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Feedback from Judges

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  • Feedback from Judges

    I am wondering what the rules are now, both for para and regular classes, about asking the judges for more constructive feedback after the classes are finished and the protest time is past?

    Years ago, I could respectfully ask for more depth in order to learn more about how to improve. I learned much more and was asked to sit and observe when I wasn't in a show as a competitor. I should add that I am dyslexic, so scribing would have been a hardship on the soul in the arena. Too many mistakes on my part, I thought.
    Intermediate Riding Skills

  • #2
    I think you just have to ask the TD to approach the judge at a recognized show.

    Often, at the laid-back schooling shows I attend, I just smile and stop at the end of the ring and ask how to improve before I ride my next test. That's why I really like schooling shows...I've asked things like " how was my lateral work--what can I do to improve it"--I've always had really good luck with judges being willing to help!

    Unfortunately, if it's anything like classroom teaching, I imagine it'd be difficult/impossible for a judge to remember a 8am test by 4 pm when a recognized show stops unless your ride was "you know, the one where the horse jumped out of the ring, etc.".


    • #3
      Personally, I don't think that is a fair expectation of the judge.

      The judge has been trained, certified and hired to do a specific function - To judge the tests ridden in front of her and score and comment on the movements.

      If you want more then that, I would suggest attending clinics.


      • #4
        There are a couple of things that might be helpful for you.

        First "ride-a-test-clinic" where you ride you test, then the judge critiques you for 20-30 minutes and then you ride the same test again with the judge’s feedback in your mind. Both tests are scored, so you can see what made a difference and what didn't.

        Second some schooling shows give a 5-10 minute feedback to the riders after the test is done. You just stop affront of the judge's booth and after she finishes with your tests scores, she gives you your highs and your lows of the tests.

        Regular shows can be quite tight on time. Most show management tends to schedule minimum time that is allowed for the tests. Judges don't have long enough time to write a paragraph of the further remarks - thus just a fast sentence on the bottom of your tests. When somebody goes off course, the whole show automatically runs late and judge has to either give up her potty brake to catch up or to move the riders faster in and out of the arena to gain those several minutes. And this is not a joke. About 3 years ago I judged at one show for 11 hours and was asked to skip my potty brake b/c I was 8 minutes late off schedule by the end of the day. The only thing that I can shrink is to give fewer comments at the bottom of the test (further remarks) to catch up with the show schedule and it is my responsibility as a judge to keep the show management happy. Giving up my potty brake was hard on me. Trust me; I never did it again, I'm watching those clocks like a hock now. But that also adds to the question when judge will have a time to give you an extra feedback?


        • Original Poster

          Thank you, Dressage Art

          You given me some ways to learn more. In asking the question, I was thinking about the end of the day.

          I started out in eventing, so the judges had some hang around time after dressage was done. Eventing wasn't well known and the people involved with putting on the event were in education and information mode.

          I certainly wouldn't want to keep a judge from her potty break! That's cruelty to the judge!
          Intermediate Riding Skills


          • #6
            I think the end of the day is problematic.

            1) its the END of the day, probably a long day of hard thinking and the judge is DONE - its "miller time"

            2) the judge is very unlikely to recall individual rides in the details necessary to give you meaningful advice - they are likely to have seen 80+ rides

            3) if its ok for YOU to ask for more specific input than to be fair it needs to be ok for EVERYONE


            • #7
              Ride Review Ride

              My former trainer was also a judge. She was often hired to go to different stables and do "ride-review-rides". The rider would ride the test of his/her choice and be given a score as if it were a real show. The judge would go over each score box and tell the rider what he/she could do to improve the scores. The rider would have time to go practice a little and then come back in the arena to re ride the test and get a final score for the day.

              Schooling shows are great for feedback. Any schooling show I have been to has used a licsenced judge. After my ending halt and salute, the judge would give feedback. For example, I took a young OTTB to a schooling show and showed him in training level. He was just learning to properly canter, but I still wanted to get him out and about. I rode the canter with a very light, somewhat forward seat. After the test, the judge asked about my horse and told me if I had sat more deeply while cantering, my score would have been higher. He (the judge) was shocked when I told him my horse was recently off the track and had never been to a show. He commended me for the fantastic job I was doing and gave me a few suggestions. It was a very positive experience.

              I think either a schooling show or a ride-review-ride type situation would be the best way to get feedback and constructive criticism.