse all pretty. I like the atmosphere of the show.

In general, for me, the things I don't like outweigh the good so I stick to local schooling shows mostly.

Paddys Mom
May. 2, 2012, 02:36 PM
I love showing.
Getting all dressed up formally and having my horse gleaming.
Going out there and trying to show him off and show everyone how proud of him that I am.
Walking tacos!
Hearing our name announced.
Trotting down centerline, confident that I know my test.
That little swell of pride in my stomach at every good moment we have in a test.
A round of applause after our ride.
Getting specific feedback on something we have worked hard on by a respected objective person.
Undoing his braids and tell him what a good boy he was.
Watching him roll and groan when we get home.
Watching the video and seeing how much better we are than the last show.
:)

There are enough shows around here that I can be picky about venues and judges. I don't look for high-scoring judges. I look for judges who reward what I think is correct. Now, that might not be what YOU think is correct, but if I find myself agreeing with the judge's scores and placings, then I am likely to return to show under that judge again.

The hardest thing for me is the warmup ring. I tend to get intimidated and don't warm up enough. :sigh:

witherbee
May. 2, 2012, 04:34 PM
You GO Vesper Sparrow! Love love love TBs!

Paddys Mom, I love your enthusiasm and I share it.

What I don't like is having attacks of nerves, but funny enough, that is also what I do like lol! I also do not like super early classes and the feeling of being rushed. The heat is an issue too, but I do usually keep my jacket on. The waiting around is tough because I do not like to tie my horse or leave him in the trailer for long, so I end up holding him while he grazes and it would be nice to be able to watch others more or sit and relax.

I do like showing and have just gotten back into it this year, but I do not show a lot because of the time and expense. Oh, and getting there is a bit of a pain - it is really not a big deal to hook up the truck and trailer and pack it, but it always SEEMS like it takes a lot of time and effort...

Good luck to those who are showing. I am this weekend and need to coordinate getting my guy clipped and braided - oh right, that is another thing that can be a pita and expense!

Paddys Mom
May. 2, 2012, 04:44 PM
The waiting around is tough because I do not like to tie my horse or leave him in the trailer for long, so I end up holding him while he grazes and it would be nice to be able to watch others more or sit and relax.


I hate the anxiety of tying to a trailer too, so I only show where I can get a stall. :yes:

Aeternitee
May. 2, 2012, 04:59 PM
I love everything about showing, everything! Except for getting up at the crack of bloody dawn.
My main motivation for moving up the levels is to try to get a later ride time, LOL!:yes:

Vesper Sparrow
May. 2, 2012, 05:39 PM
I like the idea of congratulating the person coming out before you go in and will try to follow it this year. It's been done to me and it made my day. A kind word goes very far, especially when you're having a hard day (your horse is acting up, you've forgotten your test, etc., etc.).

There are a couple of male stewards at our show series who are just great, they always chat with you and try to say something nice about your horse, which always gives you a boost.

Show secretary and ring crews can leave something to be desired at some shows. At one show, they presented all the ribbons in our class except to me and my friend, who were tied for fifth, and deliberately left us sitting there for an extra 15 minutes, ignoring us. We had to ask repeatedly for our ribbons before we got them. It was humiliating. We just sat there and looked at each other and shook our heads.

cnm161
May. 2, 2012, 06:51 PM
I love everything about showing, everything! Except for getting up at the crack of bloody dawn.
My main motivation for moving up the levels is to try to get a later ride time, LOL!:yes:

You know, the higher up I ride, the earlier I ride. Smack-dab at 6:45am once for my first I-1. Talk about an early wake-up call.

You can make shows what you want them to be. Go with friends (or make new ones!). Smile and congratulate people leaving the ring, and wish luck/whatever in a non-offensive way to people entering after you. Volunteer if you have time (and an inexhaustible supply of energy). Walk around the grounds with your pony on a lead, and people watch. It's a good time!

I'm not a huge fan of jackets (although I do think they look nice). I love my stock tie. White breeches, not such a fan. But light breeches are much more illustrative than dark ones...for better or for worse.

Vesper Sparrow
May. 2, 2012, 07:56 PM
The earlier my ride times, the better I like them. It's cooler, quieter and I don't have to wait around, so less time to get nervous.

Adelatus
May. 2, 2012, 08:55 PM
What I hate:

Having to get up very early. I'm not a morning person! I never ride in the mornings at home (and my horses snooze in the mornings) so it's not our best time of day.

