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Is braiding the tail acceptable for a dressage show?

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  • Is braiding the tail acceptable for a dressage show?

    Our first dressage schooling show. Hunter horse/ rider combo. Rider reads ALL USEF and USDF rules regarding turnout for both warrior and steed to assure proper equipment and turnout. USDF rules say "braiding tails acceptable." Judge writes on card "We do not braid tails in dressage."

    Ummm.......

  • #2
    It's acceptable...but normally not done. You will see the contour cuts of the tail (trimming the hair close to the tail bone, away from the haunches).
    Heather
    Green Cove Springs, FL

    Comment


    • #3
      I think there's a concern that a dressage horse with a braided tail might travel with his hindquarters held just a bit more stiffly. So, it's not typical. As rprincess73 says, the upper tail is trimmed instead.

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you a troublemaker? Some of our fingers would just as soon braid nothing.

        As said above, braided tails are uncommon.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

        Comment


        • #5
          Report the judge. The comment shows their basic lack of understanding for the USEF rules. They need to be re-educated and called out for such stupidity.

          Back in the old days, I had Jack LeGoff judge a class where I had forgotten where my gloves were and had to ride. There was no rule that said I had to wear gloves. He wrote,"Rider should wear gloves." Now, was this because I was young and had bad hands? Because he was stuffy (probably) and thought it was more correct?

          Either way, it was a stupid comment and unfair, but he was worshipped and you didn't report those types of comments. I remember it because it bothered me. I was following the rules. He never should have commented on something that was LEGAL. Nowadays, I would have reported him and written in saying they need to test their judges on rule comprehension!!

          EDIT: Oops. Just reread it was a schooling show. I'd let the USDF know if it was a L graduate. If not, I'd walk up to them after the class and show them the rules and let them know they were wrong and let the show secretary see the judging faux pas.

          No, it is not common. But it is your option!
          "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

          Comment


          • #6
            I wouldn't report the judge. That seems extreme. Perhaps it wasn't worded very well, but what he/she wrote is pretty much true. It is not typical to braid tails for dressage. I tend to treat criticisms as constructive, and not malicious. So you learned something.

            Comment


            • #7
              I saw a few more braided tails at shows last year (shudder). Please, God, don't let that become the newest fashion!

              Comment


              • #8
                I suspect since this was a SCHOOLING show, the judge was probably pointing out that we do not usually braid tails in dressage. Period. Unless points were deducted for the braid, it was probably just a 'hint'. Kind of like a judge I was scribing for pointed out that the horse had shavings in its tail. No points deducted. Just an observation. Horse came back in next text with no shavings in its tail.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It was a schooling show - who are you going to report the judge to? Maybe some feedback to the show organizers, but otherwise ????

                  And since it was a schooling show, the judge probably thought he/she was passing along a tip. Probably could have been worded a little friendlier to reflect a kind attitude towards new riders.

                  To the OP - did you think you were judged fairly otherwise?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                    Are you a troublemaker? Some of our fingers would just as soon braid nothing.

                    As said above, braided tails are uncommon.
                    TROUBLEMAKER?

                    I hope that's a joke. When has it become trouble to have your horse turned out beautifully for the judge? I made that effort and I take pride in prepping my own horse. (This is the first I've ever even heard of a horse behaving differently because of a braided anything, btw.) If anything mine knows she's "on" and performs with that extra something, but not in a negative way.
                    And lastly it was our first effort and now I'm immediately hearing dissention about grooming and presentation?
                    I don't care if braided tails are "uncommon." That is not the question. The question is for the judges out there. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE USDF?



                    If you want to braid nothing then grow a set and shave both your horse's mane and tail.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lieb Schon View Post
                      TROUBLEMAKER?

                      I hope that's a joke. When has it become trouble to have your horse turned out beautifully for the judge? I made that effort and I take pride in prepping my own horse. (This is the first I've ever even heard of a horse behaving differently because of a braided anything, btw.) If anything mine knows she's "on" and performs with that extra something, but not in a negative way.
                      And lastly it was our first effort and now I'm immediately hearing dissention about grooming and presentation?
                      I don't care if braided tails are "uncommon." That is not the question. The question is for the judges out there. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE USDF?



                      If you want to braid nothing then grow a set and shave both your horse's mane and tail.
                      Whoa there! You sound pretty angry about this. Calm down!

                      It was a schooling show. If I had to GUESS (and since I'm not the judge in question, that's all it is), I'd say the judge was just mentioning it to you. It really IS uncommon to braid tails in dressage. It's not traditional for our sport. Yes, it's traditional, correct turnout for hunters, but it's not at all for dressage.

                      Also, schooling shows can be very different, depending on the show. For some, dressing in show attire and braiding is totally common, and at others it's more of a polo shirt/no braiding affair.

