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United States Dressage Federation

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"L" Education Program

Developed by the USDF Judges’ Committee , this educational training program teaches judges to evaluate the correct training of dressage horses.

The “L” Education Program is designed with several goals in mind:

  1. Provide trainers, instructors, competitors and spectators' insight into the evaluative techniques of judging dressage.
  2. Prepare and evaluate candidates who wish to pursue entry into the USEF 'r' Judge Training Program.
  3. Provide continuing education for licensed judges and "L" graduates.

This educational training program features selected faculty of experienced, United States Equestrian Federation recognized “S” judges.

The Program is divided into two parts; each part is made up of three sessions:

Part 1- “A Judge’s Perspective” is open to all USDF Members; this is the educational foundation of the program.

  • Session A is an introduction to judging and biomechanics. View Video
  • Session B is about judging criteria for gaits & paces, movements & figures. View Video
  • Session C is about collective marks, equitation, rider biomechanics and basics. View Video

Part 2- “Candidate’s Evaluation” is open to Participating Members with three verified scores at Second Level or above (see Participant Guide for more information). Part 2 is geared towards those who are interested in graduating from the program to officiate at schooling shows or who plan to apply for the USEF’s ‘r’ Judge Training Program.

  • Session D1 involves practice judging full tests in each of the levels at a recognized competition.
  • Session D2 is similar to the D1 Session but with more emphasis on the testing situation and prepares candidates for the final exam.
  • Final Exam is comprised of both a written and practical exam. The written exam is all True/False and multiple choice, while the practical exam is a combination of judging full tests and some oral judging as well.

If you are interested in organizing a USDF "L" Education Program please contact our USDF Programs Coordinator at (859) 971-2277 or lprogram@usdf.org

The Organizer Guidelines can be viewed or downloaded on our forms & documents page.