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September 2005

September 2005
  • September 12th, 6:30pm. Chapter Meeting. Location: Susan Wards House
  • September 17th and 18th. SNC-CDS Show. Location: Cloverleaf. Judge: Pam Nelson "S".
  • September 17, 18, 19. Natalie Lamping (FEI Judge) Clinic at Franktown Meadows. Contact: Seana Adamson, 677-1661.
  • September 24 and 25. Christiane Noelting Clinic at Franktown Meadows. Contact: Joan Wright (775) 882-9070.


Summer seems to be winding down and with the big show behind us we can start looking towards the fall show season. This time of year brings with it many changes.

For those members trying to qualify for the Championship show, September 14th is officially the last day to qualify for the Great American/USDF Region 7 Championships. For CDS, the last day to qualify was August 29th.

There are numerous SNC members that will be heading to the Championship show at Rancho Murieta this year. We have yet to have compiled a list of names but will try to get one together when the time comes!

Please remember - The closing date for the Championship show will remain as published in the prize list as September 9th. If you fail to qualify by September 12th, your entry will be returned as stated in the prize list. For more show information or to request a prize list, please contact Glenda McElroy at (818) 841 - 3554.

More Local News

For the rest of us, the fall show season may also bring changes. Many riders who started youngsters in the spring will be showing them in their first shows. Others will look towards the 2006 season and start working on qualifying scores for next year. And finally, many will continue to practice and work towards moving up to the next level.

The September show will be held at Cloverleaf again this year and hopefully we will have better weather than last years' September show! The show will be on Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th. The closing date is September 7th and entry forms and prize lists are available on the web site. Please remember to fill out your entry forms completely including all signatures and copies of cards and that the $10 day use fee is a PER DAY fee.

Once again, we are looking for volunteers for this show. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lou Christensen.

The final show of the year will be the Reno Chapter's Annual Pumpkin Roll Sunday October 30th. This show will also be at Cloverleaf. We will be working with Phyllis to get the details on the site - stay tuned!

Diane Kernodle Clinic

The SNC-sponsored Diane Kernodle Freestyle Clinic (cancelled earlier due to Diane's illness) is being re-scheduled for October 1 and 2 (Saturday and Sunday) in the indoor arena at Franktown Meadows.

The following riders are already signed up:

We still have one spot available. The cost is $100 for both days, including ring fee. The Chapter is picking up the difference. AUDITORS ARE WELCOME AT NO CHARGE.

The schedule of ride times will be circulated shortly.

If you are interested in the last spot, please contact Jennifer Smith at 788-8624 or Participation is open to any current chapter member on a first come first served basis, with preference given to those who have not yet participated in a chapter-sponsored clinic. No previous experience or preparation is required.

Junior Championships

Mary Anne is working on an update on how Junior Championships went as well as pictures from the show. We will be sending something out as soon as we can. Meanwhile, congratulations to the juniors! You've made your chapter very proud!!!!

2006 Board of Directors Elections

As the year winds down we would like to let members know that there will be numerous positions open on the Board of Directors for 2006. The majority of the current board members have served for numerous years and will be stepping aside in order to allow for new members to take over.

The following positions will be OPEN and need to be filled for 2006:

Cindy has agreed to continue in the position of Treasurer and Steve and Michele have agreed to continue to maintain the web site unless there are other members interested in these positions. Elections are typically held in November and positions will remain posted as OPEN until they are filled. The board has agreed that all members who currently hold a position will "mentor" the new board member taking over their position. We hope this will make the transition smooth and more welcoming to the new board.

If you are interested in a position, please let us know. This is your chance - PLEASE consider participating!!

Membership renewals and location

We are nearing the time of year when everyone sends in membership renewals. Please be sure that you include your chapter preference when you send in your CDS renewal. This means that if you prefer to be an SNC member you must declare SNC as your chapter preference. If you wish to be a Reno member, indicate that as your preference. If no chapter preference is indicated, the CDS office will automatically make you a member of whichever chapter you "live" closer to. If you have any questions about this, please contact us at

Educational Tidbits submitted by Maria Hickey…Thank you Maria!

1 2 3 4 5 Dressage Scoring 6 7 8 9 10

Get the most from your dressage tests! Pull out your last test and read the Purpose: Open your test and read the Directive Ideas for each movement and your scores. Next read the following article by Hilda Gurney as she explains the scores and how to achieve them. (Or avoid them, as the case may be!) Reprinted from Dressage Letters 1982, 1996.

Taking the movement "B circle ten meters diameter. B-M shoulder-in," Hilda Gurney, with knowledge and humor, discusses scoring....

0 or "not performed" means that almost nothing of any part of the required patterns or movements were performed. If the horse avoids the movements by jumping over the fence it is eliminated. In our example movement, if the horse fell on the circle it would still earn some points on the shoulder-in. In cases when a movement is omitted the judge usually calls an error. I have yet to score any movement a "zero." Every horse I've judged has stayed on its feet long enough to earn at least one point.