Having to wash my horses the day before. I compete on two greys. They are not clipped and live in a paddock, so they always take a lot of washing to get them presentable. It can take two hours to get one horse clean (winter coat) so after four hours of scrubbing, I'm exhausted before I even get to the competition.

Competing in warm/hot weather. I really struggle to ride in the heat, although I'm happy to ride in the wind and rain. It's like I can't breathe. Anything over 28 degrees and I struggle.

Jackets. Luckily in my state in Australia we have two associations we can compete under. One has jackets, the other jackets are banned. I mostly compete in the association without jackets and this is great because I can adjust my club uniform depending on the weather from simple polo top, right up to long sleeves and a warm vest or woollen jumper with stock or tie. If I have to wear a jacket, I warm up without it and only put it on for the tests.

Light/white breeches. I have been competing in taupe or cream breeches for a while and just purchased my first pair of white ones. I'm a terrible grot, and even get the taupe ones filthy. I have to take a second pair so I can change before riding the second horse.

The warm up area. I hate going into the warmup area as I don't normally ride with others and it can be very intimidating.

Not having a helper. I'm getting used to it, but with two horses it's so much less stressful to have a helper. Just someone to get me a bucket or water, wipe the dust off my boots, and go to the secretary's office for me takes a lot of the stress away for me for the day. Even nice if they will do the driving so I can relax on the way there. Without a helper I get a bit frantic and stressed which doesn't help my performance.


But there are many things I enoy about it to make a lot of the bad stuff worthwhile.

J-Lu
May. 2, 2012, 09:55 PM
I hate:

Getting up at the crack of dawn. I am not a morning person.

Not having turnout for the horse.

The way I feel after eating show-ground french fries (which is too bad because it's a guilty pleasure I loooooove to indulge in).

Other than this, I love showing!

NOMIOMI1
May. 2, 2012, 10:41 PM
The travel!


I used to be at a barn that held shows.... Um yeah, was I spoiled!

CHT
May. 2, 2012, 10:52 PM
The cost. Particularly for the tack stalls.

And the risk of crappy weather ruining the footing, so that you can't really ride your horse optimally.

I do wish hauling in and out was allowed even if I did have to pay full cost for the stalls. It would mean a shorter day assuming all my classes run togetherish.

The loose dogs. The people who hog the alley.

I made a video about it actually: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3kOKe0bdkU

I love the officials around here. And I like most of the people. Happy with the scheduling too. I am going to miss doing the "real" shows this year. May have to volunteer just to see some of the people I only see at shows!

Action42
May. 2, 2012, 10:55 PM
I will say that I agree on a couple of points:

I do love riding for an impartial judge and getting feedback on something we have been working on

I do ALWAYS wish the next rider good luck and tell them well done after they ride. I also always say good morning/afternoon etc to the judge and scribe as I ride by.

I do adore my show buddies but they are most often found in the eventing arenas.

NOMIOMI1
May. 2, 2012, 11:04 PM
LOL Cht

My last big show my horse stepped over a few dogs and then on accident one moved and got stepped on.

I was livid!

It hurts me to hurt your dog you idiots!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n0ag4qmG5g&feature=related

this video was linked to yours if you watch the first few seconds of it (didnt watch the training part just the startup) that whipping sound that doesnt stop even when the other horse is starting to threaten to dislodge said passenger is ANOTHER problem at shows.

If you need to whip at your lazy horse 52 times to get a canter on the lunge while I am attempting to warm up my now bug eyed Thoroughbred could you at least stop the moment that you realize I may have just come off?

thanks!

ThreeFigs
May. 3, 2012, 12:46 PM
I love our local show officials. They do a good job of scheduling and keeping competitors sane.

Most Colorado folks are friendly and helpful -- not too many dressage snobs here. Or maybe I just don't notice the snobby ones?

I dislike show coats and stock ties on hot days when the coats have not been waived, though I like the way I look in them. I prefer early spring or fall shows when the weather is cooler.

All my "white" gear is cream-colored. Looks better on me and tolerates a bit of dirt without making me look like I've been dragged behind a chariot in Ben-Hur.

The expense -- I understand why it's costly, but I don't have to like it!

Bad footing. Around here, 99% of the show venues have great footing. It's improved a lot over the years.

Sleeping in strange places, not sleeping well or long enough the night before a show.

