Differences in how the hack is judged at local/schooling/smalle shows
Has anyone else noticed a slight difference in how the hack is judged at bigger/rated shows and smaller/local/schooling shows?
I've got two horses. One that's a very very flat kneed "Virginia style" horse and one who's more of a modern warmblood with a bit of knee. The flat kneed VA horse always seems to pin at smaller/local/schooling shows no matter how he goes (assuming he behaves). He has both a good trot and canter. When he's tired, he doesn't always want to frame up and move from behind. When he's not, he tends not to do as well at bigger/rated shows. Doesn't seem to make a difference at smaller/local/schooling shows.
The other horse has, IMHO, a really great canter and a good trot. But man, it's a GREAT canter. He tends to always pin better at bigger/rated shows. Even in clearly better competition.
I especially notice this difference at CCHSA shows where in some divisions the hacks come before the jumping (don't ask me). The VA type horse always does better at these shows.
My theory is that the judges at smaller shows are making their ranking decisions much earlier, during the time that the horses are trotting the first direction. The flat kneed horses is starting off higher because he's got the trot and the other horse is starting off lower because he doesn't. And that judges at bigger/rated shows are sitting back and waiting to see the entire picture/including what they saw of movement over fences and the second horse is getting a bump up for the good canter/jump.
Other theories? And assuming that theory is correct... why? Just the judging style of less experienced judges? Regional judgind difference (the local/schooling shows tend to have very local judges where as the rated shows have more of a mix).
This has always left me a bit curious...