I wrote about an online dressage show series a few weeks ago. You can read it at Online Showing.
I tried it. I wanted to share with you the details of how it worked, feedback I received, and other things I learned about this service.
I don’t want to show you the video because it’s embarrassing. The pony was lame in it, but I hadn’t realized she was favoring the leg until AFTER we started videoing the ride. She was a powder keg the moment I got on. I hopped on and spent 5 minutes of riding out bolts and bucks, then decided “screw it” and video’d the test ride. As soon as I turned left at C she started bopping on the turns. That’s the leg with the club foot, and she is always short-strided and choppy on it when really tense. However, i later found a small cut on her pastern on that leg, so she may have whacked herself during her shenanigans. I don’t know.
She’s fine now. No lasting damage.
Anyway… excuses aside, if you can get past the shitty riding, lame pony, etc. and you want to know about the online show series, then below is how the online show went and the results I got.
Entering the Show:
Entering the show was really easy. Click on the Enter a Show link, choose your type (“I am a US dressage rider” or whichever one you are), and it takes you to the page where you can select your test. Add a test to your cart, and when ready to check out, click “view cart” and then enter your billing info.
The only catch I ran into here is that you have to pay $5.95 to receive a ribbon and a hard copy of your test scores in the mail. This is optional. If you don’t care about the ribbon, and an email of your test sheet/scores is fine, then you don’t pay any extra. However, I had assumed a ribbon was included in the $19 charge, not an additional fee. No biggy though.
You can also choose, on this screen, to have personalized feedback from the judge. That’s $9.00 extra. Again, optional.
I chose the personalized feedback from the judge to see what that got you for $9.00.
You can either attach a video of your ride on this screen, or upload to youtube and add the link to the Notes section, or email the video to them. I chose to upload to youtube because my file was too large, then I added the youtube link to the notes.
You pay for this through Paypal.
I received a receipt from Better Dressage Scores after I paid, but it said my entry was on-hold until payment received. I never did hear anything back that it was off hold, or that payment had been received. The communication during this process was a little lacking.
Results of the Show:
The closing date for the show was the 23rd. The actual show date was the 30th. On the 30th, I received an email with a link to the show results. At 12:30PM I received an email with my test sheet and scores, plus an audio file of the judges personalized feedback.
I thought it’d be days past the show date before I received my scores and feedback. I was incredibly happy to get it so quickly!
The test score sheet is returned as a word document. Easy to read.
The personalized feedback is returned as an m4a audio file. Windows media player will play it. I thought the feedback was really good, spot on, and helpful. The judge was super nice about addressing the lameness issue.
** I overlaid the audio file onto the video of the test to make it easier for you. See link below.
I would absolutely do this online show series again.
- I felt the judge was spot on, and she had positive and supportive comments.
- I thought the scoring was an accurate reflection of the movements.
- The cost was incredibly affordable.
- I didn’t have to wear show clothes or braid the horse.
- The setup for the arena was easy (I just shoved white blocks on the RSVP letter spots).
- The results were quick, easily accessible (email), and score sheet is easily readable (typed instead of written).
- The optional personalized comments were helpful and informative, and I felt they were well worth the $9.00 I paid for them.
Video and Documents:
Video of Test with personalized comments from judge applied: https://youtu.be/57GYXZ3sXZU
PDF of Score Sheet: https://avandarre.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/usef-first-level-test-1-729.pdf
It’s my understanding that they do this every month, even through the winter. This would be an inexpensive and quality way to get feedback throughout the dead winter months (without having to brave icy roads with a trailer).
You can even do a “barn show” if you contact Better Dressage Scores to set it up.
And as a reminder, they offer western dressage classes also.