Scribing at the USDF “L” Program

Last weekend the program continued at Starr Vaughn. (And also a little mule action.)

This was the continued Part Two Evaluation, hosted by Valley Oaks Dressage Chapter, with ever energetic Michele Dodge running it.

As mentioned before, scribing at shows is a wonderful way to gain more insight to what judges are looking for.  Try it!

The program had now reached up to Part Two – Evaluation, and in Session D1 the judging students were coached by Axel Steiner on how to judge Training through 2nd Level.

Axel Steiner at the L Program

Love to listen to him!

It was also great to listen in to the various scores, and their respective justifications from all the judging candidates mid-session, along with Axel’s perspective on the same movement.

Session D2 is in November and I hope to help out again.  Then of course, it would be a treat to see them all go through the Final Exam in April 2016.

While we didn’t judge her test, I enjoyed finally getting to see Laura Hermanson riding a mule at First Level.

Laura Hermanson First Level Test 3
Ever since reading the article about her mule Heart B Dyna being the first one ever making it to the US Dressage Finals in Lexington, Kentucky, I’ve hoped to see them at a show – since they are from California.

This is her and BB Magee, at First Level Test 3 on Saturday.  Yes, this is cool!

Mule Dressage

Scribing For Axel Steiner

Judging from C

Best bang for your buck on getting a better grasp of what dressage judges Really want to see in a test?

Hint, 1st choice is not going to be participation in a pricey dressage clinic with Whopdido trainer from somewhere-far-away.

Go spend a full day as a scribe at a recognized dressage show – it will be a wonderful eye opener!

I had the opportunity to sit for a legend, Axel Steiner, and if I could, I’d be traveling around with him, or Anita Owen, doing this all the time – it’s really that good!

Axel is a USEF “S” judge, popular clinician, part of the USDF “L” faculty, USEF judge examiner, and a retired FEI 5* judge with a history of judging the Olympics, World Cup Finals, Pan American Games and many other international championships.

If that sounds intimidating, just wait until you sit down the very first time to scribe, ever, with score sheets of FEI level Young Horse Final Tests in front of you.

Then prepare to write fast, learn a LOT, and have fun while doing it.  Axel is educational while judging, and after watching many riders at all levels it became much easier to understand what is expected in the showring.

Early Sunday morning at the Dressage Derby III held at the beautiful  Christiane Noelting Dressage Center in Vacaville, CA.

Christiane Noelting Dressage Center

Scribing for Axel at E.

Axel Steiner

Some tips are to bring a pillow to sit on.  Layered clothing.  Hat and sunglasses.  Keeping close tabs on the Order Of The Day sheet.

Dressage Derby III

And also, scribes do not clap.  Just if you forgot that.  But if you do, no one will bite your head off.  Axel even stood up for me and the slightly illegible numbers scratched down on my beginning score sheets.

The show started off with the FEI 5-Year-Old Five Year Final Test, the FEI 6-Year-Old Final Test, and FEI Intermediate II.

Here is Merrie Velden in the 5-Year Test on Zuckerhut.

Dressage Derby III

Judging from E, it becomes very clear how different the view-point is from C.

Judging from E

And as a side bar, scribes at E do not ring the bell even on not-yet-called-for errors by C.  Ask me how I know.

The bell

In all, it was a wonderful experience, especially seeing reactions to specific riding, small mistakes, large mistakes, and in particular, the movement of the horses as translated to a score.

Dressage Derby III

In the afternoon, sitting with Anita Owen, FEI “C” Dressage Judge.  Very kind and just as helpful, and extra credit just for being Swedish!  The judging from C offers a different view – definitely try both if you can!

With Anita Owen and Colleen Reid.

Christiane Noelting Dressage Center

What about you, have you found scribing to be helpful?