Two of us traveled over the pass Tuesday evening to learn what it takes to be a scribe. Beth Glosten teaches this class as her contribution to the sport and what a fine job she does! Eight of us listened and watched and then were given the opportunity to scribe for several rides as Beth judged. My goodness, I will never again take for granted the comments I receive on my tests. It takes concentration to legibly write all the comments made by the judge, to get the right tone and exact words to express the judge’s thoughts. I found an article that sums up the evening and thought I’d share Jennifer Walker’s tips for a scribe:
Serving as a dressage scribe is really pretty simple. All it takes is good listening and fast writing skills. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Arrive at the show grounds early so no one worries that you won’t make it. You’ll also want to have plenty of time to find the show office, get your scribe kit, and meet the judge.
2. Make sure you have the tests and plenty of pens. You should have a red pen for marking errors.
3. Ask the judge if she gives scores or comments first, and tell her if you’ve never scribed before, or if you have any questions.
4. Check the number on the horse to the number on the test. Every horse must have a number, and you must make sure that the pre-printed test matches. Write the number in the space provided at the top of the side of the test where you write the scores. If you can’t see the number, ask the rider as she rides by.
5. Write the score in the Points column. Do not write in the Coefficient or Total column.
7. Sometimes the tests move quickly. The most important thing is the score-if you miss comments, you can try to go back and complete them, but make sure you get the score. If you didn’t hear or understand something, ask.
8. Keep an eye on the rider in the ring to make sure you’re on track and writing in the right place. You will often be writing about one movement halfway through the next. If you’re not sure which movement a comment or score goes with, ask. “Was that for the transition?” or “Was that for number 6?” Judges are usually understanding of this.
9. Write as legibly and clearly as you can. Abbreviations are often necessary, but write out words if you have time, and make sure your abbreviations make sense. You can make a big O for circle or draw a square for “square halt.”
10. Do not offer commentary about the riders. Do not write anything the judge didn’t say.
11. Take a cue from the judge as to whether she’s interested in chatting or letting you ask questions. If she doesn’t offer, stay quiet and let her concentrate.
Scribing at dressage shows is a great way to see and learn about dressage, while giving back to the dressage community. Give it a try, and you’ll find it a rewarding experience.