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Should you win on dressage

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  • Should you win on dressage

    I know that dressage is important and I really want to improve my dressage scores.

    However, I have noticed a ton of people "winning off their dressage scores." and I have even told people that you need to have the dressage in order to win.

    So while sitting at home being bored I wondered if that should be the case.

    Does that mean that stadium and XC are too easy if all you need is a good dressage score to win? Does that mean we are now placing a proper emphasis on dressage in our horses? Does it become more difficult to win based on your dressage score as you move up or down the levels?

    A topic for a monday conversation!
    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    At what level? Very different conversation if you're talking about BN/N vs. Advanced.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, based on the couple of times I have won on my dressage score, I would say yes; all the other times when I have not, I would say no .

      No, seriously, at BN/N, the stadium and XC are appropriate for the level and there are certain horses that can do well in dressage and jump everything clean, so it is not unusual to see lots of people winning on their dressage. It's pretty much a fact of life at the lower levels.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree, at the lower levels it's the norm, and courses should be designed at N and T so that a well prepared horse and rider can go clear. Sometimes a rail in the stadium sorts it out, sometimes a time fault or two sorts it out.
        I have also moved up a fair amount on a horse with very average dressage who always jumped around clear, when the dressage leaders had a stop on XC.
        And upper levels are usually sorted out long after dressage is over, with time and rails.
        What would you try if you knew you would not fail?

        Comment


        • #5
          At the lower levels, yes you should win on your dressage score.

          I think part of the problem of the mini-Badmintons at Novice these days is that too many "perpetual novice" riders felt that they weren't being challenged enough or that the same people were always winning on their dressage.

          I say Tough Cookies to that, either improve your own dressage, move up a level, try a different sport/horse endeavour, or get a young horse that isn't a novice packer. It'll make life more interesting without the rest of the truly Novice competitors having to see a bank-jump-drop-ditch-cabin combination at Novice (yes, I've seen that).
          Blugal

          You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

          Comment


          • #6
            The phrase "winning off your dressage score" doesnt mean your dressage was amazing and thats why you won. It only means that you went double clear and didnt rack up any more penalties, thus your final score was the same as your dressage score. You could be last after dressage, and if you go double clear and everyone has buttloads of penalties in the other phases, you could still win, and youd be winning off your dressage score.

            Comment


            • #7
              It's ridiculous to say you won off your dressage score...you actually "won" because you jumped clean cross country and stadium and had no time penalties.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                At the lower levels, yes you should win on your dressage score.

                I think part of the problem of the mini-Badmintons at Novice these days is that too many "perpetual novice" riders felt that they weren't being challenged enough or that the same people were always winning on their dressage.

                I say Tough Cookies to that, either improve your own dressage, move up a level, try a different sport/horse endeavour, or get a young horse that isn't a novice packer. It'll make life more interesting without the rest of the truly Novice competitors having to see a bank-jump-drop-ditch-cabin combination at Novice (yes, I've seen that).
                I don't mind if folks are going mostly clean around SJ and XC and agree that it should be possible or even desirable at Novice - BUT - some Novice riders are trying to move up and actually want more complexity to confirm that, when there is more room for error, they are comfortable with the harder questions that they might be asked at Training - and the same is true for the experienced rider on a horse that is poised to move up to Training for the first time - nothing wrong with wanting to be able to introduce some of the harder questions to the horse when things are a bit more manageable. Wanting a more complex test in SJ or on XC is not in and of itself a bad thing or necessarily indicative of the bored or soured "perpetual novice" rider, IMO, although it would be nice if the move up courses were distinguished more clearly in the Omnibus, so that riders who need and want the basics don't find themselves surprised by what is being asked.
                Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eventingjunkie View Post
                  It's ridiculous to say you won off your dressage score...you actually "won" because you jumped clean cross country and stadium and had no time penalties.
                  This is an excellent point. It goes to what values are at the heart of the sport. What is the goal and aim of the sport.

                  Is it to prove that horses performing well in dressage can also jump cross-country and stadium? (Even further ... that good dressage horses can also turn in double-clears in the jumping phases?)

                  Or that good cross-country horses can also be good at dressage and stadium?

                  And so forth.

                  Of course historically cross-country is at the center of the sport. But when the top 5 or 10 regularly finish without jumping/time penalties, it is natural that being competitive means a lot of focus on dressage. Many riders who go to the trouble and expense of competing do so expecting to be competitive.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since i have YET to win off my dressage score (always jump clean, but dressage ain't quite good enough), I have to say that it's not because the other two phases are too easy, it's because the calibre of dressage has gone waaaay up.

                    When I started eventing about 10 or so years ago, I could win the event off a score of high 30s, or at least place in the top three. Now, that same score puts me towards the bottom end of the pack. My riding has gotten better, but the horses that I'm competing against are no longer someone's backyard pony, but a very high quality TB or WB, with a very competent rider on board. Alas, I have not been able to make that leap in quality of horses (for many reasons), so while my scores are now between 27-35, my placings still remain the same.

