Favorite comments on tests

I"ve gotten tactfully ridden, and a rider score of 8 when our total score was a 37 (yes you read that right a 37).
Then I’ve had explosive (for trot canter that was more like a rear canter) that ended with the judges note, better you than me.
Also “beautiful change, not required”
After a gorgeous halt at X mare just took her right hind and stuck it out, like a flipping ballerina. I believe that comment was something like your face gave you away. I think my jaw hit the floor I was so annoyed.


A trainer was told by an S judge that if the horse stopped too long, she would be dismissed for “resistance”! Poor guy had to pee, but he waited until the final halt, salute - and PEE.


I’ve ridden precious few tests, but at the last schooling show I rode in (more than a decade ago!) in Intro A the judge pointed out “4, Circles do not have square corners”. In Intro B we redeemed ourselves on the final halt-salute: “8, Straight and square!” That was our last test. They always say you should end in a good place, and we did. We are now looking ahead to a Century Ride in 4 years!


At a show where my mare was afraid to enter the arena because of a solid wall around the outside, I got “Bravely ridden”.

My other favorite was “the canter in any other footing would have been dangerous” :slight_smile:


At my one and only Devon three years ago, with my yearling, as we went to trot down the “long” side of the triangle (the one directly across from the judge), my horse drifted to the outside at the crack of the whip and tripped me. I proceeded to FACE PLANT in the dirt. I regathered myself, collected my horse from someone who had caught him, apologized to the judge and re-presented him. We were second to last and in that trot movement on the score sheet it said “a little earthbound”! Uh, ME or my horse?! I bought the professional pic and plan to frame it with the test at some point when I get around to it. I mean, you have to have a sense of humor about these things right?!

He went on that evening to take 4th overall yearling in the colts and geldings class that evening with a professional handler.


Judge dropped an entire pile of papers and files and rattly things on the floor of the already spooky booth just as we were about to do a walk/canter transition at M. Horsie teleported to X. Judge calls me over and says “that didn’t happen, go back and do it again.”

Horsie has of course by now decided that booth has gone from being somewhat suspicious to really out to get him so the rest of the test was a bit of a struggle.

I got a 9 for position. I think he was amazed and grateful that I stayed on.


After a fabulous test on my horse of a lifetime, the judge came out of the booth the tell me “your horse is your other half, isn’t he?” She also gave me my first “10”. A decade later and I still get chills.

I’ve also gotten the “expressive horse!” comment… after full on “hi ho Silver” in a canter pirouette at PSG at the Regional Champs. I came out hoping for a picture of a lifetime at least… but nope, photographer was on bathroom break for my test.


I love reading these threads.

Sancudo, that would have been the comment of a lifetime for me. <3 Gives me chills, too.

We always get elegant pair. I LOVE that.

My first test ever…“a good boy for you,” and “exuberant depart” when I dug my spur through to his other side, clearly captured in the photo, for trot-canter transition at C.

Judges love my horse because he has a sweet face and expression. I do so-so ;). Lots of great comments about him being a good boy. I prefer to think it’s because he IS a good boy and not because they secretly mean, “rider sucks.” But he’s not submissive…so I think that good boy means something different here. One judge chewed me out and said he was trying to be submissive but I was cruel and wouldn’t let him. 'Scuse me? lol.

At a recent show, the judge had NOTHING NICE to say about my horse or about me. Nasty woman. I won’t ride in front of her again unless it makes more sense to do so. It’s lower level, I’m an ammy. We were super clean and he’s adorable. Can’t you even say that?

He IS a very good, happy boy, and it shows, and I guess I can take a bit of credit for his happiness.


Phoenixrises…we had the opposite as you. Horse had 6s and 7s and I had 4 for rider scores, and we won the class. This was the same judge who said I was cruel. umm… where’s the eyeroll icon.

link please?? I need a smile/grimace ;).

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First test of the day on young horse - “Good job staying on and sticking with it - needs more miles.” It was a schooling show training level test where my horse spent most the test leaping, bolting, spinning and ping ponging around the arena like his tail was on fire. I thought judge was super kind for not excusing us. Second test he trotted in cool as a cucumber and did great. Horses - who knows?


We had a show last weekend…and my mare decided on Friday that she would start rearing at the gate. :eek: So, the schooling show on Saturday, I knew would be a bit dicey at best. It was too late to scratch, and I felt that maybe the change of venue would distract her enough.:no: (ha ha, wishful thinking).

Anyway…after a lovely warm-up at the show, and a decent first half of the test…my mare decides to rear, with an added buck added in at the gate. No warning…just up (of course in the stretch circle). So, after several minutes of getting her back down and out of the rear/naughtiness (not to mention some help from another trainer)…we went on to complete the test.

My comments at the end were “A very, very brave ride on a very hot horse! I applaud your courage!”

Naturally, we were eliminated, but we finished the test. I think I may frame this one.


A friend recently competed her homebred. Mare called to her barn mate throughout the entire test. On the score sheet judge wrote “Multitasking mare! Taking care of her social life while still,listening to rider. Good job.”


My first or second test a million years ago.
" SO glad you stayed in ring" I remember being shocked to learn judges cared and wanted ’ success’ for us :wink:


Ha ha ha love that! My ottb was having ‘some moments’ (I think he wanted to skip the dressage test and go straight to the show jumping) and for the first canter transition and initial canter work we got: “Many problems!” Pretty much summed it up! :lol:


I just rode my green pony (Training Level), and he was terrified of the judge’s stand - not going anywhere near that, no way, uh-uh! So in our first test, every time we had to go “to C”, we got a little closer, and a little closer. First move (halt at X, and proceed to C, turn right), we were NOWHERE near C - we cut the corner a good 15 meters early and it was pretty squirrely, but by the end of the test we were pretty darn close to C. On that test, judge wrote “Some smart riding at start to encourage confidence”. On our next test, Pony gave the judge’s stand the hairy eyeball, but we made it to C from the beginning! The judge wrote “Much more confident - quick study”. I love that she was encouraging and that she remembered our first ride, and saw the improvement and commented on it. I’ve had judges who just didn’t understand green bean horses - so it was nice to have one that realized this kind of thing happens… Especially at lower levels!


Daughter’s first Pony Club dressage test before a rather snooty English judge was, well, not good. Pony was basically a straight line from her stuck out nose to her wispy POA tail,and while I think daughter managed to get through the test with no major mistakes it was Not Elegant. Score was Not Good, only positive comment was “nice clean pony”


“Horse seems to have a heart of gold.”

Ma’am, you have no idea :yes: The most accurate statement about my horse ever made!!!


I’ve posted these before but my two favorites were: after a very “expressive” change (huge buck) “shows talent for airtime”! And after a series of the above “great 8 second ride”!


Reviving this because it’s fun.

“Earthbound” for my less than brilliant quarter horse. He shuffled around acting all “ho hum this is boring.” Then tore it up on xc.