Fortunately, my hoss is tolerant of insane warm-up rings, flags, golf carts, and bicycles. But he has a thing about dogs.

The pulled-through-a-knothole-backwards feeling I have for a day or so after a show! Awk!

joiedevie99
May. 3, 2012, 01:09 PM
I love showing. I don't agree with much of the complaing thats going on (mostly in the other thread). My scores have overall been very fair, and when I've gotten a low scores its been my fault.

I love seeing my friends, having parties in the aisle, Saturday night freestyles, and getting the judge's opinion on my training. I enjoy improving my showing skills (yes, showing is a skill that you have to work on). I enjoy making new friends (as long as I'm not trying to finish my warm-up or in the on-deck area).

My list of complaints is relatively short: I don't like jackets. I don't like the expense, but I don't think anyone does. I don't like trainers who refuse to give up their amateur status.

I avoid shows that aren't well run or have bad footing.

beckzert
May. 3, 2012, 02:40 PM
I love spending the weekend bonding with my horse. Sometimes, when we are both nervous and have to rely on each other, that's when the best bonding happens!

I'm not particularly fond of jackets or ties, but I do think both of mine are really pretty, so I like to wear them due to the fact that I spent a lot of money on them:-)

I love seeing my "horse show friends"-people I hardly see, except at horse shows. They are a huge reason I show (or volunteer when showing isn't a reasonable option, as I don't think it will be this year).

I love barn aisle parties after everyone's done for the day. Celebrating a successful day with a few friends and a glass of wine can change even the worst mood, even if by "successful" you mean "no one was taken away in an ambulance today".

I hate having bad tests after all the hard work and preparation I've put in. It's really tough to swallow after all the expense and time and work. But I do believe that going through these tough times, especially while young, makes you better equiped for the inevitable disappointments that will happen in all facets of life. Being able to step back and go "ok, I need to make a change here" or "I really need to not let the fact that my horse was afraid of that child on that bike with that umbrella change my attitude" makes all of life's obstacles much easier. It's like yoga for your attitude.

I also hate that I don't know left from right and turn the wrong way at C HALF THE TIME!

Melyni
May. 3, 2012, 03:06 PM
I don't like the heat, and I am the first to ask for jackets to be waived.
I don't like and won't wear white breeches.

I avoid shows with poor footing in the warm up or the rings. Or shows that are badly managed.

But on the whole the shows here in the VA/NC/MD area are well run at good facilities.

I have made good friends thru the shows, I find most folk are friendly and helpful.

The cost is outrageous, but that's the same for all horse sports. Unless you just trail ride and what fun is that (if you do it all the time).

I don't have an expensive WB, I ride a Knabstrupper who gets confused for an Appie all the time. In fact I joke that his name will be changed to, I-am-not-an-Appaloosa.

Getting poor scores IS frustrating. They are a wakeup call! But there's nothing so useful as a friend to video your test and sitting there with the score sheet and the video and going "Uh Oh, I see what they mean", (not that I actually do that, I just do that in theory) I usually watch the video and go "Oh Barf, how can I ride so badly! Yuk".

My horse has limited gaits, usually a 6, if I get totally fired up and really ride well he gets a 7. So I have to ride the tests as accurately and as correctly as possible. I need every little point I can get. And yes I mess up, regularly, one of these days I WILL ride the PSG with out messing up SOMETHING!
But we did get a 63% at I-1 last show so I am slowly learning to do this thing right.

BUT Its a SPORT, it's about learning to do something that is difficult and hard and putting in the sweat equity to learn to do it and get better.

It isn't fair, life isn't fair, so what. Play the hand you have.

Any life that involves horses is a wonderful life and so much better than 99% of humans have.

I'll whine about the "stupid Judges" from time to time, but on the whole they are not the problem. The horse isn't the problem, I'm the problem, but I am getting better at this sport.

Lecture over.
MW

lovey1121
May. 3, 2012, 03:57 PM
Mine is past-tense.

I loved the the prep. Getting my horse squeaky clean, trimming, banging his tail.
I loved the putting on his shipping boots, and the giant goosesteps he always took.
I loved how goshdarn gorgeous he was as he stepped onto the trailer.
I loved the anticipation.

I hated the hot humid days.
I hated the bugs.
I hated the stocks.
I hated the food or lack thereof.
I hated screwing up and letting my wonderful horse down.

Loved the feeling of having finally ridden a good test in competition.
Loved getting good scores from judges I hadn't done well under earlier.
Loved coming home and putting the boy to bed.
Loved the aisle parties, when all rides were deemed as not so bad after all.

