Review: Better Dressage Scores

A few friends and followers have asked about my experience with Better Dressage Scores and I’m happy to oblige! I found BDS through Riding Warehouse, I believe. A way to get feedback on a dressage test without having to find and go to a show!? Uh yes please.

As an eventer, it’s hard to find dressage shows that offer eventing dressage tests. And, as an eventer, the dressage is something I need the most judge’s feedback on! Cue BDS! I read through their website and figured out what I needed to do. With the help of my amazing friend Katie, we turned our barn’s 20×60 dressage court into a 20×40 short court – it was a little ghetto … but it worked. She helped me run through both Novice tests a couple times prior to filming for me. I put them on YouTube for an easy repository and simple sharing.

I then went back to the BDS site to pay my “show fees” for April’s show. As I went through the process, I saw a few great options – on top of only having a fee of $19/test, you could pay for them to send your ribbons (uh, obviously) and you can opt for additional feedback/coaching for $9. I went for both extra options and submitted my tests a couple days prior to April show’s closing date. Then, I only had to wait for a week and a half for my scores and comments to come back. I woke up today to my scores and comments in my inbox! The scores were more than fair and comments useful – this month’s tests were good enough for 3rd place each and 8 points toward year end awards! Placing is based on scores, not others in your same class. And there are Year End awards! But what I really valued was that extra $9 I paid for additional feedback/coaching from the judge. Aviva, this month’s judge, was extraordinarily helpful and kind enough to give me lots of really great ideas (in addition to some really nice compliments). I was able to immediately take this into my ride and felt an instant change – Firefly’s response made this all worth it. I will definitely be doing more tests with BDS in the future!

Here’s to #dressagenotstressage!

If you want to give it a try, here’s my link!