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How not to get caught up in your "score" at a show??

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  • How not to get caught up in your "score" at a show??

    Hey guys,

    Planning on entering my horse in PSG in the next month or so, and really trying to figure out a way to just enjoy the show and not worry too much about what I score. A little background- I have had this horse for three years now and he can be a little difficult at home. However, we have managed quite a bit of success going up the levels- Regional champion, 70's in levels 1st through 4th. When I first purchased him, it was my goal to finally reach PSG...and now that we are here, I keep trying to remind myself that a 70% is probably not likely our first...or even second, third time out! I feel like our success has almost set my standards too high! Never in a million years would I have thought we would have been so competitive. Especially in a very competitive region. However, FEI is different ball game and I really want to take a step back and just enjoy the fact that I have reached a significant goal for awhile.

    Any tips from those slighty overly-compeitive riders out there who may focus on results just a bit too much?

    I have enjoyed this journey so much and want to remember how lucky I am to even be doing this. Just have to stop being such a perfectionist sometimes!

  • #2
    My approach has always been to do as many shows and tests as possible to make them less of *an event*, which helps keep me in the mindset that they're silly and frivolous and fun, which of course, they are. :-)

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    • #3
      Instead of the overall score, pick a couple of movements and perhaps one collective which you really want to score "at least a 'x'" at this level first time out. I find this keeps the perspective in check and realistic goals for both horse and rider.

      I am at the opposite end, lol. I've had horses I've produced for which my success far exceeded my expectations; but, my expectations and reality really weren't that far apart......in other words all of my horses are 'average' movers. So just getting over 60 was a high as we went up the levels and waded into FEI. Still with one soul in particular I did have to check in with the reality gauge periodically during our career. This did keep things fun and you're right FEI is a whole different ball game Good luck and just enjoy each smaller accomplishment because they still do add up to something bigger.
      Ranch of Last Resort

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      • #4
        Congratulations on a new level... something that has worked for me is to see the first show (at a Level, for the year) as your baseline. Then the second time out you can focus on the fixes. I really like the idea from exvet to concentrate on a couple movements. Heck I would be thinking about just getting through the pattern without going off course(done that a few time). Be sure to check back in and tell us what worked and how it turned out, NOT the score necessarily, but how you FELT about it at the time...be in the moment and remember we do this because we enjoy it. Have fun.

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        • #5
          Congratulations on a new level... something that has worked for me is to see the first show (at a Level, for the year) as your baseline. Then the second time out you can focus on the fixes. I really like the idea from exvet to concentrate on a couple movements. Heck I would be thinking about just getting through the pattern without going off course(done that a few time). Be sure to check back in and tell us what worked and how it turned out, NOT the score necessarily, but how you FELT about it at the time...be in the moment and remember we do this because we enjoy it. Have fun.

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          • #6
            Not sure if this is your first FEI test (either way, congratulations!!), but I did my first PSG tests (and my horse's first PSG tests) last Summer and the most simple, helpful thing my trainer said was: "Remember, it's just another test." It flows so nicely (especially compared to 4th level) that I think you'll be surprised how nicely it'll come together.

            As for the score, I agree with a responder above. I think it really helps to say something closer to "I really want to stay straight in my tempis" or "I want my half pirouettes to stay active" rather than having your success criteria tied up in the score. Again, considering your success thus far, I think you will surprise yourself!

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            • #7
              Not from my horse showing days (I never got that far), but with my dogs at major competitions, I try very hard to remember to take a moment just before we go into the ring to be thankful. Thankful that we made it to the level, thankful that we're both healthy, thankful that we get to do this awesome thing that other people would love to do, but can't (for whatever reasons) and most importantly, thankful that I get to do this with my favorite teammate in the whole world. Taking that time seems to ground me and lets me go into the ring with a much more relaxed mindset where I focus less on the results and more on experiencing the moment.

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              • #8
                I think if you're scoring 70s at 4th level (particularly if you're getting over 70% at 4th Level Test 3), you have nothing to worry about. I find the PSG test easier than some of 4th. Just remember that not all judges score consistently anyway, the same test could be a 66.5% with one judge and a 70% with another - just focus on riding the cleanest test you can, go for the experience to see what you can do as a baseline, and use the helpful feedback to improve.

