The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Posts
    93

    Default Your worst test experience...do tell!

    A lot of folks are getting ready to show, many for the first time. We have been
    having threads on show apparel, show nerves, etc...
    It might be fun and actually helpful to those new to showing to hear about
    your worst test ever. I am sure most of you have such a story...I know I
    do and will share it.
    So, who wants to get the ball rolling??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2008
    Posts
    93

    Default

    It was my first ever dressage show and I was to ride Training Level Test one on an elderly Tb that my husband and I were leasing. We trotted down the center line. I attempted to Halt/Salute at X but we just sort of jumped up and down
    a lot on the spot...giving up on this movement (and the salute) we lurched onward careening around the ring. I had no
    steering, no control, no circles 20 meter or otherwise. The judge kept ringing the bell "No No dear, at M..over there!"
    "Yes M'am", I sobbed. I was crying so hard that I could not see the ring letters. Eventually we came back down the
    center line and did halt, a minor miracle at that point. My beloved husband helped me down and I cried in his arms.
    God love him, he said "That was the bravest thing I have ever seen. You kept going and did not quit". I got a 37 and
    it was a gift!
    Whenever I start to worry about an upcoming show, I think of that first
    time..always make me smile.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 1999
    Location
    Concord, California, USA
    Posts
    8,411

    Default

    Not worst, but certainly funniest. Training Level. TB mare with a sweet disposition, but moved like a muscle bound stock horse, despite being long and lanky and 16.1+. She did have old scars on her front pasterns, so while she vetted fine, she was just a mediocre mover. I had originally bought her as a hunter prospect, but was trying to event her, ergo going to dressage shows to try to polish up her dressage, such as it was.

    Mid-morning ride, it starts heating up, my glasses start sliding down my nose just as I start down the center line for initial entry/halt. As I ride forward and start down the long side, the glasses slide even more (I forgot the freakin' elastic band to keep that from happening). Knowing that nothing much happens in Training Level Test 1 (circa 1976) except big circles, I flip my head as far as I can toward the centerline parallel to V and send my glasses flying. Rode the rest of the test essentially blind. I am extremely near-sighted. Good thing I knew the arena/letters well!! Managed to complete the test (I think I got a 62%). After I halted, I asked the judge, Elizabeth Searle, if I could dismount in the arena and recover the glasses. She said yes, of course, and started down from the judge's stand to help me find them! I assure her I knew where they were, and picked them up as I led my mare back down the arena toward A. When I got the test back, where I had flipped my glasses, she had written "Rider tossing head!" with a big "Smiley."


    With my new horse, a youngster, his first test, he spooked three times, violently. embarassing, but what they heck - he didn't get me off. I survived. LOL



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2000
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,954

    Default

    Horse jumping out of the ring (what else is an eventer SUPPOSED to do?).

    Horses don't really don't have any idea how to give you a bad experience .... they are just being .... horses! ... Even when they do "unpredictable" things, I personally still don't usually get upset. In fact, most of the time, it's FUNNY! ...

    Magnum
    "If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    5,074

    Default

    Our worst test was the first one we ever rode!

    We were walking around the ring waiting for the bell, and my mare spooked when she saw our reflection in the mirrors next to the dressage ring. (My guess is she had no idea her rider looked so bad!) She flew ten feet sideways and I came off and landed on my back in the ring. I got up, dusted myself off the best I could and we went on to ride our test. Nothing like having the judge's first glimpse of you come while you are flat on your back.

    Fortunately, the incident happened before our test and we were still able to go in. It was only an Intro test, but needless to say, our scores weren't that great. One of the judge's comments was "rider did a good job handling an obviously tense and distracted horse." Oops.

    Needless to say, I have now desensitized my horse to mirrors.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2008
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    631

    Default

    I had a lovely Dutch mare who I used to event with. She was an awesome jumper, but despite having beautiful movement she was a complete battle-ax to ride on the flat. It was sort of like trying to supple a 2x4 stuck in cement . On a bad day we were in last place after dressage, and on a good day we were TIED for last place after dressage. I remember one event where she was just totally not willing to play. We spent most of the test bucking, rearing, leaping, and levading across the arena. All that was being asked of her was W/T/C and 20 meter circles.... you'd think even SHE could handle that!! I left the arena laughing, because quite frankly what else can you do at that point?! When I got the test back, the judge had written only one comment at the bottom, "Lovely quality horse, but not quite ready for the level". We were only competing Training level for crying out loud. Oh well, I suppose I bought her for this http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/g...t/Scan0001.jpg , not her ability to do beautiful dressage .



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,488

    Default

    It was my first dressage show, training level test 2. There we were circling, cantering, trotting, walking. Then we cruised down the long side of the arena, bam, my head went completely blank. What am I supposed to do next? I had dismissed my reader thinking it was only a simple test. So there I was, getting completely panic stricken. In desperation, I started eyeing all the strangers around the arena, whispered, what do I do next?

