When you ride your test, it is broken into a number or steps. For Winston and I there are 13-16 steps in the tests we are riding. For each step, there is a short explanation of what the judge is looking for (i.e., willing and balanced transition, quality of gait, shape and size of circle). Next to each movement, the judge gives a numerical score and also a comment about how you can improve that movement. At the end, there is a space for the judge to write her comments about the overall ride. Sometimes they just say "nice ride" or "need more bend." Sometimes they write more.
Peggy Klump was the judge at El Sueno. She made comments on my test next to each movement and she wrote long comments at the end. It was very helpful. Here are some photos Brett took of my first ride, at training level 2, on Saturday. I tried to match the photo to the judge's comment as much as possible.
|Movement 3 (trot to corner, then go across the diagonal): "wrong bend at K; good straightness on diagonal" Score: 7|
|Movement 9 (free walk): "jigged/not ridden to M" Score: 5|
|Movement 11 (20m circle): "steady contact - needs impulsion" score: 6.5|
|Movement 12 (trot across diagonal): "unclear bending through corners, drifts left to S" score: 6.5|
At the end of the score sheet, the judge wrote me a novel with lots of advice for how I can improve. The cool thing is that she pointed out the same things I noticed. Her comments are accurate, fair and motivating.
Capable pair that shows some solid basic connection and obedience. However, too bad you give away so many chances for great scores with inaccurate or sloppy lines. Ride precisely, show control and balance using corners to help create self carriage and also show balance and impulsion. With polish this pair is capable of brilliant performance.We have lots of homework before the next show. Lots and lots of homework. Always. But capable of brilliance? Made my day! And I certainly feel motivated to improve.