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Why is Hunter judging not transparent like Dressage judging?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by equinekingdom
    It would be great if judges posted the cards for hunters/jumpers same as they do in dressage - at least for those that want to learn from their mistakes and why they didn't place.
    Bolding mine.

    What about a jumper card would teach you something? It is timed and has faults, not judged.

    Comment


    • #22
      You would never be able to hire a judge again. Once the judge had their favorite 6 (or 8 or 9, depending on the ribbons) they don't bother ranking the rest. They're either better than the current winners or they're out of the ribbons. If I come in a chip the hell out of the first fence, or have a refusal at the second, or have a rail at the third, or miss a change in the corner, the judge has no more incentive to even watch the rest of my round (unless it's a classic round and they are expected to announce a score for me). You are judged in a hunter class against the other people entered in the class on that day, not against an ideal.

      As others have stated, you can completely blow a movement in a dressage test and still win if everything else is good enough. You can NOT blow a jump in a hunter course and win no matter HOW nice the rest of your course was.

      Comment


      • #23
        I always find it hilarious when people insist that the judge "always picks the expensive horse."

        Last time I checked, no one was writing their horse's purchase price on their entry blanks. I guess it's just not as much fun to write, "the judge always picks the nicer mover/jumper (which tends to cost more.")
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

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        • #24
          I would love to see a judge's card for one of my rounds, just to see what it was like. But only if it was the card for the best round I have ever ridden in my life. If it was for my normal way of riding, I would be TERRIFIED to see that card!

          Comment


          • #25
            This comes up again and again. To repost my reply from a similar thread almost exactly 4 years ago:http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...9&#post3870079

            The thing you have to remember is that, in hunter judging, the PRIMARY judging focus is "ordinal" (I liked number 123 better than number 256 but not as much as number 245).

            When they use numerical judging, hunter judges simply use the "score" as a way of documenting the order.
            So the judge uses a numerical range based on what they expect to see in this class. it is less tied to any absolute definition.

            This is very different from dressage, where the test is judged against a standard, without addressing direct comparison with other rounds.

            Thus, it is not uncommon, at a dressage show, to see the JUDGE walk up to the score board to see "who won" the class she just judged.

            I do not think any hunter judge would be happy with simply scoring, with out directly DECIDING "who won".
            Janet

            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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            • #26
              there is no reason why Hunter Breeding could not post cards or give a score sheet. It is done in DSHB and in FEH breeding, so why not HB?

              The real problem is that there is no one to really push for this change. Hunters are scored, what is so hard about giving a volunteer scribe a score? or saying "No Lead Change" that isn't so hard. But would it really be helpful?

              The reality is that all judges subjectively see things differently. One may see your horse or pony as a very smooth mover, where another may criticize the style of its jump. When judging is subjective it is really hard to get helpful information.

              I recall showing my one mare years ago in DSHB, and being told that her legs were not long enough. Huh? They did reach the ground. OR another comment more recently, from a FEH judge, who said that my filly at the trot had more push off behind than engagement under the body. Now think about how silly that is when you really want an eventer to go forward and not UP.

              IF somehow seeing judges cards could help you improve, that might be useful, but if the comments are not useful then there is little purpose to posting cards. I do however agree that transparency would be a really welcome change, even if the comments don't make sense.
              http://www.herselffarm.com
              Proud of my Hunter Breeding Princesses
              "Grief is the price we all pay for love," Gretchen Jackson (1/29/07) In Memory of Barbaro

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                I always find it hilarious when people insist that the judge "always picks the expensive horse."

                Last time I checked, no one was writing their horse's purchase price on their entry blanks. I guess it's just not as much fun to write, "the judge always picks the nicer mover/jumper (which tends to cost more.")
                The REAL answer is that "People are willing to pay more for the horse that the judge picks more often"
                Janet

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                Comment


                • #28
                  I know this may sound crazy, but usually, when I walk out of the ring on a hunter trip, I know what I did wrong. Whether it be a lead change that wasn't as smooth, or I got ahead of my horse and flattened her out. OR plain and simply, we were out classed. If I want to know where I went wrong, I have a friend video tape and show the video to my trainer (if he's not there), if he is there and video taping, then it really helps to have something to look at. That right there is more than enough feedback. In the end, we really are only competing against ourselves to make each round better. That can put you at the top one day, and at the bottom the next. ALSO, there are simply better horses than others. Even in dressage, a downhill, long backed, QH is not going to get the same scores as, say, Totilas, when he was doing the lower levels in his greener years.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    There was a clinic hosted locally recently that had the participants ride a course and the judge basically completed a scorecard on each aspect of the course - jump 1, canter b/w jump 1 & 2, jump 2, etc. I do agree it's a useful tool, but likely more appropriate for clinics or even schooling shows, perhaps. As others have said, a judge may put a horse out of the running after one error and just stop watching. I think the culture/climate at real hunter shows is too entrenched to change, but if riders wanted it, a schooling show format or clinics offered by judges would be a way to meet the need.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Many judges are open to talk about the scoring or judging if you're confused or upset about something.
                      Save The Date 08-15-2011

