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catosis
Jun. 5, 2011, 08:38 PM
Is it worth it? one of my goals is to become a graduate before I turn 20.

Sister Margarita
Jun. 6, 2011, 07:38 AM
Okay, let's see, before you are 20? Why before you are 20? I do admire the clarity of your goal setting, however sometimes the program takes some time to complete all the requirements.
First, let me say it is a worthy pursuit. It is demanding and rightfully so. Graduates are what will become our judging pool in the future. Experience in riding/training and competing helps a great deal. Like the sessions, the requirements for sitting with judges and scribing are also demanding.
Is there a program starting by you? Have you audited any sessions? Are you pursuing becoming a judge or wishing to learn more about how tests are judged?
Be sure you know why you are interested in graduating from one. It is a program that takes minimally a year to go through, and assuming you have met the riding criteria to apply, you will have to sit and scribe for the hours that are required.
There is a great deal of information on the USDF website. The auditing part is great too. As a graduate, auditing is a great way to continue education, as each session is an opportunity to see or hear something new.

MysticOakRanch
Jun. 6, 2011, 12:15 PM
Is it worth it? All depends on what you are hoping to get out of it. The L program is a great education on how rides are scored, and it will greatly improve your eye, and provide you with a great respect for our judges. As to being "worth it", without knowing what our expectations are, I'm not sure anyone can answer that question.

Why before you are 20 - kind of a funny bucket list:lol: Since you are young and have plenty of time - I'd recommend auditing it first, then deciding if you want to pass before you are 30, so you can decide whether it is worth it for your specific circumstances.

Things to consider - to enter the program, you need scores at 2nd level. The program is fairly expensive, and the testing is an additional fee. Besides the actual cost of the program, you could have travel costs for yourself and a scribe (you need a scribe later in the program, and for the exam). You'll also potentially take time off work, both for the sessions and for the sitting and scribing requirements. And you'll invest considerable time in practicing, studying, and reading (there is a large volume of recommended reading - you don't have to do ANY of it, but most who have been through the program recommend you do at least SOME of the reading).

If you want to become a JUDGE (r), there are additional costs and riding requirements. To be accepted into the "r" program, you must pass the L with distinction, and have scores above 65% at 4th level at rated shows. The r program costs even more money, and almost guaranteed you'll have travel costs because you are assigned to the next "r" program based on where you are in the "queue", not based on geography.

Having said all that, it is a great education - I went through it (and passed with distinction) several years ago. Timing was good, I had no horse to ride at the time, because it is truly a year where you will not have much free time to show, clinic, etc. Big commitment, and some people dropped out after the first and second sessions because of the time commitment involved. But those who completed it all agreed, a great education, and useful in their riding, teaching, and competition careers. A few (two) of those in my original group of 20 have now gone through the "r" program and passed, and are now "r" judges, I'm very pleased to report :winkgrin:

catosis
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:40 PM
Ok, so maybe 20 is a little early, but maybe between law school and undergrad (I am a very determined person, if you can't tell!) I want to eventually become a judge, and lucky for me (not) I do not have a horse, so the time commitment should be no problem. As for my bucket list being strange, well, I am not your average *insert dramatic hair flipping* Young Equestrian!

tempichange
Jun. 7, 2011, 06:46 AM
I'm going through the program. I think it's a very good educational resource and I truly enjoy the process of becoming candidate and hopefully, eventually, judge.

However, if I was 20 and doing this I wouldn't have appreciated it or possibly understood the depth of what I was doing. Definitely wouldn't have had the maturity either.

So, if you feel that you are ready, and it is worth it, then go for it.