CVTSC Dressage Schooling Show – Eugene

My husband had a more successful show experience than Levi and I did. When we first started showing Eugene he would get super excited at shows. It was nearly impossible to get good work out of him as he went into a stressed and frantic energizer bunny mode. It’s the main reason we started going to so many H/J shows even though we’re not interested in hunters; we really just wanted to expose Eugene to as many shows as possible. He has gotten a lot better. At this point he can really keep his brain in his head at shows. He can chill out, leg cocked, waiting for his rounds. He still sometimes starts out in the warm up a bit energetic, but he does that at home sometimes too. The improvement has been very impressive and well worth the time and expense and the occasional loss of opportunity to do something else that might be more fun (like a trail ride). However, Eugene remains tense in dressage tests at shows in a way he isn’t at H/J shows. So this year we are going to try to go to as many dressage schooling shows as possible, although there aren’t a lot of them in our area.

One noticeable improvement is Eugene’s approach to the judge’s booth. He so consistently spooks at the judge’s booth that I had the camera running, but he just walked on by this time.

Of course he’s still tensed back up when it was time to start the test.

“Omg we’re doing the thing”

Beginner Novice A
1. A-X-M Enter working trot at M Track left
Judge’s Comments: “steady”
Score: 7.0

2. E Circle left 20 meters
Judge’s Comments: “above the bit 1st half”
Score: 6.0

giraffe moment

3. Between K and A Working canter left lead
Judge’s Comments: “could have better balance”
Score: 6.5

4. A Circle left 20 meters working canter
Judge’s Comments: “inconsistent connection”
Score: 6.0

5. Between F and B Working trot
Judge’s Comments: “fairly straight but braced”
Score: 6.0

but transitions are so much easier using the underneck

6. Between M and C Medium walk
Judge’s Comments: “a bit tense”
Score: 6.5

7. H-X-F Free walk
Judge’s Comments: “needs more swing and reach to cover more ground”
Score: 7.0

This is about as good as free walk gets for Eugene

8. Between F & A Develop medium walk
Judge’s Comments: “braced covers more ground now”
Score: 6.5

covering more ground bc he’s anticipating

9. K Working trot at E Circle right 20 meters working trot
Judge’s Comments: “leaning in unsteady”
Score: 6.0

10. Between H and C Working canter right lead
Judge’s Comments: “obedient could have better balance”
Score: 6.5

I’m surprised they didn’t get a comment on geometry here; they’re no where near the corner

11. C Circle right 20 meters working canter
Judge’s Comments: ” hurried, leaning”
Score: 6.0


12. Between M and B Working trot
Judge’s Comments: “above the bit”
Score: 5.0

I’d say braced more than above the bit, but the score is fair

13. K-X-G Onto centerline
Judge’s Comments: “unsteady”
Score: 6.0

14. G Halt through walk, salute
Judge’s Comments: “fairly straight. don’t salute with whip in hand”
Score: 7.0

I learned this rule after writing it about 50 times in one afternoon while scribing

Collective Marks:
Gaits: 7.0
Impulsion: 6.0
Submission: 5.5 – “needs balance and suppleness”
Rider: 6.5

Final Score: 37.22

When I was practicing the tests on my phone, I mentioned to my husband how I didn’t really like the abrupt transitions in the BNB. You go from canter circle at E to trot between E and H. In the old test, you didn’t have to transition to trot until after E or B when circling at A or C; you had more time to get organized after your circle. For the second transition down, you go from canter circle at E to trot between E and K and then walk between K and A. It feels really rushed to me. My husband had actually practiced the tests by riding them and said it wasn’t that bad. Then he went into the test and did all of those transitions late because he forgot where they were and he felt like they came up too quickly to be right. The judge was pretty generous. For the first late transition, she just circled the letters. For the next one he got a comment and a reduced score and for the final late one, you could tell she was mad.

Beginner Novice B
1. A-X-H Enter working trot at H Track right
Judge’s Comments: “slight resistance at x”
Score: 7.0

2. C Circle right 20 meters, working trot
Judge’s Comments: “could be more connected to connection”
Score: 6.5

Tautological, but true

3. B Half circle right Between center line & E 20 meters Working canter right lead
Judge’s Comments: “resists aids”
Score: 6.0

ha ha ha

4. E Circle right 20 meters working canter
Judge’s Comments: “flat”
Score: 6.0

I’d argue leaning in is the bigger problem here

5. Between E and H Working trot
Judge’s Comments: counter flexed above bit”
Score: 5.5

No picture because they were late (this lateness just got circled)

6. M-X-K Change rein, working trot
Judge’s Comments: “tightening through topline”
Score: 5.5

tightening implies never having been tight?

7. A Circle left 20 meters working trot
Judge’s Comments: “maintain connection”
Score: 6.0

8. B Half circle left, Between center line & E 20 meters Working canter left lead
Judge’s Comments: “anticipates canter with transition”
Score: 6.5

my husband has been sitting trot before the canter transitions. It makes the transitions smoother, but Eugene has figured that trick out.

9. E Circle left 20 meters working canter
Judge’s Comments: “leaning in above the bit”
Score: 5.5

zoom, zoom, zoom

10. Between E and K Working trot
Judge’s Comments: “late transition”
Score: 4.5

still cantering

11. Between K and A Medium walk
Judge’s Comments: “late again”
Score: 4.0

no picture because it was so late

12. F-X-H Change rein, free walk
Judge’s Comments: “could have more stretch to improve overstep”
Score: 6.5

13. Between H and C Develop medium walk
Judge’s Comments: “could have better connection”
Score: 6.5

14. M Working trot
Judge’s Comments: “counterflexed”
Score: 6.5

I agree that it’s not pretty, but I wouldn’t call it counterflexed

15. A Down center line
Judge’s Comments: “very straight”
Score: 8.0

That’s a pretty awesome score on the tougher 10m circle turn

16. X Halt through the walk, salute
Judge’s Comments: “against the hand”
Score: 7.0

still with the whip

Collective Marks
Gaits: 7.0
Impulsion: 6.5
Submission: 6.0
Rider: 6.0 – Accuracy!

Final Score: 38.5

Pretty decent score given all the late transitions. I think they could have done pretty well without the errors. I’m sure we’ll be doing these two tests a lot more this year.

17 thoughts on “CVTSC Dressage Schooling Show – Eugene

      1. Stacie Seidman

        There’s just a lot less to be thinking about with the hunters. I mean, in the flat class, just go forward and don’t run into anyone! And over fences, the courses are pretty simple to remember. Harder in the jumper ring of course, but still. Dressage has to be perfect every single piece of the body every single step. So much opportunity for angst!

        1. Olivia Post author

          I feel like hunters gives me angst. I feel like everything is being judged in hunters: my clothes, my braiding job, my horse’s demeanor, my tack. In dressage it’s just how well we do the thing. I’m sure I’d be more comfortable at Hunters if I did them often enough and was good at all the spiffy looking stuff.

  1. martidoll123

    i can see the diff in Eugene though he is finally getting it! Seriously sure he doesn’t have it all correct yet but it is so much more giving and just pleasurable to look at. I am so pleased that he was so good! (And sure we all mess up!! I do all the TIME LOL)….but I do like the way Eugene is really starting to carry himself…..YAY

  2. Suzy

    If it’s not already on your radar, take a look at the schooling series put on by KM Dressage in Gilroy (at Gilroy Gaits) and Seven Oaks in Portola Valley. The Seven Oaks shows are quite casual.

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