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UPDATED  09/24/2019          USDF Educational Programs & Events


       USDF "L" Education Program - Part 1
Hosted by NODA & USDF Approved     

Pre-Registration Required to Audit       Auditor Application   
(Type & Print Format)


Oct 26/27, 2019  Session C: Collective Marks, Basics, Rider Biomechanics  
USDF Instructor, Sue Curry Shaffer  (USEF "S" Judge)       Auditor Slots Available  
Hosted by NODA at Topline Stables, Aurora OH    (USDF #103126)
Aug 17/18, 2019  Session B:   Gaits, paces, Movements, Figures    
USDF Instructor, Trenna Atkins  (USEF "S" Judge),
Hosted by NODA in Hudson, OH   (USDF #103125)
May 18/19, 2019  Session A:  Rules & Biomechanics         
USDF Instructor, Marilyn Heath (USEF "S" Judge),
Hosted by NODA at Blue Ridge Farm, North Ridgeville    (USDF #103124)

                                                    What is the USDF L Education Program?  

Developed by the USDF Judges’ Committee, this educational training program teaches judges to evaluate the correct training of dressage horses.   It is designed with several goals in mind:
o   Provide trainers, instructors, competitors and spectators' insight into the evaluative techniques of judging dressage.
Prepare and evaluate candidates who wish to pursue entry into the USEF 'r' Judge Training Program.
o   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 USDF L Program is divided into two (2) parts.  Each part consists of three (3) 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 from USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized competitions.  The scores requirement consists of two scores of 65% or higher at the highest test of Second Level and one score of 62% or higher at Third Level or above. Three scores of 62% or higher at Third Level or above from three different judges or any combination of these requirements would also meet the requirements (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 ‘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.

o 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.

The feasibility of NODA offering Part 2 will be evaluated in the next months. 

PART 1 USDF L Program - NODA Contacts
Organizer:  Jeni Gaffney,, Phone 330-858-3201
              Application Forms & Payment:  Dee Liebenthal,,  Phone 216-534-1911


January 5, 2019    USEF 2019 Dressage Tests Symposium
with Margaret Freeman "S" Judge

Hosted by NODA at Lake Erie College Equestrian Center, Concord Ohio
USDF University Accredited Course 103035                 Event Flyer
It was a terrific day of information and fun with Margaret Freeman, learning about the new USDF/USEF tests for 2019.  We were at capacity with over 80 attendees.   The breakfast and lunch food provided by Lake Erie College's food service was delicious!    Thank you to our sponsors, The Dressage Foundation, USDF, Lake Erie College Equestrian Center & Big Dee'sTack & Veterinary Supplies. We were at capacity with over 80 attendees.   Thank you to our Education Co-Chairs, Elizabeth Scalabrino and Linda McGall, who did a great organizing this event.   We also appreciate all the volunteers! 
Visit the NODA Facebook page for Symposium Pictures.



                 Did you go to the NODA's Scribing Night Out on June 29, 2018?

What a fun night filled with learning, laughter, and good food.    With the very hot temperatures, it was a pleasure to be indoors with air conditioning!  Over 25 people signed up for a "Scribe Clinic" last evening with host and lecturer, Barb Soukup, USDF "L" Graduate with Distinction and NODA President. This popular clinic was very informative for those who wanted to learn how to scribe or enhance their scribing skills.   New scribes learned the basics and more seasoned scribes received a refresher course.   Thank you Barb Soukup for sharing your knowledge and experience, and to our Education Co-Chairs, Linda McGall and Elizabeth Scalabrino, for organizing the event.

All participants received a copy of Barb's presentation which included a list of Dressage Terms Abbreviations.  Participants practiced scribing for several tests, had scribing questions answered, and enjoyed shared scribing experiences at shows. 

The USDF University Program provides recognition for USDF members who strive to continue their dressage education through their participation in USDF educational programs. It also provides an accreditation structure for independently-organized events, allowing members to earn USDF credit for participating in accredited programs conducted by GMOs and other groups. For guidelines and other important documents, see our forms & documents page. Each year, during its annual convention, USDF Offers educational sessions for dessage professionals and enthusiasts of all levels. USDF accepts proposals for suggested topics. Topics must be submittted to the USDF office by February 1st on the appropriate form (PDF)

 July 9, 2017    Ride-a-Test Clinic with Danielle Menteer (L)            View Clinic Photos
Sponsored by NODA   Clinic Location:  Chagrin Valley Farms, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
"What an excellent clinic!"   "Really learned a lot!"    "Very Helpful, Thank You!"    "Would do this again!"
These are just a few of the comments expressed by the clinic participants. 

Thank you to the clinic participants, volunteers, our clinician, Danielle Menteer. and Chagrin Valley Farms!   
 May 20,2017    Junior/Young Rider Tune-up Clinic  FREE (*)             View Clinic Photos
Sponsored by NODA   Clinic Location:  Lake Erie College Equestrian Center
This was a popular clinic offered FREE to NODA Juniors and Young Riders competing in the
May 21 NODA Schooling Show at Lake Erie College Equestrian Center.    All available time slots were filled.  
Thank you participants and volunteers, and special thanks to NODA Professional member,
Janeen Langowski-Grava, for sharing your time and coaching skills with these talented NODA members.

  March 25, 2017 Dressage Clinic &
March 26. 2017 Ride a Test with Clinician & Judge Sue Hughes

                           Presented by NODA at Chagrin Valley Farms, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

We had an amazing turnout of riders, auditors, and volunteers this weekend.  Everyone learned a lot, had fun, and got excitied to get back into the show ring.  
Thanks to the volunteers who helped the weekend run smoothly:  Elizabeth Bodnovich, Danielle Bolm, Gale Browning, Lynn Fry, Kathy Kirchner, Dee Liebenthal, Lesley Matt, Gwendolyn Samuels, Diana Shale, Jana Tuckerman, Lara Young and Deb Winkler.   Thank you to Chagrin Valley Farms for the use of their facility.   Special thanks to Halle Clause, NODA Western Liaison and Marcia Doyle, NODA Education Chair, Sally Burton, Schooling Shows Chair, for all their hard work organizing this weekend!    And our sincere appreciation to clinician and judge, Sue Hughes, for a wonderful two days of education and inspiration 

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