That makes sense ... and that is why the Hanoverian Verband uses a test rider in its MPTs. A mare who might look very good under her very skilled trainer/rider might not " feel" that good under the test rider, in terms of suppleness, forwardness and response to leg aids or rein pressure. Likewise, a mare who might not look great under an unskilled rider/trainer, might "feel" attentive, supple, responsive to a test rider who has the ability to get the best from the mare and to judge responsiveness to the questions she asks with her aids.
So, I feel having a test rider, who rides all the stallions or mares being compared, does a lot to limit the subjectivity of "rideability" scoring.
This is not surprising at all. Acceptance of the bit and submission to the hand are totally basic necessities for a young dressage horse. So yeah the test rider can get on and see if the horse is willing to work and to try but if the horse has never been taught to accept the bit correctly then pretty much everything else is difficult, hence the correlation to a low rideability score.
interesting, but i don't think surprising at all. Consider that what the rider feels in the contact gives them info.....
i think to make the study really interesting they would of had to of come up with an average of each riders preferred "rein tension" while riding many horses (ie how much tension a rider puts on the reins ) and then correlate that to the amount that each *horse* puts on the reins....
because it makes perfect sense to me that a horse leaning, pulling, rooting, head flipping, etc etc would be considered negative in the ridability department.
so until we can give each test rider a "score" for their basic riding style i dont think we can make any real educated comment about whether or not rideability scoring is subjective or not.
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
But wouldn't acceptance of the bit which would lead to less rein tension depend as much on the quality of the basic pre-testing training as the innate quality of the horse?
Although I can see how a rider who is very good with basic training could make a comparative evaluation of horses based on personal experience. How long does it take before horse a gives compared to horse b? But then it's the rider's skills that are being tested just as much as the horse's innate quality.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
I think the test rider's skill and experience are critical. In Canada, Inga Hamilton does most of our test-riding. She has tons of experience as a trainer of young horses, in Germany and Canada, and as a competitor from basic to Grand Prix level. When you see a young horse under her, it can be a very different picture from what was seen just minutes before under the mare's own presenting-rider. Inga has a good eye (for judging from the ground) plus a good feel, good skills, soft hands, .... and legs that go on forever , which certainly helps when you are putting a strange 3 year old through her paces.