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How does one become a scribe?

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  • How does one become a scribe?

    As I won't be cleared to ride until September at the earliest (and possibly not until November depending on how my foot heals), I was thinking that maybe being a scribe would be a good way of getting back in and learning while contributing something to the show. I have never scribed before, so I was wondering what I'd be getting myself into, and how to get into it. Not being around horses is driving me insane.

    Are there any other ways I could contribute at a show that would allow me to learn that I'm not thinking of (oh, and that don't require me to be able to stand/walk)? I've been out of riding so long and just want to get back into horses any way I can at this point. If anyone would be so kind as to give me ideas (and save my sanity by doing so) I would be most grateful.
    Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

  • #2
    What I did to become a scribe was contact the organizer of the show and tell them I was intrested. It was a smaller schooling show so they were more than willing to take the help. The lower levels are fairly easy to scribe for. In the higher levels, movement just come more quickly and therefore the comments and scores do as well. It is a ton of fun and I highly recomend it.


    • #3
      Just call ans ask a schooling show.

      Another option is scoring.

      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


      • #4
        just volunteer.

        I've scribed for HT's Novice to Prelim. Not that difficult. Just keep your eyes down, on the paper, write legibly, don't talk to the judge during the test itself. I told my first judge that I'd never scribed before and she gave me pointers. Another tip, before you start scribing that day ask the judge if they want the errors recorded in red pen, or some other fashion. Go ahead and show up with a pen you like to write with.


        • #5
          No standing/no walking requirement can be tricky, but your best bet aside from scribing is scoring.

          Scribing is easy for some and not for others. I got started doing it because, like you, I was grounded and looking for ways to stay involved. I can also write very quickly and still be legible (for the most part) and when I started, I had good eyesight and hearing Now I hear and see less well, but am far more unflappable.

          Tell your trainer you're looking for scribing opportunities and then call ALL the show managers within the area you're willing to drive and offer your services.

          Name drop and catalog your showing experience ... if you haven't shown, tell them that you've been studying the newest lower level tests and are familiar with them. Tell them you write quickly and legibly and are a fast learner. (That is, don't be embarrassed to sell yourself!)

          Don't tell them "it's just until September" ... some management feel they're making an investment in your education and would like some long-term payback

          Keep a record (this is something I really really wish I'd done) of the shows you work and the judges you work for. If things go well at a show, as the judge if s/he would give you a short recommendation. Other managers may never want to see it/them, but it adds to your credibility when you offer them up.

          I started scribing in an area where it was a sought-after position and quite competitive, so I was pretty aggressive about getting started and was willing to drive over an hour to work. Once you're name is on a show manager's list, you can wait for the phone calls to come in.


          • #6
            If you can't walk very far, you won't be able to scribe. The show might have a golf cart to get you to the judge's box/tent/whatever, but you will still have to walk a few feet, or even go up a couple of steps. If you are capable of doing that, then go for it.

            The USDF has a list of abbreviations for scribes. It is pretty long, and if you are not a real quick study it will take some time to learn. I'd suggest that you study it, and then have a friend sit and say different things, so you can practice writing stuff down.

            I will add that you don't get to watch that much of the tests, as you are too busy writing most of the time. Also, it helps to know the test. It is real help to the show to have a good scribe.


            • #7
              1) Have way too much to do, and too little time to do it.
              2) Have friends who really don't like you as much as they say they do and keep volunteering you.


              • #8
                PVDA offers volunteer training each spring- u could start with that!
                Appy Trails,
                Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


                • #9
                  Volunteer for a schooling show. Ask to observe. Then try out a few classes.

                  It is one of the best learning experiences you can have. ENJOY!


                  • #10
                    No advice but great decision. I scribe occasionally and learn so much.


                    • #11
                      Start with local schooling shows. If you know someone in local show management, talk to them and have them set you up- most local shows I know of are always looking for good, reliable volunteers. Be upfront about your physical limitations, because some shows I have scribed at which have been short on volunteers have expected me to run the tests down to scoring during breaks (probably won't be an issue as long as you let them know). Good luck, it's fun!


                      • #12
                        I've done it several times. It's a good way to get to know judges you might be riding for in the future.
                        I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo


                        • #13
                          Scribing the lower levels is easy, you could pick it up in a flash. The schooling shows in my area are always looking for volunteers. The positions I have seen are: office check-in (they also handle the armbands etc), scorer, scribe, runner (this is the official go-fer) and gate keepers. Once I even announced for half a day, I totally sucked at that.

                          Give them a call, volunteering is almost as much fun as showing!


                          • #14
                            I looove scribing. It's very edifying, especially if you get a judge who likes to talk. The higher the level, the faster the comments/scores. You just have to be able to keep a mental record of what's being said, sometimes you end up writing in more than one box at a time. Definitely go talk to some show managers. You'll be glad of the experience.
                            "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


                            • #15
                              Interesting thread.

                              A question: since you really can't look up to see what the judge is commenting on, how do you feel scribing increases your knowledge of dressage?

                              Any conflicts there?

                              I scribed for an in-hand judge at afew shows, thinking how much I'd learn about sport horse conformation/movement, etc.

                              But I rarely got the chance to actually LOOK at the horses -- always had my head down writing!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                Interesting thread.

                                A question: since you really can't look up to see what the judge is commenting on, how do you feel scribing increases your knowledge of dressage?

                                Any conflicts there?

                                I scribed for an in-hand judge at afew shows, thinking how much I'd learn about sport horse conformation/movement, etc.

                                But I rarely got the chance to actually LOOK at the horses -- always had my head down writing!
                                I've done both and scribing for sporthorse / conformation / in-hand classes is much more difficult than test scribing.

                                In both you do get a better idea of what that particular judge values by the sorts of comments, but in tests there just IS more time to glance up, for example, during walk-across-diagonal movements to see.

                                And you never have to dodge a willful foal


                                • #17
                                  I recently scribed for the first time--only it was during a 3DE's show jumping phase. It was interesting to hear the judge's opinions on the different rides, and I learned a lot. While one may assume that scribing during show jumping would be easy, it was still quite challenging at times! While I'm hoping to do some scribing at dressage shows, I'm glad I was placed to scribe during the 3DE as I think it was the best possible place to start (as a jumping scribe). Plus, because you shouldn't be writing as much, you're able to actually watch a bit more!
                                  Originally posted by RugBug
                                  Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.