August 28, 2016
TECHNICAL TIPS FOR VIDEOS
Check our "You Asked..." page for a couple of links to useful information about the technicalities of uploading videos to YouTube!
August 20, 2016
PDF files of score sheets have now been sent out to all riders who took part in Virtual Show #2. They were emailed TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU GAVE ON YOUR ENTRY FORM, so please be sure that you double check the email address when you complete the Entry Form. Although we take every care in calculating your score, do check the score yourself, too. Mistakes can happen at shows of every type and level. Be sure to take note of the Judge's comments!
If you don't see your score sheets in your mail...
- Check your "Spam" or "Junk" or, even, "Trash" folders. eMail sometimes works in mysterious ways!
- Refresh your browser and your email.
- In Windows systems, pressing F5 accomplishes this. Press Ctrl-F5 if you want to fully empty the cache in Internet Explorer.
- As a LAST RESORT... Send us the address you wanted to have on your Entry Form and we'll re-send the score sheets.
Ribbons will be mailed out within the next few days. Please remember that Canada Post is still in negotiations and we're still at their mercy. If you're interested in keeping up with what's going on with the mail, you can check on it HERE. In the meantime, we will continue to use the mail system as usual.
August 18, 2016
PAYING BY PAYPAL
We've been advised of a couple of instances of the PayPal button not working on the "Enter a Show!" page on this website when attempting to pay entry fees for Virtual Show #3 in the last week. We have checked it and it is functioning properly. Please let us know if you have any problems with this and we will investigate it further.
August 16, 2016
VIDEOS FOR SHOW #3
Entries are open for Virtual Show #3! The closing date is August 31. Enter the show HERE.
IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT YOUR VIDEO:
- When setting up to film your video, PLEASE read the "Rules and Guidelines" AND the Judge's comments from Show #1, below. All of these are aimed at ONE thing: helping you and your horse to be seen clearly by the Judge and to give you the the very best shot at getting the score you deserve. Remember: any part of a movement not visible to the judge WILL NOT BE SCORED. In addition, any video deemed "not admissible" by the Judge will be disqualified. So, don't throw away your hard-earned marks - make sure the Judge can see absolutely everything!
- Before you submit your video, watch it and ask yourself whether it is showing what you want it to show. Then, watch it again and be critical. Then, read the requirements and Judge's suggestions, watch it again and fix any problems . You work hard on the riding - let the video show all of your hard work!
August 15, 2016
SHOW #2 RESULTS
Results are now up for Virtual Show #2. There were some fantastic scores and we warmly congratulate the riders and horses who achieved them! We also want to thank everyone who competed and our very efficient Judge, Gisela Mantler. Your support and participation are always valued and needed! Again, remember that a show is almost like a mini-clinic with a particular Judge. Her comments are your "homework". Soon, you'll be receiving a in PDF file of your test by email - take the time to read the comments!
A couple of thoughts about Show #2:
- Please read and RE-READ the Judge's suggestions from Show #1, below. In a Virtual Show environment, a Judge's being able to see what you are doing in the ring means you get all the marks you deserve. If the Judge can't see what you and your horse are doing because the video is dark, out of focus (fuzzy), shaky or unclear, she can't judge it - and you will lose marks.
- Read and take to heart the instructions and tips, make sure you are seen clearly and give the Judge an award-winner of a video that shows you and your horse in the very best light!
SHOW #1 RIBBONS
Unfortunate delays due to pending Post Office job action resulted in a delay in everyone receiving the ribbons from the May show. However, we're getting reports that folks have been receiving them over the last couple of weeks. Enjoy the beautiful ribbons - you earned them!!
July 28, 2016
The first virtual Western Dressage show of 2016 is now behind us. It was such a huge success - 92 rides!!! That's a great turnout for any show; live or virtual. So, again, a big Thank You to everyone who participated and competed, as well as our Judge, Ineke Boa, and all the volunteers. There was fun, there was good competition AND there was a lot we all took away with us! We hope that everyone took the time to read their score sheets, which were emailed to everyone in PDF format. Remember, the Judge's comments are a little "mini-lesson" in themselves!
So, since virtual shows make such a fantastic learning platform, we'd like to share some of the ideas and questions that came our way from the judge and riders since the first show.
