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Del Mar Spinoff: So, what do you want to see changed?

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  • Del Mar Spinoff: So, what do you want to see changed?

    There are a lot of overlapping threads on this topic, with both productive and unproductive discussion.

    So maybe to summarize, what does everyone want to see changed? Please just put down what you want changed and try no to comment on another's opinion of what they want to see changed. And try to be specific. Just saying "I want people to ride better" is not helpful.

    I'll start:

    1) Judges need better education regarding using the entire point scale.
    2) Judges need to be empowered to ring people out for abusive riding (like they do for lame horses).
    3) The gait score needs to be re-evaluated as to what it means; an older definition (emphasizing rhythm/regularity) may be better when it comes to each movement score; it just shouldn't have as much weight for the movements but should be rewarded in the collective marks.
    4) Riders/spectators need to be empowered to go to the TD if they see anything they don't like on the show grounds. My experience is that TDs are pretty good at calling out issues when they see them but they can't be everywhere at once.

    I'm on the fence about a qualifying system. I'm more inclined if it were broken up into groups (TL-2nd; 3rd/4th, FEI) than you have to qualify at each level to move up to the next. Also, the number of scores shouldn't be above 4.

    The trainer-client relationship is complex, so I don't want to get in the middle of that. It would be nice for trainers to have more ammunition for telling a client she's not ready to move up. I know we have the tests with directives for each level, but maybe a checklist (eg, do a correct shoulder in for 10 steps) would help.

  • #2
    I want to see judging more how MysticOakRanch described judging college shows. She described very well and thoughtfully, how one can judge without focusing on gaits.

    Strictly eliminating gaits, on the other hand, will not require the correct development of the horse, either. If you have a second/third level horse and it isn't developing some cadence, you have holes which are going to affect ability to keep moving up. I don't think you should reward cadence at training/first, since they are completely unneeded, and a horse who has it at that level is either bred to have bigger gaits or trained to a higher level - and you should be rewarding how the newbie rider is riding, not the price tag on the horse. But start calling out specific qualities of the gaits as you move up the levels which should be showing up? Sounds great to me.

    Another biggie, is stop rewarding horses being behind the vertical. Technically, that's not done. But the effect is that it is. Submission is overemphasized, as meaning the horse doesn't move its head. So if a horse comes above the vertical, it gets hit in that movement and in the submission score. However, when a horse comes behind the vertical the same hit on scores doesn't happen. Both should be punished at least evenly. However, horses who go around just a little behind the vertical, just enough that they can't freely toss their heads or change position much, look as if they are more submissive and get higher scores for their overall steadiness. Thus, riders learn to ride their horses that way. And horses who don't naturally have stellar gaits don't develop like they should.

    I've scribed for many judges who did choose to hit horse/rider pairs for the horse being forced BTV, and had some point out to me the difference in a young horse who is there due to strength issues vs one who is clearly trained that way. But it seems as if that rarely happens, and while a horse is NEVER getting a 7 if it's above the bit for a movement except potentially piaffe or pirouette if the body looks great, a horse who is behind the bit can easily get 7 or 8 if it still moves expressively. Obviously riders who compete are going to focus on presenting that image, then, so they can get better scores.
    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
    -meupatdoes

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd like to see more people read the directives on tests and the rules so that they, perhaps, have a better understanding of what is expected, and how they can productively comment on what they perceive as abuse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Not a huge fan of qualifying scores because I think that there's at least a fair population of riders who could end up disproportionately impacted. (I have minimal faith in the idea being implemented thoughtfully which would be key for it to be worthwhile.)

        That said I echo the sentiment that judges should specifically be enabled to ring out for poor riding ("unnecessary roughness" might be a pgrade to consider investigating and defining for this purpose).

        I also think that then usdf needs to create a policy or even just craft a statement to the effect of supporting judges so in the event they are able to ring people out for unacceptable riding they are also backed by the organization and don't have to face angry (competitors, show organizers, sponsors, whomever) on their own.

        And then again echoing the commentary on judging. How to reward/judge gaits in a way that a horse with lovely natural movement (or formerly schooled to have a nice way of going) isn't necessarily as much of a weighted advantage as it seems to be now. (Include the gaits in judging as an actual reflection of the test, riding, and training as opposed to a natural way of going? This is very clumsily stated. Sorry if it isn't making sense!)

        Comment


        • #5
          If I could wave my magic wand...

          I'd like to see the gaits component be less significant in the judging of each movement. I'd like judges to focus on rhythm/regularity, and not on scope. And of course, focus on the requirements of the individual movements. There are a few movements (such as extended trot) where scope is rewarded - we use to call those the "Brilliance movements", and of course, there is the collective mark at the end of the test (which was eliminated by the FEI).

