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Oddest comment/score on a dressage test

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  • Oddest comment/score on a dressage test

    So generally, when I get my (usually not great) dressage tests back, I have a mixture of "yeah, I knew that" and "oh, excellent comment" about what the judge has to say, but every now and then....

    Example - riding preliminary at Wayne, my horse does what I, my trainer, another BNT with whom I had cliniced a fair bit and another friend all thought was a better than usual test for him (with which the judge agreed) and a really excellent free walk. I was thinking, "wow, with luck I could even imagine an 8 on this" (he would usually get 6s, an occassional 7on the free walk). Get the test back, the comment for the free walk was "good stretch, overstep and march, walk too springy" score - 3. Huh

    Anyone else
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

  • #2
    My two favorite personal comments on dressage tests:

    #1 -OTTB, intermediate test. horse was never happy about dressage and would often spaz. Doing a medium canter down the long side...well...trying. Comment from judge "nice canter half pass...too bad was supposed to be a medium"

    #2 - my very relaxed ISH. LOOOOVES to stretch down into the bridle in free walk... a little too much comment from judge "NO GRAZING!!!!"


    • #3
      I just had one this weekend that made myself, and my trainer go Owen was very well behaved, stretching into the bridle, but still green so we had a few Stevie Wonder moments. Movement was good, no big dis-obedience just some above the contact moments. Judge marks accordingly but in the collective marks, and in 3 different sections of the test says....... "neck to narrow".....

      I have been around long enough and still 5 days later cannot figure out what this comment means. I understand neck to short, too long.....but to narrow? Am I supposed to give him steriods to pump him up. Sorry he is mostly TB and all but a narrow neck?????


      • #4
        I'm primarily a Jumper rider, but one year there was no H/J show in a particular month. My friends had been pressuring me to do at least ONE event and so we did!

        My horse knew his job as a Jumper quite well so the dressage test was going to be quite an experience for the both of us. We got our bell and made our way to X. Straight, brilliant trot, wonderfully square halt - on the score sheet we got an 8! With an entrance like that, you'd expect us to have nothing but flowery praise and wonderful marks but that was not to be the case.

        You see, while my court signaled with a bell, the court next 10 feet away started with a whistle. I didn't know this until I was halted at X, head bowed in my salute. I could feel the switch in my jumper's head turn "This must be some kinda flat-class... Oh wait, WHISTLE! I KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS! GO GO GO! AFTERBURNERS ENGAGE!"

        On the video tape you can see the panic cross my face as my horse mentally prepares to kick it in to high gear. I put on the best smile I can, retake my reins and together jig/wiggle/dance/snort my way down to C.

        The test was horrible. Without a doubt the worst Dressage test in the history of man. I think the woman who almost fell off got a better score. Our canter M-X-K with a simple change at X was more of a serpentine beginning somewhere around M demonstrating our new upper-level movements that were dubbed after my test "attempties" - some sort of strange leg-yield, flying change buck combinatons.

        Somewhere along the line, horror gave over to amusement at the absurdity of the entire situation and I started cracking up. I laughed my way thru the last 3/4 of the test

        Some of the judges comments from my dressage test -
        About my 'attempties': "Yeehaw buckaroo! With some straightness those will make nice tempis one day."
        And my favorite: "Exuberant and joyful. Tactful ride on what looks to be quite a firecracker!"


        • #5
          my OTTB looooves dressage, and we generally do very well... except the free walk. it sucks. i know it sucks. Tests of mostly 8s and a few 7s get complimented by a 4 on the free walk. Every.single.time. Well, at one show the judge, in what i like to tell myself was an attempt at a compliment wrote "very nice horse, too bad about the walk!"


          • #6
            Kelly once got the comment "fussy head" on each and every dressage test for a period of about two years running. Think it was a persistent problem?
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              On a quarter horse that was VERY hard to handle and keep at a walk, never mind any downward transitions, and had a sewing machine trot when she got going, I would get comments like "Well ridden test on difficult horse" and stuff like that.

