We have all experienced the test where you think you have done really well but the scores don’t reflect the feeling, or the test that you think didn’t go so well and you win the class! Sometimes we feel like we’d have better results if the horse climbed on the vehicle and judged!
I however, have a very pragmatic view of what I should feel about the judge’s comments and scoring and what I should do about them.
For me the judge is the ultimate training aid. Even if I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the comments, I will try to find what is the ‘essence’ of the judge’s comments and why, on this occasion, they feel so inclined to make those comments.
I have heard protestations from pupils who feel that the comments were unfair, given the level at which they work. For example at preliminary level … “could be a little rounder”. My view is that this is a perfectly reasonable comment. Your horse could indeed be a little rounder, yes? This is not to say that the judge has marked you down because your horse is not round enough, and you sure as hell would have better marks than the competitor who has cranked the horse’s nose to its chest in an effort to give the illusion of roundness!
Here’s what to do … try not to be defensive. Take the judge’s comments, think about what they are telling you and work on improving for next time.
A test is just an opportunity for you to show someone how your training is going and for them to let you know what they think of it. No biggy!
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster