Asking Judges…

What is everyone’s take on asking judges about your performance? As a Jr. Ex. showing pleasure and equitation, I like to ask the judges what he/she liked/didnt like/ and what i could improve on my performance. Do you think this is appropriate? Some judges have been happy to answer my questions and even look through their cards, while some just scowl and give me an answer like “more consistant”.

Also, I only ask after i am done showing. ;]

5 Responses to Asking Judges…

  1. j.a.b. says:

    It certainly is acceptable but is not always appreciated. This is for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the judge is just plain tired by the end of the show! Now they have some young rider coming to them and expecting them to remember just which one of the twelve bay hunters with white socks and blue coats she was and just exactly why they pinned her fourth instead of third and what she could do better. If you think of it from their point of view you can understand how difficult and frustrating this could be.

    Most judges are decent people and would love to offer whatever they can to a young rider to help them improve but sometimes it is just tough to pull that kind of thing out of their memory box. Especially since after each class they are supposed to file that info away, almost forget it really so as not to judge a current class on what happened in a previous class. Now, after 3-5 days of judging literally hundreds of rides they have to pull all that back out and even be pleasant and helpful when all they really want is a bathroom, a good meal and soft pillow!

    All of that being said, its important to always remember that at each show you are paying for one person’s opinion. If you do get the answers you are looking for and change your style of riding/training to suit that judge and go to the next show, the next judge might want to see the complete opposite so you’re right back where you started and maybe changing things again.

    Perhaps the best tactic is not to try to talk to judges after the show but instead to go to clinics, read training articles in the various magazines, and spend school breaks working/riding at various trainers/instructors around the country. You’ll learn a great deal and probably find it more rewarding too.

  2. empressive says:

    You might try asking while in the class. I have done it before and so far not gotten in trouble. Granted if the judge was grumpy I did just zip my lip. (I know what it is like to be grumpy LOL!

    Also You might want a “disclaimer” if you keep asking! Like when I ask I will say, “Hello Judge “soso” I was wondering if you could offer me some advice on my ride today. Of course, only if you have time. I understand that today has been long.”

    Always leave a way out! For them. While many may be happy about your want to become better, some see it as pestering and rude. I mean what are trainers for? So, good luck! Also if you have a video or pics of yourself at a show or at home. I am sure many here would be very happy to critique you!

  3. colwilrin says:

    During the course of the show, an exhibitor may only initiate conversation with a judge by asking the steward for permission.

    Sometimes judges will offer an opinion to a rider in lineup, but other than a smile and possible “good day”…any other communication needs permission through the steward.

    USEF Rules governing show participants:

    13. No one shall approach a judge with regard to a decision unless he first obtains
    permission from the Show Committee, steward or technical delegate who shall arrange an
    appointment with the judge at a proper time and place. No exhibitor has the right to inspect
    the judge’s cards without the judge’s permission.

  4. IED says:

    I think it is certainly acceptable. In the past I’ve approached a couple of judges, usually only when I was puzzled by their judging choices however. If the placing makes sense to you (the winner had a better horse, you missed a diagonal, whatever) then I say leave it alone. But if you’re genuinely wondering what went “wrong” when you had a great ride, I think it’s good to ask.

    Your trainer should be able to offer clear and objective insight as well; if you don’t already have powwows with them about your classes perhaps you should start. :)

  5. morgansrule says:

    We got a lot of our info from the stewards. They are regulars, know the trainers and riders and will give info like “she had it won until she…..” I don’t think it is appropriate to ask the judge, and, apparently, illegal. There is a good chance you were the best in the class, but hidden in the pack. I’ve judged local shows and let me tell you, when the class is big, you spend a fair amount of time watching for mistakes so you can narrow things down a bit. One bobble at the ingate may have killed an otherwise stellar ride. When showing, it is very important to remember that what you have paid for is one person’s opinion of you and your horse based on two minutes of distracted review. If you want cold hard critique, ask the trainer of the horse that won….believe me, they know why they won and you didn’t

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