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How do judges feel about adding in the lines?

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  • How do judges feel about adding in the lines?

    In your experience, how have judges marked you for adding in the lines? Right now Dottie and I are at the fairgrounds getting ready to show this weekend, and while we were scholing last night we found out that she does so much better if I add in the lines. It keeps her from getting flustered, it keeps her from getting too heavy down the lines, and it helps us get a better distance because i'm not letting her gun it down the line and then trying to bring her back at the last second so she doesn't eat the second fence. I don't plan on changing this once we get into the show ring, but I'm curious to know if judges would rather see quiet adds with good distances, or if they'd rather see the horse make the strides but in our case, likely have a bunch of long spots (and an overall sloppier ride).
    Thanks!

    ETA: I don't know if this changes anything, but Dottie is 16hh, she just doesn't have a big stride.
    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.

  • #2
    What division are you in? Outside short/long stirrup and maybe the pre-children's, you will probably be out of contention if you add. You will also probably be out of contention if you hail-mary gallop to a long spot and scare the judge. If those two are your only options, adding is the safer choice.

    This thread is probably going to turn into a debate about whether penalizing the add on a limited horse is wrong or right, but that's the reality of horse showing, and it sounds like you and your mare could benefit from quality flatwork to improve her adjustability.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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    • #3
      It REALLY depends on the judge and the competition. Some judges would prefer to see a perfect trip with adds and some won't pin you with an add. No matter what adding isn't desireable so if you do it and want to pin, you have to lay down an otherwise perfect round.
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      • #4
        You did not say, but I am assuming the jumps are very low. Also, is the show in a smallish arena or indoors? Any of these factors can make it more difficult to get down the lines in the correct number of strides. It drives me a little nuts when schooling shows do not move in the lines for these lower heights, especially when they are indoors. And especially, when the jumps are low, the show is in a small arena, and they set 12' lines with 3 strides or less.

        But in any event, in your case, assuming you are jumping very low, I would quit worrying about your ribbon and do what best suits your horse at this stage of yours and its show career. Sounds like this means add. I hope the lines are four strides or more so you can do that nicely. And to answer your question, yes, adding will hurt your placings to where it will then depend whether there are six horses without worse errors. The way I feel about this type of question, is that if you go in an make errors, you come out not expecting a ribbon. And then, if others make worse errors, and you get a ribbon, all you are is lucky.


        As far as your horse's size, I ride smallish (each about 16 hands) horses, and each of them has plenty of stride to do the correct distances at 2'6" or higher. However, if I were to put the jumps down to 2', they would have to run a little bit. At these lower heights, you are going to get to the jump a little closer and land a little closer, which takes away from the stride you need to get down the line.
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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by ToTheNines View Post
          You did not say, but I am assuming the jumps are very low. Also, is the show in a smallish arena or indoors? Any of these factors can make it more difficult to get down the lines in the correct number of strides. It drives me a little nuts when schooling shows do not move in the lines for these lower heights, especially when they are indoors. And especially, when the jumps are low, the show is in a small arena, and they set 12' lines with 3 strides or less.

          But in any event, in your case, assuming you are jumping very low, I would quit worrying about your ribbon and do what best suits your horse at this stage of yours and its show career. Sounds like this means add. I hope the lines are four strides or more so you can do that nicely. And to answer your question, yes, adding will hurt your placings to where it will then depend whether there are six horses without worse errors. The way I feel about this type of question, is that if you go in an make errors, you come out not expecting a ribbon. And then, if others make worse errors, and you get a ribbon, all you are is lucky.


          As far as your horse's size, I ride smallish (each about 16 hands) horses, and each of them has plenty of stride to do the correct distances at 2'6" or higher. However, if I were to put the jumps down to 2', they would have to run a little bit. At these lower heights, you are going to get to the jump a little closer and land a little closer, which takes away from the stride you need to get down the line.
          The jumps are going to be 2'6". I think the jumps last night in the schooling ring were set a little lower than that, so I think once we school over some 2'6" jumps I agree that it should be easier for her to get the right # of strides. The lines are set at five and six strides.
          If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
          If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
          If I smell like manure, I tripped.

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          • #6
            In my experience, adding in a 2'6 division is much more likely to be forgiven by the judge (although it's still no guarantee), but if another horse does the actual strides and has a comparable round, you'll be bumped down.

            My horse has a monstrous stride (like... leaving a stride out of the actual numbers is often an option for me if I jump in with enough impulsion... but I don't ever leave it out intentionally) and I still feel like we need to gallop down the lines a bit at 2'6 (especially indoors), but once we bump the jumps up to 3' he makes it down the lines no problem.

            My recommendation is to do the adds at shows for now, and maybe work on smoothly lengthening her stride at home if she's capable.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              To the posters who have said I need to not worry about the ribbons right now, you're right. Right now, all I need to focus on is laying down a decent trip, and getting the experience and show miles. Dottie doesn't need the show miles, I do This is my first time showing at a rated show, and this is the first time I've shown dottie in the hunters in...well, in forever. But thank you for the helpful replies, I'll definitely keep them in mind.
              If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
              If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
              If I smell like manure, I tripped.

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              • #8
                A horse that has to run for the numbers doesn't usually produce a good jump out of the line, and that will knock you out of the ribbons unless everyone else has major mistakes (ie, the judge is pinning the best of the worst.)

