Apr 242020

By Patty Wilber

Well, since we cannot go to actual horse shows, various associations are running virtual shows.  This made me think of that column that was in…Western Horseman…? Called “You be the Judge”?…I don’t really know if that was the right magazine or the right title, but it was a column on conformation.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to have a “You be the Judge” event right here for Ranch Riding.  Unfortunately, since we are social distancing and I just thought of this, I am the only entrant.  But I do have four Appaloosas that can compete–or at least three.  On Monday, I worked with one of them, and it did not result in anything I would want anyone to actually see. I won’t reveal the identity of said horse to avoid biasing you all, the judges.  

So, here is the scoop.  

  1. I made the pattern. (short–about 1.5 minutes per run so you can whiz through.)
  2. The older horses (Penny and LT) were ridden one handed and the junior horses (H and Lucy) were ridden two handed, as per normal show standards.  
  3. The dogs are just there for decoration.
  4. If you don’t know rules for ranch riding, that’s ok, you can still play.  Just rank the horses from first place to last place as you see fit.
  5. There is no actual judge here, so the “winner” will be the crowd favorite.  You should be able to see the cumulative current results after you enter your scores.
  6. Your responses are anonymous.
  7. This my first try at Survey Monkey, and it did not feel very intuitive to me, so this whole survey thing might just be a fail and all you will get to do is see four videos.

Here is the pattern. It turns out that I didn’t like the walk in followed by the half circle part–it was hard to make that feel smooth. 

Here are the goes in the order they were taken.  They were filmed by Jim. He used his knowledge of cinematography gleaned from the Making of Game of Thrones to get these very uniform runs!

The survey is at the end.





Penny and LT would like to file a formal complaint because Lucy and H both got TWO goes, and they only got one.  Furthermore, they are not even coming off the bench, they are coming off the couch! The couch! With, like, only 30 minutes of prep.

Penny says, “she told me to go a bit faster so i trotted a tiny bit on that walk part and did i get a redo?  noooo! lucy got a redo because ‘the light wasn’t good’!  hmpff.”

LT says, “right?  i just got in a bit of a hurry and thought we were loping left instead of right, but did i get a redo? noooo! h got a redo cuz he spooked at a wee rabbit! hmpff!”

I did feel a bit bad about that.  Not bad enough to refilm, obviously…


The survey is only open for a week or so.

OH–I tried out the survey–it worked, and the results get displayed, so you should be able to see the running total! That means I might be able to make a survey for this broccoli tasting question I want to use for one of my classes (for a genetics unit), and have the results appear.  Cool!

The scoring on this survey is 4 pts for first, 3 for second, 2 for third, 1 for 4th and are presented in a bar graph.  I will summarize and let you know the “final” results next week. The winner gets a horse treat! (Ok! Two horse treats). 

Happy judging!

  11 Responses to “You be the Judge!”

  1. Funnest blog ever! To me the placements were obvious…I wonder how many will make the same choices?

  2. I am voting for H just because his side pass was better, he was more forward to, I liked that but Lucy was very steady so I liked that, it was hard to see the missed canter on LT as you were going away form us. What fun. thanks

  3. My placings: 1 – “H”, 2 – Lucy, 3 – LT, 4 – Penny. Would have placed LT 2nd except for the wrong lead take-off. This was fun!

  4. My placings: 1- H; 2-Lucy; 3- Penny; 4-LT. My mentor(a gentleman named Jack Bates) used to say that the top and the bottom are usually easy; it’s what’s in between that may be the hardest to place! I will say here that I believe your youngest and ‘greenest’ is the most athletic and best natural mover of this group and I was highly impressed with him. I saw this as a very basic pattern, so was ‘hard’ on those who either missed a lead start or went into the wrong gait, according to the published pattern. This was really FUN; I haven’t had the chance to exercise my judging chops for a number of years! (I did some paid judging according to AQHA rules a bit ‘back in the day’,but never considered trying to get carded for any of the stock horse breeds.)

    • I am glad you enjoyed it! From an in the saddle perspective, LT is the lightest on her feet and I think the most agile, H is darn cool.

  5. This was so much fun. I score Penny 4 , Lucy 3, H 2 and LT 1 . I probably paid more attention to lead changes because it is something I have trouble with . This was so much fun. Thanks. for letting us play.
    You are so creative.
    An off sided comment. I wish I had long legs!!! You look so good up there. Those of us who are built close to the ground …. oh well.

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