PiaffePlease
May. 3, 2012, 05:35 PM
I love showing but there are alot of negatives too. I hate showing in the heat. I wish there were more shows in the winter without having to go to FL. Im not a judge shopper but I do get peeved when a judge is TBA at a USDF show and it ends up being a really hard judge who rarely scores above 60. The same judge will score training level juniors in the 40s. There are alot of shows around here that dont pay more for the covered or indoor arena (when its at the same facility) and then cancel classes when it rains. If Im paying several hundred dollars to show, I better be able to show. I dont show just for ribbons, but its disappointing when my USDF ribbons are the smallest/cheapest ribbons I have. My schooling show ribbons are WAY nicer!

On the upside, the shows are always run very nicely, schooling shows included. They rarely run late. The organizers/volunteers are always nice and very helpful!

Ldbgcoleman
May. 3, 2012, 05:52 PM
love working towards a goal ,getting a snapshot of what i need to improve, having my horse beautiful, clean and braided and watching lots of beautiful horses

wish I could afford to go more often, the clothes were more flattering cool and comfy, people were friendlier and there wasnt so much waiting around time :)

ThreeFigs
May. 3, 2012, 06:11 PM
You reminded me, Ldbgcoleman, why I LOVE dressage. At least WE have an idea when our test is supposed to be. I've seldom seen schedules get totally wonky, unless weather was to blame. Well, there was that one schooling show...

I remember waiting around forEVER at H/J shows.

sophie
May. 3, 2012, 06:11 PM
Past tense for me, too.

I didn't like getting horse braided. Didn't like putting on tall boots and shirt and coat and stock tie. Didn't like spending the whole day at the show (was always sharing trailer with someone) for such a short time actually ON my horse. Didn't like the expense of it. Hated the stress of it.

I loved riding the actual test, loved looking at the judge's comments afterwards, loved watching and rooting for my friends.

Since the "didn't like" far outweighed the "liked", I stopped showing a few years ago. My time and money are much better spent in clinics, lessons, and Ride-and-Review tests.

Gloria
May. 4, 2012, 03:57 PM
What I hate the most about showing? Umm - Packing: it's like moving a darn mountain! First you got to have hay, and then grain, and supplements, and all sorts of buckets and snaps and buckles and grooming tools and shampoos (various kinds for different colors) and yeah hose; oh and don't forget your own tacks (no fun to drive three hours only to find you have your saddle but not your girth) and fans (for both horse and human), and those bulky stall mats! Oh and a couple of carts to move the mountain.

Following that, I think it is to watch myself on video tape:( I always tape my ride and watch it, and I cringe every other second spotting something I should/shouldn't be doing: you forget to "ride" there... where are the half halts?... you get crooked there.... and so on and so forth... sigh.

Sometimes I wonder why I go to show at all. It is so stressful for me. But then if I don't show, and just sit there and watch, I will be wishing to be riding there.:no:

Velvet
May. 4, 2012, 04:13 PM
I can't stand show moms. Ugh. Keep them, please?? And trainers who act like show moms for the kids AND adults! Mother hens with their chicks all clucking away with them and beyatching with them. :rolleyes:

I wish people weren't so into cliques at shows. I think separating the horses and barns instead of stabling them all together would make people have a better time. They'd get to know more competitors. I've never worried about being next to someone. If it happened, fine. If not, whatever. I have legs. So does my horse--he actually has four of them. We can walk over and visit our friends.

Hanging out a banner and advertising is a part of it for many barns, but their students miss out on the social aspect and learning to HAVE to get along with other people stabled next to them. The cliquiness is what turns a lot of people off. Eventers don't really care. Their horses are not made of glass--nor sugar. They won't melt in the rain if the person has to tie up near their trailer to show. They're also aren't as many ribbons, so I think that influences them. They're happy with their ride. Most never expect to get a ribbon. When they do, it's the cherry on top of their showing sundae.

Too bad we always want more ribbons in dressage and everyone becomes ribbon happy. It's so silly. It's not a major achievement if there is only one person who qualifies for your class. :lol:

JLR1
May. 4, 2012, 06:09 PM
There is absolutely nothing I like about showing and yet I feel it is good to have a goal and an evaluation of our training, therefore I do it. I hate the pre-show prep, constricting outfit, inconvenient ride times, and most of all the performance anxiety I sometimes get. I have questioned my sanity on more than one occasion heading off to the show grounds in the dark, muttering "Why do I do this to myself?".:lol:

exvet
May. 4, 2012, 06:50 PM
I can't stand show moms. Ugh. Keep them, please??

