A recent change in the world of dressage judging is the use of half points. In the past a rider would earn a 6 or a 7 in their test but now the judge can give a 6.5 if they feel the quality is somewhere in between. I have begun to utilize half points this summer and I am loving it! It is so much easier to give correct scores because I can follow my intuition more precisely. At times I would have a horse and rider that performed a movement accurately and correctly (thus starting at an 8 ) but the quality of the gaits and overall elasticity was only a 7. The inner struggle to correctly mark that movement creates some stress and also can slow you down during the test. By using half points I can just give a 7.5 and move on! It allows me to stay “in the moment” during the test and do a better job. One thing for scribes to remember is that they must write 6.0 on the test rather than just a 6 by itself. That would allow riders to cheat by adding a .5 to their scores, return the test and then say there was an error in the scoring. When I write the collectives at the bottom of the test I must also remember to write out the entire score as well for Gaits, Impulsion, Submission, and Rider. Overall I am very happy with the new scoring system and I hope the competitors are as well!