Fresno County Horse Park HT – Dressage

My husband’s dressage test was up first. We left Levi in his stall and he proceeded to try to kill himself kicking the walls, banging at the door, and spinning while screaming. Since he’d figured out how to open his door, I had tied it shut with bailing twine and then he managed to get his foot stuck on his bucket while kicking it and the door had to get cut open. After that I had to remove everything from his stall before leaving him. Fun times.

Anyway, off in dressage land, my husband warmed up well and went in for his test. I thought it was a pretty good test for them. Eugene was fairly relaxed and steady. The judge didn’t hate them, but she thought they needed to be more on the bit. Which is true, but gets a bit boring as a comment.

1. A Enter working trot. C Track right
Judge’s Comments: “Straight. Show more ground cover bend and turn”
Score: 6.0

2. B Circle right 20 meters working trot
Judge’s Comments: “Steady strides. Needs bend and rounder topline”
Score: 6.0

3. KXM Change rein
Judge’s Comments: “a little braced”
Score: 6.0

4. E Circle left 20 meters working trot
Judge’s Comments: “needs more bend through body”
Score: 6.0

5. Between K and A Working canter left lead
Judge’s Comments: “Above bit”
Score: 5.0

6. A Circle left 20 meters
Judge’s Comments: “stays above bit and counter flexed”
Score: 5.0

7. Between B and M Working trot
Judge’s Comments: “Little braced. Not straight.”
Score: 5.0

8. HXF Change rein working trot
Judge’s Comments: “Above bit”
Score: 5.0

9. Between F and A Working canter right lead
Judge’s Comments: “labored and hollow”
Score: 5.0

this was not a pretty transition

10. A Circle right 20 meters
Judge’s Comments: “needs correct position to inside”
Score: 5.5

11. Between E and H Working trot
Judge’s Comments: “not straight or on bit”
Score: 5.0

not straight indeed

12. C Medium walk
Judge’s Comments: “Smooth. Show more march after”
Score: 6.5

13. M – E Free walk. E – K Medium walk
Judge’s Comments: “Stretch more down. Cover more ground.”
Score: 6.5

14. K Working trot.  A Down centerline
Judge’s Comments: “More bend in turn”
Score: 6.0

motorcycling doesn’t count as bend?

15. X Halt, Salute
Judge’s Comments: “needs straighter halt”
Score: 5.5

Collective Marks:
Gaits: 6.0
Impulsion: 5.5
Submission: 5.5
Rider: 6.5

Final Score: 43.0
Final Comments: “Capable pair needs correct position to inside”

This score left them in 13th out of 15 going into Stadium.

I had to race back from watching my husband’s test to get Levi tacked up for my own. We had an okay warm up with lots of transitions and change of pace within gates to get him listening to me. Then we went in and he decided that he couldn’t possibly go right.

1. A Enter working trot. C Track left
Judge’s Comments: “Be straighter. More on bit”
Score: 5.5

2. E Circle left 20 meters working trot.
Judge’s Comments: “Needs bend. More ground cover.”
Score: 6.0

Poky little pony has no ground cover

3. Between K and A Working canter left lead.
Judge’s Comments: “little reluctant”
Score: 6.0

the tail

4. A Circle left 20 meters working canter.
Judge’s Comments: “counter flexed”
Score: 5.0


5. Between F and B Working trot
Judge’s Comments: “should stay more on bit”
Score: 6.0

6. C Medium Walk.
Judge’s Comments: “More fluid at C. March after”
Score: 6.0

pissed pony is pissed

7. HXF Free walk. Between F and A Medium Walk.
Judge’s Comments: “Needs stretch down. Show more purpose in walk”
Score: 6.0

I didn’t think it was that bad

8. A Working Trot
Judge’s Comments: “quite hollow”
Score: 5.0

Tried to trot before A

9. E Circle right 20 meters working trot.
Judge’s Comments: “Above bit. Needs bend and ground cover.”
Score: 5.0

I don’t know what the complaint is; we’re covering INCHES of ground with each stride

10. Between H and C Working canter right lead.
Judge’s Comments: “wrong lead”
Score: 4.0

Deserves a 2 for “Bad”

11. C Circle right 20 meters working canter.
Judge’s Comments: “Canters on wrong lead”
Score: 4.0

I feel like 0 for “not performed” would have been an acceptable score. I brought him back to trot and asked for the right lead 3 times.

12. Between M and B Working Trot
Judge’s Comments: “Be more on bit. Keep straighter.”
Score: 5.0

Levi: no time for straight, I must prance

13. A Down Centerline.
Judge’s Comments: “Above bit. Relax bend”
Score: 5.0

I wouldn’t call this bending

14. X Halt, Salute
Judge’s Comments: “fairly straight”
Score: 7.0

At least our halt problems have gone away

Collective Marks:
Gaits: 6.5
Impulsion: 5.5
Submission: 4.5
Rider: 6.0

Final Score: 45.3
Final Comments: “Capable pair. Practice your canter departs with correct bend and balance to be more secure during test.”

I was pretty pissed off after that test. We have already practiced right lead canter departs. A lot. He got them all in our warm up (and in the practice show the day before) so I really wasn’t prepared for him to just flip me the finger on that during the test. After we walked out, I took him back to the warm up where he once again tried to ignore my request for right lead and he had his ass kicked. I don’t mind greenness or mistakes. What I hate is when he purposefully ignores me regarding things he knows how to do.

I think the judge was overly generous for my test. Maybe because intro isn’t a rated division? I don’t know. I certainly didn’t deserve a 4 for cantering on the wrong lead for 2 movements. We ended 12 out of 13 only because the 13th person was eliminated after doing BN B instead of A. I think it’s rather sad that our disaster of a test got a score only 2 points off from my husband’s when Eugene was trying so hard to be good and put in a really steady test. I think judges just like Levi and he scores higher even when he’s an asshole.

22 thoughts on “Fresno County Horse Park HT – Dressage

  1. Teresa

    Levi is certainly causing his share of difficulties these days! It’s too bad because when I look at him I can see his potential for dressage once you get his head in the game and get him understanding that he doesn’t need to dump his balance all on his forehand.

    Eugene is coming along nicely. He’s such a sweet guy.

  2. KC Scott

    Whoa Levi! He sure is a handful, isn’t he? I thought Eugene (from the pictures) looked much better than a 43. Hopefully Levi grows up soon!

  3. Stacie Seidman

    Sounds like Levi is going through his terrible two’s! I do agree though, the pretty factor does seem to woo the judges.
    Eugene looks like he’s really starting to relax more in the show ring!

  4. emma

    i’m sorry 🙁 the way you describe it, it sounds pretty freakin miserable competing Levi in his current state of greenness and level of training

    1. Olivia Post author

      I think most of it is our relationship at this point. I’m so annoyed with him, everything he does wrong just annoys me more. He’s not really that bad of a horse.

  5. Hannah

    Eugene is looking much better! He’s showing such a big improvement from the “guard llama” protecting the world from horse-murdering judge booths we saw not that long ago. Sorry Levi’s being such a butt. He used to cut a more studly figure, but all that bad behavior means he’s losing popularity to Eugene big time. All the mares and humans-with-food love a horse that brings their A game to the sandbox. 😉

    1. Olivia Post author

      Exactly. Eugene is definitely winning me over with his desire to be a good boy. I feel like he’s improved a lot over this season so it’s a shame to not see his scores go up much.

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  7. Liz

    I definitely see improvement in Eugene compared to past tests! He looks much less drama llama and much more trying-to-do-the-Thing. Levi. Damn, Levi. Who pissed in your Wheaties that morning? Good gracious.

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