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by sporthorsefilly View Post
                        I recall showing my one mare years ago in DSHB, and being told that her legs were not long enough. Huh? They did reach the ground. OR another comment more recently, from a FEH judge, who said that my filly at the trot had more push off behind than engagement under the body. Now think about how silly that is when you really want an eventer to go forward and not UP.
                        And you kind of illustrate the issue with posting comments. Comments are unclear or the owner/rider disagrees. (I've seen plenty of horses with short legs...but you decided that the comment was inane and useless instead of evaluating your horse. Maybe she did have short legs for her overall conformation. And the comment about not enough engagement under the body? Well, push from behind is only a small part of forward, they need to step under to go forward and and really cover the ground. And yet again, you decided to think the comment was useless instead of looking at in and thinking engagement may be something you will have to work on with this horse.

                        Anyone with critical thinking skills can review their round and come up with the faults. You could also stick around and watch every round that goes in the ring to see how you stack up against that others. But who wants to do that when you can just read the judges' cards? It's easier, right?

                        I've seen judges' cards on some of my rounds. While it can be interesting, it was either reinforcement of what I did wrong or ego-stroking of what I did right or that my horse is nicer than the others that day.

                        I don't have a problem with judges posting cards, but the feedback is for the trainer. THEY should be telling you what you did right and wrong. THEY should know the difference. If they don't, YOU either 1)educate yourself or 2) find a new trainer.
                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                          I always find it hilarious when people insist that the judge "always picks the expensive horse."

                          Last time I checked, no one was writing their horse's purchase price on their entry blanks. I guess it's just not as much fun to write, "the judge always picks the nicer mover/jumper (which tends to cost more.")
                          Don't you find that the people that use this excuse to explain why they don't compete in the hunters are generally the ones that are unable to differentiate between the quality of the movement and jump of the fancy horse over the others? And what judge has time to check out what brand of breeches you are wearing, the label in your jacket, or the brand of your saddle? But yes, its a subjective division and turnout does matter, as long as you are neat, clean and appropriately outfitted no good judge is going to penalize you if you're not wearing the latest fashion.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by AmmyByNature View Post
                            You would never be able to hire a judge again. Once the judge had their favorite 6 (or 8 or 9, depending on the ribbons) they don't bother ranking the rest. They're either better than the current winners or they're out of the ribbons. If I come in a chip the hell out of the first fence, or have a refusal at the second, or have a rail at the third, or miss a change in the corner, the judge has no more incentive to even watch the rest of my round (unless it's a classic round and they are expected to announce a score for me). You are judged in a hunter class against the other people entered in the class on that day, not against an ideal.

                            As others have stated, you can completely blow a movement in a dressage test and still win if everything else is good enough. You can NOT blow a jump in a hunter course and win no matter HOW nice the rest of your course was.
                            I don't entirely disagree with you except you do have to judge the class until the last horse comes in the ring if for no other reason than that may be your winner. Sure, once there are enough ribboned trips without major flaws, you don't need to pay much attention once I come in and execute my trademark fall over the first fence, but most judges will still put down the obligatory "she fell over first fence" score (60's) even if there turns out to be a 10 way tie for that out-of-the-ribbon placing...

                            So if cards were posted, it could still have value (you know, assuming you could interpret what is not exactly a standardized method of shorthand).

                            But hunters are not dressage, especially with the scoring - it's hard to imagine blowing one fence and still having a decent score, and yet an explosion at a movement might not keep you out of the medals in dressage. So it's a different beast altogether. Not better, not worse. Just different.

                            I think what could be done is to define what certain ranges of scores are for the general public and judges.

                            For instance (making stuff up as I go) a 90-95 score is a horse that shows exceptional form over fences, moves like a classic hunter between fences, requires little intervention from rider, meets every fence the same, shows exceptional bascule and front end, demonstrates brilliance and is generally (but not exclusively) jumping at least 3'6 fences. The difference between a 90-95 and 95+ is not a question of errors (there should be none in either bracket) but of brilliance, fluidity and jumping style. A horse scoring 85-90 may exhibit brilliance and quality of a 90-95 round but also have minor mistakes such as slightly quick off the ground, some slightly obvious adjustment for distance or pace by the rider or an exceptional round but a lack of quality and jumping style/movement.