          I believe the judge education program is pretty good. But I'd like to see some instruction on how the judges can advocate for the horses. There ARE rules that allow DQ for excessive whipping and cruelty, but no one uses those rules. Even super experienced judges are worried that riders will file complaints against them if they DQ a rider.

          I'd like to see RIDERS become more educated in how their discipline is judged, and what rights they have. For example, many don't know they CAN complain to a TD about what is going on in the warm up ring. We CAN advocate for the horse. And as we've seen on this forum, many don't realize how much the quality of the gaits effects the score.

          If USEF/USDF do institute a qualifying system, I'd like it to be reasonable and NOT rewarding fancy horses - the last thing we need is to make it tougher on those who are already not financially gifted. I think using something like the current medal system (2 scores at 60% to move up to a new range of levels) is reasonable.

          I'd like more quality affordable training options for riders - it seems we have lots of grants and support for elite riders, but what about the grass roots? I'm not sure that will ever happen, but while I'm wishing...

          And I'd like to win the Lotto

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like to see more emphasis on the riders position and overall effectiveness at the lower levels. Above the vertical should not be punished at 1st level and below. Suspension and extension of the gaits should not be rewarded at 1st level and below.

            Rhythm, regularity, and evenness of stride is more important to the lower levels than flashy gaits.

            Lengthen stride in trot is not a medium trot nor an extended trot. So a horse extending across the diagonal should not score more than a horse that lengthens properly. But I've scribed for judges that will give additional points for the horse showing movements not required by the level. And I think the opposite should happen - if the test asks for a lengthening then do a lengthening.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by atlatl View Post
              I'd like to see more people read the directives on tests and the rules so that they, perhaps, have a better understanding of what is expected, and how they can productively comment on what they perceive as abuse.
              Wow! Does that mean I would have to read the rules of every discipline before I could comment that socking a horse in the mouth while using Spurs is at least a tiny bit abusive?

              I make a suggestion, you remove your post, I’ll remove mine and this thread could go in a different direction, seeing as it asking fir what can be done, rather than people bitching, which how I perceive your comment.

              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

              Practicing Member of the Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine Clique

              Comment


              • #8
                Aggressive, talentless, and/or mean people will always be who and what they are.

                There isn't enough education because they don't really want to learn.

                The only way to manage this sort of thing is at the shows where they are immediately disqualified. After a certain number of disqualifications, a ban for a period of time. Rinse, repeat.



                Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dressagelvr View Post
                  Aggressive, talentless, and/or mean people will always be who and what they are.

                  There isn't enough education because they don't really want to learn.

                  The only way to manage this sort of thing is at the shows where they are immediately disqualified. After a certain number of disqualifications, a ban for a period of time. Rinse, repeat.



                  I would perhaps amend this to remove "talentless." I'll be the first to admit that I'm a talentless hack with no natural sense of timing, rhythm, or feel. I'm awkwardly proportioned in a way that makes my body work against me that no amount of yoga or Pilates will ever nullify.

                  But I enjoy this sport and I work hard on improvement so as talentless as I am, I'm hopefully not a complete embarrassment in public.

                  So a little less flack for the talentless and a little more scrutiny on those who have the tools at their disposal to improve but elect to ride with an excess of aggression or roughness, please?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would like to see the judges use the entire range of DESCRIPTORS and not just numbers. Eg., emphasize use the descriptors (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fairly Good, Satisfactory, Marginal/Sufficient, Insufficient, Fairly Bad, Bad, Very Bad, Not executed) rather than just simply 0-10 numbers.

                    I would like a consistent standard.....not one for CDI's and another for "local shows." That way I know I am getting a realistic comparison, not some watered down scale.

                    I would like a large reduction of emphasis on the whole "brilliance" thing.....if the gait if regular, a 4-beat walk, 2-beat trot, and 3-beat canter, then the focus should be on whether the horse is regular, loses balance, etc.....NOT on brilliance.

                    I would like judges to learn some theory about ordinal data and about test scoring so they learn to apply their "ruler" correctly.

                    I am not a fan of a qualifying rule. People with means will continue to figure out a way to "get qualified." The only people who lose are those who don't have the financial resources. If the judges would judge appropriately.....using the whole range of their scale.....they will send a message to the riders if they need to work on their skills.

                    As it now stands shows and GMO's are losing members/entries and any barrier to participation will continue to drive people away. With the continued emphasis on big moving horse, people will go to other, still competitive equestrian activities, but where people feel they and their horse have a chance.
                    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                    Alfred A. Montapert

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Edre View Post


                      I would perhaps amend this to remove "talentless." I'll be the first to admit that I'm a talentless hack with no natural sense of timing, rhythm, or feel. I'm awkwardly proportioned in a way that makes my body work against me that no amount of yoga or Pilates will ever nullify.

                      But I enjoy this sport and I work hard on improvement so as talentless as I am, I'm hopefully not a complete embarrassment in public.

