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Improving scores

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  • Improving scores

    So I just got done with my first recognized dressage show and have been reviewing my scores. I rode one of my 5 year olds in training level (her first real show ). We had a few rough moments during our canter work but in general got a lot of 6's and 7's when things were going well.

    My lower scores were very self explanatory but I was hoping someone can explain or show the difference in what an 8 looks like verses a 7 (there weren't many comments on the 7's). Is the main difference at that point usually the quality of the gait? In general, what are some of the easiest places to get higher marks with an average to decent mover? I assume the final halt would be one of the easiest areas to improve since it seems to only have technical requirements and does not mention quality of trot.

    Any other tips in bumping 7's up to 8's?

  • #2
    The comments should give you clarity on why something is satisfactory/fairly good/good...and what is missing. (IF there are not enough, complain to show management about the lack of them!) The quality of gait is develops through correct riding of figures and exercises (ie correct bend allows for better balance), and great impulsion as a reaction. Bit acceptance should be steady without excessive longitudinal flexion. The final halt SHOULD include the quality of the gait before it (and a REAL shortcoming of the new tests which only put the quality of gait in box 1 (omg), even though it is included in A turn up center line in trot...etc.

    So, look at the general impressions, there should be greater clarity there as well. Sure things like halt(s) should be calm/straight/square/up/open/etc and give a good place to get 2-4 extra points. Free walk/chewing fdo/regathering is another place.
    I.D.E.A. yoda

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    • #3
      I guess it depends on the movement and on the judge. I once had a judge give comments on the 7s for how to make the score an 8. For example, on the stretchy circle, "more stretch for an 8."

      I thought this was very nice and I studied the test carefully. In the next show asked my horse stretch a little more on the circle. I got a 6 and the comment from the judge was "on the forehand."

      And by the way, we wondered how your horse can stretch forward and down without being on the forehand.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
        And by the way, we wondered how your horse can stretch forward and down without being on the forehand.
        The horse should still be lifting in front of the withers, with back legs bent and movement through the back. It's meant to test suppleness and correct training (though also tests if you horse tenses at shows...so there is NO stretch for us at shows!), rather than head position. The forward/down stretch is an indication of proper stretch/carriage through the body if the horse doesn't drop onto the forehand. Really, how well that works out depends on the horse and its build. I've found at the lower levels most level-built horses are more likely to drop onto their forehand when the head goes down compared to uphill built horses who drop on their forehand when the head comes *up*. (Which is the case for my horse... thus the lack of stretch as he gets tense and stops carrying himself!)
        Originally posted by Silverbridge
        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          ideayoda- almost all of the 7's either had no comments or said something very general along the lines of "better trot" or "good energy"- not really enough to tell what needed improving. They really aren't even required to give comments for scores about 6, right?


          As a side note, do you even see a lot of mid to upper 70s in the lower levels or do most people just move up once they are consistently scoring 7's on their movements?

          Comment


          • #6
            I have been told, and am curious to find out if that's an old-wives-tale, that as a rule of thumb you only get high scores that are "1" above what your horse gets on gaits. So on a 6 mover, you can only get 7s if you do it perfectly. And your gaits score can only be "1" higher at best than your walk score.

            This is pretty much what I've been seeing, but my exposure to score sheets in limted
            "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
              I have been told, and am curious to find out if that's an old-wives-tale, that as a rule of thumb you only get high scores that are "1" above what your horse gets on gaits. So on a 6 mover, you can only get 7s if you do it perfectly. And your gaits score can only be "1" higher at best than your walk score.

              This is pretty much what I've been seeing, but my exposure to score sheets in limted
              Yes, this is very much what I was wondering but then again every so often you hear someone say "anyone should be able to get a 10 halt".

