Sunday, April 25, 2010

USPC Mega Rally Prep Clinic

We had a wonderful clinic Saturday for the Southern California Region of the US pony Club. Riders came to do a ride-a-test clinic with me to make sure they were ready and add some polish. We had riders from Training level through Third Level and everyone had a great time.
Using biomechanics and correct geometry each rider was able to make a marked difference in their tests within 30 minutes. Good Luck to everyone at Mega Rally!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hansen Dam March Show

The show was fantastic! We could not have asked for a more beautiful weekend perfect temperature with a light breeze.

Nicole and Rugby proved that it is time for them to leave Training Level behind with first place and a 74% in Training Level Test 4. They made their debut at First Level earning a score of 68% and a Second place. Congratulations Nicole!!!

It was another debut performance by Janet and Ace’s Flemming (Figaro). Janet’s first ever competition and Ace’s first time at Introductory. They were wonderful earning a 68% on Saturday and a 60% on Sunday, Ace was much more tense Sunday morning.

I got to show Ace in Training Level Test 4 to earn qualifying scores for CDS Championships this year. Saturday we had some disobedience issues with the canter and earned a 58%. Sunday we had a more productive warm up and finished with a 68.8% and only a moment of disobedience.

This was a great start to the 2010 show season. I am looking forward to the IEL and CEC shows in April and continuing our success. Happy Showing!!!

L program Part A

It has been awhile since I have had to sit still for more than an hour or so at a time. Teaching and riding keep me on my feet and moving most of the day. So I thought I was going to have a hard time sitting still for an entire weekend of lecture even if it was about judging and horses. I was wrong.

The first session of the USDF L Program was inspiring to say the least. We have come so far in our understanding of the true biomechanics of horse and rider that I feel ecstatic to be around for a new era of dressage. Where a deeper understanding and a clearer methodology of scoring will not only draw more people to the sport but will help outsiders begin to understand why we ride dressage.

The session began with what a judges responsibilities are, to the competitor, the show management and our governing body USEF. A review of key rules pertaining to judges and the competition. Realizing I needed to look up almost half the answers to questions about the rules I made the USEF rulebook has now become my personal best friend. Then we moved on to how to develop a personal methodology in order to arrive at consistent scores. After much discussion on making a clear difference between a 5 and a 7, and the criteria for training through 2nd level; we dove into biomechanics.

Having a through understanding of biomechanics is key for judges to accurately score correct riding and training while having no background or reference for the horse and rider pair in front of them. By knowing how all the pieces are supposed to move in harmony it becomes much easier to see and pinpoint disharmony. This became highly apparent when we got to evaluate real horses the afternoon of day two. Sandy Howard set us the task of assigning scores for 4 different training level horses based on their walk, then trot, and then canter. Small idiosyncrasies that were hard to distinguish in videos were very clear in person. Every participant placed the horses in the same order even if their number scores were a little high or low. After one day of training we were all on the same page.

I am thrilled to be participating in the L Program and I cannot wait for the next session. I feel inspired by a deeper knowledge of this sport that I love and look forward to continuing the L Program and becoming a judge myself.