Ah well bless your little heart. I am a show mom and I'm a competitor in my own right (got into this insane hobby long before the kids were born). And....just to antagonize those who hate hearing others complain about the cost too, I love showing with the only exception of braiding and THE COST. This little piece of white trash who has the audacity to take her spawn to the shows revels in it when her free horse places ahead of some 6 figured money pits.............hee, hee, hee, hee, hee.........oh and watch out for my kids 'cause if you don't you'll have me to contend with but not from the side lines, I come armed and dangerous on a fire breathing beast who does follow my bidding. Now with respect to us congregating with trainers and groupies.....not to worry 'cause we're too poor to afford stalls, we just show off the trailer :winkgrin:

Mardi
May. 4, 2012, 11:53 PM
What do I hate about competitions ?
Temporary stalls.

lorilu
May. 5, 2012, 06:00 PM
First rides at 8AM and second rides at late afternoon - I KNOW this happens at recognized shows..... but at a schooling show where the secretary "stamps" (HER words) her schedule by splitting the TL division - two classes in AM and the last class in the late afternoon?? REALLY??? And I have hand scheduled enough schooling shows to know it probably isn't necessary.


Last year, at a recognized show, my first ride WAS the first ride of the day, and my second ride was something like third from the end of the long day.....


L

runnyjump
May. 6, 2012, 09:33 AM
I can't stand show moms. Ugh. Keep them, please??

Ah well bless your little heart. I am a show mom and I'm a competitor in my own right (got into this insane hobby long before the kids were born). And....just to antagonize those who hate hearing others complain about the cost too, I love showing with the only exception of braiding and THE COST. This little piece of white trash who has the audacity to take her spawn to the shows revels in it when her free horse places ahead of some 6 figured money pits.............hee, hee, hee, hee, hee.........oh and watch out for my kids 'cause if you don't you'll have me to contend with but not from the side lines, I come armed and dangerous on a fire breathing beast who does follow my bidding. Now with respect to us congregating with trainers and groupies.....not to worry 'cause we're too poor to afford stalls, we just show off the trailer :winkgrin:

I don't think you understand what she meant by "show moms." That term does not usually apply to moms who show, but rather moms of kids who show. The mom's who are like those on "Dance Moms" reality tv show. The moms who feel since they are paying for a horse, lessons, training, etc., that little Suzy should only win blue ribbons. Who chronically complaine that "that other child who is so spoiled" is winning on her grade horse over Suzy's five figure warmblood. The moms who either berate their child or coddle them.

From a competitor/trainer point of view, your children are welcome at the show, but must understand how to behave around horses that may react differently from yours. I am NOT saying they don't, just making a statement. I have been at too many shows where the kids are running free, darting in and out of the barns, popping up from behind something. It is not only dangerous for the horse and rider, but the child.

Again, I am NOT saying your kids are like this. And congregate away... just don't block anyone or be excessively loud. I have enough of that to deal with!

And I love when the "underbred" horse beats the big boys! I specialize in taking those horses written off by others and turning them around to beat those very people!

exvet
May. 6, 2012, 10:28 AM
Oh I do understand very well. I use to catch ride when I was much, much younger. I had the velcro hiney without much money behind it and rode the candy-a$$ed kids' ponies in the "prep" classes in order to get my horse a ride to the shows. I've been blessed out by plenty a show mom because it was my fault their kid didn't place later in the day. In fact my trainer/mentor nick-named me butt-wipe after a particular show mom ordered me around all day long one day and nothing was fast enough or good enough.

Now fast forward 35 years................I have been accused of being a show mom and why not? I do have two kids who ride and show. Not all of us are created equal... but have earned the title because I did question a comment from a judge as to whether or not it was appropriate after my child's riding instructor felt that it was not. So I am one of those.

I can promise you that, no, my kids do not behave the way you describe. Most of the "real" competitors pay them to help out at the shows because they do know the right place to be at the right time and have earned the right to have their own horse.

