Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Technical Delegates: Upholding the Laws of Dressage?

This is part of a series I'm starting on volunteering...

I've volunteered at a lot of recognized shows, albeit it was at least ten years ago. I can recall several interactions with technical delegates, or TDs, and I was impressed with both the people and the position. What do they do? Despite the picture on the left, my sense is that they're not big on the use of force, and they don't issue edicts. I'm not even sure they enforce rules, exactly, but they wield a lot of inluence in their role as an advisor to show management.

So what is a TD anyway?
Well, the TD is not the dressage police and he or she is not the Enforcer, capital E. I have come to think of them as reps or advocates for the USDF rules, and in that sense I'm kind of drawn to the position. I think I might like it!

 If you like being a rule maven, if you like management by walking around, you might like it too.  If you like..

  •  helping things run smoothly
  • helping people do their job
  • collaborating with other show officials
  • resolving the occasional problem or conflict...
Then you might like being a TD. I looked into what it takes to be a TD. You have to have a fair amount of volunteering experience to even start the official training. This coming year I'm going to follow some of the suggestions in the article from Flying Changes magazine, How to become a dressage TD. I'll be trying out some volunteer positions and testing the assumption that I'd be a half-way decent TD.


  1. I've always run into really good TD's in shows and events around here.

    They and all the show officials deserve a lot of respect. It's not easy successfully putting on even a small recognized show.

  2. I've been involved with show management in one way or another for a lot of years and basically a TD is not much different than a USEF Steward. The shows I have worked with TDs have had both dressage classes and USEF specific classes so have employed a USEF steward to cover the dressage classes.

    Basically I'd say it's the job of a steward or TD to know the rules or know where to find them so others can enforce them correctly.

    Many people are confused about what the role of a steward or TD really is at a horse show but it seems to me that confusion always seems to work good for the horses. When people are in doubt, they try to behave at least where anyone can see but then that's a whole other subject. LOL

  3. My hubby was a ring steward at the North Florida Dressage Association shows, when we lived there. He really liked doing that stewarding, which other than telling riders when they were next, he also checked bits, whips, spurs, etc. I think he would be very good at being a TD. We'll have to look into that.


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