The delayed explanation of Sunday’s post.
To provide a Christmas gift to each student without breaking the bank, Stepping Stone Farm made ornaments with a variety of fillings. Some riders chose the name of their favorite horse. Others chose an upbeat motto.
In saddleseat, riders are allowed, nay encouraged, to use their voice.
Wup Trot – an abrupt expulsion of breath, similar to “hup”. Said to initiate the trot, or to further animate an existing trot.
Whoa Walk – to get the gait and to settle a horse who would prefer move on to the next gait.
Line Up – There is no command for this. The horses know what happens when they get pointed to the center of the ring, to the extent that circles can be difficult because horses stop to line up as soon as they cross the center line.
Plus a wide variety of clucking, chirping, and kissing noises. I’ve had lessons that have worn out my clucker.
In dressage, riders are penalized 2 points for every error. Errors of course are mistakes in the pattern. If the mistake does not put the rider off track, i.e. cantering a letter early, the judge merely makes a note. If the rider diverges from the proper track, the judge blows a whistle and makes a correction. Four errors of course equal elimination. Errors of voice involve talking to the horse, or producing any noise that could be considered communicating with the horse.
Can you see where this is going?
There is no limit to the number of voice errors one can accumulate in a given test. Four errors does not equal elimination, just a drastically plummeting score.
After all the saddleseat I have been doing lately, I’m convinced that I will wup-trot my way through my next dressage test. Rodney, or whomever, will execute a flawless test. We will achieve an arena record for high score. When the errors are subtracted, we will achieve a second arena record for the first negative dressage score.
This is my ornament: