View Full Version : Dressage Day Pencilling - Tips?

21-02-14, 10:23 AM
I've volunteered to do pencilling at a dressage day on Sunday. I'm a bit nervous because I've never done it before, worried about making mistakes etc etc. Can anyone give me an idea of what to expect? Do I need to bring anything with me? I'm such a stress-head when it comes to the little things ...

21-02-14, 10:58 AM
take a spare pen or two with you incase the one you are given stops working.

The judges are really lovely. I always write the score as soon as they say it and then write / finish writing the comments - the score is the most important bit!

Be familiar with abbreviations like CL for centre line, a drawn circle or square - obviously for those words :), There's a whole list of abbreviations somewhere. I usually try to write properly as it makes it easier for the person getting their test back when they don't have to decipher what has been written.

if the judge misses a movement, just go onto the next one and point it out once the test is finished.

I usually write up a couple of sheets with comp date, judge name, judge position etc so that I am ready to go as soon as the riders come past. I don't fill in rider details until the person presents to the judge, as people scratch and then you waste paper. You will get a list of entries for the class and you cross off / tick each combination as they present to the judge. After the test is finished, the judge writes their comments, check to make sure they have signed the sheet - some forget. I keep my completed sheets horizontally at the back of the folder so that when a runner comes by it takes a couple of seconds to hand them the right pages.

Horsey Habit
21-02-14, 11:08 AM
Make sure you tell the judge you are new to pencilling. The judge will tell you what he/she wants from you. Write legibly! Abbreviate comments where possible.

After you've done one or two tests you'll relax :) Don't be afraid to ask the judge to repeat a comment or score if you missed it.

Remember, you are both human!

21-02-14, 11:27 AM
Go to this link, print it out and learn it KoalasRule. It has most of the things you will need to know.

21-02-14, 01:46 PM
as soon as the judge says the mark fill that in and then resume with the comment if you are in the middle of it.

And I put a copy of the penciller guideline in teh folder for all of my fabulous pencillers, so its always there. Along with the Chup-a-Chups.

21-02-14, 01:52 PM
don't eat garlic or onions. wear a good deodorant and not too much perfume. nothing worse than being stuck in a hot car for hours with unpleasant or just strong smells.

21-02-14, 06:29 PM
Smile, you can learn sooo very much! If you cant remember all the comments, say so when the test is finished. The judge will generally remember! In the lower levels, you may not get too much time to watch the test but it all works out!!

Well done for volunteering and anything which is said in the car stays there~!!! Have a great day.:)

21-02-14, 06:36 PM
I keep my left finger on each Number as we move through, and last time I pencilled my arm almost dropped off, I guess its a while since I have written. Take some water with you, they usually feed and water you very well though.

22-02-14, 09:11 AM
Don't drink too much water before you start....quite often a long run to the loo. If you get to read the tests before you start pencilling helps so you can visualise how quickly each movement will go.

Enjoy it, let the judge know you are a newbie and they will quite often speak in shorthand for you, don't chat about random stuff because you are nervous because it is really distracting for both of you.

Have fun though, once you get it, it opens up a whole new perspective on riding, training and teaching. I have just spent the 4 days pencilling for international judges at Bradgate Park CDI, and I have done it every year. I look at it as 4 days of free lessons.