Demo Riding at the USDF “L” Program with Valley Oaks CDS

Cooper participated at Starr Vaughn yesterday!

Without leaving the arena, screaming incessantly (Or maybe he did, and I was too distracted to notice in there), or spooking at the big mirror.

This was only his 2nd Dressage outing, stepping it up from Intro Level to Training Level.  Yes, he was tense.

And very scared at first in the outdoor warm up – all alone, foggy.   (Definitely some screaming out there.)

Just entering the indoor was a huge thing for him…  Just look how scary it is.

Starr Vaughn Equestrian Center

But he pulled it together and got through it with me.

This was a great opportunity to train in a show environment, while also receiving feedback from S Judge Debbie Riehl Rodriguez and the large group of soon to become judges.  Very grateful for some nice comments for us!

Partner in crime today was Nancy, my “star of trailering in black dark in dangerously dense Tule fog”.

Both Cooper and her gelding Gandalf took it in stride, while the two of us were fretting up front, squinting at the yellow line in the middle of the road and in general held our breath for making it there safely.

It was so fun to be part of this!  No other pictures, unless someone else sends something over.  Just these two relaxed riders, who were all smiles after their rides.

Valley Oaks L Program

What’s the USDF L Program?

Developed by the USDF Judges’ Committee , this educational training program teaches judges to evaluate the correct training of dressage horses.

The “L” Education Program is designed with several goals in mind:

  1. Provide trainers, instructors, competitors and spectators’ insight into the evaluative techniques of judging dressage.
  2. Prepare and evaluate candidates who wish to pursue entry into the USEF ‘r’ Judge Training Program.
  3. Provide continuing education for licensed judges and “L” graduates.

4 thoughts on “Demo Riding at the USDF “L” Program with Valley Oaks CDS

    1. Ah, thought I’d perhaps do a separate post on the clinic, but then never even had the time to do it.

      Feeling a bit of the “run around” right now… Just this morning, for instance, awoke at some ungodly hour to be able to work both horses before a dental clinic.
      Waited for the Vet until well past 12 noon. Once connected with them found out no one would show up until past 1 pm. Not a very productive time spent 🙂
      That’s been the theme for a couple of weeks now it seems 🙂


    1. It definitely was fun participating, a great learning experience for both Cooper and I. But yes, it was nerve wrecking doing the drive. I was late to the barn, as at 4:30 am the fog was so incredibly thick there was nothing to do but go at extremes snail pace…


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