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Welcome to Trickponies.Net!

Specializing in Dressage and Sporthorses by Renee

Home of FEI Dressage stallion Kamuela

My Quest for 'r' ...or the apprentice's adventures of summer 2009

The final stretch of apprentice work for my dressage judges licence, the 'r' - a seven year challenge - drove me to a few adventures out of state this summer - Tulelake, Devonwood and the Colorado Horse Park. If nothing else, a document outlining those journeys seems appropriate considering all the time, effort and tolerance everyone that helped me along the way put in to pulling it all off - if nothing else, I thought you might like the pictures!

On the Oregon border looking south at Shasta, Hwy 161 - the road to Tulelake

A little background - if you ever decide to pursue a judging credital - to meet the requirements of 'cojudging', many little pieces have to fall into place. It might appear easy and simple but it feels more like magic and definately does not happen by accident.

Planing months ahead, you search to find shows that will have plenty of riders per class with judges that are on the 'approved for training' list. Hopefully, you have a good report with the managers of these shows - because, quiet frankly, your request is a huge incovenience to them! Getting their permission is primary in the months long planning process...after that...praying alot seemed like it helped. Then pray more - that the show fills, the weather holds out, the judge you planned to work with is scheduled to judge the classes you need on the days you need them, that enough riders (to meet minumums from USEF )enter the show! Then pray alot more that they actually make it to centerline at their scheduled time! Hopefully, you recieved word back from the generous judge you need to work with that they will, willingly, add to their work load so they can 'apprentice' you - as if they didn't have enough other show duties.

Just making it there seems like a miracle sometimes. Not only do you have to make it to this often far away location - you need a crew. Yes, your own office 'staff'. Not only do you need to provide your own table and chairs - you need your own mobile office! Equipement including a portable copy machine, calculator, batteries, paper(the legal stuff), pens and extension cords - and they don't operate themselves - thank you Lacey and Sue and the numerous generous individuals I humbly begged help from. Oh, and don't forget enough copies of all the tests from all the levels you are going to be judging that weekend and the 'details' go on ...

One of THE most critical aspects, though, is to provide your own scribe - someone that you can count on and has experience is an invaluable asset - thank you Sharon for saying 'yes' so many times and Lacey for some great pinch hitting and many, many others that maybe under duress, said yes! Note ... it is possible to scribe for yourself in a bind - usually a bit challenging to interpret later, more like nearly impossible to read - just don't look down much while writing! Thank you Hilda and Paula for being understanding.

Once all the planets and stars line up for you - at the right moment, right place, right day, etc ... then you can go to work. You are now under the gun - usually without enough sleep - to perform as if you've been doing this all your life... you must now 'be the judge'.

It's not enough just to know your stuff - I've been riding, training and competing horses sucessfully, I might ad, all my life. Now, all that you thought you knew, has to come out, fluently on paper ... and it's all supposed to make sense, be appropriate, address the most important issues in priority and - logically - equate to a numerical whole number from 0 to 10 and oh yeah, happen within seconds!

So enough of the basics. The final requirements for my dressage judges licence as directed from 'The Federation' - "apprentice at least three competitions outside of Region 7".

Okay ... great I thought, attempting to turn this into a positive situation. So, I started looking for shows with those special judges - in Hawaii, of course! If I have to travel and get a whole crew and mobile office somewhere ... why not Hawaii? Bummer... Hawaii's part of Region 7! Okay, next ... Oregon? Colorado? Shows and judges? Yes! And do they have enough riders to fill those classes? Well...maybe.

Kai gets a 'rode' trip!

... to be continued ...

Indispensible Tulelake pit crew, Lacey, Goldie, and Marc (not pictured, Kai)
You made it happen!

Oregon again - this time Devonwood!

The perfectly perfect, beautiful facilities at Devonwood

Colorado - the trivecta at Horsepark!

Denver or rather Parker's, Colorado Horse Park

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Website owned and maintained by Renee Johnson webmaster@trickponies.net
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January 2010

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