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.
Scribing for Axel at E.
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.
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.
Judging from E, it becomes very clear how different the view-point is from C.
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.
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.
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.
What about you, have you found scribing to be helpful?