Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Judge Training for the Rider

We've had our first frosts in New Hampshire. The horses are growing fuzzier by the day. And my two dressage partners, Piper & Jeddien, are both having a vacation from real training... for the moment.

Meanwhile, I have just returned from my first weekend of USDF "L" Education Program, Session A, in Vermont. The USDF "L" Education Program is the first rung of dressage judge training in the USA. It's much like the British Dressage Trainee Judge training program which I had been in before.

Why invest in judge training? Well, one, because I really do enjoy judging and in the USA, some states require that judges even at schooling shows have to be "L Program Graduates".

But more importantly, the L Education Program allows me, a dressage competititor, to better understand what judges are really looking for in a dressage test. And you know, as a competitor who wants to have fun AND win, the more I know about this unique sport, the better.

And, the best part ! ..... It's good fun !