                      In dressage, unlike hunters, the judge really just wants to see clean and presentable; they don't care about the brand of your saddle or color of your hairnet.

                      If you're really upset, you should have asked the TD if you could speak to the judge about it, following the show. That's correct protocol.

                      The comments at the end of a dressage test are just that - overall comments. You really don't need to read anything negative into them (which it sure seems you have!)

                      That said, I've shown in a LOT of rated USEF dressage shows, and I've never, ever seen anyone ACTUALLY marked down for (legal) tack, apparel, or turnout.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Unfortunately, no. The wording was emphatic as though I had broken a rule, or an unspoken one. However the scores were absolutely fair based on performance that day.
                        And why is anyone talking about reporting people? For crying out loud didn't the steed reference allude to a sense of humor? It was a schooling show. Could a USDF judge please just let us know if a braided tail is allowed or disallowed?

                        Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
                        It was a schooling show - who are you going to report the judge to? Maybe some feedback to the show organizers, but otherwise ????

                        And since it was a schooling show, the judge probably thought he/she was passing along a tip. Probably could have been worded a little friendlier to reflect a kind attitude towards new riders.

                        To the OP - did you think you were judged fairly otherwise?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          IT IS ALLOWED.
                          You don't need a judge to tell you that. It's in the rules!

                          But it's not common in dressage, especially at a schooling show.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            It's not about being marked down. We we were judged fairly. The question is, do the judges understand the rules? This situation makes me think , "maybe not?...."
                            I'm like anyone else, and the appeal of dressage is the idea of an even playing field. This comment totally took me off guard. This is not meant to be opinion hour with the amateurs. I want a professional "r" or "R" judge's response, please.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Easy easy easy....the person was calling you a troublemaker totally tongue in cheek. Honest!

                              In spite of our Dressage Queen reputation, some of us are really pretty laid back when it comes to showing. Schooling shows tend to be very relaxed in our area and you will see a wide range of interpretations of what good turnout is. (That's a tactful way of saying that for some, a onceover with a brush is about all a horse gets! ) I have the misfortune of owning a gray, so a hose and a lot of elbow grease enters the picture, but braiding is a hit or miss thing. I would be in bad shape if I had to do his tail as I am braiding challenged as it is.

                              You may also find that some judges are quite blunt in dressage. Search the posts here and you will find some humorous and not so humorous comments from judges. It helps to grow a bit of a thick skin, but still try to understand what they are telling you.

                              I'm glad you felt the rest of your ride was fairly judged. That's really the important part.

                              Good luck and don't give up!

                              ETA: Here it is, copied right from the rule book:

                              DR206 Equipment and Turn Out.
                              1. Braiding is optional.


                              That is the entire statement about braiding. In spite of my "amateur hour" status (and that term isn't going to endear you to anyone), I am here to tell you that you were perfectly OK and the judge was giving you a hint. You may never get that comment again. Or you might get it at every show. Take a deep breath and do what you feel is right, knowing that you might get the comment.

                              Peace!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I get what you're saying, but a) it's okay for a judge to make a comment like that in the comments section - not okay to mark down for it. They're totally allowed to make a comment like "large manure stain on horse's flank," because that SHOULD be noted, even if they can't mark down for it. Get it?

                                And b) this person wasn't necessarily a USEF licensed judge. Anyone can judge a schooling show. Was the judge listed as being a USDF "L" graduate or a USEF judge?

                                But yeah, thanks for assuming the rest of us don't know WTF we're talking about. I've only been showing dressage for years. "amateur hour" my @$$.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I disagree. It was inappropriate even in the comments section. I would email the organizer and make them aware. There is not much time or space for comments I'm sure a more helpful comment could have been used.
                                  http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Judges are to be as impersonal as possible--even in the comments. That is part of the training. This was a personal bias and the judge was wrong. Tell the show secretary about it, at the very least.
                                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I disagree. I think it's totally fine to comment on turnout in the comments. I've gotten, and seen, such comments, and I don't think they're inappropriate.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Lieb Schon View Post
                                        It's not about being marked down. We we were judged fairly. The question is, do the judges understand the rules? This situation makes me think , "maybe not?...."
                                        I'm like anyone else, and the appeal of dressage is the idea of an even playing field. This comment totally took me off guard. This is not meant to be opinion hour with the amateurs. I want a professional "r" or "R" judge's response, please.
                                        Oh please, you don't need to be a rated judge to know this rule. I'm an ammy from eventing land and even I know its allowed.

                                        But, as others have said, it can sometimes cause the horse to carry the tail stiffly. And since the tail is an extension of the back, and the back is something the judges care about in dressage, most people won't risk that happening. And therefore, its not seen often. Doesn't mean its not against the rules.

                                        Personally, I think braiding the tail in dressage looks about the same as putting in button braids in a show hunter--not illegal, but very out of place.

                                        Comment

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