First of all, I wanted to say that, overall, this was a great experience, and I am super happy I did it. There were entries from KY, IN, OH, VA, NC, SC, GA, AL, IL AND MORE. Definitely a cool way to compete, and the feedback, especially in Dressage, is incredibly helpful as we look for a hopeful return to some kind of show season in 2020.

Overall, two dressage tests and a SJ round cost me $40. If you win a ribbon and want it mailed to you, its another $5 for the postage. So if you think this might be something you want to try, they will be doing another one around Mother’s Day Weekend, so check for updates at Flying Cross Farm on Facebook. (link here)

Originally, I was just going to do one test (Novice A) and one SJ round (Beginner Novice). I ended up submitting two videos of Novice A because I wanted to see the difference in scores in a few places. I knew my first round was better than my second, but I figured it was a good opportunity to get some feedback.

This was our first time running this test in an actual Dressage court and was our first time having a Novice test judged.

Here is the first test:

  1. A Enter Working Trot
    B Track Left
    Very Slightly Right 7.0
    I am guessing this meant right, but I couldn’t figure out what the symbol was she left. I am assuming she is talking about the fading right before turning left.
  2. E Circle Left 20M, working trot
    No Comment 7.5
  3. A – C Serpentine of two loops, working trot
    Slight Bracing Over X 6.5
    I think I was so concerned with her being straight at X that I was a bit abrupt in the change of bend.
  4. B Circle Right 20M, working trot
    Could show more clear bend right 6.5
  5. Between F and A Medium Walk
    Slightly against hand. Needs Overtrack 6.5
    This horse doesn’t really have an overtrack in her walk… so we might never be able to score better than that.
  6. K-X-M Free Walk
    Willing to stretch. Needs overtrack. 7.0
    This is probably the best free walk this horse has given me. Long body, short legs… not a lot of overtrack, but we will keep working on it.
  7. Approaching M Develop Medium Wwalk
    M – C Medium Walk
    Needs Overtrack 6
  8. C Working Trot
    No Comment 6
    I wish this one had a comment, but the other test did. I assume it was a similar issue of the transition being too abrupt. But… I was pretty happy with it.
  9. E – B Half Circle Left 20M, working trot
    Between center line and B, working canter left lead
    Slightly braced 6.5
  10. B Circle Left 20 M
    No Comment 7.5
    I actually liked this canter LESS than the next one. I felt it was a bit too flat.
  11. Between B and M Working Trot
    Little Quick 6.5
    I actually redid the test mostly to fix this downward transition because it felt braced and on the forehand. I was happy with her forwardness post-transition. (This ended up getting a 5.5 when I redid it)
  12. H – X – F Change Rein, Working Trot
    Tempo Little Quick 6.5
    Noted… what I think feels good is too quick.
  13. E – B Half Circle Right 20M, working trot
    Between center line and B working Canter right lead
    Could show more bend, slightly hollow 6.5
    I thought we would just a comment on our kind of squishy transition here.
  14. B Circle right 20M
    Falling in 6.5
  15. Between B and F, working trot
    Little Abrupt 6.0
    I felt like this was the opposite of abrupt, but ok.
  16. A Down Centerline
    Temp quick on turn 6.5
  17. X Halt, Salute
    No Comment 7.0

Collective Marks:

Gaits: 6.5
Impulsion: 6.5
Submission: 6.5 (Bracing at transitions)
Rider: 7.0
Comments: Obedient and accurate test! Continue developing more bend in circles. Steady Tempo. good luck!

Final score: 34.048.

My overall thoughts? I was super happy with how accurate this test was. We did all the things in all the places hahaha. Excited to go ahead and put the polish on now to try and scrape out those extra points. I was also happy to see the slight improvement in my rider score (even riding in my jumping saddle).

It’s always so interesting to see what judges are looking for vs. what I think they are looking for. I think next time I am going to ask May for a bit more engagement on a slower tempo, and obviously, a bit more bend. I think those two things will clean up the edges. As for the overtrack in the walk… it’s just not something I think we are likely to ever achieve, but if anyone has tips there, I am open to hearing them.

I ended up riding Novice A a second time, trying to clean up where I thought the issues were. We ended up scoring slightly worse (35.476), but this was mostly due to May jigging when I picked up the contact at the end of the walk and worst downward transitions.

Overall comments: Accurate test, continue development suppleness and bend on circles and engagement in downward transitions. The full video is below (if you want to be bored for another 4 minutes).

Overall, our novice tests placed 4th and 5th out of 7 with the highest score in the division being a 30.952.

I would definitely submit my dressage tests for scoring again for the virtual show in May. The plan is to clean up Novice A and start the work on Novice B (which includes a stretch circle UGH).

Tomorrow! The SJ judging. AKA why my horse is not a hunter…

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. roamingridersite

    You had me convinced to sign up and then Eeyore was lame so no go for us. I plan to join the May one though. What a neat way to get feedback without all the stress of warm up, travel and new venues. Of course, those are important parts of showing too. You two look really steady to me and she looks relaxed and ready. Can’t wait to see your jump round.

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Thanks! And yes, you should totally join in for the May one. It gives Eeyore a couple of weeks to get his act together. And you can do Dressage and SJ on two different days, so he won’t be too tired. πŸ™‚

  2. Nadia

    I love that this was offered. It’s fun to have homework right now, or at least something to work towards!

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      For sure! It was great to get feedback and feel like we are doing SOMETHING haha.

  3. Bette

    Can you just do a dressage test? My arena is the size of a small dressage ring so I don’t think the SJ would be possible hahaha! But such a fun opportunity with the virtual show!

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Yup! You can enter JUST the Dressage or JUST the show jumping. You can ride any USDF or USEA dressage test, so it’s up to you which to ride. They will combine/split divisions as necessary. (This round, Prelim and Training tests were combined.)

  4. martidoll123

    very cool. And May is so adorable. Like I would give her 9s across the board. Which may be why I am not a judge but anyway:) Glad you had fun!

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Hahahah May totally deserves 9s for cuteness.

  5. L. Williams

    Neat! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  6. eventerinprogress

    My virtual dressage test had the stretch circle. I reckon it ended up being one of the better parts of our test honestly haha

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Hahaha fingers crossed!

  7. Stacie Seidman

    This is a great way to get feedback while we’re stuck at home! You guys look great!

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Yes! I really appreciate getting the feedback. Since the earliest part of this season has obviously been a wash, it’s nice not to feel COMPLETELY behind the 8 ball if shows do start up again this summer.

  8. Liz

    This is so cool!

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      It really was a great experience.

  9. AMC

    This is so cool, I sent the link to some barnmates. I dunno if I am quite ready for the May show but maybe the next one I’ll send in a dressage test video.

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      I think it’s great to get the feedback on Dressage. You can always JUST do Dressage or you can do a higher level of dressage and a lower level of SJ (Like I did).

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