I have shown for many years in this discipline and have seen many things. All in all just due to the paucity of kids at dressage shows I find it's not the kids that create the majority of the problems. Several years ago I was showing at a recognized dressage show. My children were 11 and 8 at the time. I had just finished my third level ride when my kids and I were headed back to the barn. My daughter was leading my horse with me on it while I was reading an earlier test. My son was walking behind us on the same path carrying my brush bucket, whip and ribbon from earlier. Both kids were totally quiet, WALKING and staying very close to my horse. A DQ coming the other direction on her horse stopped at least 20 feet in front of us and screeched that I stop my horse immediately. She demanded that my kids stand perfectly still because her horse was not use to little people and he was getting upset. The horse appeared quiet and well-behaved yet she continued to screech and insisted that my son move off the path (keep in mind she was not on the same path but a parallel one) and stand behind a tree so not to bother her horse. I asked him to step aside, put everything down (which he was not waving or doing anything other than carrying like an adult would) and stand still until the "nice" lady told him it was OK to proceed.

My kids are 19 and 16 now and understand very well how many adults behave on the dressage circuit and have lots to compare with since they've been indoctrinated with breed shows, comepetitive trail events and working western events (which my husband, also a vet, has drug them to too while working). Honestly for the very, very small number of kids seen at the dressage shows around here, it's not the younger generation whose behavior should be called into question or stupidity/lack of experience/out and out ignorance should be questioned....................you can ask my son who caught the big imported & expensive dutch pookie bear that the neighboring lady lost control of last weekend at the show. She thanked him (actually and surprisingly) and then proceeded to fuss and muss over the mannerless behemoth only to scratch her rides because he was too nervous with all the distractions (her words not mine). She then commented on being surprised that my child was able to handle her horse................and asked if he would hold her horse since she could no longer keep him tied to the trailer and so she could watch some of her friends ride in peace. For some reason I think that lady was somewhat relieved to have the show mom and kid close by that day.

Well some things never change, at least I will always be assured that the white trash contingent does still serve a purpose.

Signed a show MOM who likes to show AND likes to bring her kids to shows, hell they're reliable slave labor at their worst and damn good riders at their best :winkgrin:

ThreeFigs
May. 6, 2012, 10:52 AM
Oh, thanks for reminding me about rides scheduled hours apart. Yeah, that's a pain. Fortunately, our two local show organizers try their best to have rides within a couple of hours of each other. Enough time to unsaddle and give the horse & rider a chance to get a drink, visit the porta-potty, grab a bite, fix a disintegrating braid...

Of course, that's not always possible, but I appreciate the job these people do. They try to make the show experience as pleasant as possible!

Velvet
May. 6, 2012, 11:06 AM
exvet :rolleyes:

Hey, if you want to claim the title I give to women (trainers and mothers) who boss everyone around so little dearie won't be disturbed by any possible large horses moving around in a WARM UP ring while dearie is riding her test in a ring 100 ft or more away, or snaps at innocent newbs sitting around and watching who want to clap after a test, but while little dearie is coming into the ring and they're afraid that dearie's horse (who's usually only worried about the judge in their box) might freak out, then by all means, the title is yours.

Worse than freakin' DQs. Helicopter/show parents and coaches who forget that it's about riding and that the if the competitors and audience members are in the right places and are obeying the rules, need to get over themselves or find a new sport for little dearie. Or maybe only push little dearie into the ring when they can actually ride their horse. The rules make it safe for everyone--when the riders who enter the ring can actually steer and ride. Usually, the horses are just fine, it's the helicopter/show moms that make things horrible.

If you're out there bossing around everyone else and consider them all DQs only because it helps you justify your own bad behavior, then you are one of the show moms I was talking about.

clbailey54
May. 6, 2012, 12:16 PM
cLosest show is 6 hours from me so the travel and expense is tough. Tests that run to close together is a problem. I have not found dressage people overall helpful and friendly and like others I miss the unity and fun that some of the other disciplines promote. What I love is watching my horses ridden by talented trainer Chelsey Sibley and the progressive way my horses advance. I love the intricate nature of dressage and the satisfaction of watching someone acheive each aspect of a test. For me, I love sipping a cup of coffee, sitting in the shade and not having the stress of riding each test. My days of riding are pretty much over but my love of horses and dressage is still strong.

KMErickson
May. 6, 2012, 12:43 PM
98% of the time, I love showing. I certainly don't wake up on the morning of a sultry summer show and look forward to being unbelievably hot, sweaty, and pink all day, but it is more than worth the excitement of getting to go out and test out my skills. I worked as a groom for a year between high school and college so things like braiding, polishing hooves, and giving baths are all things I legitimately enjoy doing and take pride in my ability to do well (though ok, I do hate getting wet, so bathing might be further down the list of enjoyable activities).