                      So a little less flack for the talentless and a little more scrutiny on those who have the tools at their disposal to improve but elect to ride with an excess of aggression or roughness, please?
                      Oh.....my intent was to string together aggressive and talentless...

                      There are plenty of kind, talentless folks working to be the best they can for their horses.

                      These are most certainly not the folks I meant to include.
                      Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree about the behind the vertical, or over bent horses. In the eventing world, if your horses head is down you are getting a good score. Doesn't matter how BTV, or not in the contact the horse is. Just pull the head down and you are good to go. It is really frustrating from the standpoint of someone who is also into pure dressage, to see the scores. A steady, accurate test at the lower levels with a horse who isn't completely round, but is quiet and steady, will score lower than a horse who is squirrely, but has their head cranked in.

                        An UL coach in the area, has actually quit eventing because of this. He said the judging is so bad in our province, that he cant teach his riders proper dressage and have them do well - because the head cranks always beat them, and thus the students do not get the reward they should for their good work.
                        Last edited by Jealoushe; Feb. 7, 2018, 11:51 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I too think there are many things that could be better.


                          But, I want to see abuse addressed first.
                          Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh look, another thread on this subject.

                            I think scoring should match what we see and not leave pretty much everyone wondering how that score happened with that ride. A few people thinking a score is not quite right is one thing, but when the vast majority are left scratching their head there is an issue. I am not sure I personally know what the issue is (too much credit for amazing horse? too much credit for trying even though it was not achieved? all around sympathy?), but the issue needs to be figured out and addressed.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KBC View Post

                              Wow! Does that mean I would have to read the rules of every discipline before I could comment that socking a horse in the mouth while using Spurs is at least a tiny bit abusive?

                              I make a suggestion, you remove your post, I’ll remove mine and this thread could go in a different direction, seeing as it asking fir what can be done, rather than people bitching, which how I perceive your comment.
                              No, what it means is that if people were more familiar with the rules they would spend less time "talking" about how rules that are already in place need to be created or how judge/TD/show official roles should be defined and more time "talking" about how they can make a difference.

                              It's a free country so you can comment on whatever you choose. Throw rocks or make a difference; the choice is yours.

                              I applaud the posters who have stated that they are learning more about the rules so that they can lodge complaints and protests when they see abuse taking place.

                              P.S. thanks for making my point

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Regarding using more of the scale from 1 to 10 - I think the words that are associated with each mark are very important. Here are the current words that go with the marks -
                                10 Excellent
                                9 Very good
                                8 Good
                                7 Fairly good
                                6 Satisfactory
                                5 Marginal (formerly sufficient)
                                4 Insufficient
                                3 Fairly bad
                                2 Bad
                                1 Very bad
                                0 Not performed
                                My own personal and decidedly unscientific observation is that scores overall trended up when the word associated with a mark of 5 changed from sufficient to marginal; it seemed that after that changed, most tests started showing mostly 6s and a lot more 7s whereas before they showed mostly 5s and 6s (as far as half marks, not going there for the purposes of this discussion).

                                Definitions (from dictionary.com):
                                sufficient - adequate for the purpose; enough
                                vs.
                                marginal - at the outer or lower limits; almost insufficient

                                I would like to see something along the lines of
                                6 - satisfactory (fulfilling all demands or requirements)
                                5 - sufficient (adequate for the purpose)
                                4 - marginal (minimal for requirements)
                                3 - insufficient (lacking what if necessary or required)

                                I think the existing words are fairly good for 7-10 and 0-2 (hehe, see what I did there?)

                                Because the marks at either end of the spectrum are not seen/given as often, I think better resources to facilitate understanding of what makes a 10 different from a 9 from an 8 on the high end and a 3 from a 2 from a 1 on the low end would be useful. What if someone went through some videos of some high end competition (like championships or regionals) and pulled out clips showing the same movement as scored by the same judge(s) with different marks? Example: show clips of the three loop serpentine in T-3 scored as a 9, then same movement as an 8, a 7, etc. I am familiar with the "Through the Levels" videos, but they show whole tests, and what I am thinking would be clips of the same movement one after another.




                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                                  If I could wave my magic wand...

                                  I'd like to see the gaits component be less significant in the judging of each movement. I'd like judges to focus on rhythm/regularity, and not on scope. And of course, focus on the requirements of the individual movements. There are a few movements (such as extended trot) where scope is rewarded - we use to call those the "Brilliance movements", and of course, there is the collective mark at the end of the test (which was eliminated by the FEI)...
                                  Just curious what this ^^ would look like. I'm doing my sitting hours for part 2 of the L program (thanks again to those who provided tips and advice) and the last judge I sat with repeatedly referred to the directives specifically in the context of gaits. For example, on the collective gaits score when I said 6 or 6.5, she almost always said "why not a 7?" These were not fancy horses, the fancy horses got 8s and higher (this was TL through 4th).

