Thursday, May 7, 2015

Str, sl beh vert (aka how to decipher dressage test comments)

Dressage scribes - the people who takes notes that the judge dictates - have a tough time of it. They have to write down everything the judge says, verbatim, and they have to be very quick about it. Not only that, but they have to write legibly, often for hours on end. They're volunteers, and they do the best they can... which means they often use a lot of shorthand when writing. Deciphering scribe's handwriting can be challenging (sorry, every person who's ever had to read a test that I scribed for!), but sometimes figuring out the shorthand is the most fun.



As we were driving home from the show Sunday, hubby was reading the comments on my dressage tests. At one point he asked, "What the heck does s-t-r s-l b-e-h v-e-r-t mean?!?!" I laughed and responded "Straight, slightly behind vertical." He mentioned that you really need a secret decoder ring to read the judge's comments... and then Austen's comments on the "corn" abbreviation made me think - maybe we DO really need a secret dressage decoder ring? So here goes...
  • act - action
  • bal - balance
  • beh – behind
  • cl, clr - clear
  • corn, crn – corner
  • fwd – forward
  • O – round, rounder
  • ovrstp – overstep
  • rhy - rhythm
  • rndr - rounder
  • sl - slightly
  • st, str, str8 – straight
  • sup – suppleness, supple
  • temp - tempo
  • trans, tx – transition
  • vert – vertical
  • 4hd - forehand
Comment for this post are only allowed in dressage test shorthand. For reference, the full set of abbreviations can be found here...  ;)


27 comments:

  1. LOL - totes shrt hd *nod*
    Sorry can't do rest of my comment in abbreviations. I seem to remember you mentioning earlier in the year (or was that last year) that you night be making a trip across the pond at some stage this year...I posted a video tour of my new flat on the blog for WW if ye want a free stopover to sightsee the Grand Duchy ;-p

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    1. Aoife, YES, we'll be in France July 1-11. Mostly on the west side, alas, and some time in Paris. I'll email you and maybe we can figure something out!

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    2. Aw shoot! I'm afraid I haven't checked in here and now it appears I missed a meet up chance! :-(
      I hope France was awesome, I'm going to have to fine tooth comb my email as i must have missed one from you sorry!!!

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  2. poor use of corn. I still giggle...

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    1. You will now use that for ever and ever when you scribe. ;)

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  3. The title is the best :) too funny!!!

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  4. Actually, this is super useful (though definitely funny).

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    1. I wish I had this when I was scribing, because I actually end up writing most things out longhand.

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  5. Translating shorthand and trying to read the judge's writing in the collectives is definitely a challenge sometimes! I've seen some weird stuff, but the weirdest thing that has ever happened has been that a judge (a bad one) actually DREW A PICTURE of "my horse" and "correct."

    I was riding a young friesian stallion in his first event and he had a tendency of biting his chest and shaking his neck around, so I deliberately rode him slightly in front of the vertical to prevent that in the test. Judge was not impressed. She drew two pictures of a horse's head/neck set, one that was on the vertical (with the word "correct" written next to it) and one that was in front of the vertical (with the words "your horse" written next to it). Totally inappropriate, but exceptionally hilarious.

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    1. HAHAHAHAHA! Ok, I want diagrams with all my comments now!

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  6. love this post! it's esp tricky for someone newer to the lingo haha

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    1. They really should include a decoder ring with some tests!

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  7. Poor use of corn is the only one that made me go "huh?" Probably because corn is a real word and can apply to horses. I think Paddy would agree with me that he needs more corn, the judge said so!

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    1. Paddy totally thinks he needs more corn. He's sure it would help him in the corners and everywhere else, too.

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  8. HA! Poor use of corn! I use a "<" for corner, but then I also use it for "angle" and "less". I used to use the Greek letter Delta (a triangle) for "change", until someone pointed out to me that only scientists and engineers use that abbreviation. Oops.

    The worst is when you get a judge who refuses to use the standard words or words that can be quickly and easily abbreviated. Drives me nuts, some of the boxes are way too small for a novel!

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    1. Ugh yes, I scribed for a judge like that. There were actually comments from the riders after that they didn't understand what she was talking about. Novelty is not always good!

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  9. I'm usually good at deciphering comments but Corn got me. lol Thanks for the link to the 'official' abbreviations. That will come in handy!

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    1. I will look for corn in every corner from now on. ;)

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  10. Even though shorthand is hard to decipher, I still wish I got a score sheet like this in hunters!

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  11. Its the equestrian Morse Code =). Interesting to see. When I judged a schooling show, the poor trainers when they wanted to see my card. They couldnt understand my short hand!

    Last week I lost my friend, an NYPD officer who was shot in the line of duty. I'm inviting you to join my movement to Be More. I'll be riding for him this season and beyond, I'd love for you to join in on how you can "Be More"
    The Inside Turn. // Equestrian Blog

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  12. Scrb hnd tird. B betr.

    ROFL -- some judges talk so fast & so much I wish I could just write that as a summary sometimes!!

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  13. As a hunter/jumperland princess, I was super confused about the comments from an eventing derby we did for funsies at at a local charity show for rescued OTTBs. I took me forever to read all the comments from our dressage test and I eventually gave up on a few things. As it turns out, our "jumper dressage" is not the same as actual dressage.

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