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Anyone else do something really stupid in their first dressage test?

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  • Anyone else do something really stupid in their first dressage test?

    My very first dressage test, probably was a walk-trot, at a schooling show: after the final salute at X, I got off, put up my stirrups, and led my little Arab out.
    Last edited by Joanne; Nov. 23, 2019, 09:15 PM.

  • #2
    Not my first... but at a combined test we did a canter lengthen down the long side, jumped the little white fence and then went over the three board fence beyond it. That horse could jump.


    • #3
      Forgot to take my polo wraps off!


      • #4
        Not in my first test. But in my last one I loudly called my horse a very bad word in front of a 5* FEI judge when he left the ring mid-test. I didn’t mean to - it just slipped out lol


        • #5
          Not my first test but... I did go off course even though I had a reader.

          And then there's this, the thread that never grows old....


          • #6
            You can read my Ridden Blooper on the linked thread.

            New to Driven Dressage, you would still think after some 30yrs of riding tests I would know a circle is a complete figure.
            You would think

            Instead we drove half a circle, headed down the rail & was surprised to hear the whistle
            I was allowed to restart from the circle, completed the test & got the comment:
            "Not flustered when going off course"
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


            • #7
              My first test, had a reader who called, A, enter working trot,, X halt salute proceed working trot.

              A track left......Left, as I turned heard, “that was your other left”

              I was mortified, wondering if the bell meant I was eliminated, but the judge let me pick it up....rode the rest of the test wondering if dressage was the best choice for the dyslexic rider!
              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

              "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


              • #8
                I ride a somewhat... Volatile gelding. I love him. He's absolutely my heart horse, and when he wants to play? He's AMAZING. When he doesn't? Oh boy... I came down centerline for our first *real* test, X, halt, salute, proceed on two legs the entire way to C... Track left, rodeo down the long side... Got him sorted out, finished the test with other assorted hissy fits throughout... As I'm walking out, my friend/volunteer groom asks if I'd like water... I replied that I think I needed something stronger, and the judge, without missing a beat, goes "Get the girl a vodka, she's EARNED it!" I told her I was shocked she didn't ring me out, and her response was, "You were riding it fine, and sometimes you just need to let them know they can't get away with shenanigans in the ring. We've all been there!"

                I left the ring thinking I NEVER wanted to ride dressage again, but her commentary absolutely turned my day around. Her remarks in the test were really helpful, and dosed with a good sense of humor. Rather than (rightly) telling me my horse was a dick, she gave me my favorite comment of my career: "Your horse is a skilled miscommunicator."
                Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


                • #9
                  My first dressage test ever and first horse show in 30 years. Quiet schooling show and I’m on a competent schoolmaster that had shown third level with his owner. We are showing training level. During the 20m canter circle, I shifted my weight to get my heels down or something and he very promptly and cleanly changed leads. We continued to counter canter the remainder of the circle and whatever came next because I had left my brain at the trailer and had no idea what to do.
                  "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MyssMyst View Post
                    I left the ring thinking I NEVER wanted to ride dressage again, but her commentary absolutely turned my day around. Her remarks in the test were really helpful, and dosed with a good sense of humor. Rather than (rightly) telling me my horse was a dick, she gave me my favorite comment of my career: "Your horse is a skilled miscommunicator."
                    What an awesome judge! It really does help when you get feedback with a sense of humor.


                    • #11
                      Not my first tests by a long shot, however, halt at c, immobility....Salute???
                      or brilliant horse, very hot, spooked at judge in car, just enough to get right legs out of the ring. Passages himself back into the ring and on we go. Got a 10 for the passage at 1st level. Very fun judge!


                      • #12
                        I did the circles with the square corners. The judge pointed out in the comments that I should have done the other kind. We went to a nice schooling show the following season and did okay on Intro A, Intro B didn't start well. Once my gelding gets underway he's not particularly amenable to whoa, let alone whoa at X. We managed to eek out a 3 "nice try" at the start. Everything was pretty good when we headed up the dreaded center line. Not only did he stop at X, but we landed an 8 "straight and square." They say you should always stop in a good place, so we retired from riding tests and headed for fun shows with the kids from the barn.
                        Tussman's law: Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come.

                        "Providence sometimes takes care of idiots." Agnes Morley Cleaveland, No Life for a Lady, 1977.


                        • #13
                          My first test of this year at an in-house schooling show, I was doing my 4 year old's second ever test, Intro A. As I'm getting ready to go in the ring, my trainer asks if I wanted her to call it. I'm all, psh no way, it's just Intro A. Halfway through, my brain decided to forego one of the circles and we just kept parading around the arena until the confused judge rang the bell and I had to figure out wtf had just happened.

                          In my defense, I had just started a new anti anxiety med that had my brain like mush Intro B went much better. Still stubbornly refused to have it called though.


