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Riding around the dressage ring before a test etiquette?

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  • Riding around the dressage ring before a test etiquette?

    I've seen lots of riders ride around the outside of the ring past the judges box before going in. I've always heard the bell and just headed in. I'd love Willa to get to see it's just people in the scary box at her first schooling show. What are the rules and etiquette for doing that? Ask permission? Always acceptable? After the bell or before?
    Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

  • #2
    When the other rider is done with the test (has halt, salute and free walking toward the exit) you can start walking/trotting/cantering around the ring in both direction as you pleased. You can pass in front the of judge and even stop, say 'hello' and/or smile to the judge. There is no problem doing all of this if there is enough space around the ring to allow it. Look at what others are doing!

    When you hear the bell, you have 45 sec to go in, don't be late!

    If your horse is scared of the judging set up, have your trainer/reader/horsey friend walk with you a bit around the ring.
    ~ 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.
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    • #3
      except

      If it is a schooling show, and the judge is talking to the previous rider, do not ride between the judge and the rider. I saw someone do this once -- it looked a bit brassy to me and the judge reprimanded the rider after she was done talking to the previous rider...
      http://behindthebitblog.com
      Dressage, riding, sport horse blog
      BTBbrowbands.com
      Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders

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      • #4
        Originally posted by staceyk View Post
        If it is a schooling show, and the judge is talking to the previous rider, do not ride between the judge and the rider. I saw someone do this once -- it looked a bit brassy to me and the judge reprimanded the rider after she was done talking to the previous rider...
        Except sometimes you can't help but do this b/c there is no room outside the judge's booth. I usually say "excuse me" or "sorry" as I go by when I have to do this, but none of the judge's I've come across have seemed to mind - they understand.

        Also, it's important to ride past the judge's stand to allow the scribe to see your number, so actually riding around the ring is encouraged.

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        • #5
          I always ride past the judges box and halt and tell the scribe my number.

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          • #6
            "Except sometimes you can't help but do this b/c there is no room outside the judge's booth. I usually say "excuse me" or "sorry" as I go by when I have to do this, but none of the judge's I've come across have seemed to mind - they understand. "

            I think if there were no room outside the booth I would just turn around and go the other way --- there's a lot of ring to ride around without using that short side, and basically you're just maintaining what you've already achieved in the warmup, right? Plus there is plenty of time between rides to approach the judge after the comments are concluded.

            I've only seen someone ride between the judge and rider once, but it did look rude to me. I was not at all surprised when the judge called the rider on it. I guess like so many things, it is the judge's discretion, but I'd err on the side of caution.
            http://behindthebitblog.com
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            BTBbrowbands.com
            Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dudleyc View Post
              I always ride past the judges box and halt and tell the scribe my number.
              And every scribe has LOVED you for this.
              Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                And every scribe has LOVED you for this.
                I've been bringing binoculars with me lately because the numbers always seem to be on the "other side" of the horse both when rider goes around AND when they make the first turn at C.

                Also note ... say hello to the judge's box in general. The judge is probably heads' down busy writing collective remarks when you ride by and the person who is paying attention (and who REALLY cares at that very moment!) is the scribe.
                *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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                • #9
                  Also, pass both ways in front of the judge's booth so your horse see it out of both eyes.
                  www.settlementfarm.us

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Keg-A-Bacchus View Post
                    I've seen lots of riders ride around the outside of the ring past the judges box before going in. I've always heard the bell and just headed in. I'd love Willa to get to see it's just people in the scary box at her first schooling show. What are the rules and etiquette for doing that? Ask permission? Always acceptable? After the bell or before?
                    I can speak to recognized shows only:
                    - always acceptable, often helpful
                    - permission not requires (or encouraged)
                    - before or after, not relevent -- just get into the actual arena within 45 seconds after the bell. Although it doesn't seem like much time, it is typically long enough to circle the entire arena at a working trot, so continue going around in the direction you're heading when you hear the bell.

                    My advice is to keep your horse focused on her job and not make a big fuss reassuring her at the judge's box, just pass by in a workmanlike manner.

                    If you are able to stop and tell the scribe your number, that's great. In any case, it's quite helpful, too, to pass by the booth/box with the number FACING the scribe and judge.
                    *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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                    • #11
                      At a schooling show, with a green bean who's never seen the judges box, ride up to it and around it. If the horse is frightened, schooling show judges will (99% of the time) talk to the horse, reach out and let them see it's just people, etc. They know that it's a schooling show and are riders themselves.

                      At a recognized show, don't mess around too much. Let your horse see the judge and scribe and then get back to work right away. If the horse tries to shy away while in the ring, just keep riding and moving them off your inside leg toward the judges box.

                      As for riding around the outside of the ring, this is always allowed. If the judge is speaking to the last competitor, go to the box, turn around and ride back the way you came. Just keep going up and down and around without going in front of the box until the judge is finished. It's just common sense. I don't think a rider should be censured for riding in front of the judge while they're talking, but it's just common sense to avoid going between a human in a box and another on a horse that are having a conversation.
                      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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                      • #12
                        I too always ride past the judge's booth, say good morning, and announce my number.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, its expected that riders show their horses the arena and booth prior to the test. If you have the room and time to show your horse the booth face-on it's a good idea!

