What Makes a Rider Effective?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  T 3 years ago.

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  • ShilohsGirl Original Poster ShilohsGirl
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 49

    After a less-than-stellar ride (75.8%), I was looking at my tests and I only scored a 7 on rider effectiveness, which is also a coeffieient.
    What does that mean and how can I be more effective? My trainer is having me perfect my position (lots of seat lessons) in order to be more effective, and trying to develop feel…
    From what I understand, it is riding more but also less. Like the George Morris quote “do as much asppossible but as little as nescessary.”
    What do you think?


    "Think of riding as a science, but love it as an art" ~George Morris

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    An effective rider in dressage terms (which is what I think you are riding) is one whose horse obeys every minor command and even the best judge can’t see the command being given. In reality, this means an effective rider has to have a horse trained to listen to miniscule commands and aids, so that ultimately shifting the rider’s weight from one seat bone to the other becomes a command that the horse senses and responds to. It should also be pointed out that 75.8 is hardly a poor score nor is a 7 a poor rider score. However, being effective differs by the level you are riding at, and you don’t say what test level you are currently riding at.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25

    While I agree with G&S, I thought I would add the following, after a ridiculous experience with a judge. My horse and I were at a local series show. My mustang had been driving for about 6 months; this show was merely for the experience. I drive combined driving, not pleasure, but these shows are wonderful to get the horses in with a mix, trailering, strange places and horses, etc. As I have done throughout my competition careers, I always look up the judge and try to see what he expects. At this barn, I can count on judges who are essentially saddle seat, NSH/Arab/Friesian/Saddlebred judges, i.e. the higher the head (more bulging, rolling eyeballs and fire snorting nostrils) the better the placing. But since these are for experience, I don’t particularly care. Which is good. This judge told me that the mustang and I had had the best rounds in both classes – pleasure and reinsmanship – of any horse in the arena: transitions accurate and true, steady gaits and paces, halts and backups, and the best reinsmanship pattern. BUT! I had NOT “framed my horse up” and that I had not shown myself “to be an effective driver.” My horse was not traveling with her neck anywhere near perpendicular to her back, her head did not drop at the poll, rather she was traveling with a low, rounded neck and head carriage (and rounded back). In fact, he suggested I “consider a change over to ‘dresaje’ (really how he said it!) as I was completely ineffective pleasure driver.”

    In your case, and as G&S said, we don’t know at what level you are riding, but I will guess that, as you are asking the question, it would be lower than Prelim. Your score is not horrid, nor, as G&S said, is a 7 poor. Where I disagree with G&S is that sometimes a judge SHOULD see the command. For instance, if the horse suddenly sees something on the rail: hat, plastic bag, small child, etc., and decides to take the natural avoidance tactic, the sooner you understand and correct the behaviour, the more effective is your riding, and thus, the higher your rider score.

    Another example, another horse, at a ridden dressage show: the horse is hot and ridiculous. He squirreled to X. He reared during my salute, launching into a bold working trot from the rear. Things got no better throughout the test. The highlights were the half-pass in each direction – which were spectacular. Basically from the halt to launch to trot transitions, the test was beyond busted, but we carried on and at each point of movement, something happened: transition of gait or pace, circle, serpentine – something. At the end of the test, the horse actually halted and kept 4 feet on the ground. As I saluted, he was busy nodding his head up and down, as if to say, “Wasn’t that GRAND?!!” The judge was wearing a very large grin as he returned our salute.

    Well, end of the day, we had about a 30.something – easily the worst test I had ever ridden. BUT our rider score was a 9.5. The comment made was that while the horse was simply impossible, the rider was effective in keeping him “in his skin” and “from doing bodily harm to those around him.” Later, the judge corralled me to say he thought the horse had great potential and he hoped he would see us again on a day when the horse was effective as I had been.

    The judge: Dr. Reiner Klimke

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    A 75.8% in dressage is a great score! It breaks down like this: 4 or lower is considered insufficient, 5 is sufficient, 6 is satisfactory, 7 fairly good, 8 good, 9 very good, 10 excellent. As an amateur, anything 60% or above you should be pretty pleased with. I was taught that if you are regularly getting in the 70s its time to move up a level. If you look at results for USDF championships you’ll find a score that high to be pretty rare. Pat yourself on the back for score of 7 on rider!

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