Do helmets impact your scores in dressage competition?
Just finished judging a horse show in Ecuador and a rider asked me if I felt that wearing a helmet would make her look unprofessional and if that could lower her scores. Since this is not the first time that I have been asked this question I would like to share my views on this issue.
Judges are really focused on the horse rider combination and particularly on the scale of training, the movment it self and the so called modifiers. Our main concern is to give the best possible mark. Honestly a helmet or a hat should never affect a single mark. Besides that, since safety is so important and almost in every country in the world is now compulsory to wear protective helmets, we are all used to it.
I am certain that all judges, even those few that are still not very enthusiastic about helmets, do their best to give objective and marks and that their scores would never be affected by such a thing like a helmet or top hat.
Finally I would like to say that recently I have seen some really nice ones on the market and definitely It would be totally unacceptable and even unethical, to judge someone by his hat or helmet.