From Endurance to Dressage
The problem with blogging about shows is that I can go on and on. A show gives me so much to think about: what did I do well? At what do I need to improve? How do I stack up against other riders? And so on. I promise this will be the last thing about this particular show.
Last year, my mom, who would love to be a there every week kind of show mom, helped me look at my scores from a new perspective. I tend to look at the raw score: below 60% and I feel like I've failed, low 60% and I am at least not a total idiot, mid-60% and above and I feel somewhat competent; 70% and the judge must be blind. Just kidding, but it is hard for me to accept really good scores.
My mom suggested I look at the scores in relation to what everyone else scored. Are my scores in the top half of the field or the bottom half of the field? While this may not be the best way to look at scores, it does help me compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Are my scores comparable to the scores of the riders against whom I am competing?
So with that in mind, here's a more analytical (and less visceral) view of how we did:
Of the 25 dressage scores posted (I am not counting the western dressage scores), only three were higher than my 68.393%.
This would suggest that on this particular day, we were one of the better teams out there.
The scores fell in this range:
This is an interesting break down. Do most riders score in the 50 - 60% range? It feels like an accurate reflection of scores at shows. Even at USDF shows I feel like the bulk of the scores are in the 50 - 60% range. Those 70% scores always seem to stand out as outliers. And obviously, there aren't usually many scores in the 40% range.
California Dressage Society (CDS) rated shows are usually more competitive than schooling shows. My GMO is HUGE, and the competition at CDS-rated shows can be pretty tough. They aren't at quite the caliber of a USDF/USEF show, but they are more competitive than simple schooling shows. This was a CDS only rated show.
Our second score, 62.200%, also holds up pretty well. There were 14 scores lower than mine, and only 10 scores higher. According to my mom's analysis, this would mean that we did okay, falling just above the middle of the pack.
So how do you look at your scores? Do you prefer to look at the raw percentage, or are you more interested in how you did compared to how everyone else scored that day?
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: