I've had a lot of downtime recently in my riding career, and I've been thinking about how much I always enjoy volunteering at events and being around eventers - sometimes much more so than riding at events! I've just made plans to spend my 30th birthday weekend volunteering at an event and sleeping in my truck, that's how much I enjoy it.
I've been thinking more and more about training to be a TD. I have no great ambitions, just a curiosity and a love of the organizing/nitpicky parts of events. Has anyone ever been a TD or gone through the training? What was the experience like? Was it worth it? What are the benefits/drawbacks (beyond the obvious contributing/having people complain to you a lot)?The USEA website doesn't give much information on the process, so I'm hoping there are some people out there who can chime in.
Basically, you are meant to have ridden or trained at least two horses at the preliminary level or above and have spent some time in some capacity as part of organizing a horse trials in order to apply for the program. Then you do some independent study stuff (essentially volunteering with sign off by already licensed officials). Once you have done that, you submit an application and take a weekend course. You then do your apprenticeships, which include 2 SJ and 4 with a TD (for the TD license). Then you apply to take the final exam and get letters of recommendation from 15 licensed officials. People have done it in less than a year. Because I was also actively competing and have a 60 hour a week day job, I took just under two years from taking the weekend course to being a licensed 'r' TD. On these boards, Janet, canterlope, msghook, and several others are TDs.
Of my own volition, in addition to the required work, I took the course designers course twice with two different designers and did my own "apprenticeships" with course controllers including FlightCheck and msghook as I thought understanding their roles would be very important to being a TD.
The average age of our officials is getting older and older without much young blood coming in. If this is something you are interested I would strongly encourage you to pursue it and discuss the possibilities before you determine you aren't qualified.
This might (should?) be a separate thread but I've been trying to start a method to convert USDF L Graduates (not allowed to call them judges) over to an equivalent for USEA. I don't see why anyone who's already gone through all the hoops should have to do a one weekend, very expensive, dressage course. We should be able to offer some sort of stadium & XC course locally to provide the officials needed to encourage more low level events.
Brock n. (Anglo-Saxon) badger as in Brockenhurst, Brocklebank etc www.area35.us
I may be out, then - I've never taken a horse prelim and don't have any prospects of doing so in the future. Shoot. I will look into being a steward, though, maybe?
scubed, thank you for the link to the manual. I didn't see the document links off to the side on the USEA website. I'll start reading and send an email to the USEA and see if there are any other ways I can pursue this.
[SIZE=1]To have ridden two horses that have completed four or more horse trials at the Preliminary Level or higher. Waivers may be granted to this requirement for those who have trained two or more horses or coached two or more riders that have completed four or more horse trials at the Preliminary Level or higher.
Have been an active member of an organizing committee, if possible as the director or secretary, and worked as a scorer, timer or fence judge.
The waiver is there for those who have trained others to the Prelim level. It indicates you have a working knowledge of what is required to compete at that level.
If you are interested in becoming a TD, do work/volunteer at as many HT's as possible. Reach out to the TD at a "local" competition to see if you can shadown him/her. I have done this with several folks interested in becoming a TD. Not to mention I shadowed a few before I entered the program.
"Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
Courtesy my cousin Tim