Tuesday, April 12, 2016

... if only I could remember my stupid dressage tests.

Some of you maaaay have noticed that our 1-3 test had a bit of red on the second canter serpentine, and our last halt was a 5.0 instead of the 7.0+ we'd gotten on all our other halts.

Naturally, those were my fault.

Despite being confident that I knew my tests COLD before I went in, I forgot about the second canter serpentine. I realized it halfway through a trot lengthening across the diagonal, before the judge rang the bell. Whoops. There goes my 100% remembering test average this year. Boo. And of course two points for the error. Double boo.

I am so tired of seeing red ink on my tests.

I *also* neglected to do the final halt at the correct letter. 1-3 is weird because you don't halt at X, you actually halt at G... and I halted somewhere that was not G, for a 5.0. Which sucks because that was a pretty decent halt.

Nice, just in the wrong county.

The upshot of all those lost points? If I'd remembered my test AND gotten an 8 on the final halt, I would have had a 69.6... and beat the pro for first level champion. Heck, even if I had JUST remembered the test, I would have had it, because it was only .2% points difference. 

I'm not even mad about it, just more of a *facepalm* kind of moment. Taran was a super star and I was proud of our rides overall. Still... you think I'd learn by now!

What are YOUR tricks for remembering your dressage tests? C'mon fellow bloggers, HELLLLP MEEEEE!

31 comments:

  1. I don't even know how you guys can remember those things!

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    1. Obviously, I don't. That's my secret. ;)

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  2. I have no advice. I almost always forget the weird stretchy trot at the beginning of the first level test 1. Almost always... so frustrating.

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    1. Oh yeah... WHO PUT THAT THERE!!! Sometimes I think the people making these tests had a few too many.

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  3. Have you tried the EquiSketch Dressage App? You create the test in the app using both instructions and this mapping thing you can create. Once the test is built, you can watch the little movements in your arena on the app. I do the novice test for WE in a 20 x 40 arena and then can watch the horse tracks move through the movements while the instructions pop up. It is a nice visual. It might help you both study and remember.

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    1. Oooh, I'll have to check that out! Thanks for the tip.

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  4. Maybe have a reader until the test is a little more familiar? I just had a reader for the first time and it was AMAZING. Took one stressor off.

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    1. I've done that before but it was so windy I wouldn't have been able to hear them.

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  5. I use the USEF Equitest app to help memorize- they have the test paper and then diagrams. I also am known to bring a bad and paper to take notes on at meetings and end up doodling my dressage tests instead... But drawing them does help a ton (for me). I also have been known to w/t/c on foot in the barn aisle as I "ride" my test. Stalls and aisles just happen to be the same length/width!

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    1. I draw them on placemats and such with my finger, but I'll have to try drawing them on paper. I also walk them out on the living room carpet... but that doesn't seem to be helping me any. :(

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  6. Odd number tests always turn Left on the first turn from the centerline. Even numbers turn Right. Most tests are divided, do one thing to the left and then do the same to the right. Some like 1st level 2 are just too easy, it's do it to the right rein and then the left rein, right after each other. Others are a total repeat of the first half, just the opposite rein. I ride my tests in my sleep, and also "ride" them in my front room, by laying out the letters and riding the letters. The most important thing though is to learn the pattern. If I'm familiar with the arena I will be showing at, I visualize the test as I'm riding it in the arena in my mind. So it will look familiar to me as I ride. But, just get a reader and take the pressure off yourself! Congrats on a great ride! Carol

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  7. I wrote this up last year: http://diyhorseownership.blogspot.com/2015/07/practicing-dressage-at-work.html
    Honestly, I walk my test like 10 times until I am sure I have it "physically" memorized instead of just mentally.

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    1. Yeah I think it's the "physically" memorized part that's the problem. Mentally I know it.

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  8. I can't even remember my tests when someone is reading to me, which is why I stick with schooling shows. :P

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    1. This is not improving my confidence any... ;)

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  9. facepalm here too :D I "ride" the tests at home..in my living room... well.. :D

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    1. Oh me too! That's what those rectangular carpets are for!

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  10. I remember my tests by only riding one test, and obsessing over that test for months and months.

    Also I use visualization where I think not only about the pattern and in what order everything is, but what I'm going to be seeing when I'm doing each movement. It helps that I've shown at most of the show facilities so I can really imagine every bit of the test.

    Having a reader might help! Although I've gone off course with a reader before...

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    1. Maybe obsessing is the piece I'm missing. I mean, not that I don't obsess, maybe I'm just not doing it enough?

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  11. I use the USEF app to help me see where the movements are in the test. Then I do a TON of visualizing.

    That said, I usually only look over my test an hour or two before I go in. I memorize the work in chunks of pattern (trot lateral work, then lengthen, then walk, then canter, then change, then canter, then lengthen, or something like that). Then I visualize the whole test from the POV of me as the rider.

    Then I go in and forget the one part I didn't forget when memorizing. Hahahaha. Oh well.

    Honestly, having a reader makes me more nervous and takes my attention away from riding the damn horse. I do better without, but it is silly to go off course.

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    1. YES! I didn't forget that stupid serpentine when I was memorizing/practicing but for sooooome reason my brain didn't remember it when I needed it. YOU HAD ONE JOB, BRAIN!

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  12. I halted not even close to G the first time I showed that test, too. What a random place for a halt. I also almost always forget to even do the stupid little halt in the middle of the ring for no stupid reason when practicing it at home. Stupid halts.

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    1. Obviously nobody needs to halt, ever. They should just take those out.

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  13. I chunk the movements so there is less to remember. If there is a repeat pattern that usually makes things easier (less to remember, just repeat on opposite rein). I always visualize from rider point of view including how long it will take to walk, trot, and canter each part, half halts, special preparations, how I want my horse to feel, everything. You can drill the test in your mind without wearing out your horse and if you include lots of detail your brain won't know the difference from reality. It counts as actual practice.

    I tend to tune out a reader so that never worked for me.

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    1. I've read about the visualization thing and have tried to do it, but I tend to get distracted if I'm not actually on the horse. Go figure. Sounds like I need to work on this skill, though!

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  14. Well I definitely don't have to memorize tests, but when I have to remember a jumper course and possibly a jump off, I basically visualize the course in my head, and I repeat the course to myself until I'm horribly bored by it. And while I do look over all of my courses in the morning when they're posted, I make it a point to only think about one at a time.

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    1. It's like a pop quiz! HOW DO YOU STUDY FOR THAT!!?!?

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  15. I try and memorize the movements rather than the actual letters. And when I have the movement order memorized it is super easy to trace it out with letters

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    1. Oh, I memorize the movements. It's just when I forget an entire movement that it all falls apart!

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  16. OMG so frustrating! Idk how I memorize tests really... And am positive that I'm going to get lost every single time. Hasn't happened yet but I'm certain it will eventually...

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    1. Nooooo, don't say things like that. THEY'LL HEAR YOU.

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