    The lovely audience whispred rather loud, made a big huge circle with their arms, saying, "go down the center line, and salute!"

    Quite embarassing really, a rider ask the audience what to do next...



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2000
    Location
    Out of the loop
    Posts
    2,929

    Default

    There was the one early in my dressage show "career" where my sweet and willing little pinto mare trotted smartly down centerline, performed a precise, if a little spraddle-legged, halt at X, stared in snorting horror at the judge's stand while I saluted, stood up on her back legs, spun around and cantered smartly back out of the ring away from the monstrosity that, apparently, was the judge's stand. (Oddly, she'd had no issues trotting past it twice as we prepared to enter the ring!)

    Despite disqualification for leaving the ring, very kind judge let me come back and ride the test for schooling and even scored me like a regular ride, commenting at the initial movement: "Very naughty horse, but nice, straight centerline coming and going." I guess judges really need a pretty good sense of humor!
    Equinox Equine Massage

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
    -Albert Camus



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2009
    Location
    it used to be country
    Posts
    689

    Default

    I was the first ride of the day at my first horse trial, it was flurrying, my horse was a little up, so we start the test, me just trying to keep him in the arena, made it about 1/3 of the way through and the whistle blows. Heart just dropped, the judge asked what test did I think I was riding, I told her (repressed memory I don't remember now) she said no it was supposed to be another one. I asked if she was sure, she said 'uh yes'
    I slunk out of the ring, could not even answer DH when he asked what was wrong, felt like I was 6 years old again. Next rider same thing,I was already att he officials booth when the judge came up, she appologised and asked was I ready to try the right test? We were much better the second try. Third overall for the day, (but I can still hear that whistle).
    We did one rainy show where my brilliant boy decided to jumpt every puddle in the ring...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    11,726

    Talking

    Let's see was that the one with "Enter at A, spin buck and trot a wavery zig-zag,to X?

    Or the one where we got to X halted saluted, and ran backward at 900mph?

    Or the one where a small child opened an umbrella repeatedly outside the ring?

    Or the one where it poured all day and the last test was ridden on a camel, at least it loked and felt like one.

    Or the one where I carefully studied and began the wrong test.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2005
    Location
    in the saddle
    Posts
    4,149

    Default

    My mare rearing and rearing and rearing when at the entry of dressage show arena she saw a dozen flags flapping on the wind. I should off excused myself right then, but I turned around and entered at A from the other side - I thought it was so smart until the test called to go to the side with the flags and it was a disaster... every time that we needed to go past the flags...

    So don't forget that you can excuse yourself from the test in certain situations.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2003
    Location
    Eastern Pacific coast
    Posts
    3,865

    Default

    Hadn't shown in years, but took lessons, practiced, and off to the show I went. Second Level Test 1. Horse was a dream. At end of test, coming down center line, we halt, right on target. I look at judge. She looks at me. We looked at each other. "Is there something else I should be doing ?" I thought. "No, that was the test", I told myself. Ok fine. We're done. I pet my wonderful horse.

    While walking towards C, judge asks "Were you waiting for me to signal you to salute ?"

    Aaaaahhhhhh...so THAT's what was missing at the end. No wonder the judge kept staring at me. I get it now. Duh.

    And a quick story about a friend I hauled to a show years ago. Training Level test. She had no dressage arena to practice in, so she created a smaller version in her living room the night before to help her remember the test.

    She's in the ring. I'm calling the test. Seems to be going well. I call out "Turn right at E" or something. She trots a few steps, stops, and yells, "WHERE THE HELL IS E ??????"
    -Amor vincit omnia-



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2006
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    How about riding down the center line with a reader. Reader says Track Left at c and I track right. Don't know my left from my right.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 1999
    Location
    Concord, California, USA
    Posts
    8,411

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by magnum View Post
    Horse jumping out of the ring (what else is an eventer SUPPOSED to do?).

    Horses don't really don't have any idea how to give you a bad experience .... they are just being .... horses! ... Even when they do "unpredictable" things, I personally still don't usually get upset. In fact, most of the time, it's FUNNY! ...