                            That pretty much describes those scores, and of course those would be the easiest ones to describe. 70-85 ranges are chock full of trade offs in average rounds/average horses (quality makes up for minor mistakes, lack of quality takes away from an otherwise higher score), but I have confidence it could be more "defined" than it currently is - but if you have a structure that says a round scores X because it generally meets [defined criteria], but differs from a higher score because it lacks [defined criteria that is of a higher level] and is scored higher than a round that exhibits [defined criteria that is of a lower level]

                            Then if just the scores are posted people would have an idea why they placed where they did - something their trainers could educate them with and it might help evaluate judges that engage in scoreflation or are just phoning it in.
                            Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by MoonLadyIsis View Post
                              I know this may sound crazy, but usually, when I walk out of the ring on a hunter trip, I know what I did wrong. Whether it be a lead change that wasn't as smooth, or I got ahead of my horse and flattened her out. OR plain and simply, we were out classed. If I want to know where I went wrong, I have a friend video tape and show the video to my trainer (if he's not there), if he is there and video taping, then it really helps to have something to look at. That right there is more than enough feedback. In the end, we really are only competing against ourselves to make each round better. That can put you at the top one day, and at the bottom the next. ALSO, there are simply better horses than others. Even in dressage, a downhill, long backed, QH is not going to get the same scores as, say, Totilas, when he was doing the lower levels in his greener years.
                              THIS!

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Others beat me to the difference between dressage and hunters but will add that judging hunters is supposed to be based on an "ideal" and what encompasses that ideal is style, way of going, manners; in dressage the ideal is based on correct movement..and in a way it is a more fair system in that a horse that is not a good mover but performs accurately is going to rate a good score over a gorgeous mover that might not accept the bit and/or performs an inaccurate test. If you were to have a "dressage" hack class - the best movers would still place higher over a saint of draft cross...and in some ways an OF course is somewhat scored like a dressage test - but with greater consequences meaning that you could have 8 or 9 perfect fences, get a wrong lead, knock a rail at one jump and that's going to knock you out of the ribbons. They are 2 different disciplines so you can't really expect the judging to be the same. And I would venture to say that dressage still has some subjectivity... 2 horses doing 100% accurate tests but one is a superior mover and the other is not - it's going to be no suprise that the better mover is going to rate a higher score.

                                Most judges use some form of symbols, numbers or a combination to score the rounds so even if you were to look at the score sheet it wouldn't make much sense unless you understood that particular judge's symbols or judging system.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Well coming from hunters about 7 years ago to dressage I fins it funny that people say there is not enough time for a scribe to write down remarks. We all know dressage is marked by every movement. So there is not a lot of time between movements to right down a book but a very short version is fine. Like in training level when it calls for left lead between to letters the judge has to judge the change the trot before the change and the smoothness of the change and the bend. This all happens very fast before the judge has to move onto Quality of the canter, bend on the circle etc. There is not enough time so usually you'll get a comment such as for the transition, flat or rushed or running or on forehand etc. You don't get a complete explanation. So in a hunter round you go to jump one why can't a judge say flat, or uneven knees or rushing or etc. It doesn't have to be a book and I do believe there is plenty of time just like a lead change could be missed, flat, rushed, late behind etc. Also I always remember waiting forever between hunter classes. They never ran on time around here and I'd be ready to go and waiting 30 min before we got in the ring. Making the switch to dressage I never wait. If your not there your skipped and that's it. Hopefully you can work in if there is a scratch but nobody is going to wait on you because your trainer said so. Feed back is a great thing from a judge and also scribes are usually always volunteers. Even at usdf shows just like jump judges in eventing are all volunteers. We don't get paid it's about learning more and sitting with the judge to learn how they think, score and what they are looking for. Sure our trainers are there for that but it's a complete different experience sitting with a judge. Also hunter shows are far more expensive then dressage shows around here and we have scribes.
                                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by sporthorsefilly View Post
                                    there is no reason why Hunter Breeding could not post cards or give a score sheet. It is done in DSHB and in FEH breeding, so why not HB?
                                    I agree with you that it would be useful for hunter breeding where the horses are, in a way, being judged against a hypothetical standard. I do not think it would be useful for performance classes (except maybe the confo phases) where it's not about how close your round was to a "perfect" ideal round but where you shook out that day compared to the competition.
                                    ~Veronica
                                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                                      Well coming from hunters about 7 years ago to dressage I fins it funny that people say there is not enough time for a scribe to write down remarks. We all know dressage is marked by every movement. So there is not a lot of time between movements to right down a book but a very short version is fine. Like in training level when it calls for left lead between to letters the judge has to judge the change the trot before the change and the smoothness of the change and the bend. This all happens very fast before the judge has to move onto Quality of the canter, bend on the circle etc. There is not enough time so usually you'll get a comment such as for the transition, flat or rushed or running or on forehand etc. You don't get a complete explanation. So in a hunter round you go to jump one why can't a judge say flat, or uneven knees or rushing or etc. It doesn't have to be a book and I do believe there is plenty of time just like a lead change could be missed, flat, rushed, late behind etc. Also I always remember waiting forever between hunter classes. They never ran on time around here and I'd be ready to go and waiting 30 min before we got in the ring. Making the switch to dressage I never wait. If your not there your skipped and that's it. Hopefully you can work in if there is a scratch but nobody is going to wait on you because your trainer said so. Feed back is a great thing from a judge and also scribes are usually always volunteers. Even at usdf shows just like jump judges in eventing are all volunteers. We don't get paid it's about learning more and sitting with the judge to learn how they think, score and what they are looking for. Sure our trainers are there for that but it's a complete different experience sitting with a judge. Also hunter shows are far more expensive then dressage shows around here and we have scribes.
                                      As someone who has shown dressage for years and just last year started going to hunter shows, I have to agree with this whole-heartedly. There are 20+ movements in a 3rd level dressage test. If that can be scored, a hunter round can be scored. I find the lack of feedback frustrating but I suppose that is because I am used to getting scores and comments that are extremely useful. You can look back at your tests and see in black and white if you are having the same problem. It's also great to see the areas you improved on during the show season!