1 point is usually given for traveling from one point to another regardless of assorted bucks, bolts, and rears. Any figure at all recognizable as a circle will suffice and a shoulder-in need not be attempted. A performed movement highlighted by various airs above the ground may also earn a score of "one." Bucking the rider in front of the saddle, in my opinion, earns this rarely used mark.

2 points are scored for slightly less spectacular resistances than those needed to earn a "one." The movements need to be only marginally recognizable and only a small portion needs to be at the required gait. This mark is rarely given below Fourth Level. At Fourth Level and above, it's more commonly used for such creative movements as "flying changes through the trot" or "halt at the piaffe."

3 is a much more useful score. Basically, it means that either some almost recognizable movements were poorly performed, the horse definitely has fewer than four properly working legs, or that there are unscheduled transitions into other gaits. Violence is not necessary for a "three." Staying consistently on the wrong lead the whole time merits a "three" since the horse earns three points just for cantering. In our example movements, the circle won't count much toward a "three" since the shoulder-in is the meat of the exercise. Breaking gaits, moving markedly off the rail, or well-aimed head flips may earn a score of "three."

4 must be the easiest score of all to earn. It means that the horse traveled successfully, although not necessarily accurately, through the prescribed figures and exercises in the required gaits. (Although the gait may be too fast, slow or crooked). The horse may even be unsteadily on the bit. However, being above or behind the bit will not prevent a "four" from being earned. Neck-in, varying angle, too little or too much angle, off the track, loss of impulsion, or not enough bending are just some of the ways that "four" may be earned in our circle, shoulder-in example. Any tendency toward irregularity in the steps may also justify a "four." Any marked resistance or other major fault will garner "four" for an otherwise lovely performance.

5 is a more difficult score to attain than a "four." A "five" in our example means that the horse performed working trot, maintained his gait, was free of violent resistances, was on the bit and balanced adequately for second level, maintained adequate impulsion, was relatively regular in his strides (no obvious lameness or irregularity), had his tongue under the bit, performed a circle between 8 and 10 meters in diameter (it's a greater fault to have it too big rather than too small). Stayed with the shoulders in at the shoulder-in all the way from B to M, was approximately on three tracks, was bent to some degree, performing a shoulder-in rather than a leg-yield

Sufficient performance of all the above components is necessary to score "five." Higher scores can be changed to "five" by adding little things such as head tilting or centrifuging of the tail. Choppy gaits are also a big asset for consistently scoring "five." That tense, explosive look will do it too. Higher levels have additional criteria for achieving "five." Engagement of the forehand will do it every time. Missing one flying change in a series will "five" it and two or more mistakes may even earn "four" or "three." Being slightly crooked is yet another way of scoring "five." "Five says, "Whew, we did it!"

6 means that the movement as a whole is better than "Whew, we did it!" but lacks real quality. Little things will pull an otherwise super performance down to a "six." A too-short neck, flat gaits, tense back, and being on the forehand are commonly observed "six" makers. However, lovely, long, rhythmic, springy gaits, good balance, and elasticity may help raise a "five" performance up to "six. Tendencies of horses to tilt their heads and stick out their tongues will pull otherwise higher scores down. Often these basic faults tend to put a ceiling on the marks for some horses.

7 designates moderate quality. Not only should the required movements be performed correctly, but the horse should move well, with balance, impulsion, elasticity, and spring. The horse's frame should be round, steady and completely free of resistance. For collected movements, he should be engaged behind, with observable loading of the haunches, and increased mobility of the shoulders. In bending movements such as circles, shoulder-in and half-pass, the bend should be even throughout the horse's body, never bent too much in the neck with the shoulders falling outward. Taking our circle, shoulder-in movement as an illustration, the circle would be precisely performed in a high quality trot, with impulsion retained throughout. The transition to shoulder-in would be smooth, with the correct angle consistently maintained until the horse is fluidly straightened at "M."

8 the wonderful "eight" - the score everyone wants to earn! Eight means "good," which includes precision, elasticity, impulsion, lovely gaits, elegant carriage, and technical correctness. An "eight" is a "seven" plus brilliance and reliability. Our circle, shoulder-in example movement would have to be performed technically correctly at an "eight"-quality trot. An "eight" quality flying change would be forward, straight, on the bit, accurate, with an "eight"-quality canter performed before and after the change. In order to score "eight" on trot or canter extension, the extension must be performed straight, with tremendous extension, completely on the aids, with accurate, smooth, balanced, prompt transitions at the end of the extension. The collected gaits at each end of the extension, and the bending of the corners must also be correct.

9 and 10 are fantastic scores, which are rarely given except in performances that, as a whole, show extremely high levels of correctness and brilliance. Only performances of this high standard merit giving some scores of "nine" or "ten" on some of the exceptionally well performed movements within the performance. "Nines" or "tens" scored on performances of an overall lesser standard are dangerous to use since they pull the total score for a rider considerably upward. One score of "ten" will put the total score of that horse three points above another horse that received a "seven" for any given movement. Careless scoring of "nines" and "tens" results in altering class placings drastically.

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Directors of information,
Steve and Michele Ting