FROM THE RIDERS:
Q. When do we get our ribbons?
A. Ribbons are mailed out around the same time as scores are posted. Ribbons for the first show were mailed out the week of July 11th. Unfortunately, even though they are mailed First Class, we cannot track them or predict how fast they will get to you. Sending them out by registered mail would become very expensive very quickly, which is not what anyone wants. We have been told that Canada Post is still in negotiations with the Postal Workers, which may or may not have a bearing on our situation. So, we'll keep our fingers crossed and give it a little longer. In the meantime, the Results Page will continue to list everyone's scores and show all the placings in each class.
FROM THE JUDGE:
You may not realize it, but it takes much, much longer to judge a virtual test than to judge a live ride! No matter what the judge does, she is still stuck with only the view she is shown through the video camera lens. Your job is to make sure that the judge sees ALL your best moves and has a good view of both you and the horse, clearly seeing that each movement is completed and how well it was performed, that you followed all the rules and that you and the horse both performed to your best ability. To ensure this, 1. please read the Rules & Guidelines and Enter a Show pages. Both give a lot of valuable information whose sole purpose is to help you succeed. And, 2. read our Judge's comments, below! By carefully following each and every guideline, you give yourself and your horse the best chance at the highest score you can achieve.
- All videos must be filmed and submitted in LANDSCAPE orientation, so that the screen is longer in the horizontal, not vertical, and provides a wide view of the whole arena. Watching a test in a portrait-oriented video is like trying to judge through a crack in the fence!
- If the judge can't see it, the judge can't score it. If only half of a circle is visible, then the most the judge can give for that movement, no matter how perfect it is, is a 5. Make sure the rider is visible at all times, including in the corners next to the judge, and the movement being performed is clear. Any part of a movement that is not visible to the judge will NOT be scored.
- The horse & rider, as a unit, must occupy NO MORE BUT NO LESS THAN approximately 1/4 of the screen, vertically, while keeping as much of the arena in view as possible. This means the person operating the camera will need to zoom in and out during the ride. The judge must be able to make out what the rider, as well as the horse, is doing, as well as be able to see the letters between which the movement is ridden. If the horse & rider are too small in the view, if it's impossible to tell whether a circle is round or of the right size or if the view is too fuzzy, this will be reflected in the score. Likewise, filming against a bright light, such as a window or an open arena door, results in only a silhouette being visible.
- Remove ALL obstructions (chairs, farm equipment, people etc.) in front of the camera, so that there is absolutely nothing between the camera and the arena. Draw an imaginary line behind which the camera is positioned. Keep the space between this line and the arena completely clear, so there is nothing to distract from or block the view of the horse & rider. Likewise, please try to choose the location so that there is an uncluttered background. A gray horse against a cluttered background can become virtually invisible and, again, will be difficult to score.
- Mark the arena boundaries. As a minimum, you must mark the corners (put two poles end-to-end, at 90 degrees, and you have your corner) and the letters. It's helpful to mark the "in-gate", even if you just use a couple of traffic cones or flower pots. If your horse leaves the arena with all four feet, you will be eliminated. Therefore, it's important that the judge can see where the arena "lines" are and doesn't have to guess whether you're "in" or "out"!
- The arena surface must allow the judge to see the horse's feet and lower legs at all times. If you are using a grass area, please mow it. This also helps see the arena boundaries. Please ensure there are no loose objects in the arena.
- If you feel that your horse may be moving unevenly because he is "ouchy", sore or stiff, watch him being trotted out and have someone watch you ride him to make sure he is not lame and does not look lame. A clearly lame horse will result in Elimination. Remember that wrapping or booting the horse's legs is not allowed!
- If you'd like, you may have someone read the test to you. However, please avoid having other conversation or background voices on the video.
- Please, please, please watch your video before submitting it. Can you see that perfectly square halt or perfectly round circle? Is the halt hidden by long grass and is the perfect circle only half-visible? Can you clearly see the horse entering the corner and leaving the corner? Can you clearly see the 20m circle occupying the whole arena, wall-to-wall? Pretend you are the judge. Be critical. If you can't see it, the judge can't, either.
In short, show your very best work, help your horse put his best foot forward and, of course, have fun!