So the rules for show jumping were a bit outside the regular rules for a horse trial. Typically, if you are clear and within the time, you are golden. Since everyone is riding in different arenas that might not have the same length, the scoring had to change, so the below was the criteria:

*SJ round will be judged on clear round AND style points 1-10 of overall impression of horse and rider during the course

Alright. No big deal. Its subjective, but that was fine. We would put in a solid SJ round and that would be that. My goals were good lines, clear rhythm, forward motion, and, obviously, a clear round. The jumps were set to standard stride, so I figured it would be important to get the right striding.

Of course, if you read my blog post previously, you will know that May and I struggled HARD after recording those Dressage tests to get in any kind of rhythm for jumping. I ended up tabling the idea of jumping the course on Tuesday, and I decided to try again on Thursday.

On Thursday, I rode with a crop (for the first time in a while). Once or twice, I had to tap her on the shoulder super lightly to remind her that, hey that leg means something. After a good warmup, she was EATING up the distances, and I started needing to steady coming down the lines. Great!

I did, however, miss in the comments on the facebook group that the round was being judged to a hunter standard… Oops. Things to know about my horse, she is not a hunter. That whole “Effortless cover the ground” thing? Yeah, it is not our thing.

So I submitted what I thought was a solid round (video below).

Jump 1 was maybe a touch underpowered, so we got a long, weak distance. If I had jumped up her neck, it would’ve been a bad chip, guaranteed. Jumps 2 and 3 were good. We were having trouble getting down this line for some reason, so I was happy that we got in there ok. I had to counterbend around the corner to make sure we were SUPER straight coming to the panel jump.

We made the distance to the pink and our forward but straight ride meant May got the lead change. I could’ve been straighter coming AWAY from that jump, but we got nice and deep into the corner before the turn to the oxer.

Again, did a good job of bringing around her outside shoulder to get a nice distance to the purple and black. Then did a good job leaning away and pushing her off my right leg to get the lead change over the panel. Yay!

I took a breath here, because the next line was riding EASIER than the other one for everyone (for literally no reason). Again, we got SUPER straight to the blue and purple. But my half half was a bit much, so we jumped a touch long to the oxer. That long distance landed us on a wrong lead and too much on the forehand for a clean change. Simple change it was!

We got back into our rhythm quickly and jumped the oxer well. I held the counter canter with a good left bend to stay on the lead in the right turn back to the purple and blue vertical. As such, we held the left lead to land on it, correctly.

Overall, I felt good about it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was forward and the rhythm was good. I could’ve tapped the brakes maybe a BIT more, but given how hard I had fought to get the step, I was happy to have her coming out straight and forward.

Again though, I missed the memo on these jump rounds, and they weren’t really scored how I expected. We ended up last in our division and with the 2nd to worst score in the entire show… Woof.

When I got the score sheet (SUPER HELPFUL), it was clear that I had missed a memo somewhere. Each jump was scored from 0 – 5. (0 – refusal, 1 – very bad, 2 – bad, 3 – satisfactory, 4 – good, 5 – excellent). Then you had over all scores from 1 – 10, which had a .5 coefficient (1 – very bad, 2 – bad, 3 – fairly bad, 4 – insufficient, 5 – marginal, 6 – satisfactory, 7 – fairly good, 8 – good, 9 – very good, 10 – excellent.) Total possible score? 65

My score? 38. Below is the breakdown of the points:

Jump points:

(Jumps do not get individual comments)
1. 4
2. 2
3. 2
4. 3
5. 3
6. 3
7. 4
8. 3
9. 3
(27 out of 45 possible).

Overall Evaluation:

(Confidence, response to the aids, attitude and ability).
5.5 Great Attitude and forwardness. Work on responsiveness to half half.

Between Fences:
(Maintaining rhythm, appropriate pace, desire to go forward, ability to adjust balance before fences, jumping out of stride)
5.5 Good desire to go forward. Work on balance and bend through turns.

Rider Correct Use of Aids:
(Clarity, subtlety, independence, accuracy of test)
5.5 Smooth Aids

General Impression:
(no directives)
5.5 Cute Pair

(11 out of 20 possible)

I’m not really sure how to do better at this, and I am not sure I should try. I could smooth out our turns and bend more and provide a clearer response to the half halt. But all of that would mean that we don’t get the strides and are unlikely to jump out of stride. (Because adding a fifth stride in a 4 stride line does not lend itself well to great, forward flow). I could provide more bend in turn, but I can pretty much guarantee you that I will lose the shoulder.

I, like the true stalker I am, did go ahead and look up some of the other rides. (Joy of online horse show is you can find someone else’s rides.) So I do think I have a better idea of what would help us place better, but I am not sure I have a solution. (Other than giving up and doing the adds…)

My two best scoring jumps (1 and 7) were my least favorite fences (both long, weakish distances). So I am just going to take this feedback file it under, “I get it. You’re right. Smoothing it out is part of the final goal.” But, I will continue to work on smoothing it out from the context of maintaining the forward rhythm that we NEED to get the distances.

What are your thoughts? Are subjective rounds like this helpful in your continued education as a rider?

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. martidoll123

    That last photo. hahahahha she is SO MUCH EXTRA. Love her.

    I think it is really odd they judged it more as a hunter round. I get it that all couldnt be judged the same but still…..I also agree you be you and do what you are doing to make May the best jumper. Not all horses can be judged by the same ruler. ASK ME HOW I KNOW!