    Magnum
    ROFLOL - I ended up riding an eventing dressage test in front of a former instructor. Mare (different mare than the one in the glasses tossing episode), was a notorious stopper. I trotted down the center line, halted, saluted, trotted forward, track right.... and out of the ring she jumped. Judge said, "Go ahead, ride, I'll score you, but you're eliminated." And as I turned away to commence my trot and turn at C, she said quietly enough that only she/scribe/me could hear: "And I know if you ASKED her to jump that, she would have refused. Tee-hee." Good thing I'm not easily embarassed~!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    892

    Default

    I was scribing at a schooling show when my daughter, then 8 on her POA, then 22, rode in. They halted at X, saluted, came down and turned the wrong direction. Judge rang the bell, very kindly explained the error and told them to start again ... which they did but with these HUGE tears pouring down my daughter's face throughout the rest of the test!!!! Judge was beating herself up for frightening the child so I said, "That's my daughter, she cries about everything." Which made me sound like the evillest mother in teh world but it was true!!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2004
    Posts
    2,342

    Default

    worst test- passaging down centerline sideways, tail over back, horse's head straight up in the air, bit clenched in teeth, bellowing for his barn mate, at X made a piaffe pirouette, ran backward, and spun, stopped facing A, all in a training level test. the judge let me excuse myself, she was afraid of the outcome of letting us try to do the test



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2008
    Posts
    1,845

    Default

    Wonderful teen from our barn was performing her test during one of windiest days I have ever seen. Right when she was approaching C on the left rein, the judge's tent just blew right over! Her horse spooked, recovered nicely and they finished their test.

    During that same show, my test was in the covered arena. For some reason, pigeons were roosting on almost every letter. Birds would just poof up into the air as I approached and then passed each letter. Even though I was on a horse that spooks at his own shadow, he never even batted an eye. I gave him a big hug after we were done.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2004
    Posts
    2,342

    Default

    One of the worst tests that I read for a friend: 4th level test 3, I start "A enter collected canter........." and she enters at trot. She follows the next few directions, sort of, then misses the halt rein back instructions. I repeat instruction luckily judge does not notice the repetition. She halts at the next letter, rein back, then trots off for about 10 strides. The instructions were to proceed at walk. Then she walks, judge seems not to have noticed this error. My voice is getting louder with each movement. Off we go into the canter adventures. There is this tricky sort of square serpentine with half pirouettes in the canter in this test, I scream the instructions very loudly, carefully enunciating the "turn left....." parts. She turns the opposite direction each time, and gets hopelessly lost in the middle of the ring. I rack my brain trying to think of something to yell to get her back on course (the judge has not noticed this off courseness yet, and I think maybe I can get her back on track) but each turn she goes the wrong way, and finally is on track to halt and salute toward A and is doing the tempi lines backward. I give up, and wave my test booklet at the judge, who now that I have stopped yelling instructions, finally realizes that we are way way way off the map, and blows the whistle. Friend is always cheerful, laughs, and gets back to the right direction, finishes test. I was hoarse for three days after this.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2009
    Posts
    332

    Default

    My worst test experience was my only test experience. I did one of the intro tests so I could also go in the tadpole jumping. I got to the show and was told not to get in a rush to get on since my ride time was late in the day. While eating lunch I decided to share a piece of my sandwich ham with one of the old barn dogs. Before I could drop it on the ground, the dog jumped up and grabbed my hand. It took me several seconds to get the dog to release, so my hand was pretty nasty. One of the ladies working at the show helped me clean my hand up and started bandaging it, when someone came running into the barn to tell me that my ride time was in five minutes.

    I had to run all the way to the end of my pony's pasture, of course he wouldn't be at the gate, and his pasture would be one of the biggest at the barn. Trotted him back to the barn, got him tacked up and got on. When I got to the ring they told me I hadn't missed my time yet because the little girl ahead of me had been having trouble keeping her pony in the ring. I was able to do one trot lap around the ring before going in, so no warm up. We did our test and got fairly low scores on everything. We had to trot from the dressage ring to the jumper ring to make it on time, yet again no warm up. I also didn't have time to learn the course. I went in, refused the first jump, went back over it and by this time I had no idea where I was going. I jumped my own course meanwhile everyone is yelling at me to get out of the ring, but I paid my money so I thought we were entitled to something.

    Meanwhile, somewhere between the dressage test and my jumper course, my bandage came off, so my left white glove (I wasn't sure if white gloves were appropriate for intro, but I figured it would be my one and only chance, so why not) was filled with blood and had turned a nasty shade of pink. Because I was disqualified from the jumpers, and it was combined training, I'll never know how I placed in the dressage. However, on the judge's card her one positive remark about us was her opening line; "Very cute pair!" and in my opinion that made it worth it.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Posts
    2,255

    Default

    judges comment: jump no longer required at end of test


    yes, my extended canter took me over the far corner rail and back to the barn area. buh bye y'all!



Similar Threads

  1. Young Horse Test or Training/1st Level Test?
    By displacedyank in forum Dressage
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May. 15, 2012, 10:23 PM
  2. spinoff from worst remakes -- worst sequel
    By tle in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Oct. 10, 2011, 02:24 PM
  3. Critique my test? First Level - Second Test
    By PiaffeN'Passage in forum Dressage
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Jun. 8, 2011, 03:42 PM
  4. Worst job you've ever had?
    By up-at-5 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: Apr. 23, 2011, 01:23 PM
  5. Where was your Best/Worst OTTB buying experience?!?
    By ladipus in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Feb. 8, 2009, 12:07 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness