Some judges tend to judge a horse/rider harder than others, so lower scores don't always mean that you're doing poorly.
When I was first starting out in training level I got tons of results in the 40s, I'd say that's a pretty good first outing for you. :)
Thanks. Very had a lot of faults. While at home Buzz normally has lovely collection, good headset, etc, both of us were nervous. He was above the bit, never collected, spooked at the mirrors, spooked at the judges, spooked at some other horse's poop. My favorite = stopped dead in front of the judge box. *sigh*
The next two tests weren't *quite* so bad. I'm looking forward to going back next month to see how he does in the arena.
Haha don't worry, my old horse almost put a hoof through the judges car the first time I took him out :S Then he just about did the whole test backwards. He absolutely refused to go forwards unless someone was literally dragging him along!
And as for Carleens comment about judges marking some horses/riders down. SO TRUE!! It probably doesn't happen so much in PC dressage, but I know that in official it happens all the time. Prelim is basically a lottery, take your ticket and hope for the best because just about anyone can win it.
If you're a big name with a snazzy horse, even if you do a shocker of a test, you'll generally get a few extra marks over your paper just because of who you are. At some competitions, I split the class into two divisions. Div 1 and Div 2. Div one is comprised of the people who have big names, plenty of $$ and super expensive horses that have been trained by someone else and they just sit on them. Then div 2 is the rest of us, who don't have much cash to spare, we make do with what horses we can get and work our butts off to get where we are. If you third behind two 'div 1' riders, I class that as a win :P
My proudest moment in dressage though was beating the 'queen' of 'div 1' riders at a championship event last year... my status immediately rose and people that used to turn their nose at me started talking to me haha!
5-10 years ago, 60% could be considered a good score. Now I would say that 65% is "good" and will place you in the top half of a class at most national/international shows. If you are looking to win at these shows, high 60% - low/mid 70% averages are the norm.
Increasing scores can be contributed to increasing quality of horses, in some cases also increasing quality of coaching and also some judges have been increasing their scores in order to get hired more often - this phenomena is however limited to the lower level judges (ie below FEI).
Good job on your first show though! 62% your first time out is nothing to be ashamed of.