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Switching Whip Sides in Test, Tests and Diagonals

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  • Switching Whip Sides in Test, Tests and Diagonals

    I heard/read somewhere that if you carry a whip in your test you are not allowed to switch sides. I cannot, however, find a USEF directive in the rules in regards to this. I've searched several times, too.

    Is this an actual rule? If so, would someone point me to the DR for it?


    I've also read that in a dressage test diagonals are not "important" unless being on the wrong diagonal throws the horse off balance. Again, I can find no rule for this. Anyone?

    Eileen
    Mad Mare™ Studio
    Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
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  • #2
    There is no problem with switching whip during a test, and no rule about it. I thought you can't salute with the hand the whip is in, but I didn't find that rule either, by searching the entire dressage rule document on usef.org for the word 'whip'. At intro through even third level, most horses and riders have a 'weak side' and there usually isn't any reason for switching the whip away from the 'weak side'.

    With diagonals, that is a huge can of worms for the internet bb's because there is no rule. Unlike all the other things for which there is no rule, but it is handled consistently, the diagonal issue creates an incredible amount of furor because people coming into dressage from certain backgrounds feel posting on the other diagonal is absolutely ruinous, regardless if in other countries, there are instructors lecturing their students about how ruinous the OUTSIDE diagonal is, LOL, and how biomechanically it is so much better to post on the inside diagonal (not surprisingly, the argument for using the inside diagonal all the time is identical to the argument for using the outside diagonal all the time, lol!).

    But as in all systems of rules, there are no rules for a number of things and they are still handled consistently(eg, one cannot deduct points for the breed of the horse).

    Many people who were taught there is only one 'right' diagonal are horrified that one is not marked off for choice of diagonal in dressage. It seems there is always a certain level of complaint, mostly that this is 'wrong' and 'there should be a rule about the right diagonal', or at least a statement that the choice of diagonal cannot reduce one's score. The fact that there is no rule is probably more organizational politics than anything else. It is handled consistently in judging seminars and always has been.

    The judge is free to comment on it but not to deduct points. Conceivably, if the person were to change diagonals in the middle of a lengthening and throw the horse off stride or the like the judge can mark off for uneven strides, lack of fluency, but after a horse gains a bit of suppleness and throughness changing diagonals is very unlikely to affect the fluency or rhythm. In fact most instructors I worked with had us practice changing diagonals every few strides on a circle as a suppling exercise and said that choosing one diagonal all the time can actually interfere with schooling.

    There actually has to be uneven strides, not just the assumption that there always will be because the diagonal is 'bad', and the judge cannot lower the score because of the choice of diagonal per se. If he does, the rider usually marches straight for the TD to get their score changed, LOL.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by slc2 View Post
      There is no problem with switching whip during a test, and no rule about it. I thought you can't salute with the hand the whip is in, but I didn't find that rule either, by searching the entire dressage rule document on usef.org for the word 'whip'. At intro through even third level, most horses and riders have a 'weak side' and there usually isn't any reason for switching the whip away from the 'weak side'.
      Yah, I searched the whole doc as well. Nada. I think it's like loose hair -- totally distracting, especially if not done correctly. Nothing you can mark down for, but something probably noted on the test.

      . . .
      The judge is free to comment on it but not to deduct points. Conceivably, if the person were to change diagonals in the middle of a lengthening and throw the horse off stride or the like the judge can mark off for uneven strides, lack of fluency, but after a horse gains a bit of suppleness and throughness changing diagonals is very unlikely to affect the fluency or rhythm. In fact most instructors I worked with had us practice changing diagonals every few strides on a circle as a suppling exercise and said that choosing one diagonal all the time can actually interfere with schooling.

      There actually has to be uneven strides, not just the assumption that there always will be because the diagonal is 'bad', and the judge cannot lower the score because of the choice of diagonal per se. If he does, the rider usually marches straight for the TD to get their score changed, LOL.
      That's what I figured as well.

      Thanks, slc

      Eileen
      Mad Mare™ Studio
      Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
      http://MadMare.com

      Comment


      • #4
        It absolutely cannot be marked down for.

        But one thing I learned is that no system of rules has a rule for everything.

        Personally, I don't think it 'looks bad' 'like loose hair' in the least. I don't think there is any justification for always sticking to the outside diagonal, in fact, I think it is actually a detriment to do so, except in the moments most people usually change, LOL! Like during a lengthening many people change at X instead of upon reaching the end of the diagonal - usually by the time the person has moved on to medium and extended trot, they have been excoriated enough times by an instructor that they stop switching at x, or they stop needing to post during llengthenings, and improve their seat enough to sit.

        Traditionally the dressage trainer has always switched diagonals to cope with various training issues.

        I don't think that means it's alright to have no clue what diagonal one is on, though, or to not be able to stay on one diagonal. And I think it's fine to get kids to be aware of diagonals as beginners by teaching them to post on one diagonal most of the time, but exercises like 'Five and Dimes' are good and I don't think kids should be taught that the inside diagonal is the Devil's Workshop. I think of it as a training tool, posting on the outside diagonal to rest the horse, and posting on the inside diagonal to work that inside hind.

        An artist probably wouldn't paint with one type of brush always, but he needs to know why he picks each type of brush and use it effectively. He might start out learning to master one brush and hold that one correctly, and eventually, get to where he's a 'thinking rider', and not just riding, but training.
        Last edited by slc2; Sep. 11, 2009, 07:28 AM.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I agree, however for the most part these are lower level Pony Club kids and it's more to their benefit that they stick to using the "correct" diagonal as much as possible.

          Eileen
          Mad Mare™ Studio
          Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
          http://MadMare.com

          Comment


          • #6
            there are absolutely no rule about moving the whip from one side to another and there are no rules that say you can be marked down for doing so. If the action of moving the whip creates a behavior or quality change then THAT can be marked down for, Simply moving the whip? No. Think through your ride and carry the whip where you think you might potentially need it most. I always carried mine in the right hand, through all tests

            There is no correct diagonal and therefore cannot be marked off for. A judge might comment upon the effectiveness ( or not) of posting to the diagonal depending on how you are trying to influence the horse in its stride. One judge told me that they were advised NOT to comment about "proper / improper" diagonal

            you can salute with a whip in your hand but it looks bad and can make some horses move in the halt. Simply salute with the other hand

            the rules for dressage are exceptionally well written and often if it is not specifically dealt with in the rules , you get the benifit of the doubt.
            _\\]
            -- * > hoopoe
            Procrastinate NOW
            Introverted Since 1957

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            • #7
              I have switched my whip if need be. I make sure it is in between movements that are being judged. I also do switch my diagonal at the end of crossing a long diagonal. I am from hunter land and I had to teach myself to wait and not change at X. It just looks cleaner if you change at the beginning or end of the long diagonals.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by LD1129 View Post
                I have switched my whip if need be. I make sure it is in between movements that are being judged.
                Excellent point and one I'm adding to the manual.

                I also do switch my diagonal at the end of crossing a long diagonal. I am from hunter land and I had to teach myself to wait and not change at X. It just looks cleaner if you change at the beginning or end of the long diagonals.
                That's what I would do, myself.

                Eileen
                Mad Mare™ Studio
                Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
                http://MadMare.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've switched my whip with no penalties, but the tests seem to go better if I don't switch, or only switch during free walk (I am a bit of a klutz.) Now if I could only figure out which side is better to carry it on... maresy changes "stiff sides" without warning.

                  As for diagonals -- keeping in mind that I am a lower-level rider with a long-ago H/J background -- I prefer the outside but don't always get it. Maresy prefers the outside too; if she's being resistant it's often because she thinks I am on the wrong diagional. (Ditto canter leads... I once brought her back to a trot during a test because I thought we had the wrong canter lead, but we did not, and she proceeded to have a temper tantrum because she knows the g-dd-rn tests and the idiot on her back was messing her up. Ahem. My horse is smarter than I am. )

                  Judges do forget not to penalize for the "wrong" diagonal; I've seen it on my own test comments where "wrong diag" was written, crossed out, and the score was changed from a 4 to a 6.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by quietann View Post
                    I've switched my whip with no penalties, but the tests seem to go better if I don't switch, or only switch during free walk (I am a bit of a klutz.) Now if I could only figure out which side is better to carry it on... maresy changes "stiff sides" without warning.
                    Exactly. Switching a whip from hand to hand fluidly takes a lot of practice. These are kids ranging from 7 to 17 years old, with the former being the majority.

                    As you have already experienced, it's easier to do it during the free, and probably medium, walks.

                    As for diagonals -- keeping in mind that I am a lower-level rider with a long-ago H/J background -- I prefer the outside but don't always get it. Maresy prefers the outside too; if she's being resistant it's often because she thinks I am on the wrong diagional. (Ditto canter leads... I once brought her back to a trot during a test because I thought we had the wrong lead, but we did not, and she proceeded to have a temper tantrum because she knows the g-dd-rn tests and the idiot on her back was messing her up. Ahem. My horse is smarter than I am. )
                    Heh, I hear you These kids are Pony Club so they do a lot of jumping. It's very important that they keep their diagonals straight in their heads.

                    I've ridden a couple of horses that absolutely hated it when rider was on the wrong diagonal -- and they let you know it

                    Judges do forget not to penalize for the "wrong" diagonal; I've seen it on my own test comments where "wrong diag" was written, crossed out, and the score was changed from a 4 to a 6.
                    That is just wrong. I will be noting wrong diagonals on their tests, but I will not be deducting marks for it.

                    Eileen
                    Mad Mare™ Studio
                    Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
                    http://MadMare.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know if it's always necessary to mention it, if it's a beginner, they may just have show nerves and lose their diagonal, since most beginners do know their diagonals by the time they show dressage. If it's a more advanced rider the judge might think the rider did it deliberately to energize the inside hind leg, or because he's from a country where that's how they post, LOL.

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