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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Forsell

Decoding your Dressage Test

Why the negative comment on a 7 or higher?

When I first started showing, I didn’t understand why sometimes I would get a negative comment on a score that was fairly good (=7). The truth is, think of it as constructive. Look at the way the comment gets worded:

“Good transition, but shoulder falls out on the circle”

Here’s how you could read that between the lines: “You were at an 8 (=good) on the transition BUT I had to take you down to a 7.5 or 7 because of the shoulder falling out.” Or you get a 7 on a movement and the comment is: could have better balance over hind quarters” Meaning, get better a little better balance and you could see a 7.5 or 8. Judges are required to give a comment for every movement 6.5 and below. However, I really strive to get a comment in every box as long as I am not making my scribe want to kill me. 😆

If you are getting comments on 7’s and above that judge is trying to help you get to an 8 or higher! While we try to say the positive things (GOOD, fill in the blank), there also needs to be a qualifier (BUT, fill in the blank again) if the score is not and 8. Especially with virtual showing in full swing right now, you may be getting more comments than you ever have since the judge has time. Be happy when you get a page full of comments!

Enjoy the ride! 🐎

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