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United States Dressage Federation Learner Judge Program

Sponsored by the Western New York Dressage Association

Participant Application
Auditor Application

Demo Rider Application
COVID-19 Requirements for Participants and Auditors

NOTE: Our L Program Session B has been rescheduled for October 17 & 18 and Session C has been rescheduled for November 14 & 15.  Anyone requiring a refund from the previously scheduled sessions must apply for one by July 31, 2020


WNYDA would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to the Dressage Foundation for supporting our L Program with a Violet Hopkins Educational Grant. It is through the generousity of the Dressage Foundation and Violet Hopkins that WNYDA is able to reschedule our Session B and Session C for the Fall of 2020.

In the Spring of 2020, the Western New York Dressage Association (WNYDA) is pleased to announce that we will once again present the immensely popular Learner Judge (L) Program organized through the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) and presented locally by The Western New York Dressage Association (WNYDA).

This Program was devised with the intention of training future dressage judges in the US, but has gained an international reputation as a premier training tool for the training of dressage judges worldwide.

Although at the outset, the L Program was devised as a training tool for educating future dressage judges, the L Program has far more outreaching purposes by:

1.   helping instructors and coaches develop a better understanding and ability to identify correct biomechanics of the horse and showing what correct movement and figures should look like

2.   helping riders understand how a correct movement or figure should be trained and ridden for proper development of the horse’s mental and physical abilities

3.  allowing the interested horseman or spectator to learn to identify what a proper movement or figure should look like for the proper athletic development of the horse


The L Program consists of 2 main parts with several subparts:

    1. Part 1 - Classroom and live demonstration

Session A – Introduction to Judging and Biomechanics of Movement

Session B – Evaluating Gaits and Paces, Movements and Figures

Session C – Evaluating the Quality of Movement and Rider

    2. Part 2 - Candidate Evaluation

Session D1 – Live Judging of Training-Second Levels

Session D2 – Live Judging of Training-Second Levels

Session E – Scribing (at least 12 hours) and Sitting (at least 10 hours)

Final Examination

      There are three levels of attendance to the sessions:

1.  Participant - limited to 25 people -  allows full verbal discussion with the

2.  Auditor - auditors are "silient" throughout the session but are allowed to
      ask written questions at the end of each session block

3.  Demo riders - riders will be asked to perform various movements before the audience


Generally speaking, Part 1 is usually run in year 1, and if offered, Part 2 is usually scheduled for the subsequent year. There are no prerequisites for participating in Part 1, but there are minimum score requirements for participation in Part 2 (check the USDF website for prequalifications).