From Endurance to Dressage
If you don't show at USDF-rated shows, you probably have zero interest in Centerline Scores. Even though I only do a handful of USDF-rated shows each year, I am totally addicted to Jay's site. When I was still an endurance rider, the American Endurance Ride Conference's (AERC) rider/horse records page was my addiction. You now have to be a current member of AERC to access those records now - bummer.
By nature, I am super goal oriented. A bit surprising isn't it? These types of websites feed my hunger for data and proof (or lack thereof) of progress. I was reading one of my old blog posts about trying to raise my barely eked out 60% median score to something higher. I am happy to report that my median score at Training Level at USDF-rated shows has finally risen. We are now sitting at a decent 62.116%.
For more on the difference between a median score and an average score, check out Jay's blog.
Not only has my median score risen, but that ego boosting little deal at the top, your highest score from your highest level ridden, has also taken a gigantic leap upwards. So until I post a 60% or better at First Level, I get to look at that snazzy little 72.6%.
I've been so focused on raising my median score, that it didn't occur to me that I could also lower it by putting in a poor test. Apparently, some riders, especially those with horses for sale or reputations to promote are trying to excuse themselves mid-way during a test if they realize their score is not going to come out where they'd like it.
I only heard bits and pieces of conversation at the championship show about some riders utilizing this strategy. I am not sure how prevalent of an issue it is, or if it even happens at all, but I can see why they'd do it. That doesn't mean I agree with it. It's just like a golfer not turning in his card when he has a great day - the score would lower his handicap indicating that he's a better golfer than he's been letting on. It's the same thing for a horse or rider; it makes a horse (or rider) seem much better than he really is.
I scoured the USEF rulebook to see if there is a rule about the circumstances under which a rider can ask to be excused, but I didn't see anything other than the standard reasons. And really, any time you ask to be excused it's because your horse is not performing well: he's tense to the point of rearing, bucking, balking, etc. So I guess that being excused does protect your median score, but I imagine that when you ask to be excused during the 8th moment of naughtiness, your median score is the last thing on your mind!
I am looking forward to having some First Level scores posted on Centerline Scores, but I am not looking forward to what they (probably) will be. If I move through First Level like I did through Training Level, I am sure I'll start out with scores in the 50s. See you later respectable median scores.
So yay for moving up?!?!
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%: