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United States Dressage Federation

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Continuing Education in Dressage Judging

This Continuing Education Program was developed by the USDF Judges Committee to provide continuing education opportunities, on a regional level, for licensed judges and USDF L Graduates and those enrolled in the USDF L Education Program.

Dressage Foundation These programs are hosted on a regional level through a Group Member Organization (GMO), USDF region or other USDF approved organization. While each USDF region has the flexibility to schedule continuing education programs in a manner that fits the needs of the USEF judges, USDF L Program graduates and enrollees within that region, the USDF Judges Committee has outlined a number of examples of appropriate types of continuing education programs.

1. “The View from C”

This program uses headsets, a moderator, and takes place at a competition or clinic setting with demonstration riders. The participants would listen and take notes as the moderator comments on the rides being observed. Training, First, Second Level rides, full tests and test movements, should be included. It would also include, at the minimum, 2 hours of observation, 1 hour of lecture, discussion and a Q&A period.

2. “Upgrade Your Judging Eye I”

This program combines classroom lecture with practice judging of movements, or full tests using videotapes/DVDs. It would include, at the minimum, 3 hours of practice judging, 1 hour lecture, discussion and a Q & A time period. Participants should be prepared to judge full tests orally if asked.

3. “Upgrade Your Judging Eye II”

This program combines classroom lecture with actual practice judging at a competition or a clinic setting with demonstration riders. It would include, at the minimum, 3 hours of practice judging and 1 hour of lecture, discussion and Q&A time. Participants should be prepared to judge full tests orally if asked.

4. Musical Freestyle

This one-day program follows a structured curriculum and format on Musical Freestyle. The curriculum must be taught by an L Faculty member and will include the following lecture topics: Music, Choreography, and Judging Information. Audio and audiovisual components will complement the lecture. No live demonstration horses are needed for this program.

5. *Other formats are welcome but subject to approval by the Judges Committee. The length of the program must be a minimum of three hours and include a combination of lecture, video and/or live horses doing tests or movements and Q&A.

Traditional riding clinics, in which an instructor works with one individual and participants may only observe the instruction, are not eligible; the instruction must actively involve and/or be directed at the participants and audience

Regional grants are available for this USDF program. The continuing education program and organizers must meet grant requirements in order to be eligible to receive the regional grant. The grant requirements and application are available on our forms and documents page.

Grants for this USDF program funded are by The Dressage Foundation's Edgar Hotz Judges’ Fund.

If you are interested in organizing, participating or instructing a 'Continuing Education in Dressage Judging Program please contact our USDF Programs Coordinator, at (859) 971-2277 or