Archive for the ‘Dressage Judging’ Category

I found out yesterday that I am officially accepted into the United States Equestrian Federation’s “r” judges program. I am currently an “L” (learner) judge through the United States Dressage Federation and this is the next step up. I have been judging dressage shows since 2001 and have been working towards this goal for 8 years. Along the way the requirements changed and were made much more difficult. Instead of earning 5 scores at Fourth level at 60% or higher they raised it to 65%. That may not sound like a lot but at the upper levels this can be a difficult score to get when you

Max at PSG

have limited shows to go to. I live in northern Maine so shows are very few and mostly very far away. Luckily my trainer hosts a couple recognized shows every summer that I help organize. This gives me the opportunity to compete without the extra expense of travelling. I had earned three of my scores by 2007 and was very excited to compete in2008 with Max and Vanidor. Max, a Percheron/TB gelding was schooling Grand Prix and we had gotten a 65% at Prix St. George the summer before. Vanidor, a Lippizzan/TB gelding was schooling Prix St. Georges and ready to do a nice Fourth level test. So I had two ready horses and was feeling very confident. Then tragedy struck, we lost Max to complications of colic in January and then Vanidor in February due to a rectal tear caused by a vet examination. I was down and out for the count……shocked and depressed I tried keep it together and train Rory, an Oldenburg/Cleveland Bay cross that was just beginning Fourth level. My friend Lydia generously offered me her Lipizzan mare Vienna to ride who she had shown at Grand Prix a few years before.  But then the week before our first show I was unexpectedly bucked off Rory and could hardly move. (I guess that saying is right that bad things come in sets of 3….) My tail bone was broken and my pelvis was a mess, causing extreme pain in my left thigh. I had never experienced that kind of physical pain and limitation before. But that is another blog entry all together….I did try to compete at our last show but I was only able to ride a week before and

Vanidor at Fourth level

that was definitely not comfortable and I was in no emotional state to be level competing.  I didn’t get my score (I didn’t really expect to anyway) and was even more depressed. Another year passed and I was able to compete Vienna at Fourth level and just squeak by with the two 65%’s that I needed. Needless to say I was relieved and ready to take a break from chasing scores. I love to judge but boy do I dislike competing. Kinda odd I think but that’s the way it is. Anyway, I feel like I can finally close that whole chapter of my judging career and start new with the hard work and training that lies ahead. I would love to hear about other people’s hard earned goals, I love hearing about the journey, the roadblocks and then the sweet victory. Pursue your dreams because they are what keeps you growing as a person!!


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