As a riding coach, horse show judge, equine behaviorist and columnist, knowing the science of how horses think and learn has saved me time, trouble and trauma in training! I love helping riders solve their horse puzzles. But horses and horse shows teach us life lessons as well!
To find out more about the long distance video riding coaching, riding clinics, horse show judging and equine legal consultant work I offer, go to my site www.lgrice.com.
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Judging horses – the spirit of the rule
What’s the point? At a recent horse show judging conference we
were reminded to consider the intent of the rules and be guided by the purpose
of the class standard to guide our decisions.
A helpful hint? Use words to describe the round, pattern before
For instance, words to describe conformation are balance, structural correctness. Is
this the horse in front of me or am I swayed by a doll head, swan neck or a
huge hip that doesn’t match the rest of the body?
In equitation, connection, use of aids. Not invisible aids
-we’re looking for a rider who is effectively communicating to her horse. There
is a difference between poise and pose.
Accuracy. Is there
precision and geometry to the pattern? Punctuation to the transitions?
Authority. Assertivness. A credit
earning maneuver requires an extra degree of difficulty - an element of risk.
Using words instead of numbers helps a judge land on the right
It was Jesus who first stressed the big picture – the spirit of
the law vs. the letter of the law.
Obeying rules is empty unless flowing from a desire to reflect the
heart of the One who wrote the rule!