I am going to have to put my other entries on hold while I fill you in on day one of the B Session.
After reviewing the homework/reading for a total of about 7 hours: at home, on the airplane and last night, I felt ready to start today. The written questions reviewing Session A were tempting to do right after leaving that weekend, but I am glad I held off until now so that I could refresh it in my mind.
For homework, I also had to draw out each movement of the tests from Training 1 to Second 4, so that I knew what each movement included - including where it started and ended. This came in handy today, since we watched actual tests and had to score/comment on them at the same time. I will never be nervous to scribe for anyone else again, now that I have learned to scribe and judge at the same time! Not to pat myself on the back, but I was pretty close to the judge's scores... now I just need to get better at articulating my comments.
Knowing EXACTLY where each movement starts and ends, as well as what transitions it includes, is very important to know if you want to be a good judge, competitor and/or trainer. For example, knowing how many movements a blow-up includes can affect a score by several points. Also knowing if a transition is scored separately will make that part of the test very close to a coefficient, since the steps into/out of the transition will affect both scores. For judging, it also makes it very easy to make every step of the test accountable to one - and only one - movement's score.
This systematic approach they walk you through in this Program has made judging a lot less intimidating. I am starting to appreciate the system of scoring by beginning with the key issues of a movement - the basics (think training scale elements) - and then going up or down based on criteria (think the elements of a movement and its directives, then adding/subtracting less for modifiers (things like the accuracy of circles). For example, if you have a horse with a marching free walk and stretched topline that would get an 8 in a perfect world... a few squiggles in his line might give him a 7 (-1 for a mild issue), but a 4 if he didn't show any difference in the free walk (-4 for not showing the essence of the movement).
Ok - off to bed now. I could go on for hours and have plenty of notes I need to copy into this blog, but need my sleep for tomorrow's session.