    I am glad you did it and it is sure fun seeing all the media ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Hahahaha We will never be a hunter pair, that’s for sure. Something tells me they wouldn’t love our floofy mohawk ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Gin

    I don’t agree with the judging. You rode the round very well, your distances were consistent. The only quibble I have is that she was counter-bent through the turns (which explained why you did). Those are jumper jumps not hunter jumps. If they wanted a hunter round they should have required flower boxes, gates, etc. Signed, a successful former hunter rider who made a turn to eventing 15+ years ago

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      First of all. Thank you. I guess if I had the score sheet ahead of time, I would’ve ridden it a bit differently. If it was a hunter round, I would’ve worn tan breeches! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Signed – a not so successful former hunter rider who made the turn to eventing +6 years ago.

  3. L. Williams

    The scoring feels like a mix between Hunter scoring and also Equitation scoring – so obviously with a hybrid way of judging it might be best just to file it away as ho-hum, especially since you don’t compete in either of those competitions.

    If I was scoring this as a hunter round (since I did sign up to try and get my little r card for Hunters) I would be judging it on your ability to get around the course as effortlessly looking as possible and the horses form. Which as you note, the horse takes a bit of work to get around and it really looks that way too. While she jumps clean she doesn’t have a hunter way of going, and you guys use the ring like a SJ would vs a Hunter rider would, and there was the missed change in there, so all of that would contribute to a lower hunter score.

    I would definitely just take this as a learning experience to look closer for the critieria next time and maybe just ignore the scoring on SJ lol

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Yup! I totally agree. We wouldn’t score well in equitation or hunters. It just… will never look effortless. We didn’t have the judging sheets ahead of time, so that little note at the top of the blog was all the info we got regarding judging/scoring.

      Now that we have the scoring system, I would probably ride things a bit differently. If anything, I am a bit surprised that blown lead didn’t have MORE of an effect on the judging ( or a comment somewhere).

      Part of me is tempted to go full hunter princess next time for kicks. I *think* I still know how to do it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. roamingridersite

    Oh…interesting. I guess they had to figure out some way to even the playing field since everyone was riding in a different size and shaped arena. I don’t know though. One thing I love about stadium is that it is purely objective in the scoring. To go from a solid dressage test and have a clear stadium round and end up 2nd to last doesn’t really show the effort you guys put it. But oh well…it is a virtual show and you have a great team behind you to file this under “that was interesting” and move on. How did they end up scoring you overall with a novice dressage test and a BN jump round?

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      So! I think they are awarding ribbons 1 – 10 for each Dressage division and SJ division. So we’d get 2 ribbons for Dressage and none for SJ.

      For Dressage, they did the top 3 overall placing for USDF dressage and USEA Dressage. Those people got money. For SJ, they did a baby starter & starter overall division, and they did a BN – T division. The top 3 in each of those also got money.

      Apparently, none of it was judged like a true CT with a combination of SJ and Dressage scores. Clear as mud?

      Basically, it ended up being judged Dressage rounds and judged SJ rounds. Not a judged CT. WHEW!

  5. Nadia

    ha! So jump two and 3 were my favorite along with the other 4 stride line. And jumps 2&3 scored the worst!
    In my opinion DO NOT change your riding in order to do another show. You do not need to change May just to get a better score for a virtual show. You can do another show and get a crappy score just so you have a course to ride. BUT, where you and May are now.. is so close to where you want to be, so don’t mess it up! Personally, in my non professional, stadium jumping weenie opinion, I thought you guys looked GREAT.

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Thank you! I thought 2 and 3 were great. Forward. Covered the ground. good balance. Got to give a little rebalance midway through.

      I don’t really plan on making any changes. Could it be smoother? Totally! Would that help? I am sure it would. Buuuut that willingness to go forward definitely needs to be my number one priority.

      Thanks again for your thoughts! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in stuff.

      1. Nadia

        I also realize my second favorite line was a 5 stride, not 4. Counting is hard lol

        1. Emily - May As Well Event

          I knew what you meant ๐Ÿ˜‰

          I thought my jump INTO that line was better than my jump OUT. But it scored worse.

  6. Stacie Seidman

    It doesn’t really make sense to me that they would just this as a hunter round. Equitation, sure, that would make more sense. But hunters? Weird. The concept is fun, but I’m not sure I follow all of the judging.

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      I… donโ€™t follow Hahahaha. Like Iโ€™ve done hunters and Iโ€™ve done equitation and… itโ€™s kind of neither? But itโ€™s not like a proficiency at SJ (like the Talent Search classes) Sooo weโ€™re just going to keep on keeping on haha. Smooth things out and do whatโ€™s been working for us to improve.

  7. Karen & Hamp

    To me this scoring seems like a hybrid between hunter and dressage? This is not how hunter rounds are judged (they don’t get a score for each jump, just a mark on a score sheet and then the judge comes up with a number out of 100 for the entire round). The comments are awesome though. Maybe this scoring can be called “Huntassage”

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Huntassage! I think that is actually the most accurate representation of it! The comments are helpful, and we did end up playing around with some of the suggestions in my lesson last night.

      I almost wish they had just given a numerical overall score and then comments. Because so much of a jumper round is the stuff happening outside the actual jumps. It’s like… scoring the transition but not the quality of the gait before and after the transition.

  8. emma

    idk what sort of scoring sheet they were working off of, but it seems similar to this Young Event Horse sheet i scribed last year. basically, there’s a numeric score for each element, and then a couple overall scores (sorta like “collectives” on a dressage test). the YEH stuff is a 0-3 score, whereas this was 0-5, but the judging appears similar. so ya know, at least there’s a precedent for that style scoring in the eventing world.

    1. Emily - May As Well Event

      Interesting! Might be worth watching a few YEH rounds to get an idea of what they may be looking for.

Writing is meant to be a two way street! Leave a comment below!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.