Online Dressage Show

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.

Observations:

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.

 

Observations:

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.

Overall Thoughts:

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

Other Notes:

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.

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The Petteasy Gloves

I don’t usually endorse products, but when I find something that I find useful and durable then I don’t mind sharing my experience with it.

My husband bought me a pair of Petteasy gloves a few weeks ago. I hate to admit that we’re normally suckered into those “As seen on tv” products, but we are, frequently… Ha! We’ve been suckered into just about every pet grooming glove available… and they’ve all sucked. In fact, the “True Touch Pet Shedding Glove” is currently being used by Polar as a chew toy (that’s how much it sucked).

However… I am so incredibly impressed with the petteasy grooming gloves. I love them. I would buy twenty pairs if I could. These are fantastic for grooming horses. The nubbins are just firm enough to get the hair and dirt out, yet not so firm that they don’t have some give to them. They’re durable. I’ve used them on all three horses for a couple of weeks now (used them hard too), and all the nubbins are there and only some very minor wear.

The best part is they fit well. Snug enough that they aren’t rolling around under your hand when you really press hard, and yet comfortable. The velcro enclosure is a great feature.

Straight out of the package they were a bit too stiff to really use your hand for hand things, but after the first use they softened up to a point where they were comfortable and usable.

My horses love these. Joy has kind of become a monster about getting ‘scratchies’ with these gloves. She leans into my hands and makes the craziest contortions trying to point me to the right spots to hit. They’re perfect for getting those itchy places on a horse (belly, chest, that spot where the neck meets the shoulder).  Even Jessie, the “I hate all things human” really enjoyed them. Which shocked me.

These don’t work so great on long haired pets. I tried them on my Great Pyrenees and the results were blah. It worked about as well as any rubber, small nubbin type, grooming tool would work on a long haired dog.

But, back to the horses.. I put these gloves on when tacking up. Since they fit like a good pair of gloves, then it allows me to hold a brush while wearing them. I alternate hands when using the rubber nubbins on the gloves and use the other hand to brush the dirt off. Works awesome. Gets the dirt, hair, and dead skin up. I can still hold a lead rope securely, work a brush with them on, and feed a treat. Slip the gloves off when I’m done grooming and off we go.

Really impressed with this product.

Joy’s First Real Counter-Canter

Now that I can get the haunches in at the canter, i thought I’d try a real Counter-Canter with her. Last time I tried (last year), I couldn’t control the shoulders and haunches well enough to keep her on the lead.

I was only going to try doing a bendy line from B to the far corner , but she was so easy to steer from my seat that I thought I’d go for a half circle in counter-canter.

Check out how it went (you may want to mute the sound):

She got unbalanced on the last part of the half-circle, but not bad overall for a beginning.

The left lead counter-canter wasn’t going as well. A little too weak and unbalanced to hold it around a full circle, so I’ll have to work on that. However, really thrilled that I was able to pick up which ever lead I wanted regardless of which direction I was going (she picked up the left without too many issues even though we were going to the right).

I really liked her leg-yield here:

I was just really thrilled that the canter is getting more balanced! Only took me three years!! LOL!

However, I can NOT for the life of me, put this all together into a good lower-level test ride. I tried to ride a First Level Test 1 last week, and it was shit. Couldn’t get the canter at the letter, our circles were football shaped (what do you mean that’s rider error?!?!), no lengthens to speak of, I couldn’t get a stretchy trot to save my life, etc. etc. It was terrible.

I think I’ve been too lax by not riding more precisely.

To help with that, I now have… ** drum roll **

ARENA LETTERS!!!

WOO HOO!

My wonderful husband made them for me.  They’re kind of hard to see in the pictures, but they look really nice in person.

The dressage arena is really starting to come together!! Yay!

That thing I couldn’t get

I’ve owned Joy, the pony, since 2015.   If you want to read about when I got her, go to I bought a…

Anyway… I FINALLY got her to do haunches in at a canter!!! Woo Hoo!! And it was pretty darn decent too!

Seriously, I have been working on this for YEARS. Granted, we’ve had a lot of time off over the years, but I wouldn’t have thought it’d be that hard to get this. I never had half the issues getting haunches in at a canter with any other horse.

This one.. whew.  Struggle bus.

Anyway, I was so thrilled.

Now I can start working on counter canter! Yay! lol!

Online Showing

I want to try the online show series called Better Dressage Scores.

It’s 100% online. You video your ride (as if you’re the judge at C), pay the $19.00 per test to enter, a real judge judges you, and you get the marks and comments back in an email.

You can also earn ribbons and year end awards.

Instead of “winning” based on the quality of your competition though, places are awarded based on score. So, a 70%, or higher, is First place, and multiple people can earn a first for the same test in the same show. Which is a bit different, but I like that you’re actually competing entirely against yourself and your placing isn’t determined by quality of your competition.

They have Intro through FEI levels available.

And, for all of you Western Dressage riders out there, they also have WD classes available (Intro to Level 3).

This seems like a great way to get some feedback without having to suffer through an extremely long day at a real show. Plus, if I only want to do one test, then it’s $19 total. No office fee’s, no haul in fee’s, no gas costs, etc. Total is $19.00.

Their next show is Sept 30th (entries close Sept 23rd). If I can figure out how to get markers up so they’re visible for the video, and figure out how to work through the large hole at M, then I should be all set to enter this.  I think that’ll be my goal this week – figure out how to set up lettering.

Along with power washing all the water tanks, cleaning the feed bins, cleaning tack, and continuing to fill in the giant hole in my yard.

I suppose I ought-a get off my butt and get started!