Friday, May 23, 2014

Scribe at E

The first thing I did today was fall backwards out of the judge's booth.

I had just sat down on a plastic folding chair. I scooted it back six inches but only had five inches of floor left behind me, and I went down in a graceful arc, smooshing my last remaining decent white polo into the newly irrigated all-weather footing. I wasn't hurt, just grateful I hadn't done it during someone's dressage test. You don't get do-overs in dressage, not even if your judge's scribe is an asshole.

Scribing is my favorite of all possible eventing volunteer jobs. Basically, the judge watches the test, and dictates both the score for each movement and her comments, and the scribe writes them down. You learn a lot from watching 40 tests paired with expert commentary, and heaven knows I need all the dressage education I can get.

I've learned that every test seems to have a movement that 90 percent of the riders will screw up. In the FEI one-star test today, it was the trot lengthening in which the rider is supposed to visibly loop the rein while crossing x. A lot of the one-star juniors rode like they were waterskiing, and hardly anyone gave with their reins at all. In the two-star test, it was the 10 meter half-circles, which nearly everyone turned into 13-meter oblongs.

My girl Lauren Kieffer, riding Landmark's Monte Carlo (I think that's the name; our judge's sheet cut it off at Landmark's Mo) rode the 10 meter circles right. "Finally!" The judge said. I was supposed to write down everything she said, but I left that comment off.