What the Judge Wants to See – Lecture/Demo @ Kingswood EC


Harry Payne – List 2a BD Judge; UKCC3 Coach; 4* Eventing Judge

Judith Harris – List 2a BD Judge

Both judges judged a horse and rider combination for Prelim 19; Novice 39; Elementary 59 and Medium 75.  Harry was in the centre of the arena with a microphone and Judy in the Judge’s box at C.  Harry commentated throughout the test and his comments and marks were written up.  After each test both Harry and Judy came into the centre of the arena and compared their scores and explained how they arrived at their respective marks – then there was a Q&A.


  • Scales of training – Rhythm; Suppleness; Contact; Correct Frame.
  • At Prelim we need to think about pushing the neck forward with the leg – get the horse on an even contact: offer the contact and push the horse out to find the contact – stretching forward to the bit.  If you want the horse’s neck down lower then lower your hands; if you want the horse’s neck up then carry the hands higher.
  • Free Walk on a Long Rein – On a contact (not a loose rein) but forward – the horse must take the rein forward – relaxed and swinging over the back – “walking like a panther”.
  • At prelim the transition to halt can be progressive.


  • Expectations are higher, greater engagement; medium trot and medium canter; greater impulsion and elasticity; more self carriage; need to see progression – more highly trained.
  • Nose needs to be more forward in the stretch – not back.
  • If you make a mistake, keep riding as though that was exactly how you meant it to happen!!  for 9’s and 10’s – elasticity; cadence; suspension; impulsion; softness; lightness; lift; balance; contact.


  • Scales of training – more collection.
  • Leg yield; counter canter; simple changes; smaller circles and turns; more suppleness; contact; connection to get collection.
  • Think of yourself on the horse as you would lunging – your hands like a pair of elastic side-reins, your leg like the lunge whip.
  • Medium strides – the muscles in front of whither get longer.
  • Teach to loosen from leg – not to tighten (how though)!!  Ask Nicky in next lesson……


Half way to PSG.


  • At lower level prefer to see corner cut but horse remain in a good rhythm and balance.  At higher levels should be more balanced, so use corner as preparation.
  • Long sides to show the movements; short sides are there to prep for the movements.