Monday, August 8, 2016

Analyze This - Facing the Fear of Reading My Tests

I will fully admit, I have a not-so-great habit when it comes to my dressage tests. I don't fully read and digest them. Sure, I'll look at the general scores, read the comments, but I always keep myself distanced from them. In my head I can hear myself saying, "yea yea, I know, I know." I speed read it and try to get it over with as quickly as possible.

This is not great. After all, I've paid for the judge to watch my test, you would think I'd be more interested in what they had to say. So, this past week I changed my tactic. I decided to turn my tests into data points. So I took all 4 tests and transcribed them in Excel. Movements, scores, and comments.

My 2016 1-1 tests transcribed

I have 3 scores at 1-1 and 1 at 1-2. So I took a look at the tests and on a second tab, grouped all the common movements together (for example: entry, final salute, stretchy circle L/R, 15m canter circle L/R, etc). I color coded the scores. I pulled together averages.

similar movements, compared

What I found was interesting. I knew, without doing this exercise, my weakest area  (canter, especially everything to the right). But what I didn't realize was where I could easily clean up/pick up better scores. For example, we have a great final centerline/salute. Our entry is sometimes really good, or really bad. Never in the middle. But my highest scoring movement is the 10m 1/2 circle to the right, as well as our trot lengthening to the right. I would have never guessed that. In general, the score I receive the most is 6.5, followed by 6, and then 7. If I had to guess I would've thought it 5.5, 6, 6.5, in that order.

This exercise, while time consuming, really helped me. My test riding needs some serious work. I hardly ever do it. In fact, prior to this show, I never actually strung together 1-1 and 1-2 while practicing. Sure, I've done elements of it, but never all  together - which is a totally different beast.

It makes me want to get out there and keep trying. Now I have a clearer picture of what is going on, I feel like we can most certainly do better.

1 comment:

  1. Coo idea. I love looking at data like that.