I know we all have that one thing that made our day, or year, or well always
It could be because it was THAT judge, or because it was THAT horse and a huge breakthrough, or well anything goes
My favorite comment from a judge: Very tactful rider.
I was riding a horse that HATED everything about everything at that show lol, and to top it off it got dark before our test and the lights were aweful! I just wanted to make it through without falling completely apart ie... backing out of the ring or bucking like a bronc... And we did, but BARELY!
It was a huge breakthrough in my riding because I'd never ridden "through" like they talk about so much in dressage on a horse that was really tense, or difficult without punishing forward... Yes even that scary blast off forward!
Being from other disciplines and breed riding I'd always "corrected" my horses in the ring... Very obviously so, but this was the first time I'd actually ridden through and the horse and I learned so much!
It was years ago, and I still remember getting my test at the end of the day and seeing that remark. I felt respected by a judge that was known for being very tough
Said about our freewalk in Training Level Test 3.
We had been having a great test and my horse decided he wanted to try to turn around during the freewalk and leave the arena. He tried it twice before I was smart enough not to give him the reins again. He never pulls anything like that and I was crushed. I thought the judge worded that so kindly that it made me feel a little better.
I had a student who was doing her first walk/trot dressage test at a schooling show with a sane, but greenish draft cross. They performed the test without major incident which was what we were intending, but it still felt like a big fat success. The score was not going to be great, and it shouldn't have been, but the comment at the end was worth the price of admission for the rider, who had considered a few months earlier to sell the horse because when she bought him, he was greener than she anticipated. The comment: "Trusting and trustworthy horse."
He was so right and it really helped my rider's confidence. Bless that judge.
Mine was something along the same lines as the OP's "Very tactful rider". I don't remember the exact comment (and don't have the test with me), but I was riding my then 3 year old at her first show. My intention was to go to the show and if need be walk through the entire intro test taking whatever score they gave us. I really wanted her to see new places and to feel how anxious/nervous I get when showing. I'd already shown her multiple times in hand and she was fabulous and dealt well with new surroundings, but everything is different when you're on their back. She was spooky, goosey, and even stopped to peer with a hairy eyeball at the shadow from the judges box, but we made it through without incident and I was thrilled that the judge complimented my riding of her that day.... there wasn't much else to compliment after all! LOL.
Michael Handler, Triangle area of NC, early '70s:
"Was this your first test?" (a couple of real beginner-bloopers)
"uh....no. But I just bought this horse on Tuesday and he's spent the week running off with me - with a double-wire and a standing martingale. I was so surprised that he went off into a lovely canter, I forgot what I was supposed to do!"
"You bought this horse on Tuesday? And entered him into a horse trials on Saturday?"
A further bit of history: I'm not REALLY that gutsy. I knew someone who'd tried out for the 3-Day team, and had taken this horse to Gladstone for her tryout. So I figured if he was that good, he'd get around a Training Level. I hadn't heard back from her (had left her a message asking what bit she'd used), so didn't hear the rest of the story 'til Monday. Seems Jack thought he was "a bit strong" too - and had confined this young woman to the indoor (at least on this horse).
In my first dressage test my mare decided she was afraid of the scary judges table and as we got to C and I asked her to transition to trot from walk, the mare went slightly sideways giving the judge the "ooogly eye" and I heard her say "Resisting" to the scribe. I kind of chuckled to myself thinking "no kidding!"... goofy mare! Not really that funny of a comment but the circumstance was funny.
Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!
My favorite was "Wow nice test!". Favorite because I had warmed my self up, rode the test without any special thought at the time and was competing against my coach on her fancy horse - I ended up tying with her (73%). All my hard homework paid off and I did it all on my own, very satisfying and a big confidence builder.
My first ever dressage test (April 2010) on my new gelding (purchased Nov 2009). I was so nervous and so tense, I really don't know how we got thru it! My main objective was just to get in, stay on and get out . . . Judge made my day:
"Good potential pair", "Elegant, well turned out pair"
and our second test was much, much better.
"I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy
LOL - "Very tactful ride on a very difficult ride" This was the end comment from the judge regarding my test in general - my silly red head mare didn't like the cows coming over the rise at the show we were at (the cow pasture was next to the ring) - happened as we were changing across the diagonal at the (what was supposed to be a trot)... I actually got a "2" on that movement LOL. Same test, the mare actually relaxed briefly for one down transition and the judge wrote "Where did THIS come from?????" just like that.
My horse freaked out at RAAC, and while controllable, i.e., we walked, trotted and cantered where we were supposed to, he was tense, not through and on the verge of explosion, with several "flinches" that thankfully did not escalate into a full-ledged rodeo. At the end of my test (maybe he was trying to make me feel better), the judge wrote, "A big, talented horse who is not focused today." Yah think!~?!? ROFLOL
On the negative side, later than same date, different judge, a test in which he DID explode... I got him quickly back under control and actually managed to do the next transition (and not badly). Judge's comment, "Don't overreact with your hands." MY comment: "You haven't seen him buck!"
My favorite judge's comment ever was this summer. Judge was Peggy Pariso and the comment was: "Rider showcased the horse well". It was my highest scoring dressage test ever and it was at our first time doing 3L:T1.
It meant a lot to me because it represented all the work that I've put into my position and all the work that I've put into my horse that is not all that great of a mover and not all that suited to dressage. She'll never have more than a 6 for lengthening, but we eked out every last point and the highlights were the 8's on lateral work and the 8's and 9's on the collective marks. It was fluid, it was soft and willing and it wasn't about me, it was about my girl - and I showed her off to the best of her abilities.
I was riding a big (17.3) Irish horse for a friend at his first horse trials (beginner novice)- he was only 6, not quite done growing and had NO CLUE where his feet were, but we managed to put in a lovely test and were sitting in first with a 28. His clumsiness caught up with us big time in SJ and, while we were clean, it was quite ugly (lots of trotting three strides before the fence and sort of falling over the jumps- he was REALLY clumsy!). As I came out of the arena the dressage judge (a friend) said to me, "Maybe you should just stick to dressage!"
The good: the judge to me as I excited the arena (after recieving our first 10!) "that horse is the other half of yourself, isn't he?" pretty much sums up our relationship, he is my heart horse, we've struggled too much and know eachother inside and out.
Same horse, after years of struggling with canter walk canter (canter walk semi rear) and not moving up to 2nd, suddenly got them, owned them, and one comment was "best ive seen" and 10s at our first year at second.
Bad: same horse, putting it into a reverse backtracking what was a halfway done 10 meter canter circle " problems ..." haha, in a nutshell.
Tough judge (My favorite!) Middle of DD's Training level 1 test Thunder so loud the entire arena shook and the judge let out a squeal of surprise followed by the heavens opening up on a tin roof. DD didn't even bat an eyelash and her saintly schoolmaster pony kept right on trucking through the 1/2 circle and the rest of the test. "Fabulous rider, fantastic pony! Great to see such talent so young." She got a 70 for that test and won the class against much older kids. After the show was over she sought DD and pony out and told her great job. Pony is well worth his weight in gold.
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.
Coming up centerline, first movement of a BN test, horsey decides NOW is a good time to stop and poop. No amount of kicking was going to move him forward. When he decided he was done, he trotted right on off... Oy.