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by hntrjmprpro45 View Post
                Yes, this is very much what I was wondering but then again every so often you hear someone say "anyone should be able to get a 10 halt".
                Theoretically agree, but I have yet to see and AA actually get a 10, or even a 9, on a halt. (Now 0, I have seen! ) But since the halt score usually includes the turn and trot down the centerline, I think 10 really is pretty unobtainable.
                "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by netg View Post
                  The horse should still be lifting in front of the withers, with back legs bent and movement through the back. It's meant to test suppleness and correct training (though also tests if you horse tenses at shows...so there is NO stretch for us at shows!), rather than head position. The forward/down stretch is an indication of proper stretch/carriage through the body if the horse doesn't drop onto the forehand. Really, how well that works out depends on the horse and its build. I've found at the lower levels most level-built horses are more likely to drop onto their forehand when the head goes down compared to uphill built horses who drop on their forehand when the head comes *up*. (Which is the case for my horse... thus the lack of stretch as he gets tense and stops carrying himself!)
                  I understand what you are saying, but I still believe that even when correctly executed, the horse is by definition on the forehand, simply by virtue of being "long and low."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                    I have been told, and am curious to find out if that's an old-wives-tale, that as a rule of thumb you only get high scores that are "1" above what your horse gets on gaits. So on a 6 mover, you can only get 7s if you do it perfectly. And your gaits score can only be "1" higher at best than your walk score.

                    This is pretty much what I've been seeing, but my exposure to score sheets in limted
                    Not really true. A 6 mover and still execute an 8 halt, rein-back, transition, half turn on the haunches, etc.

                    My horse has received a 6 on gaits and still earned 8 on other movements.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                      I have been told, and am curious to find out if that's an old-wives-tale, that as a rule of thumb you only get high scores that are "1" above what your horse gets on gaits. So on a 6 mover, you can only get 7s if you do it perfectly. And your gaits score can only be "1" higher at best than your walk score.
                      Not my experience.
                      Just as a for-instance, yesterday I got an overall score of 60 something (converting eventing penaltie points to percent) with a 6 for gaits, two 8s (for turn down center line and final halt) a 4 (for a jig), 2 5s, and the rest 6s and 7s. And my best walk score was a 7.

                      I have been the scorer, and I have often seen individual movements more than 1 point above the gaits score.
                      Janet

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                        I understand what you are saying, but I still believe that even when correctly executed, the horse is by definition on the forehand, simply by virtue of being "long and low."
                        It depends on perspective. For an upper level horse, it's on the forehand compared to normal carriage regardless. But for the levels where it's called for in tests, horses aren't in the uphill carriage they will develop with more training yet, and it shouldn't be more on the forehand than the rest of their work if they are working properly.
                        Originally posted by Silverbridge
                        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Makes sense to me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            THere is no reason that any rider should not be able to ride an excellent halt (calm/sustained/square/straight)!
                            I.D.E.A. yoda

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My guess is to improve scores at one level you should have better specifics - at lower levels more self carriage, at medium/higher levels things like larger strides, more suspension/jump, more angle (in shoulder in), etc. so that all movements "look" more like the next level up horse stepping down and performing at current level.

                              Does that help?
                              Now in Kentucky

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                                Not really true. A 6 mover and still execute an 8 halt, rein-back, transition, half turn on the haunches, etc.

                                My horse has received a 6 on gaits and still earned 8 on other movements.
                                Yup - I've received a "9" on an lengthened canter at First Level, and a "6" on gaits scoring in the medium 60's for overall score on the test. (Mare had a hard time at that point bringing her canter stride down to normal - for most horses).

                                In fact in prior test that same day (same judge) test comments stated 'trot too slow' & 'canter too fast' (after watching ex-western pleaseure horses go all day). Then once she saw the lengthened trot and canters she no longer made those statements - she realized what was the real issue.
                                Now in Kentucky

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                                  I have been told, and am curious to find out if that's an old-wives-tale, that as a rule of thumb you only get high scores that are "1" above what your horse gets on gaits. So on a 6 mover, you can only get 7s if you do it perfectly. And your gaits score can only be "1" higher at best than your walk score.

                                  This is pretty much what I've been seeing, but my exposure to score sheets in limted
                                  Not in my experience. Have gotten 9 with a 7 mover several times. And 8s with a 6 mover.
                                  Donerail Farm
                                  www.donerailfarm.com
                                  http://donerailfarm.wordpress.com/

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