Why aren't you allowed to use your voice in dressage?

OskyWoskyPonio

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As title really and curious to hear people's views on this :) I've always wondered why there is a rule against it and marks taken off: surely the voice is considered as one of the natural aids? Is it considered to be spoiling the overall "picture" if riders were to go around their test shouting "And CANTER!!"?? ;)

Do you reckon that riders should be able to use their voices in dressage at all or at the lower levels?
 

MegaBeast

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I can see why it ruins the overall asthetics of dressage but equally it's an aid like any other and I think at Prelim it should be allowed. Would certainly help a lot of horses with tension problems if you could reassure them with your voice.
 

JustMe22

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I dunno, maybe they think it shows better schooling for your horse to go off the leg and hand and seat rather than voice..I've no idea.
I got marked down for either saying 'good boy' or clicking quietly once, don't remember which. On the other hand..I didn't have any marks taken off when I shouted 'HEY' or something at my horse when he reared in a test once :D
 

OskyWoskyPonio

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On the other hand..I didn't have any marks taken off when I shouted 'HEY' or something at my horse when he reared in a test once :D
Hahaaa ;) I had that once! Horse nearly slid over and I went "OHH MY GOD!" really loudly and spent the rest of the test thinking I had better make up 2 marks somewhere! :p
 

dressager

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Yes the voice is a natural aid and can be used in training. But I guess the problem in a competition is how do you regulate it and where do you draw the line? When does a verbal command become a correction or a punishment, and how does the judge have time to think about all this AND mark the rest of the test?! Would there be a limit for how loud you could speak etc etc. There are enough judging controversies without an extra one, so I think it is a fair rule.
 

OskyWoskyPonio

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Yes the voice is a natural aid and can be used in training. But I guess the problem in a competition is how do you regulate it and where do you draw the line? When does a verbal command become a correction or a punishment, and how does the judge have time to think about all this AND mark the rest of the test?! Would there be a limit for how loud you could speak etc etc. There are enough judging controversies without an extra one, so I think it is a fair rule.
Fair point Dressager :) I agree that it could be difficult to regulate, I mean would you make it so the rider had marks taken off if they used a verbal command as a punishment and if so how do you tell the difference if it is borderline punishment/correction and then you end up in disputes over marks :( So yes a very fair point that I had not thought of before :)
 

CastleMouse

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It's a bit like why aren't allowed to have a caller or use whips in eventing dressage, but you are allowed in pure dressage (except for Nationals, Regionals etc.)...?? :p
 

dressager

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Trust me, I would love to be able to talk (if not yell!) at mine as he spooks at everything in the arena!
 

CastleMouse

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Also, if there are arenas close to each other or side by side, and you're using your voice or clicking, it may not be fair on the other competitor(s)?
 

Booboos

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I always thought it was a completely arbitrary rule. The voice is a great aid for calming horses, taking them up a gear, helping them understand other aids, and praising them - all great stuff! I tend to use my breathing so I teach the medium trot/canter with a breathy type sound that eventually turns into a long breath, and no one can take marks off me for breathing! :)

I would imagine it could be abused, e.g. someone swearing or shouting all the way round, but that would be regulated by the judges in the same way abuses of other aids are regulated, e.g. overuse of the whip is subject to penalties.
 

spookypony

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One of my RIs took great glee in knocking off marks when I was clicking at the pony right infront of the judge's table: excessive clicking drives her crazy, and she's told me off for it often enough! :D

OTOH, my other RI seemed positively delighted when I shouted "get a ****ing move on, you little b***er!" in my lesson, because I was being demanding at last...maybe he'd give me bonus point in a test? :p :D
 

Zebedee

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I was at a training day with a list one judge, & someone asked him what he did if he heard someone talking to their horse at the lower levels. He said 'Pardon?' The person asking the question repeated it in a louder voice, & again he replied 'Pardon?' also in a louder voice. I think it took about three asks of the question for the penny to drop that he personally turned a 'deaf' ear.
 

tabithakat64

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I think it should be allowed at the lower levels, but agree it would make judging more complex.

It's a shame it's not as I can't stop myself chatting away to my horse when I'm nervous and end up losing marks :eek:
 

Booboos

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Why do people think it's OK at lower levels but not at higher ones?

Interestingly enough Anky seems to be an advocate of introducing the voice aid (at least this is what she seemed to say at the BD convention) and uses the voice to teach a number of movements including distinguishing between piaffe and passage.
 

EnduroRider

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Not being a dressage person I have never understood why voice aids are unacceptable yet taking a bloody great schooling whip in to a test is perfectly ok!
 

RuthnMeg

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Iam another one that has adapted the 'breath communication!' Works better on downwards transitions, but its an ongoing work in progress and so far has benefited both me and Meg. Yet to be penalised for talking but I have been known when facing away from the judge - wind direction helps.
'Tis a stupid rule really, and I think it can be looked at for improvement.
 

OliveOyl

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I talk to my horse regularly through our tests when I need to, albeit very quietly, but she can hear me. Whether the judge can also hear me, is a question I don't know the answer to but I haven't lost any marks for it to date and have been doing it for the last 20 years or so!
 

Herpesas

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I also don't understand this rule.

Mind you, I also don't get why you can use a schooling whip up to the higher levels but you can't use one at Nationals and Regionals. If I don't carry a stick my horse puts his hooves up and pootles around like a blackpool donkey - just to clarify I don't use it often, but he knows I have it.
 
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