View Full Version : Can I have some feedback?? HT dressage

Meredith Clark
Jun. 30, 2012, 10:23 PM
I've been doing unrecognized horse trials for a while, we have so many great facilities in area 2 that you don't really need to do recognized until you "have" to.

Unfortunately, I've been noticing a trend in dressage... I do my test, I salute, and.....*nothing*

When I first started judges would always say something.. "good job", "have a great ride jumping" or sometimes even real advice or tips for the next test.

At my last few shows not only did I receive no feedback from the judge her/him self, but there wasn't really anything on my test either. I know that a horse trial isn't a clinic or a riding lesson but I expect something!

Maybe I'm just being bratty, it was hot today, but I just wish the judge would understand how hard we work, and pay to do these shows and how disappointing it is when we receive a "bad" score with no understanding why.

On the plus side... Juicy rocked stadium which is usually hard for us AND it was a great course, good questions!

Jun. 30, 2012, 10:42 PM
If you are showing unrecognized, chances are that the judges are L program graduates and not licensed judges. They may not even be L graduates, depending on the decision of the organizer and any local dressage or combined training organization that is affiliated with the schooling show.

That said, the L program as well as licensed dressage programs teach that judges should give a comment in addition to any score that is 7 or lower. In my experience, really good judges often can also comments on 8s and above.

I think judges are discouraged from talking much to competitors for a couple of reasons, first is that they are on extremely tight schedules to get all the rides in the ring, judged, commented on, and tests back to the scorer. I've scribed a good deal at both unrecognized and recognized events as well as dressage shows and the judges have a tough job to do keeping everything running smoothly in their ring and they rarely chat up the riders. The second reason for this, besides time constraints, is propriety: judges have the test to score and comment on and that's how they give feedback to the riders. They aren't supposed to be talking to competitors as that can lead to the perception of favoritism and impropriety.

Now, at unrecognized shows, the atmosphere is laxer and their are judges that will speak more freely in the environment. But I think it's more the exception than the rule these days. At least, in my experience showing and scribing, I remember verbal comments from judges more often in the 90s than now.

If you are getting written tests back with scores of 7 and below with no comments on it, you should bring that to the attention of show management and let them know the judge is not fulfilling your reasonable expectation. I don't think it matters whether the show is unrecognized or recognized, this is a pretty well established standard that judges should adhere to.

The most useless dressage test I ever got back as a competitor was from training level at an unrecognized event. The only thing written on the test was a series of 7s and the judge's signature. Every single score was a 7, and there wasn't one word written. I was also in a three-way tie for first with that score of 30 penalties. It was a pretty useless exercise to figure out what the judge thought I needed to improve. I don't think she bothered to watch any of the tests. I wish I'd let the organizer know how worthless the judging was.

Jul. 2, 2012, 11:30 PM
As Badger knows, Mrs KS is an L Graduate (and ex-Prelim eventer) who has judged some of our local shows. She has told me there can be several reasons why comments can be few & far between. Firstly the show may have scheduled everything so tightly that there isn't the time to wax poetical about your performance. Second the scribe may not have put down all or even any of the judge's remarks during the test - my wife has had to resort to both judging & scribing herself in rare instances. Scribes have also been known to fill in the wrong test causing the judge to have to try to reconstruct the entire test from memory.

Jul. 3, 2012, 08:07 AM
I think it depends on the judge. My son was at Fair Hill this past weekend in ON and his judge talked to him for a while. While my niece at the same event competing in OE got nothing from her judge.

Jul. 3, 2012, 09:05 AM
I got a discussion about how my chin strap needed tightening and several blank comment blocks. I have not taken a good look at my test yet, but I did get several scores below 7 and would have really loved comments since it was the first show ever on the mare I was riding.