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What is Brilliance?

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  • What is Brilliance?

    I was just browsing the NCHJA rules and found Something that I don't understand.

    In part V. Judging section 1d is says:

    Judges must penalize unsafe jumping and bad form over fences, whether touched
    or untouched. In classics and when a class is held on an outside course, brilliance should be emphasized.
    What is meant by "brilliance"?

    PS. What is considered "Excessive show of animation"?
    “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

    !! is the new .

  • #2
    Forward pace.


    • #3
      word choice is a doozy, isn't it

      by brilliance, i generally interpret this as making good decisions on course. Often times in classics and outdoor courses there may be "options" .. you could either do a bending line in X strides or the other option could be, well, something else. Sometimes it's just a direct straight line but you might have to slice one of the jumps. Either way, by brilliance, I think they mean getting the job done stylishly. And we all generally make a plan at ringside, but sometimes when we're riding the course and see that we can't get our horse to move out quite the way we planned on it, we have to make a different plan. And stick to that plan. Make a plan and get it done, and make it look effortless and stylish. Don't let the judge know you are having any problems on course! Don't grimace over that long spot. (i must add, this is a habit of mine. i make the awfulest faces over a long spot.) If you're coming into a line, and you feel that you're going to get a long one to that oxer (oh boy, not fun. but, if your horse can do it, let them do it on this one line. you don't want to change your plans in the middle of the line unless it's an absolute emergency) KEEP GOING. send your horse forward. make sure he has the impulsion, and he will make that long spot work. Make it look like this was your plan.

      By excessive show of animation, I assume this is more of a negative thing, and I'd say it's the nice way of saying they don't like a a super hyper horse, too many playful bucks, galloping way too fast, etc.

      Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3


      • #4
        I consider brilliance to be, along with what superpony said about making great decisions and maybe taking a little risk here and there (going for the forward one instead of trying to compact the stride enough to make the short one fit), brilliance is also the horse that jumps off of the forward pace, and from any distance you get, by snapping his knees to his ears and giving it his all. It's the horse/rider team that looks happy and excited (without the horse being a bucking lunatic) to be doing what they're doing.

        I think it's one of those things that's hard to describe completely, but when you see it, you know what it is.


        • #5
          it's that certain "je ne sais quoi" actually I agree with the above poster, especially because it references an outside course...it's probably jumping out of a nice forward pace, but obviously not out of control.

          Oh and "excessive animation"? I think that's a very clever way of saying "bucking like a crazy pony"


          • #6
            I define brilliance by thinking of its opposite: dull. A good - even great - round technically can be marred by a feeling that the horse was phoning it in, doing it by the numbers, asleep, aced, if somebody took her leg off, the horse would stop in mid-stride. The horse basically is expressing no interest in its job. Brilliance, on the other hand, communicates to onlookers excitement and a feeling that if asked the horse would gladly give MORE: faster pace and scope to get over bigger fences and answer trickier questions. i.e. "I bet that one would like to do a derby." I don't know that you HAVE to think of ways to answer trickier questions during the ride, but you should see the willingness in the horse to give it: more forward pace, alert ears, more oomph in the jump, quicker response to the rider.

            "Excessive animation" I think of as more tightly defined than actually bucking: jigging, head tossing, side-stepping, lots of tail wringing.
            Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!


            • #7
              When you see it you know, horse walks into the ring - and right there - it might not be the nicest, best conformation horse, may not have any chrome but the horse has "It" = Presence and it continues to have that look over every fence - agree w/ it being more foward but really it's probably more about exhibiting athleticsm /scope more than pace...


              • Original Poster

                What about flagging the tail, is that excessive animation?
                “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                !! is the new .


                • #9
                  Brilliance is ears up, keen but not overbold, sharp, and stylish.

                  I haven't seen anything brilliant in the hunter ring in God knows how long, except when (I think it was Betty Oare) an older lady jumped around the big hunter classic at WEF a couple years ago and I was thinking--WOW, that horse was BRILLIANT, and she got low(er than I thought she deserved) scores.

                  I used to hear trainers say to the riders at the gate--"go in, and hit a lick!"

                  Which meant to get up to (a really nice forward) pace and stay there.

                  If they could do that, get great spots x 8, and jump nice, they'd be brilliant.

                  Otherwise, they'd be dull, robotic, and droning away at a snail's pace.
                  Inner Bay Equestrian


                  • #10
                    I would say brilliance is that horse who comes into the ring, and you can't take your eyes away from them. They may not be the prettiest, or the most flashy, or the best mover, but the command the eye. Think of people with charisma- it's the same sort of thing.
                    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by M. O'Connor View Post
                      I used to hear trainers say to the riders at the gate--"go in, and hit a lick!"
                      I also show Walking Horses... I've never heard that expression outside of the walking horse world. In reference to padded shod horses.. "Hit a lick" meant the "Big Lick" gait.
                      Rural Property Specialist
                      Keller Williams Realtors

                      Email Me for Horse Property!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by M. O'Connor View Post
                        Brilliance is ears up, keen but not overbold, sharp, and stylish.

                        I haven't seen anything brilliant in the hunter ring in God knows how long, except when (I think it was Betty Oare) an older lady jumped around the big hunter classic at WEF a couple years ago and I was thinking--WOW, that horse was BRILLIANT, and she got low(er than I thought she deserved) scores.

                        I used to hear trainers say to the riders at the gate--"go in, and hit a lick!"

                        Which meant to get up to (a really nice forward) pace and stay there.

                        If they could do that, get great spots x 8, and jump nice, they'd be brilliant.

                        Otherwise, they'd be dull, robotic, and droning away at a snail's pace.

                        I have to comment here. I So Agree with you!! I had been away from the hunter ring for several years and then went to an A show and was shocked at the "hunter crawl" as I call it. And then the poor junior hunters were grunting over the 3' 6" fence. I have been happy to see the classics cause its one of the only times I see some brillance and I long for the more forward rides, myself Personally I cannot ride or afford the classics. :-(
                        Happily retired but used to be: