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JumpingTheMoon 01-24-2010 08:17 AM

what's considered a good score?
I apologise if this has already been asked but please bear with me. I'm new to dressage.

We had an awesome schooling show yesterday, our first. We go back to Ohio in a month for the second show in the series, and then after that it's the official USDA series.

Now, we are only showing in Intro, though we're schooling at Training.

For our classes yesterday, we got a 46%, 48% and 62%. Buzz was spooked by a few things (mainly the judges) but that's not his fault, that's simply my lack of control and his confidence in me. We've only been together for a couple of weeks. The judges still seemed ok with him though.

I've got my results sheets and I've been going over them with a fine tooth comb. The judges were really helpful and had a lot of good information. I'm going to give these to my instructor of course.

Are these scores reasonable?

maura 01-24-2010 08:21 AM

62% for a training level or intro test is a very respectable score; you should be very proud of that one. 46 or 48 is not unreasonable for a horse and or rider new to the sport, or a test with a disobedience, like a spook.

I'm also very glad you had judges who wrote lots of comments, sometimes it is absolutely worth the price of competing to get that kind of feedback.

HalfPass 01-24-2010 08:56 AM

Hey JTM,
Good Job. I think the scores are good considering you have only worked a short time with this horse. And I totally agree with the score in the 60's....way cool!

I bet your totally excited and can't wait to work on things for your next show.

Yay for you two!

JumpingTheMoon 01-24-2010 10:14 AM

Thanks! I am totally excited for the next show. I'm already wanting to get more lessons. I woke up sick today so I wont' be doing much.

Thank you for the insights though, I really appreciate it!

MIEventer 01-24-2010 10:31 AM

If you are just starting out, high 50's are great. If you want to progress to the next level, you should be getting steady scores in the 60's.

I am with Maura on the Judges comments, those are always helpful.

What I like to do, is after the show or during the breaks, approach the Judge and discuss your test 1 on 1 and get their input. Those discussions are always helpful!

JumpingTheMoon 01-24-2010 11:18 AM

Thanks MIE! The judges were great, they were really helpful and insightful. The whole facility was awesome.

Kayty 01-24-2010 04:39 PM

A good score depends on the situation. For a horse going steadily in prelim/novice, I'd be expecting scores in the 60's to 70's. Generally, as the level increases, the percentage considered a good score will decrease a little as it is much harder to score highly when you are completing harder movements. however as the horse and rider gain more experience at the level, the percentage should begin to climb again if training is going right.
For an inexperienced horse and rider at an official competion, in the 50's I would consider a good score. You can't expect to go out and get a 60% if the both of you aren't tuned in enough yet, but you can only get better.

Then you have pony club and associate scoring. They seem to be extremely generous, when I was in pony club as a littley, my friend had an old grey pony, full of cancer that went around like a giraffe on roller skates. She got 80% in a PC prelim test. This seems to be the norm with pony club/riding club/and some associate competitions, the judges feel they should be generous to make the rider happy.

maura 01-24-2010 05:29 PM


Part of the reason for that is that there's a difference in the cumulative marks for Intro tests and for Pony Club. Movement and gaits are a 1, and rider's position are a 3. I think it's a great change, because it takes away part of the advantage of the fancy horse and puts the emphasis on the rider and the test.

However, I take your point - scores on these tests don't exactly correlate to scores at USDF competition at training and above.

MyBoyPuck 01-24-2010 05:32 PM

I've noticed the scores vary a lot depending on where you compete, at least in eventing. In my area, if you break 40 (scores are reversed in eventing. Lower score is better), you've done very well. I've seen people in other areas of the country talk about how they missed their canter depart or something major, and they still scored a 37. Once you've done a few tests, you'll have a good benchmark to judge your own performance on.

I also like that the judges provide comments. It really lets you know where you could gain some points.

My Beau 01-24-2010 05:46 PM

Congrats on the first outing!! :)
My first time out I got a 52% at intro, now we get 68%+ in the training tests. You'll get there, just keep riding!!!

I agree with the others - 60s and 70s are good. Although I only consider 64% and up good for me... don't ask me why, I don't know, anything lower just bugs me.

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