                          Better yet, if the show allows time for schooling the night before or prior to the first class of the day, ride up the center line several times (with a friend or coach sitting as "judge") so the horse acclimates to going up center boldly.

                          USE that time between the previous ride and your entry on center line to your advantage. As others have said, you have 45 seconds from the time the judge signals you, plus the time she/he spends finishing up comments on the previous test.

                          My dear Doofus often behaves as if he's NEVER been down center line -- I make a point of showing him the judge's booth from all angles. Then he's got no excuse!

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thank you! That's great news and advice! She's not a spooky horse at all but I'm sure she'd be quite interested coming down center having never seen people in a big box before! :-) So as soon as the other person finishes go ahead, make sure not to cross in front of the judge if she's talking to the previous rider, say good morning and give them my number and then get in 45 seconds after the bell. Got it! You guys are the best!!
                            Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

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                            • #15
                              Once you enter the ring ride down centreline as if you are going all the way to C, then just happen to halt at X. After saluting, pick up your trot and immediately tell your horse which way you are going to turn. All the way from X to C you are saying "we're turning left, but not yet." or right as the case may be. This serves two purposes (or three?) - it tells your horse that you in fact aren't expecting her to go join the people in the box, it keeps your horse slightly bent in the direction of the turn so you can avoid the drunken wobble down centreline and risk of being bent the wrong way when you finally get there, and finally if your horse decides at any moment that she really, truly, absolutely CAN'T possibly go any closer to the people in a box, you can smoothly roll into a half 10m circle to the wall without losing the rhythm and balance of the trot and proceed to the next movement.

                              Have fun!

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by staceyk View Post
                                "Except sometimes you can't help but do this b/c there is no room outside the judge's booth. I usually say "excuse me" or "sorry" as I go by when I have to do this, but none of the judge's I've come across have seemed to mind - they understand. "

                                I think if there were no room outside the booth I would just turn around and go the other way --- there's a lot of ring to ride around without using that short side, and basically you're just maintaining what you've already achieved in the warmup, right?
                                I agree 100%!!!!!!!!!!!! It's rude & just make a turn & go the other way!!!
                                Royal Guardian- aka "Gabe"

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Keg-A-Bacchus View Post
                                  So as soon as the other person finishes go ahead, make sure not to cross in front of the judge if she's talking to the previous rider, say good morning and give them my number and then get in 45 seconds after the bell. Got it! You guys are the best!!
                                  Don't rush!

                                  Before your show, you might have a friend hold a stopwatch for you to get a feel for 45 seconds. It's natural to panic and rush toward A when you hear the bell. You don't want to be late (that's bad!), but you have more time than you think. Take advantage of those few seconds to gather yourself, take some deep breaths, and calmly enter at A. Racing around the arena and entering in a mad rush to beat the clock is no way to begin a test.
                                  "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    We did it!! And got a 69%! Yay pony!! The judge was in a car at the end of the ring instead of a booth though. But after the last rider saluted I made my way around the outside, said good morning and gave them my number. My little mare wasn't spooky in the least at ANYTHING about the show so thank goodness for that! After my test the judge waved us in to ask what kind of a horse Willa is because she's just DYING at how cute my little bugger is Made me feel very good! We got great comments and her additional comment was "You have an ADORABLE partner!!!" Yay we did it!!!! Thanks for all the advice!!
                                    Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      FYI - 45 seconds not long enough for full tour of ring

                                      I was scribing at a schooling show last weekend. The judge reminded a couple of competitors that 45 seconds is NOT long enough to go all the way around the ring if you are starting near A.

                                      If you are part way down one long side you can make it with a smart trot (and very brief slowdown by judge's booth) or certainly if you are at C or close you have enough time.

                                      It is 15 seconds shorter than it used to be - rules changed a couple of years ago - so for a recognized show that may make a difference.

                                      FWIW, I always ride around the outside AND say 'hello' to judge/scribe (often say 'hello, I am # 123 riding test XYZ'). I am trying to get the scribe/judge to say *something* , even just 'yes' or 'hello' so my horse knows it's a friendly human in the box.

                                      Also fyi, Some shows have a rule that you cannot school IN the ring but you can ride AROUND it. Or, I have seen some allow you to HANDWALK the horse around the arena but not ride - check with the show management.
                                      Forward...go forward

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                                      • #20
                                        I try to at least say hello and give my number and and name...

                                        I agree with Alpha Mare..."Good Afternoon, I'm #72, (my name) on (horses name) riding (level and test ie, 2nd level test 1)."

                                        I've appreciated this bit of information on more than one occasion as a scribe...especially when riders have switched times etc and the update didn't make it to the arena. Sometimes there hasn't been enough time to do this before the judge rang her bell, but whenever possible, I try to follow this routine. It's just a good way of confirming who you are and what test your riding so that everyone is on the same page.
                                        A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.
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