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.
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?!?!