The only 2% of the time that I HATE showing is when the judging is so whacky that it makes me question why I participate in a subjective sport. I really hate complaining about judging and almost never have any qualms with it, even when I don't get the best scores (there is usually a good reason!), but sometimes I just get a test back and do. not. understand. what the judge was seeing/thinking. Especially when qualifying/medal scores are on the line, it feels like a low blow to spend such a large amount of money, time, and effort to have a completely unsatisfactory (and non-productive, as the comments are generally unhelpful in situations such as this) judging experience.

Perhaps right now it feels like more than 2% of the time because it happened to me yesterday... :o

exvet
May. 6, 2012, 02:08 PM
If you're out there bossing around everyone else and consider them all DQs only because it helps you justify your own bad behavior, then you are one of the show moms I was talking about.

Oh yesssss. That describes me to a "T" :winkgrin: Regardless I have kids who show. I show. I take my kids with me even when they aren't showing in order to have an extra hand That is when they're available. As far as bossing people around, get over it. I'm spending way too much time making sure that morons don't cut in front of me (often riding my stallion) with their mare who is in heat - or- better yet, riding the young horse away from the others in order to keep things safe, quiet and low key only to have others follow who can't handle their horse. I put my kids on horses that have been there and done that and then some; but, horses are still horses and no one wants to see their kids get hurt. Kids have just as much right to be out there riding and showing as some of the adults who just got started and are over-horsed out there in the warm-up causing just as many problems. So yes I'm a show mom, a competitor and someone who pays the same as everyone else to be there. I won't tell you to be quiet, stay away from my kid or do anything different than what you are doing but if you ride into me, whip my horse because you have come too close and are losing it with your horse, or have your stallion take off heading towards my stallion like the speed of light (all things I've experienced), well you can expect you will know my voice and know it well :yes:

SaddleFitterVA
May. 6, 2012, 03:08 PM
What I hate about competitions?

I seem to lose all ability to ride the second after I tell the scribe my number. :no::no::no:

Velvet
May. 6, 2012, 04:31 PM
If you're out there bossing around everyone else and consider them all DQs only because it helps you justify your own bad behavior, then you are one of the show moms I was talking about.

Oh yesssss. That describes me to a "T" :winkgrin: Regardless I have kids who show. I show. I take my kids with me even when they aren't showing in order to have an extra hand That is when they're available. As far as bossing people around, get over it. I'm spending way too much time making sure that morons don't cut in front of me (often riding my stallion) with their mare who is in heat - or- better yet, riding the young horse away from the others in order to keep things safe, quiet and low key only to have others follow who can't handle their horse. I put my kids on horses that have been there and done that and then some; but, horses are still horses and no one wants to see their kids get hurt. Kids have just as much right to be out there riding and showing as some of the adults who just got started and are over-horsed out there in the warm-up causing just as many problems. So yes I'm a show mom, a competitor and someone who pays the same as everyone else to be there. I won't tell you to be quiet, stay away from my kid or do anything different than what you are doing but if you ride into me, whip my horse because you have come too close and are losing it with your horse, or have your stallion take off heading towards my stallion like the speed of light (all things I've experienced), well you can expect you will know my voice and know it well :yes:


Some people just see themselves in EVERY comment and every label. It's either being egocentric or it's just an inability to comprehend what other people are saying. Oh, wait, maybe it's a desire to take umbrage with EVERYTHING just to have something to be worked up about.

exvet
May. 6, 2012, 04:41 PM
Some people just see themselves in EVERY comment and every label. It's either being egocentric or it's just an inability to comprehend what other people are saying. Oh, wait, maybe it's a desire to take umbrage with EVERYTHING just to have something to be worked up about.

Aren't you too sweet?!

Velvet
May. 6, 2012, 05:59 PM
Yep, I'm VERY sweet! :D :yes:

:lol:

cnm161
May. 6, 2012, 06:19 PM
What I hate about competitions?

I seem to lose all ability to ride the second after I tell the scribe my number. :no::no::no:

True story. Happens to me allll the time.

Home Again Farm
May. 6, 2012, 06:48 PM
I love spending the weekend bonding with my horse. Sometimes, when we are both nervous and have to rely on each other, that's when the best bonding happens!

I'm not particularly fond of jackets or ties, but I do think both of mine are really pretty, so I like to wear them due to the fact that I spent a lot of money on them:-)

I love seeing my "horse show friends"-people I hardly see, except at horse shows. They are a huge reason I show (or volunteer when showing isn't a reasonable option, as I don't think it will be this year).

I love barn aisle parties after everyone's done for the day. Celebrating a successful day with a few friends and a glass of wine can change even the worst mood, even if by "successful" you mean "no one was taken away in an ambulance today".

I hate having bad tests after all the hard work and preparation I've put in. It's really tough to swallow after all the expense and time and work. But I do believe that going through these tough times, especially while young, makes you better equiped for the inevitable disappointments that will happen in all facets of life. Being able to step back and go "ok, I need to make a change here" or "I really need to not let the fact that my horse was afraid of that child on that bike with that umbrella change my attitude" makes all of life's obstacles much easier. It's like yoga for your attitude.

I also hate that I don't know left from right and turn the wrong way at C HALF THE TIME!

I love your post. So much of what you wrote was true of me and my friends when we were showing in the late 70s through the 80s. I didn't think anyone was left with this sort of attitude. Good for you for being such a good sport and enjoying all the good (even tiny bits) that comes your way. Your post made my day. :D:yes::D

Rhiannonjk
May. 6, 2012, 07:06 PM
I love your post. So much of what you wrote was true of me and my friends when we were showing in the late 70s through the 80s. I didn't think anyone was left with this sort of attitude. Good for you for being such a good sport and enjoying all the good (even tiny bits) that comes your way. Your post made my day. :D:yes::D

Oh we are still out there!

Home Again Farm
May. 6, 2012, 07:39 PM
Oh we are still out there!
:cool::cool::cool:

SaddleFitterVA
May. 7, 2012, 12:31 AM
I also hate that I don't know left from right and turn the wrong way at C HALF THE TIME!


Good post, all of it.

I used to turn the wrong way at C...about half the time.

Now I make sure to put my bridle number on the side I turn. Test 1 & 3 of the level, it goes on the left, test 2..it goes on the right.

Since I started that, I have not turned the wrong way after my initial halt/salute.

skydy
May. 7, 2012, 12:40 AM
Good post, all of it.

I used to turn the wrong way at C...about half the time.

Now I make sure to put my bridle number on the side I turn. Test 1 & 3 of the level, it goes on the left, test 2..it goes on the right.

Since I started that, I have not turned the wrong way after my initial halt/salute.

Brilliant! :D

WILLOW&CAL
May. 7, 2012, 09:24 AM
I love showing....I just hate the pukey, awful, stomach-lurching feelings and the complete and total amnesia that occurs once I enter the arena.

I love the moment, precisely in the middle of Test1, when I realise where I am and what I'm here to accomplish. After that, things become pleasant. Pity I land up zombie-riding through the first half of Test1.

I love the beer my instructor/friend hands me when I'm done and I love feeling like my horse and I have just done something wonderful together and the bonding that comes from sharing that. The kicking yourself and picking appart your test comes later.

MyssMyst
May. 7, 2012, 10:49 AM
Good post, all of it.

I used to turn the wrong way at C...about half the time.

Now I make sure to put my bridle number on the side I turn. Test 1 & 3 of the level, it goes on the left, test 2..it goes on the right.

Since I started that, I have not turned the wrong way after my initial halt/salute.

I am stealing this idea!

Velvet
May. 7, 2012, 10:51 AM
Um, but whether you go left or right depends only on if the test is an odd or even number. You should know the number of the test you're riding. :lol:

Gloria
May. 7, 2012, 04:43 PM
Any idea how to stop this insane brain fart where your caller smartly calls out a canter loop, and you on your shiny pony boldly charges into uncharted X to perform a insanely beautiful canter-trot transition, proudly and cheerfully - only to be shaken out of that euphoric bliss by that cruel bell?

lawchick
May. 7, 2012, 05:34 PM
Can't help you. I went off course this weekend with a reader! Somehow the brain started riding a different test. The bell was a big surprise!

SaddleFitterVA
May. 7, 2012, 09:27 PM
Um, but whether you go left or right depends only on if the test is an odd or even number. You should know the number of the test you're riding. :lol:

Knowing that, and being R/L challenged are completely unassociated for me.

I'm the person who will routinely point to the right, while saying "turn left".

A visual cue gets things going quite nicely.