                    You can see this most obviously when you see that a 27 doesn't even qualify you for first place - that person who nailed a 23 got first, the 25 got second, the 26 got third....
                    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I contemplated this a bit last week after an event... I know it's good to have lots of clear rounds at BN/N, but when only one person in my N division (er, that would be me) had any jumping penalties, then the ribbons did become purely a dressage show. This wouldn't matter to me on an average course that people happened to just ride well on... but on a course that really was too easy (again, I say that but I still had a stupid stop) it becomes a little annoying. The courses should be safe and doable, but not so easy so as to become moot. It should be a contest of jumping horses that also do dressage, not dressage horses that can also complete an easy jumping test. I might feel differently if I could ever break south of the high thirties in dressage.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Now is this because by their nature N and BN are virtually impossible to have problems on XC and stadium? Because the quality of horse has gone up? Should BN and N have hard questions to answer? Do N and BN problems have more problems in stadium where the rails fall?

                        Does it need to change?
                        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          At he lower levels the outcome seems almost always decided by the most subjective phase of the competition. We all know it takes a lot of hard work,time and money to compete and it can be quite discouraging to have that dependent on a sometimes confusing and shifting "reward" system aka dressage. We have good judges here but it can definitely be hit or miss. Personally, at the lower levels, I think too much weight is placed on the dressage phase. Having said that I have no better system in mind so I just accept it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Look at Preliminary results. Prelim is still defined as a level for young and greener horses on their way up the levels. Prelim courses have enough size and complexity and require enough pace to ensure that the division is not often pinned according to its dressage scores. It's also the level with the most horse and rider falls.

                            IMO, speed at Preliminary is a problem - People go too fast in order to win, because they know others in the division will have faults and open the door to victory. Competitiveness overrides horsemanship.

                            I like that the lower levels have slow speeds and fewer jumping faults - it removes temptation. Some of the most competitive Novice and Training horses out there are scoped out - and/or performing to the extent of their training in front of the jumps - at their levels. It would be innapropriate to tempt their riders to take risks knowing that others might have faults that would allow them to move up in the ribbons.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              IMHO, winning off your dressage score means getting such a fabulous score that you have a stop XC, a bunch of time faults or a couple of rails in hand. You've had other problems, but the dressage score "masks" them.

                              Jumping quadruple clear is just really good riding. Now, if everyone in the division jumps quadruple clear (not one time fault anywhere or rail in stadium), then I think the courses may be a bit too easy.
                              They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                              Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                as silly as this may sound - but i do like to "finish" on my dressage score.. not necessarily "win". But that shows that i was double clear stadium and Xcountry. So i can come in 6th place and finish on my dressage score and know that my horse is a rockstar!..
                                Proud owner of a Spicy mare!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SparklePlenty View Post
                                  as silly as this may sound - but i do like to "finish" on my dressage score.. not necessarily "win". But that shows that i was double clear stadium and Xcountry. So i can come in 6th place and finish on my dressage score and know that my horse is a rockstar!..
                                  Right, I agree with that. I honestly am more pleased with the quad clear than a low dressage score. I've had low dressage scores and the best I had I also had a stupid XC runout and I was far,far more bummed about that than I was happy about my dressage.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It is nice to finish on your dressage score. But it is quite amusing when your dressage score is head and shoulders above the rest allowing for a rail or two and maybe some time faults... Every win I have had I've lead after dressage. Except for 1 show I moved up from third. Although I'm just messing around at novice atm.

                                    The event I was at on Sunday was interesting. I tied for first after dressage on my two horses but they were ahead by 7.5 pp. My one horse had a rail in stadium and went to second. Then on xc there was a fence that more then 1/2 the division had a stop at (nice roll top but the horses were quite worried about, i think it was the location) my horse in second got it but the other is greener and he stopped. The one that got the fence went clear but we got a bit carried away and were 8sec fast (we have no watches up here at novice). But at the end the speedy one won and the one with the stop was 6th. Now that's what I call a fun, interesting day of eventing!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      What Sparkle said...

                                      Originally posted by SparklePlenty View Post
                                      as silly as this may sound - but i do like to "finish" on my dressage score.. not necessarily "win". But that shows that i was double clear stadium and Xcountry. So i can come in 6th place and finish on my dressage score and know that my horse is a rockstar!..
                                      Roger that! Of course, I don't get all bummed out if I have a good dressage score. But on those days when I don't (and they are legion), I am still happiest to know we were double clear in both jump phases. Those days feel better than the days of a great dressage score and a rail in stadium....
                                      <<Reste sur le cheval.>>

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Timely...

                                        There was an x-Advanced horse in the ELEMENTARY division at a recent horse show I went too... and no, there's no back story about injury or extenuating circumstances. There were a lot of other horses who were obviously beyond the level they were entered in; there was a horse that recently did a training 3-day in the Beg Novice Horse division, and a women who just bought an experienced eventer/fox hunter in the Intro division. These horses as well as a few others busted out low 20's dressage scores when the rest of the horses were in the mid to high 30's or 40's.

                                        I'm not sure if people just don't understand the differences between "Horse" and "Rider" divisions or if they really are just ribbon hungry.

                                        Comment

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