You have just finished untacking your horse after riding your dressage test. You wait until the scores have been tallied and the results are posted to see how you did. Not only can you use the judge’s feedback to see your improvement but you can also use your scores to track progress.
On some score sheets is an explanation of what those numbers mean. Here is what those sought after scores say about how you performed that movement:
10 Excellent 4 Insufficient
9 Very Good 3 Fairly Bad
8 Good 2 Bad
7 Fairly Good 1 Very Bad
6 Satisfactory 0 Not Performed
You might have had a shining moment and a not so shining moment during your test. These will be your highest and lowest scores. Make a note of your highest and lowest scoring movements so you know what will need improvement for next time and what should stay the same. I also like to record the difference between my highest and lowest scores. This way I can see if I am becoming more consistent.
Your scores can be recorded on an easy to read table if you want to get into the nitty gritty of your scores. For a quick view of this data, you can put this table into a graph. I have used Google Sheets and Excel. Excel allows you to calculate averages and do some other extras, but Google Sheets works just as well.
I enter my scores and placings into several different tables. I break out my regular dressage scores out from my horse trials and combined test scores. I also put my highest and lowest scores and placings on a different sheet so that the numbers on the sides give a better reading at the scores on the graph.
For my dressage sheet, I enter in the show name, judge’s name, the score for each test, highest score and lowest score. For the tests, I make a separate column for each one so that they are labeled correctly. The horse trials and combined test one is a little different because you have to put stadium jumping and cross country in there as well. In addition to the show name, dressage judge’s name, and the dressage score, I add in a column for my jumping score and a column in for my cross country score. If you want to get really into it, you can also keep track of your place for each phase to see if it changes a lot after one phase.
I have found that a bar graph is the best way to easily read your scores. You can also use a line graph, but I find that they don’t flow as well as a bar graph. You should have your scores be your y-axis, the numbers that are on the left side on the graph. Each phase or dressage test should have its own space on the x-axis, the categories that the bar represent. A color should be assigned to each show so that you can differentiate between them, this should be done automatically.