(“Which term would you prefer?)
The elements of your performance in the show ring can be described in many ways. Whether the scribe pens them on your test sheet or your “friends” whisper the words behind program-shielded lips, there are always phrases which you’d much rather hear than others. Play the game with me below. Which term would you prefer?
Describing the walk: a) sauntering, b) marching, c) somnambulating, d) strolling.
Describing a canter depart: a) incendiary, b) vapid, c) punctual, d) desultory.
Describing the horse’s countenance: a) lugubrious, b) disquieted, c) avuncular, d) querulous.
Describing the horse’s work ethic: a) apathetic, b) dedicated, c) indolent, d) torpid.
Describing the horse’s level of attention: a) oblivious, b) evanescent, c) perfunctory, d) engrossed.
Describing the horse’s connection or “throughness”: a) permeable. b) blocked, c) impervious, d) bifurcated.
Describing the horse’s energy: a) buoyant, b) deflated, c) phlegmatic, d) languorous.
Describing a transition: a) garbled, b) fluent, c) muddled, d) precipitous.
Describing a halt: a) restive, b) catawampus, c) abbreviated, d) rectilinear.
Describing the rider’s position: a) statuesque, b) wilted, c) enervated, d) ossified.
Describing the test’s overall impression: a) robotic, b) luminous, c) pedestrian, d) monochromatic.
Almost every quality we seek exists on a continuum. The USDF Glossary contains many terms to help you locate your place on each one. Beyond that, be honest with yourself and pinpoint even more precisely what you’ve got and what you need. This is best done over a glass (or three) of a good wine and far away from any sharp objects.