Judging Horses – The Spirit of The Rule

What’s the point? At a recent horse show judging conference we were reminded to consider the intent of the rules and be guided by the purpose of the class standard to guide our decisions.  
A helpful hint? Use words to describe the round, pattern before us.  

For instance, words to describe conformation are balance, structural correctness. Is this the horse in front of me or am I swayed by a doll head, swan neck or a huge hip that doesn’t match the rest of the body?

In equitation, connection, use of aids. Not invisible aids -we’re looking for a rider who is effectively communicating to her horse. There is a difference between poise and pose.

Accuracy. Is there precision and geometry to the pattern? Punctuation to the transitions?

Authority. Assertivness. A credit earning maneuver requires an extra degree of difficulty - an element of risk.

Using words instead of numbers helps a judge land on the right number.

It was Jesus who first stressed the big picture – the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law.

Obeying rules is empty unless flowing from a desire to reflect the heart of the One who wrote the rule!

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