Please take a few minutes to read this week's Chronicle, particularly the three pieces about judging. Molly Sorge has an excellent column in the front of the magazine, and there are two more pieces about judging equitation and dressage in Between Rounds and the Forum, respectively. All very interesting and food for thought.
Thanks for posting this topic. This week's issue was just great! As a hunter trainer, I read Shelby French's article and could barely contain the cheers. It's like she read my mind and put it into words- better than I could have done. I almost feel like "the Hunters" are a dying art in lieu of the Equitation division because we've lost the point of this whole sport. It's supposed to be about the horse for goodness sakes! It's a "horse show", not a "rider show".
I had just taught a group lesson yesterday where the girls jumped an Equitation type course and I talked to them about the importance of not only their position, but the way they rode the horse. I said that, as a judge, I would break a tie by asking myself which rider I would like to have riding my horse. Softness, sympathy to the horse are way more important to me than that perfect body type and the rider's form if it means that the rider is stiff.
And the Dressage judge's piece. What a poignant article.