              On my thoroughbred now, who despises dressage ( we had to do it though as we were in Pony Club and doing eventing) the test had all fairly low marks.... not dead last, but not great either. The one and only comment from the judge was "Keep Trying". LOL That was all he said


              • #8
                my favorite score

                A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


                • #9
                  I had a Hanoverian that usually got high 20s low 30s in dressage, he was wonderful and fun in dressage. At one HT we had our typical nice test, watched the video of it, and thought it would be a low 30s kind of test. We got a 45 and the ONLY comment on the whole test was, "Horse too big to be an event horse"

                  I was horrified and so embarrassed. That horse went on to win best conditioned horse once at a T3D (and won the T3D too!), took me to my first Prelim (we were 4th) and taught me a ton. He could be tricky on cross country, almost always clean in stadium, and loved dressage. Good thing he didn't know a huge white imported horse was too big for eventing, even at Prelim But I will never forget that judge's comment!
                  WestWind Farms
                  Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call this stable management.
                  - George H. Morris


                  • #10
                    The mare I used to lease hated mud. After we had a warm-up indoor we headed outside into some pretty squelchy footing and she was PISSED. Yes, she is a hothouse flower. She's usually super forgiving and willing in a dressage test, but this time she subtly stated her annoyence at every single freakin' step (i.e. I'd put my leg on, and she'd lean right back. She never does that!). Everyone who knows her was laughing, but the judge would have had no way to know.


                    "Willing horse. Rider needs to improve".

                    I swear the mare laughed all the way back to the barn.
                    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                    • #11
                      under collectives:
                      "very naughty horse"

                      on a canter down the long side:
                      "tempi changes unnecessary"

                      also under collectives:
                      "horse and rider need to understand fundamental principles of dressage"
                      (ouch! I think it was less an understanding issue there--more of an execution problem)


                      • #12
                        "Teach your horse to be QUIET!"

                        (on a friends score sheet)
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling


                        • #13
                          In the collectives on a friends' test, in which the scores ranged from 4 to 8:

                          "Some parts were really OK."

                          Generally, "OK" doesn't get qualified by "really," so what exactly does "really OK" mean? As in 'the rest were really atrocious' or 'some parts were really mediocre!'

                          I evented just for the Halibut.


                          • #14
                            RIDER is a VERY BRAVE woman with good coping skills, horse is disobedient and athletic.


                            • #15
                              what a horrible comment

                              Originally posted by Ishi View Post
                              I had a Hanoverian that usually got high 20s low 30s in dressage, he was wonderful and fun in dressage. At one HT we had our typical nice test, watched the video of it, and thought it would be a low 30s kind of test. We got a 45 and the ONLY comment on the whole test was, "Horse too big to be an event horse"

                              What a horrible mean comment - good for you to continue on. I think that judge should be reprimanded for that comment. They are not there to tell you whether the horse is an event horse - they are there to judge the test only. That comment is far beyond inappropriate.

                              I ride a draft cross - he is a big guy - 17hh 1600 lbs - yeah he is big but we have a ball together. Check him out at www.hotelfun4kids.com/horses.htm


                              • #16
                                In general comments a judge once wrote, "Well.... That was FLAMBOYANT"

                                I should have had that test framed.


                                • #17
                                  Well, that test was at a HT in Colorado that is a little odd, been around forever and ever, and the people who run it, are...different I bet everyone in Area IX know which HT I'm talking about though

                                  Just for fun, this is the big horse in question, he was 17 hands and bigger, but not the biggest horse out there, and I'm 5'10. At times he could be a little hard to turn in stadium, but I never had issue with making time, not ever after we moved up. I would have loved to go intermediate on this horse, but, unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. This was our first prelim together.

                                  I've had some colorful comments on other tests, on other horses, but all were pretty much expected, like a tactful ride here, and fit horse there, but those make me giggle looking back on the tests quickly deleting the video of them
                                  WestWind Farms
                                  Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call this stable management.
                                  - George H. Morris


                                  • #18
                                    "Have you considered tennis lessons?" along with a score of 67 from Jack LeGoff. Although the score was very correct given the test I'd ridden, I didn't stop crying for three days after I read that score sheet. Luckily it really motivated me to improve my dressage (and eventually start to enjoy it).


                                    • #19
                                      we bought my daughter a 17 y.o. appendix that had been very successful at prelim as her first horse when she was 10. he is 16.2 and a solidly built guy. dd looked like a little circus monkey riding around on him.
                                      horse had been standing in a pasture for years after a less than successful career as a foxhunter(apparently he liked to past the master of the hunt). we cleaned him up, plopped dd on his back and off they went to ride the bn test. i swear this horse knew what was up and immediately rounded up and the two of them produced a very quiet steady test. when dd got her test back the judge had written "lovely test. NEVER sell this horse."
                                      and we haven't nor will we ever. and we did frame the test.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I also once got a score of 6 and the comment "nice recovery" after the previous move's score of 3 with the comment of "bolting is not in the test" when my young OTTB saw his stablemate in the ring right next to us.
                                        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!