                          • #14
                            My horse (redhead TB mare) did, she bucked every single stride of the canter in a Training level test. judge's comment "very naughty horse"
                            ... _. ._ .._. .._


                            • #15
                              After 30 years between shows, I had somehow lucked into the lease of a fabulous aged but healthy horse who had been successfully competed through GP. After eight months of lessons together, I figured we were ready to make our debut at (**drumroll please**) First Level.

                              He has a huuuuuge trot and my seat is, well, not up to the task. So when we lengthened trot (rising, natch) across the diagonal and then attempted to pick up canter at C, I REALLY wanted to make it look like I could actually sit those few strides of trot before asking for canter. I sat deep with what was likely a death grip on the reins and he gave me piaffe followed by passage. Hey, at least I could sit it. Doh.

                              But wait, there's more. No doubt he had lost all confidence in me as a competent partner at that point and took matters into his own hooves. Continuing at the canter, we were to change rein across the diagonal, trotting at X and picking up the canter just before the corner. Nope, he blew off my downward transition with a perfect flying change. He was SO proud of himself after that test.


                              • #16
                                Green mare, one of her first tests. I was so concentrated on keeping her soft and calm that i somehow managed to ride the entire test on the opposite side from the third movement onwards - it took the judge until almost the end to ding me and said "i don't know what you did or where you did it but everything is meant to be on the other side"
                                I think there were 2x 20m circles at X and i went the wrong direction at the first circle and hence everything on the wrong side. Mare was behaved though!


                                • #17
                                  Well, I did everything POSSIBLE that was stupid!! Horse's first show- Egyptian related Arabian mare. I had never shown dressage before, and I didn't even own a dressage saddle. The mare was 14.3 hands. We had been doing dressage for about 2 months. Seriously. Sixty days. I did this on a bet....

                                  Soooo, I sent a gal who worked for me out to pick up a shirt, a hard hat (velvet, at that time, and a pair of white breeches. I told her to keep it on the cheap - this might be a one off. She came home with a British house shirt (like $70 at that time) some really nice hard hat (like $150) and a pair of PIKEUR full seat britches- the one ones in my size she said (28 long). I decided that I would not be able to quit, because the clothes along were costing me a fortune....

                                  I borrowed a saddle from one of the instructors who worked for me back then, He rode a 16.3 hand warmblood mare in that saddle and girth....

                                  I have picture of me riding the mare in that test with daylight between her, and the girth. Alot of daylight. My hunt seat background, and riding everything crazy and bareback stood me in good stead- I stayed ON!!

                                  The classes were at the Arab show at DEVON (go big or go home) and we were sixth in the first class (T4). I hate losing. I mean I hate it. So, I pulled myself together for the second class. First 1. We won that class.
                                  When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


                                  • #18
                                    My first dressage test ever was at a young riders' recognized show put on by three GMOs. I did T3 and 4, and it wasn't until I walked out of the arena after the last test that anyone noticed my left leg was the correct length, and my right leg was 4 holes too short.

                                    The other memorable one, where I got in trouble with the judge, was at a schooling show, riding my instructor's half-draft gelding. He was a freaking freight train. So here I am, all of 125lbs on this 16-hand half-Belgian, puffing and puffing as he's getting stronger and stronger, running through my aids, ignoring my half-halts completely, and as we turn at A down center line for the final halt and salute, I am cussing him so loudly that the the judge heard me. In an outdoor ring. With the wind blowing my direction. Her comments were less than amused.


                                    • #19
                                      Trot in the free walk. Every. Single. Test. It's a curse.
                                      The journey is the destination.


                                      • #20
                                        Well - definitely not my first dressage test, but I fell off at the last canter 1/2 circle to trot up the centre line. My old boy was going so so so so well, I just relaxed and slid off his shoulder. He looked so mortified! the judge - who I knew well - commented that "dismount not allowed for in test". Same horse that, with glae force winds whipping the arena ropes against his legs kept cantering and getting his feet out of the way while I caught someone's top hat from the ring next to him. Same judge commented "at least, this time you stayed on board".

                                        Riding my then green 4 year old mare at her first ever show and her 2nd test of the day, we were going very very very well - scoring 8s and 9s as that mare could move and was very trainable even by a lump like me - when a helicopter decided to hover over my arena for the 2nd half waiting for entry into the local air show. Probably up around 300m but there was a real downwash. Mare was trying very very hard to keep focused but losing it so I started to sing (badly) and repeatedly loudly telling her she was a great mare with a silly saying "who's mumma's good little mare? Mare is!" for the 2nd 1/2 of the test. They left just before I finished - and my trainer and a couple of friends were waiting to catch us when we got out of the arena - it was quite a fast sideways shuffle. Judge wrote on her test sheet "YES! SHE IS A GOOD LITTLE MARE! - Mum should have dismounted!". Others had elected to dismount and hold their horses - I was just tooo focused on riding my mare sympathetically that I forgot about sense. Mare was going brillantly though and we still scored >70%.
                                        Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!