L Program, Graduates, and Graduates with Distinction FAQs
- What is the L Program?
- What if I do not want to become a licensed judge, may I still participate in the program?
- How do I find out about upcoming programs?
- Am I able to be a silent auditor at an L Program?
- If I wish to be a silent auditor, must I attend the sessions in order?
- What are the A, B, C, D1, and D2 sessions? What subjects are covered in each?
- What is the difference between being a “participant” and being a “silent auditor”?
- Are USDF University credits available for silent auditing the L Program?
- Are USDF education credits available for participating in the L Program?
- What are the requirements in becoming a participant?
- How do I apply to become a participant in the program?
- What are the costs involved in participating in this program?
- If I graduate from the L Program will I be a judge?
- Who can organize an L Program?
- If I am an organizer of the L Program, may I also participate in the program?
- How does a facility become a host site for this program?
- Who do I contact if I have any questions about the L Program?
- Are L Graduates considered judges?
- Are L Graduates required to complete continuing education?
The L Education Program (L Program) offers a comprehensive curriculum created to teach participants and auditors how to evaluate dressage performance at Training through Second Level.
Yes, the L Program is not just for those who want to become licensed dressage judges. The program’s intent is to give competitors, trainers, and instructors a broader insight into the evaluative techniques of judging dressage, qualify individuals to officiate at schooling shows, serve as continuing education for licensed judges, and to serve as a prerequisites for entering into the USEF/USDF ‘r’ Judges Training Program.
There are several ways to learn about upcoming programs, including:
- Online at the USDF Education & Program Calendar
- Join the L Program Facebook page.
- Contact the L Program liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859/971-2277.
Yes, Sessions A, B and C are open to silent auditors. Each GMO or USDF-approved organization that hosts an L Program provides their program and fee structure details for silent auditors.
Sessions D1, D2 and the Final Exam, however, are not open to silent auditors. Since these sessions are held at a USDF/USEF recognized competition, more stringent restrictions are enacted.
No, you can attend them out of order as an silent auditor.
Session A, B and C comprise Part 1of the L Program, also called ‘A Judge’s Perspective.’ This is the educational foundation of the program.
- Session A is an introduction to judging and biomechanics.
- Session B is about judging criteria for gaits & paces, movements & figures.
- Session C is about collective marks, equitation, rider biomechanics and basics.
Part 2; ‘Candidate’s Evaluation’ includes Sessions D1, D2 and the Final Exam. This part of the program is geared towards those who are interested in graduating from the program to officiate at schooling shows or who plan to continue onward to apply for the USEF/USDF’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, while the practical exam is a combination of judging full tests and some oral judging.
Participants have met the prerequisites for the program and plan on officiating at schooling shows or who would like to become a USEF licensed judge.
Auditors are silent and are those who do not plan on judging, but who want more information about evaluating dressage performance.
Yes, University Credits are automatic for all silent auditors for Sessions A, B and C of the L Program. To be eligible to receive credit, you must be a current USDF Participating, Group, or Education member and sign the auditor roster including your member number. Silent auditors will receive two (2) credits for attending both days of the program.
Yes, education credits are automatic for program participants in Sessions A, B and C. Each participant will receive four (4) credits for each Session A through C.
Sessions D1, D2 and the Final Exam are not eligible for education credits.
- Membership: You must be a current USDF member (Group, Participating, Education or Youth)
- Membership: You must be a current USDF Participating Member
- Competition Score Requirement: Scores must be earned prior to entering the Part 2
- The minimum score requirement to enter Part 2 is three scores from three USEF Licensed Dressage judges: 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 to enter Part 2. Effective 4/15/2016.
- Please refer to the Participant Guide for the complete explanation of requirements. Only scores from USDF/USEF recognized competitions will count. Scores for Freestyle and Young Horse tests are not eligible to complete any part of the requirement.
*Scores do not have to be acquired within a specific time frame but you must be able to provide score verification.