                                  In the context of an individual movement, we talked about the ease of movements (yes, I know this is part of the submission collective) in response to my question about how to judge whether a horse is showing sufficient thrust/engagement/collection for the level. Her answer was that the horse needed "enough" to demonstrate ease of movements.

                                  If on a shoulder-in, the tempo changes, even if the angle doesn't vary, I'd say that horse is not demonstrating ease of that movement so shouldn't score more than a 6. If in addition, the angle varies that would be 5.5 or lower depending on what is contained in that box on the test.

                                  Lack of brilliance at the medium trot is not taught as a reason to go down but rather brilliance is a modifier to go up. So again, unless there is absolutely no difference shown, I'm thinking an "average" horse with a pure trot is going to score a 6. The last time the tests were revised CDS had a symposium where Lilo Fore went through the new tests. Someone asked a question related to giving higher scores at lower levels for horses that were going around with upper level outlines, aka fancy horses. I thought her response was great, "well, I'm sure not going to penalize them."

                                  So, if a horse isn't a spectacular mover, but can perform all the movements correctly they still can score 60% with many judges. I'd venture to say with the majority of judges.

                                  I don't think horses are penalized for having average gaits, but rather that horses with better gaits are correspondingly rewarded. It's not the same thing.

                                  A good but pricey resource that anyone can buy is the FEI Dressage Judge Handbook. It literally gives examples of the movements at all scores. A little cook-booky for some, but if you want to know the difference between any score on a movement, it's a great place to look.

                                  Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                                  And I'd like to win the Lotto
                                  You and me both sister!
                                  Last edited by atlatl; Feb. 7, 2018, 04:01 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Taking from my corporate world, I'd like some accountability--i.e. I'd like riders to have to demonstrate proficiency if they are going to show FEI. I'd like them to have to be the only rider on the horse at a show (an exception here may be a physician letter, although I'm not sure how someone who is not physically capable of warming their horse up could be riding the test itself, or be prepared to ride the test), just like at Championships. If you are riding FEI, you should be proficient enough to warm your horse up yourself. I think I might like to have whips taken away too (you can use them in the warmup, but not in the test, like at championships). I think these two things alone would probably weed out the people trying to buy their way without doing the work.

                                    I think we should add a division for riders where a horse swap is required if they are riding at FEI level. They might not have to do the FEI movements, but they should have to demonstrate that they have proficiency to ride the basics on any horse.

                                    What I am saying is that what I find lacking in our present system is a way to test proficiency of the rider.

                                    As for the horse, I'd like to reeducate the judges to weight ALL of the directives equally. I sometimes feel that they ignore a directive and focus on only one aspect of the horse (they love elastic movers and might ignore that the horse doesn't bend properly, for example). I don't know whether there is ongoing continuing education and testing for judges, but I'd like to see that. In my profession, I have to get 45 hours of continuing education credit in a 3 year period to keep my license active...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by KBC View Post

                                      Wow! Does that mean I would have to read the rules of every discipline before I could comment that socking a horse in the mouth while using Spurs is at least a tiny bit abusive?

                                      I make a suggestion, you remove your post, I’ll remove mine and this thread could go in a different direction, seeing as it asking fir what can be done, rather than people bitching, which how I perceive your comment.
                                      Totally uncalled-for.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                                        I would like to see the judges use the entire range of DESCRIPTORS and not just numbers. Eg., emphasize use the descriptors (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fairly Good, Satisfactory, Marginal/Sufficient, Insufficient, Fairly Bad, Bad, Very Bad, Not executed) rather than just simply 0-10 numbers.

                                        I would like a consistent standard.....not one for CDI's and another for "local shows." That way I know I am getting a realistic comparison, not some watered down scale.

                                        I would like a large reduction of emphasis on the whole "brilliance" thing.....if the gait if regular, a 4-beat walk, 2-beat trot, and 3-beat canter, then the focus should be on whether the horse is regular, loses balance, etc.....NOT on brilliance.

                                        I would like judges to learn some theory about ordinal data and about test scoring so they learn to apply their "ruler" correctly.

                                        I am not a fan of a qualifying rule. People with means will continue to figure out a way to "get qualified." The only people who lose are those who don't have the financial resources. If the judges would judge appropriately.....using the whole range of their scale.....they will send a message to the riders if they need to work on their skills.

                                        As it now stands shows and GMO's are losing members/entries and any barrier to participation will continue to drive people away. With the continued emphasis on big moving horse, people will go to other, still competitive equestrian activities, but where people feel they and their horse have a chance.
                                        Just a few notes:
                                        The "words" show up in the comments.
                                        Brilliance is a moderator. I hope MOR corrects me if I am wrong.
                                        And I totally agree with your last paragraph.

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