Wednesday, 29 July 2015

[Volunteering] Dressage Writing Tips

I've dressage written a few times now and when I got an email yesterday asking if I could spare a few hours tonight I gladly went along. Dressage writing is actually quite beneficial if you compete yourself as you get to hear first hand from the judge as to what they look for and how they mark differently across the levels. 

You don't need to have lots of dressage knowledge or experience to write for a judge. Just drop your local centre an email asking if they have any competitions coming up that they would like help for and they'll most likely contact you when they need someone! As it's on a volunteering basis, you don't get paid, but some centres might give you some vouchers for a free arena hire or competition entry or even just a bottle of wine! Some may not give anything, but hey ho! At least you've learnt some valuable dressage tips ;) 

I thought I'd also give a few tips for anyone wanting to write. It varies depending on judges but you often end up needing to write quite a bit and very quickly! This is especially true in higher levels when the movements come up a lot quicker and there are more marks up for grabs. You don't necessarily get to see much of the tests as you'll be so busy writing, but you do get to see a few glimpses!

As I mentioned, you have to write things down quick so writing shorthand is helpful. I'm awful at this as it's engraved in my brain to write longhand all the time but below are some shorthand versions that are helpful!

- when talking about a circle, literally just draw a small circle/o. 
- similarly when talking about a square halt (or if the circle is a square) draw a square!
- instead of writing multiple words, shorten them to just the letters:
               - centre line = CL
               - give and retake = G&R
               - self-carriage = SC
- some words will be repeated often and it's so much easier just to shorten them:
               - obedient = obed
               - transitions = trans
               - balance/unbalanced = bal/unbal
               - impulsion = imp
               - forward = fwd
               - forehand = 4hd
               - rhythm = rthm

There's probably a few others as well but it's up to for what you find is best! However, if you have any other tips then please do share them!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

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