My now retired grey mare had issues with being alone and dressage. She was fine cross country or stadium but in a dressage ring the first couple seasons were difficult. This was at her 2nd or 3rd show and she spun in circles, reared, backed up, and bolted all before we got to the dressage ring. I was smooching, yelling, and smacking her with my whip.
I was nice and quiet when we got into the ring but I sat the entire test because I sure as heck wasn't going to let my butt leave the saddle and I didn't even try to free walk. I don't think we actually halted at all. I just ducked my head without letting go of the reins while we pranced sideways vaguely near the centerline.
She eventually grew out of it and could put down a passable test.
At my last horse trial the photographer (who was sitting right next to the judge's hut) decided to climb over the fence as I was going by, which made my horse think there was monsters in that part of the ring. Everytime we went down that short side he got really fussy and swung his head out to stare at the photographer.
Judge wrote "In the corners you want your horses head bent to the inside"
During our right lead counter canter (a move that Toby ALWAYS tries to throw in some lead change or hooliganism in every test, despite the fact that he can do a right lead counter canter in all sorts of figures and patterns at home, all day long), Toby did a BEAUTIFUL flying change (the horse that will never change cleanly when asked) AT C...then proceeded to act like a pissy little ass for the rest of the movement as I attempted to correct it. We got a 3, and "Problems."
Green TB at first unrec. BN event came up the centerline and tried to jump the chain as I tried to turn in the pouring rain. Landed on my feet and asked the judge if I was eliminated (I wasn't!) I think we finished 4th in the end and said horse is now going prelim (and staying in dressage rings!
A few people at our barn were commenting/half complaining that they always get "cute horse" on their tests. All three of them have adorable, small Arabs. One even has long eyelashes...
A woman who comes in to give lessons sometimes is also a judge. She heard them and says, "but sometimes the Arabs ARE cute!"
along the lines of "cute" comments, I wonder if some stuff is just standard tossed in to make ammies feel better. If they say "nice pair", how do I know they really mean it? Would they write that on a test in open?
I had just purchased my first horse for $500, white with a pink nose, with the ridiculous name "Happy". I had a big list of potential names for this guy, but entered a combined test before I had picked the "right" name, so put his barn name down.... After a pretty decent test, the comment from the judge was "What a happy horse"! That was it, the name Happy stuck, and I still (almost 20 years after his passing) have people ask me about that "Happy" horse. Looking back, no name would have been a better fit, and I have that judge to thank!
"A little cranky" on the day my horse was given a very generous 4 for submission... after we were given longer than 45 seconds to get in the ring and the judge told me after the show he wanted to call out to me "try backing in!"
OMG I'm DYING over this!!!! I can picture it all...... Thanks for sharing!!
Once had a judge thank my coach for persevering with his VERY unruly NZ horse. It was not going well, but he wasn't about to give in the the big dun monster, so he just kept plucking away. After his salute, she leaned out and thanked him for keeping on with it. She thought it was a good training opportunity.
She saw him the next day, after he show jumped (very well), and thanked him for bringing him back and again reiterated how nice it was to see him stick to his guns and ride out the test. It REALLY would have been easy to have excused himself from the ring (lots of backwards and standing up).
That was kinda cool. Nice to know a judge had a heart and realized that not every test is going to be picture perfect. Sometimes they really just have to suck.
Oh! I do have something funny!! I wasn't a comment but.......
TWICE I had a really hard time completing a test (Schooling shows). Different horses, different shows, different judges......
Once my horse refused to go past the trailer containing the judge and scribe. Judge got out came into the ring and fed my horse treats. Then she proceeded to hand walk me around the arena.
Second time I could not get my horse into the arena. Judge gets up and again, hand walks me into the ring and proceeds to give me a mini lesson right there on the spot! I certainly got my monies worth!!
In my defense this was YEARS ago and thankfully we are equipped to deal with such things now. lol
My most memorable was certainly: "I fear for your safety!" The horse is now quite happy to be my whip horse but clearly had no appreciation for the finer points of dressage.
Another was from a schooling CT on a different horse who was looking for reasons to spook, found one as we were circling the ring and nearly took out the judge and scribe, I gave him a serious attitude adjustment and turned down center line to put in a great test. Judge's comment: "Well ridden. You should get mad more often!"
I had a student do a dressage test (into A or B) on her rotten Connemara/arab when the kid was like... 8 or 9. The mare was known for jumping out of the ring and the kid was really just trying to keep her IN. Basically did the whole test as a 20 meter circle around X, not getting close enough to any rail to jump out. BUT she did it and was so happy when she was done. She also did this whole test wearing neon green gloves. Judges comment? "I love your gloves!"