Your boots are polished. Your turnout is immaculate. You know the test and rode it clean. So why isn’t your score higher? What was the judge seeing? That was the subject of our latest Shop Talk featuring FEI 3* Judge, Bill Warren and USEF R Judge, Bill McMullen. They explained that performing a mistake-free test is just the beginning. To raise your score from a 60% to a 70% or higher you have to improve your transitions.
The training scale informs every movement and the score in every box. For example, squareness is just one aspect of the halt at X. The judge is also looking for a straight entry, the quality of the horse’s gait and a soft landing into a balanced halt. Together those elements will bring the mark up to 8, 9 or 10. Whether you're riding at training level or grand prix, transitions are the secret sauce of dressage. The better your ride them, the better you will score.
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