                You have a better chance of pinning - particularly in a relatively novice/lower division - if you produce a calm, consistent round with good technique even if it means adding, which is also the fairer thing to do for a horse that really does not have the step to make the regular strides. If there are horses who can produce similarly nice looking rounds without adding, they will beat you, but they'd beat you anyway if you did the numbers by running and gunning.
                **********
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                • #9
                  I know that when I'm announcing and sitting with a judge they definately prefer adding a stride to running around like a maniac! In good company you won't place but if it's a smaller show and you put in a good, SAFE, round doing changes and add down the lines (make sure if you add down one you add down them all) you will probably recieve a lower ribbon over somebody that is downright scary to watch!
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                    I know that when I'm announcing and sitting with a judge they definately prefer adding a stride to running around like a maniac! In good company you won't place but if it's a smaller show and you put in a good, SAFE, round doing changes and add down the lines (make sure if you add down one you add down them all) you will probably recieve a lower ribbon over somebody that is downright scary to watch!
                    Yeah, you don't get any prizes for giving the judge gray hair.
                    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                    • #11
                      I think at many local schooling shows the judges do not mind seeing adds as long as you consistently add in every line and maintain an even pace. In this case you will probably pin above people with errors like sticky or missed lead changes or chips. However, at rated shows or even at some of the better unrated shows in a 2'6 and up division the judge will penalize you for doing the adds and you will probably place below people who get the numbers but have other faults like chips. One of the judges here can probably tell you what score you get for adding.

                      But as others have said, it is definitely better to do the adds and have a good experience for both you and the horse than to race around the course trying to get the numbers. You might also find that after doing one round adding, you might be able to open your horse's stride up without running. I often add a stride when schooling in the ring, even on my huge-strided mare, because it's safer, the jumpers are usually set lower, and it's a good exercise in adjustability anyway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                        A horse that has to run for the numbers doesn't usually produce a good jump out of the line, and that will knock you out of the ribbons unless everyone else has major mistakes (ie, the judge is pinning the best of the worst.)

                        You have a better chance of pinning - particularly in a relatively novice/lower division - if you produce a calm, consistent round with good technique even if it means adding, which is also the fairer thing to do for a horse that really does not have the step to make the regular strides. If there are horses who can produce similarly nice looking rounds without adding, they will beat you, but they'd beat you anyway if you did the numbers by running and gunning.
                        This!
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                          A horse that has to run for the numbers doesn't usually produce a good jump out of the line, and that will knock you out of the ribbons unless everyone else has major mistakes (ie, the judge is pinning the best of the worst.)

                          You have a better chance of pinning - particularly in a relatively novice/lower division - if you produce a calm, consistent round with good technique even if it means adding, which is also the fairer thing to do for a horse that really does not have the step to make the regular strides. If there are horses who can produce similarly nice looking rounds without adding, they will beat you, but they'd beat you anyway if you did the numbers by running and gunning.
                          ITA.

                          I used to show a mare that was 14.3 on a tall day. She could do the strides, but it involved a bit of galloping I risked losing her brain in the turns. She was much more pleasant to do the adds on. Sometimes it hurt us, sometimes not. But I think it's better to go around pleasantly and not get a ribbon than run around like your a*s is on fire just to make the strides.

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                          • #14
                            It depends how the competition is. Other horses who do the numbers smoothly without other major errors will place higher than you. However, if your round is smooth and controlled and your only real error is adding, you will likely be placed higher than riders whose trips were riddled with many mistakes even if they do the numbers. At 2'6, a smooth round with adds will surely beat a "bat out of hell" round under any circumstances.

                            Do what is right for your horse and you feel comfortable with. Have fun!!

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                            • #15
                              Adding down the lines are ususally just done for training purposes, so if you have a green horse and you are training on your horses then fine. Wouldn't use you, unless had to.

                              If you are adding down the line because you have a horse that can't make it down the lines, because he is not capable,then fine. Wouldn't use you, unless had to.

                              However most horses can make it down the lines without running. SO,
                              You have to know how to jump into the line with enough horse in front of your leg, impulsion, pace etc.

                              SO if you are adding down the lines just because you don't choose to have your horse correct down the lines then I would choose not to use you.
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                              • #16
                                We haven't seen you or your horse go, so without knowing all the details, my trainer (who is also a judge) will not penalize if the rider adds as long as they are showing in the lower classes (i.e. pre-green, pre-adult, pre-children, etc.). However, if the rider is in the upper classes then the expectation is that the horse/rider are good enough to get the correct amount of strides.

                                With that said, I'm curious why you are entered in a 2'6" class when it doesn't sound like you are schooling regularly higher than that at home. The rule of thumb that I was always told was to show at at least 3" or so less than what you school at home ... so school 2'9" to 3' at home and enter the 2'6" class. Just a thought.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Indy View Post
                                  ITA.

                                  I used to show a mare that was 14.3 on a tall day. She could do the strides, but it involved a bit of galloping I risked losing her brain in the turns. She was much more pleasant to do the adds on. Sometimes it hurt us, sometimes not. But I think it's better to go around pleasantly and not get a ribbon than run around like your a*s is on fire just to make the strides.

                                  I agree. I had a 14.3 QH that I did in SS and then moved up to Pre-children's on. He was not overly competitive in the A circuit. I always added down lines so that he could look relaxed and jump well. If I could get all of the distances and changes and have a "flawless" round, I could potentially pin well. It was always up to the judge. I won many Champions and Reserves on him...but a lot of that was consistency.

                                  I think it's up to the judge, but *I* would rather see a safe trip in SS and Pre-children's than an out of control horse.

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                                  • #18
                                    In my opinion, lighting my entry money on fire probably would yield better and more enjoyable results than adding in the lines.
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                                    • #19
                                      I usually showed my large pony in Pre-Children's at C shows because the Children's Ponies usually didn't fill. We did the adds and he was clearly a pony so we were always placed fairly and did well when we had a good trip.

                                      Here, you won't place if you add at anything higher than 2' on a horse.

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                                      • #20
                                        It depends on the judge. It really helps to get the perfect stride, but I would say don't one or take one away that will cause a long sport which can be very dangerous.mif any,make a long spot,

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