Thanks for asking, here is my list
As an AA in an area with many dressage shows/learning opportunities here is what I would like:
A regional championship each year (GAIG or BLM) in NJ/PA or Morven Park. (this is region 1)
No, Lexington is NOT central to me. And NC is a day's travel each way.
I think USDF should publish and maintain (meaning, study and update annually or more often) a:
*Standard of Care,
*Standard of Training,
*Standard of Riding
for dressage. It's ok with me if USDF copies Pony Club or 4-H or USEA materials or anything else that is currently available if it meets with their approval, it doesn't have to be all new material, but a real survey of information and a judgement by the organization and experienced trainers, riders, breeders as to what is a good 'standard' for these areas. And it's ok to have a 'range' of the standard, especially because there are regional differences.
As an example, I LOVE the 'lessons with Lendon' book about starting a horse in dressage.
As others (I think TKR) said, newbies need guidance on the use of 'gadgets'. Others may need an guideline for riding at each level.
I think the issues of affordability and access that others are discussing may not be able to be addressed by USDF. However, user-friendliness of entry forms, of clinic requirements and information about the learning opportunities could be improved.
A more organized database of professionals, their horses under their care, performance records and the age when they left competition would also be worthwhile. There are some professionals who do very well at shows, and you see their successfull horses, but they 'go through a lot of horses' to get that one that suceeds.
As an AA, most of my friends have the their horse(s) as I do, till death do us part, so it's not a matter of finding the new horse for the next step in the journey, it's a matter of making the most of the horse we have. And that is where a good trainer can make all the difference.
I have been on the board of a GMO and volunteered for a number of years. The time commitment is very difficult and when you're working full time the choice is between volunteering and riding. And I always need more time in the saddle. So I have cut back my involvement (still there but less time now). I doubt that USDF can do anything about the lack of time many working AA's have for our sport, but any ideas would be welcome.
p.s. I have a bunch of 1 day shows in my area and I love them. Would love them even more if we could get a more casual outfit for showing - e.g. clean polo shirt rather than coat and stock tie.