                                      I was amazed at how a hunter show was run vs. how a dressage show was run and it would seem all the waiting around that is done at a hunter show disproves the theory that there isn't time for a written score.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Hunters is subjective -- it is by it's very nature. Just look at it -- if I go in and find 8 perfect spots and do four perfect lead changes on my so-so horse, I WILL NOT beat a nicer horse who makes some mistakes. A bit of a chip, a half stride late behind with a change. We do NOT all go in with a "potential" score of 100. My average horse may only get a 75 if we are absolutely flawless. Your fancier horse may step in the ring with a potential 85, make 5 points worth of mistakes, and end up beating me. Like it or not, that's the way hunters are. We all like to ride the schoolie-type consistent one, but unless that consistent one ALSO jumps a 10, you're going to get beaten by horses that are nicer than yours but make small mistakes.

                                        The playing field is NOT equal when we all step in that ring. One horse may at best be a 75 and another one at best a 90. That's just the way it is.

                                        There is also an element of what the judge likes. It's common knowledge -- and completely acceptable -- that one just prefer one way of going and another a different way. Some prefer a warmblood look with more of a frame and some judges like a nose-poking traditional TB look. There is nothing wrong with this.

                                        And there is judgement. Was that jump a chip? Or just a little deep? If it was deep, did the horse still jump it great (some horses jump even better from the base) or did it lose it. Was that chip better or worse than the other horse's long spot? Was it long or did he launch? Was is dangerously long or just a little gappy. Is the long spot better or worse than the chip earlier in the class?

                                        How is a judge supposed to relay this sort of information to a scribe, exactly? So much is simply ranking horses and personal opinion. It is not cut and dry. I'd say that if you took 10 judges and had them judge a class of 50 horses, they'd all probably pick the same top 10. But would they be in the same order? I'd venture to guess not. And you know what? That's fine! That's what hunters is.

                                        Do we want it to become all about finding distances and getting lead changes and lose the element that is the quality of the horse? Of course not. The "overall" marks given in dressage are not enough to cover the variations of judging inherent (and accepted, and appreciated) in the hunter ring.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          All dressage horses don't step in the ring as equals either! If a horse is an 8 mover, it is going to beat a horse that is a 6 mover, even if the 8 mover has a few more mistakes.

                                          And there is certainly some subjectivity to dressage also. Did the half pass have enough bend - maybe one judge thinks so and gives it an 8 but another judge doesn't think so and gives it a 7. Have you ever looked at the scores from Regional Championships that have 2 judges or FEI competitions that have 5 judges? There can be a WIDE disparity in scores. Some of that has to do with perspective (a judge sitting at C will see things differently than a judge sitting at E.) However, each judge has a certain pet peeve or some "bias." Or if a movement has several elements, one judge may think one element is more important but another judge may emphasize something else when coming up with the score.

                                          Dressage may not be AS subjective as hunters, but there is still a human judge so it is somewhat subjective. The difference is the judges have to record all those scores so they can't just decide how to place a class. They can decide they don't like a horse and give it low scores or decide they love a horse a give it higher scores. But, that is documented for everyone to see.

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