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Fix a Test Format and Judges

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  • Fix a Test Format and Judges

    Has anyone done a Fix-a-Test, are they beneficial? and what do you expect from the judge, as far as their experiences and credentials? Is it worth the money or should the money just be spent on schooling shows and you basically get the same thing? MD Horse trials has one scheduled but never heard of the "clinician" looked up her USEA record, couldn't find any judging qualification information on that person either so....are the "judges/clinicians" usually just other riders or do you look for one that actually has some sort of certification, training etc?
    Not sure if the money spent will be worth the feedback received. Any body had any experiences at these types of things?
    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"

  • #2
    There may not be any USEA record if the person is
    a USEF dressage judge (like me - I haven't evented in
    25 years, but am a USEF 'r' dressage judge in the 'R"
    training program)
    The ride a tests I have done involve me talking to the
    rider after their test about ways to improve their score.
    They may or may not reride the test.
    I think it is a great way to up your score in the dressage
    ring (no, wait, you guys want a lower score )

    When I am judging I often think "boy, if I could have just
    10 minutes with this person, their score would improve
    a couple of percent"


    • #3
      We do this in the winter, to scare away the winter blues. The BO/trainer is a judge and we also video each other. Great fun and informative. I am looking forward to this years.


      • #4
        Another great training session I have done with my local
        Pony Club is 'ride a test-give a score'
        I start by splitting them into two groups of 4 each.
        The first group prepares to ride the test, while the
        second group sits with me.
        As each rider rides their test, I give the comment for the
        movement and the group gives the score (with corrections
        if necessary from me) I find it a great way for them to
        begin to understand how the dressage 'terminology' relates
        to the actual score.
        i.e. trot lacks cadence, fussy connection, good figure
        score -5
        or well ridden figure, elastic connection, good energy and
        balance score - 8
        Then they switch.


        • #5
          With the introduction of the new dressage tests, I would suggest anything you can do to get familiarity with them and improve your score has got to be good. Most formats let you repeat your test of choice at least twice with constructive comments between - much better than the single run through at a schooling show. Mrs. KS, who's an L* Graduate, is doing such a clinic for some riders in Area V later this month - as about the only time anyone's seen the new tests was at the USEA Annual Meeting it should be interesting.
          Brock n. (Anglo-Saxon) badger as in Brockenhurst, Brocklebank etc www.area35.us


          • #6
            JFS and Sue Hines put on one every spring, before Winona. Sue warms up everyone and JFS judges, then gives a critque. You can either repeat the test that you just rode or ride a second test.

            You might send JFS a pm. She would have some great ideas.
            When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


            • #7
              I rode my first fix a test last Fall and it was great. I rode the test and then the judge came out into the ring and worked with me for probably 20 minutes. I did not re-ride the test, but that was ok as I was now much more informed.

              All around it was a great experience.
              RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

              "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


              • #8
                Thanks for the plug Auburn. I schedule 20 minutes for 2 rides. Figure each test takes about 5 minutes to ride that leaves around 12 minutes or so to work on the things that need improvement. Sometimes it's simply working on the geometry of the figures or tips on smoother transitions or what they could do to not throw points away. Of course every judge is a little different, but since I'm a teacher at heart I often jump out of the judge's stand and get right in the ring and teach. Something I'm NOT allowed to do when I'm judging

                We do run it like a show, albeit low key, because a lot of the problems are related to horse show jitters Some years if we've had time Sue will ride and we will discuss the training scale and what is expected at each level. Sue will ride the figures correctly and then show common mistakes and how to fix them.

                Since there are new tests this year & I have since put together a Power Point presentation Sue & I are going to do our "dog & pony show" at South Farm this March to help everyone get ready for the spring season. We haven't set a date yet. We'll post it when we do.