                I'd say your first time out at any level, particularly an FEI class, should just be "we're here to try this and get it done". I wouldn't go to a show if I wasn't confident I could break 60%, since otherwise I wouldn't feel really confirmed in my movements/training anyway. Other than that, you need some baseline to improve on anyway!
                Mr. Sandman
                sand me a man
                make him so sandy
                the sandiest man

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by the sandiest shoes View Post
                  I wouldn't go to a show if I wasn't confident I could break 60% (...)
                  I see it like that as well.
                  I only show at a level if I feel I could score 60+.

                  I might have a shitty ride... but technically, I wait until I’m strong enough before showing; enough to be able to deal with my horse’s shenanigans.

                  How would you score your movements in your PSG?

                  ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                  Originally posted by LauraKY
                  I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                  HORSING mobile training app

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by the sandiest shoes View Post
                    I wouldn't go to a show if I wasn't confident I could break 60%, since otherwise I wouldn't feel really confirmed in my movements/training anyway. Other than that, you need some baseline to improve on anyway!
                    I agree with this, as well. Granted, one never knows what's going to happen at a show, and things can go many different ways -- within the same test, lol -- but unless I feel confident that if nothing goes terribly wrong I can ride a respectable test that will get a score of 60% or better, I don't ride that test at a show. I measure this by how it's going at home. If we're schooling really well, I'm confident that we have the goods to score well at a show. The outcome is unpredictable, but if we're prepared, we are in good shape entering at A.

                    "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=the sandiest shoes;n10530126]I think if you're scoring 70s at 4th level (particularly if you're getting over 70% at 4th Level Test 3), you have nothing to worry about. I find the PSG test easier than some of 4th. .../QUOTE]

                      This is true, but.... The required amount of thoroughness, collection, and balance are greater in PSG than 4th. The expectations of the judges are greater. And rightly so. This is FEI.

                      The weekend that I rode my first PSG test I had the same judge for PSG the first day and 4th/3 the second day. I scored 65% on that PSG and a 75% on the 4th level test.

                      This is not to scare the poster--if you've had that much success on the way and you and your coach feel you are ready, then just go for it. I was hoping to just break 60% the first time out, allowing for first time jitters making me ride like a monkey. I find that all that thinking goes out the window once I'm on my horse, and I am just concentrating on the horse at that moment. Then I sweat it waiting for the score!!

                      Good luck!

                      From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Pony Fixer;n10531090]
                        Originally posted by the sandiest shoes View Post
                        I think if you're scoring 70s at 4th level (particularly if you're getting over 70% at 4th Level Test 3), you have nothing to worry about. I find the PSG test easier than some of 4th. .../QUOTE]

                        This is true, but.... The required amount of thoroughness, collection, and balance are greater in PSG than 4th. The expectations of the judges are greater. And rightly so. This is FEI.

                        The weekend that I rode my first PSG test I had the same judge for PSG the first day and 4th/3 the second day. I scored 65% on that PSG and a 75% on the 4th level test.

                        This is not to scare the poster--if you've had that much success on the way and you and your coach feel you are ready, then just go for it. I was hoping to just break 60% the first time out, allowing for first time jitters making me ride like a monkey. I find that all that thinking goes out the window once I'm on my horse, and I am just concentrating on the horse at that moment. Then I sweat it waiting for the score!!

                        Good luck!
                        I agree. Rode my first PSG last year. I was really surprised by the increased expectations. Returned to the (new) 4th level tests this year and.... much more comfortable.
                        But I am still glad I did it,a nd I'll return to PSG a little later in the year.
                        So my advice is - go show. Enjoy that fact that you are NOW at FEI and get to wear the cool tailcoat! Have someone video the tests for you - then sit down and look at the movements and see how the increased expectations affected your score.
                        And congrats!!!

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                        • #13
                          In addition to what everyone said above, remember that your horse is sound at PSG and you are able to ride him (no major accidents or unfortunate medical diagnoses). Everything else is a bonus and you will eventually work into. Just go show until you both are comfortable at this new level.
                          Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            UPDATE: Our first try at PSG was great! I was so proud of my horse and felt like the test runs very smoothly. We scored a 72 and 70%. There is still quite a bit of room for improvement but actually thinking about trying a CDI in the future. I know the adult amateur division has been quite successful and think it could be a good entry point.

                            For all of those out there competing at 4-3...Hold tight, its gets easier!! haha

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                            • #15
                              Well done. Congratulations!
                              "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

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                              • #16
                                Huge congrats!!!
                                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                Originally posted by LauraKY
                                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                HORSING mobile training app

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