Q: What is a "Ride-A-Test" Clinic?

A: This is a clinic designed to help riders learn how to improve their scores in a dressage test in competition.  It is beneficial to both dressage riders and eventers alike!

Q: What is the format of such a clinic?

A: That depends on whether or not it is a one or two day clinic.

Each rider specifies in advance what test they will be riding.  They warm themselves up and start with the test of their choice.  Sandy judges and scores the test exactly as it would be in competition.  Sandy discusses the ride with the rider immediately following the test and then goes to work with the horse and rider combination for approximately 30 - 40 minutes to improve the weak areas of the test as it was ridden that day. 

In a one day clinic, if rider fitness and time allows, the rider then has the option to reride the test before completing the session.

In a two day clinic, the training time after the test may be longer rather than finishing with reriding the test.  The second day starts with a lesson based on the discoveries of day one and finishes with reriding the test which will again be scored and discussed.

Q: Why would one schedule such a clinic?

A: In many cases, trainers and riders are unaware of how many factors are involved in each individual score within a test.  Trainers are not always sure what a judge's priorities are as they arrive at each score in such a relatively short amount of time.  Therefore scores are often not maximized by the rider and valuable points are lost as a result.

Q: Is this a cost effective way to improve oneself?

A: If you consider that the cost of competing at a recognized show is often in excess of $300.00 for the weekend, NOT including hotels, food, and gas AND there is virtually no interaction with the judges, it is a GREAT opportunity to find out if you are on the right path with your training for the level at which you are currently competing as well as testing your readiness to perhaps move up to the next level.

Q: How many riders do I need to fill such a clinic? 

A: Because of the interaction between Sandy and each rider, the sessions are obviously private sessions.  Therefore 8 - 10 rides makes a very full day!  In the case of a facility which is local to Madison, Ga., Sandy is also willing to do half days in the afternoons and early evenings.

Q: What makes Sandy uniquely qualified to conduct such a clinic?

A: She is currently an “S” (or Senior) judge, qualified to judge through the Grand Prix level at national dressage shows.  Sandy has competed and trained 2 horses to the Grand Prix level, qualifying for and competing at Dressage at Devon on Milestone, her first GP horse. She knows both what it should look like at each level along the way as well as what it takes to get there!   She knows as a trainer when to accept that this is as good as it gets for this moment in time, as well as knowing from a judge's perspective how to maximize each combination's strengths while downplaying the weaknesses.

Because Sandy is currently campaigning Plato Carlos at the Grand Prix level, she is particularly empathetic to the riders and knows when to reward something, knowing full well how deceptively difficult dressage is!

Q: How can we maximize Sandy's knowledge in such a short time?

Sandy is comfortable speaking to large and small groups in lecture/discussion formats as well.  A fun and productive evening may be scheduled the night before the clinic based around an informal talk entitled "From the Judge's Perspective".  This is an opportunity for riders and spectators alike to ask questions and get a look into the process from the other side of "C".

To schedule your "Ride-A-Test" Clinic with Sandy, please go to the Contact Me page and Let's get started!