Dressage scoring explained by Cesar Torrente No. 19. How do judges mark a good and a bad contact?
Dressage scoring explained by Cesar Torrente No. 19.
How do judges mark a good and a bad contact?
US famous dressage trainer and judge Lillo Fore has said about contact: “Hold your reins like you are holding something precious. Here, you would note if the contact is light, elastic and adjustable.”
It is also clear that you can only get a good contact by having a good connection with your seat and legs and by riding from back to front, through a supple back, all of which would finally allow you to have a good contact that in turn will allow you to have a balanced, straight and collected horse.
For the above-mentioned reasons, the Guidelines state that when “a horse is presented showing a good acceptance of the contact judges should mark in a very positive way in order to encourage good riding.”
Therefore, even with small mistakes in the test, “a good correct contact must be rewarded under submission. A faultless test where the contact is forced or showing resistance must be considered of a lesser quality.”
When judges see a good contact and the horse meets the criteria of the movement, the scores become higher and judges, in accordance with the Guidelines, “should be prepared to go up with the submission mark”.
On the other hand, when a judge sees a horse that performs with an open mouth, usually he will deduct “1 or 2 marks each time it is observed depending on severity” and problems with the contact also have a negative effect on the submission mark.
As a result, a correct and nice contact is a requisite for your success in dressage. And remember the old saying: Ride with the hands of a lady, the posture of a King and the manner of a gentleman”.
In the coming posts I will emphasize on the importance of a riders correct position.