Horse & Hound
A TIME FOR CHANGE?
I WOULD like to raise a point about the dressage test marking sheet – does it represent an accurate reflection of the true meaning of the word “dressage”, a progressive and interrelated system through which to develop the horse over time?
After many years, we still have the system of marking each movement with a number from 0 to 10; the numbers correspond to a key explaining what that score means and there’s space for the judge’s comment. However, is this key unhelpful and discouraging?
For example, “Fairly bad” and “Fairly good” are pointless descriptions – dressage test marking is an objective evidencebased assessment of how the horse is going on the day and reflects what stage it’s at with its training.
Negative subjective comments have no place in an assessment whatever the level, since the aim is to encourage the horse and rider relationship. So is it time to phase out this unnecessary wording and keep scoring to the point, with a mark out of 10 and a judge’s comment that could be more positive and helpful?
Just because something has always been like this doesn’t mean it should stay. We do have freedom to change and improve.
UKCC L2 coach
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk