Judging equitation ... over trot poles. Fair scoring system?

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Judging equitation ... over trot poles. Fair scoring system?

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  • Point system for judging a hunter horse show
  • Equitation score system

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    03-23-2011, 06:59 PM
Question Judging equitation ... over trot poles. Fair scoring system?

So, my trainer is putting on a local combined training show -- dressage, x-country, show jumping. Since I do hunter equitation, I won't be showing, but I have been recruited to sit in my Jeep at the back of the x-country field and take notes about refusals, falls, going off course, etc. Not a problem.

But she also wants me to judge the trot poles class for the jumping portion. Because those in this class are typically younger and are walk-trot riders, she doesn't want to make it a timed event. Rather, she wants it to be judged as an equitation class. Which makes sense to me. (And these kids are trained in equitation at this level anyway)

I feel totally up to doing this. I'm actually kind of excited about it. Even though I'm not exactly riding 'A' shows these days, Hunter Equitation is where I've always been.

Heels down, eyes up, shoulders back, quiet hands and quiet legs, good balance, etc. (Obviously refusals and falls would be part of this.)

But ... what would be a good/fair way to score them, especially at this level? Given that it's not a traditional hunter show, I'd like to do something points based, as opposed to just jotting down the placings. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.

And I know -- it's just ground poles. I just want to do a good job.
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    03-23-2011, 09:48 PM
Rhythm, cadence, consistency through the poles, straightness, steadiness, balance, diagonals, etc.

Don't stress it. Like you said it sounds like fun :) and if you're stuck between a few riders, you can always do call backs. Or even better, take notes so that you remember how to place the class and you can compare each rider after they are done. Good luck and enjoy!
    03-23-2011, 10:17 PM
Honestly, since they're obviously little kids if they're doing poles, you shouldn't expect them to have fabulous equitation (and I'm sure you won't!) I would just go with the basics like you said. They will most likely be riding some broke horses. If they are on one that looks tough, and they ride it will, I'd plus them for it.

Good luck! I'm sure it'll be a fun experience!!
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    03-23-2011, 11:44 PM

Yes, I definitely plan on taking notes on each rider (should be less than 10) and the bad things as well as the good things ... knowing these will be just kids.

I also hope I judge it closely to the way my trainer sees it. LOL.
    03-24-2011, 12:47 PM
You've been given good advice so good luck!
    03-25-2011, 08:19 AM
How fun is that going to be!? How small are the kids?
    03-26-2011, 12:34 AM
I think (hope) it's going to be fun.

I would say the kids will be 10 years or under. Although we may have a re-rider or possibly a teen just taking lessons.
    04-03-2011, 05:24 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know how it went:

2 adult women -- one on a green horse, one a green-ish rider; one girl about 6, two girls in fifth grade or so, one girl about 8th grade.

It was interesting and I definitely have a better respect for judges now. Wow. It was sort of nerve wracking to try and keep up with diagonals, hands/legs/head position, etc.

Thankfully for me -- but unfortunately for them -- all but one rider either went off course or had a refusal. And two fell off. The adult rider's green horse dumped her on the very last fence. Then the little 6-year-old, well, it was a train wreck from start to finish. God bless her.

There was a 2-person class between the better riders from the first group, and judging them was fun. Neither one had any refusals, falls, or went off course. So, it came down to the one girl who missed a correct diagonal. (I gave them plenty of time to correct it after changing directions.)

I'd definitely do it again if asked. Despite me being the 'judge' it was a great learning experience.

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