Better Dressage Scores is an online schooling show designed to improve your dressage scores and save you money.
Choose your test.
Submit a video of your ride.
Get feedback and earn points.
It’s that easy!
How does it work?
See the steps above in yellow? I’m not kidding. That’s basically all there is to it.
Before the deadline of each month’s show, click this link to find the dressage test you want to submit, add it to your cart, and submit your video at checkout. If you don’t see the test you are looking for, feel free to contact us.
Then, on the last day of each month, scores will be posted, your test will be emailed to you, and ribbons will be sent out!
Want to see a full “how to” video? Here you go!
How do I submit my video?
On the checkout page, you can either upload your video directly or you can paste the link to your YouTube video in the comments section.
If your file is too large or you don’t have a YouTube account, we suggest using WeTransfer and pasting that link into the comments section.
If you have not taken a video of your ride yet, you can always enter the show, and email it later on to email@example.com. As long as it is emailed before the deadline, you’re all set!
Can I submit multiple videos?
You can submit as many videos as you would like each month. However, each entry must be done separately (only 1 test per cart).
Are there rules for filming, tack, and apparel?
Yes, this isn’t a place for mass chaos. But we definitely allow some flexibility.
- We ask that you film from “C” and use zoom when the rider is on the other side of the ring. If you are using a smartphone, please film in landscape mode. We understand that zoom and great quality is not always possible, so really we just ask that you try your best.
- Tack must follow the same rules and guidelines that would apply at a live horse show for your dressage affiliation (USDF, USEA, WDAA, or Cadora). However, if you have a special request (such as riding in a hackamore, bareback, etc.) please contact us so we can approve it with the judge. At the end of the day, we’re here to have fun.
- Helmets and proper footwear must be worn. We ask that you wear light colored pants and shirts to enable to judge to see you better. Again though, if you don’d have that apparel, we get it.
For a more in depth list of rules, click here. But to recap, just try your best?
Are your judges rated? Who the heck are they?
Yes, all of our judges are rated! They have judged many live horse shows in their careers and have years of experience. You can read their full bios here.
As a bonus option at checkout, you can also request in-depth feedback from them. With this feedback, they will go over your test movement by movement and give you tips on how to improve your scores via exercises, equipment changes, and more.
How does scoring work?
Our scoring system can be seen below. Because we have a variety of riders and tests from the US and Canada, we can’t guarantee that your division would have more than one person in it. Therefore, you are not placed based on other riders’ scores, you are competing against yourself.
For each show, you can earn ribbons and year end points. The points you earn accumulate for year end prizes (given to our top 10 riders in December of each year).
LOWER LEVEL SCORING
This applies to:USDF: Intro - First Level
USEA: Beginner Novice - Training
WDAA: Intro - Level 1
Cadora: Walk/Trot - First Level
Canadian Eventing: Entry - Training
UPPER LEVEL SCORING
Upper level tests are placed the same, but since difficulty of tests is increased, points awarded are increased. This applies to:USDF: Second Level and up
USEA: Prelim and up
WDAA: Level 2 and up
Cadora: Second Level and up
Canadian Eventing: Prelim and up
I missed the entry date, what now?
I mean I definitely send out enough emails and social media blasts for you to keep up, so maybe invest in a planner or put an alarm on your phone. But, if you still fail, just submit it for the next one!
We host a show every month except December (that’s when year end awards are given). The closing date for each competition is one week prior to the show day at 11:59 pm. After this time, entries and videos received will be put towards the next month’s competition. If you need the entry to be within a specific month’s competition (i.e. you have a show coming up and need feedback asap) and you missed the deadline, please email us and we will do our very best to accommodate you.
I ride above Second Level and/or preliminary level in eventing. Can I enter a show?
You can absolutely enter our shows! All of our judges are either graduates of the L program or “r” rates judges, so they are rated to judge second/prelim level and below, but just note that they have ridden in the top levels of the sport and are more than capable to give great feedback for upper levels too!
It is up to you if you would like their input or not. Some feedback is better than no feedback, especially when it only costs you $19 and you don’t have to haul!
Can a horse have more than one rider?
Yes, horses and ponies can be ridden by more than one rider in one or multiple divisions. We do ask that you do not overwork your horses.
Can my barn have a standalone competition?
Absolutely! If your barn has interest in a show where only your members ride, or if you want to open it up to others around the world, info can be found here: BDS Services Overview
If you would like to host one, please send us an email and we can plan accordingly.
Can I ask about my score or dispute what a judge has said?
Judge’s decisions are final. Any question, objection, or appeal regarding a score must be made in writing within 24 hours of the test being judged to BDS.
Boy, that sounds harsh.
What is your refund policy?
Entry fees will not be refunded once an entry has been accepted. However, if you enter an event and your horse is injured or lame and you are unable to send in a video, your entry fee can be used towards another show.
Refunds will be dealt with on an individual basis. At the end of the day, we want everyone to be happy and have fun, but don’t be that person that enters a show, gets their test and ribbons, and then wants a refund because there was a stain on the envelope.
Better Dressage Scores reserves the right to refuse an entry without stating a reason.