First, you need to check out the current USDF Educational & Programs calendar. Look for a program that you would be able to attend, starting with Session A, and contact the organizer. The organizer will be able to let you know if there are spots available, fees and any logistical information about the program. The organizer will also provide a participant application for you to fill out, attach your score verifications, and remit back to them with payment for the program.
Each program may vary in their fee structure for participants and silent auditors. The hosting organization is financially responsible for the profit or loss of the program and set up their individual fee structure. You need to contact the organizer of the program you are interested in participating in to find out their fee structure.
No, you will be a graduate from the USDF L Program, also known as an “L Graduate” or an “L Graduate with Distinction”. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), as the national governing body of equestrian sports, licenses all judges. USDF administers the L Program, which, if completed with the required scores, will allow you to apply to USEF for the USEF/USDF ‘r’ Judges Training Program to become a licensed judge. Those who pass the L program final exam are known as “L Graduates”, not as L Judges.
A program can be initiated and hosted only by a USDF Group Member Organization (GMO), or other USDF-approved organizations.
No, organizers cannot participate in the program. Organizing an L Program, on-site, is a full time job and to try to juggle both would detract from excelling at either task, that of an organizer and participant.
The L Program includes a combination of lecture, demonstration rides, and practice judging at recognized competitions.
The lecture component requires a climate controlled room large enough to accommodate participants and auditors is needed. Also, there needs to be the capabilities to view audiovisual material.
The demonstration of horse/rider combinations requires an indoor (preferred) or covered arena, to be able to be out of the elements, and enough space for candidates to sit on the side of the arena.
The practice judging portion of the program requires USDF/USEF recognized competitions with at least two competition rings and two official judges. USDF must approve the competitions where D1, D2 sessions and the Final Exam are held in order to guarantee the number of classes and rides, as well as the quality of rides for these sessions.
If you have questions concerning the USDF L Program, please contact the L Program liaison at 859/971-2277 or email@example.com
L Graduates and Graduates with Distinction
Members designated as L Graduates or L Graduates with Distinction have participating in Part 1 (education sessions) and completing and graduating from Part 2 (evaluation sessions) of the USDF L Education Program. Those who received a 72% or higher on the Practical Exam and a 85% or higher on the Written Exam are designated as L Graduates with Distinction. Graduating the L Education with Distinction is a prerequisite to entering the USEF/USDF 'r' Dressage Judge Training Program.
L Graduates are often used and recommended to officiate at schooling shows. However, they are not licensed judges and are not allowed to advertise themselves as a dressage judge.
L Graduates are required to complete eight hours of judge specific continuing education per year. Graduates who complete the continuing education requirements, will be listed on the USDF website.
As part of this initiative, completion of Safe Sport Training is part of the prerequisite for taking the final exam, and it will be required that all Graduates of the USDF L Education Program and program faculty complete the training module to be listed on the USDF website.
Currently the Safe Sport Training is a annual requirement. Questions concerning the Safe Sport training and reporting can be directed to USEF.
Any continuing education that falls into the below category should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org using the L Program Education Continuing Education report form.
Continuing education must be judge related and approved by the L Program Committee. Below is a list of the approved programs as of 1/2018:
- USDF Continuing Education for Dressage Judges Program
- USEF/USDF Dressage Judge Education Programs
- USDF Sport Horse Seminar (for Judge Training)
- USEA hosted Eventing judge training programs with a focus on dressage, if taught by USEF-approved judge instructors (for dressage) or L faculty)
- Convention L Education session
- Convention meetings (meetings related to Judging and Judge education)
- Organizing, auditing or participating in Part 1 of L Education Program
- Scribing with R or S judges
- Scribing for instructors or examiners at L Program (Part 2) or USEF/USDF Dressage Judge Training Programs. (Testing programs are not included)
- L Education Program in-depth Study on USDF University (counts for two hours) Completion certificate must be submitted to email@example.com
- Completing all of the online homework quizzes on the L Program website (counts for 2 hours) – Completion certificates must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional programs may be approved by the L Program working group annually and on an individual basis.