The New Rider Tests – Clinic

I went to a clinic Saturday to learn more about the “Rider Tests” that are available this coming year.
The most important thing I took away is that individual movements are not scored. It’s all collective marks. Instead of the normal 3 collective marks on the back, there will be five, and that’s all the judge gets… Those 5 boxes on the back of the test to score the entire test. It might make for some interesting scoring in the next year.

The emphasis on these tests is the rider and how well the rider influences the horse. So, for instance, if your horse trips and loses his balance, but you ride with such skill that it allows the horse to quickly regain his balance, then you get points, instead of points off for loss of balance.

The transitions are placed where the judge will have a clear view of what the rider is doing. So no more hiding while I’m furiously kicking my pony into a canter.

I also got to watch a video of all three tests being ridden. Those tests look Fun!! I can’t wait to try them.

Oh, also…The rules for the new Rider Tests are in flux, so check the USEF rules frequently.

And remember to check out the new “changing your diagonal” rules while on the USEF site.

My Horse is Weird

Yesterday I was getting Ava ready to ride. Everything was going swimmingly. Ava was her normal saintly self. I brush her down, pick her hooves, tack her up….

I lead her into the arena and halt her so I can pull down the stirrups and tighten the girth one last time. Before I can do either of those things, out of the corner of my eye, I catch Ava giving me that “look”. You know that look. The one that says “Haha, she’ll never see this coming”.

And suddenly Ava is rearing up in the air! Her front legs just a little to close to my head for my comfort level.

It seemed like forever….

And then she had all four hooves on the ground again.

I massively scolded her as soon as her front hooves touched dirt, and let her know how horribly unacceptable that was. But Ava just shook her head and snarled at me!!

And then BAM, Miss sweetness and light was back and happily doing whatever I asked of her.

Okay, fine, her attitude change may have had more to do with the furious little dwarf threatening her with death…. but still… It’s was a total night to day type change. It was just weird.