Monday, March 9, 2009

USDF "L" Education Program

What does the USDF "L" Education Program got to do with getting to the USDF Regional Championships?   Directly, not much.   However, indirectly, TONS!

I am one of the dressage riders currently in the USDF judge training program known as the L Education Program.   The specific session in which I'm enrolled is very kindly being hosted by the Central Vermont Dressage Association.   (Thank you, CVDA!)

In the "L" program, we learn how to evaluate the performance of horse and rider in dressage tests, how to score the movements, and how to provide constructive feedback to encourage training progress along the correct lines.

However, as a competitor, it also provides me with a more indepth understanding of what judges are looking for when I ride in front of them.   It helps me to understand how to better interpret my own test results and the feedback provided on each test sheet.

Will the "L" Education Program get me to the USDF Championships?   No, of course not.   But armed with a better understanding of the sport of dressage, it certainly improves the odds a wee bit.     :-)

Entrance into the "L" program as a participant includes meeting criteria (including proven success at 2nd Level) and fairly hefty fees.   However, auditors are accepted, get the same information and training as the participants, are often allowed to ask questions, and all for much less money.   So it comes as no surprise that our sessions have had a lot of auditors from all over New England.   It's really cool!

For more information, check out the "L" Education Program Blog.

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