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  1. #61
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    May. 6, 1999
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    I agree, gymnastic, but no one here is discussing how to put the pieces together. They are just talking about more pieces.

    What I am saying is that one way to put the pieces together is through communication because it CAN force someone to "pull it all together." I am also saying that integrating policies that force accountability upon decisionmakers will also force them to address larger issues, instead of just those pieces that impact them or their interests.

    You know, I just got an upset email from someone whose name I mentioned in a post. Someone in the leadership. Well, I sent the person back a not-so-nice reply because even the name-shyness of this thread and so many others is part of this same problem. If you are proud of what you are trying to accomplish and you have nothing to hide, then you should not be afraid--indeed you should welcome the opportunity--to defend yourself and your efforts BY NAME and IN PERSON. [I do apologize, however, for forgetting the criteria set up by the thread's originator--II truly did forget. I am now deleting that post.]

    I will argue with my dying breath that that is what is needed, first and foremost. We can throw out idea after idea--and the leadership can, too--but if the PROCESS that seeks change is obscure, confusing and discouraging, well, then what, I ask you? Then what?

    I'll tell you what: nothing happens, that's what. With all due respect to Linda Allen, that's why I'm saying this process--the one being exhibited in this thread--is not helpful.

    [This message has been edited by pwynnnorman (edited 08-24-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by pwynnnorman (edited 08-24-2000).]
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.



  2. #62
    gymnastic Guest

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    Some good points, pwynn. BUT remember one person whose name IS up here is Linda Allen herself, who is a high mucky muck, and who is out there in her own name generating this thinking. And another's is Mars. Both of them are people who can and do work and contribute to make things better.

    My point is that something CAN happen from people like those, but they need our specific and concrete support and ideas. The rest of us nobodys have been asked by them for our ideas, and so that is good, I think, because it shows they are open and want change. That is something good and positive about the leaders we already have, and who can be added to.

    So I think we should try to think of what can happen, instead of killing it off with negative thinking or being too pessamistic.

    Reading a lot of your other ideas here over the months, I guess you just had a momentary fit. I know you must be a really positive thinker to have so many ideas.



  3. #63
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2000
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    atlanta, ga
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    I understand pwynnnorman's frustration, because yes, it does seem like idea after idea gets thrown out but nothing changes. Also, none of the needed solutions are rocket science or particularly new. The problem is with the leadership itself. We should have real anger at the self-serving mismanagement by the leaders of the 'industry'.

    HOWEVER, Linda Allen is in a position of leadership, and she is building consensus, working within the sport's existing structure. The community nature of the internet can empower the unempowered membership, and can give the sports leaders who DO want to improve things the coalition and sounding board to effect change.

    I understand the frustration, but we should use the opportunity to show our support for positive change.



  4. #64
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    Yeah, I agree and I am in a bad mood. Sorry.
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.



  5. #65
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    Feb. 25, 1999
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    I like the idea of rating the rider. I know in Italy I was only permitted to do certain things based on how well I rode, not the horse I was on.........worked very well, huge database to maintain. Worth it though.



  6. #66
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    May. 15, 1999
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    Just a comment, the maiden, novice, limit divisions did not disappear because of a lack of entries at the show. In equitation they disappeared along with all the interest in being judged for how well you could ride. The original reason was the fact that you could win your way out of the childrens hunter divisions and it was followed by juniors feeling that they required a special equitation horse. It used to be that a horse that wasn't a hunter type did the equitation or jumpers, and that is no more, now they have to be too special.

    It disappeared for the hunters because of the problem that a good horse won out too quickly, and wasn't ready to move up. The "catch all" class descriptions are more convenient. The extreme extent of point chasing is another reason. You can have an annual award for pre-green because the horse will not win out of the division during the year. Obviously, that is not the case for a maiden. And, the horse who wins out of maiden at it's first show would not then obviously be able to acquire points. So that sort of award became a place for the losers, and certainly we wouldn't them to feel that they had a good year.(tongue in cheek) So, the evergreen horse became a popular purchase since it could go on for years being awarded championships and never getting over being "green".

    These sections are just another victim of the changes in horse shows from a place to measure your personal best into a place where we can "BUY" ribbons and winning.

    How do we change it back? As well stated above..change the system. The system is the skeleton on which we hang the rules. If the system doesn't work, if it is askew then there are no rules that can fix it. Back to the roots and modify the procedures so that we can all participate and can stop being the victims of those "in charge" who think they are smarter and wiser than we are and have created this awful mess.

    [This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 08-24-2000).]



  7. #67
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    Apr. 24, 1999
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    New England
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    Here's an attempt at a redesign. This may be too much of a simplification.. I took into account some of the idea's already mentioned.

    There should be rating /qualification for both Horse and Rider

    FOR THE RIDER
    Riders would have 6 levels of proficiency
    Riders would start at level 1 and move up through the levels
    Levels 1-3 would be basic walk trot canter and up to 2'6" showing. 6 Blue ribbons at any one level would qualify you to move up. No more then 2 blues would count for any ONE show. I.e.. you couldn't win 6 blues at 2 shows and move up a level.
    Level 4-6 would be 2'6 and over showing and a written/oral test of comprehensive horsemanship.

    I'm being vague at what the level requirements would be, but a level 6 rider would be able to jump a Grand Prix course with a strong level of comprehensive/competent horsemanship written and oral.

    FOR THE HORSE
    Horses would have 7 levels of proficiency. 6 blues would qualify them to move up a level. Again, no more then 2 blues would count for any ONE show.
    Level A - 2'3" no changes
    Level B - 2'6" w/changes
    Level C - 3'0"
    Level D - 3'6"
    Level E - 3'6" to 4'0"
    Level F - 4'0 to 4'9"
    Level G - 4'9" to 6'0"
    (of course pony levels would have to be defined as Level PA, PB, PC, PD, PE etc..)

    Now for the complicated part.
    Horse Show Ratings/Design
    Shows would be rated depending on the classes offered and number of days
    There would be classes for all levels of riders; regardless of horses ranking.
    Also, classes would be for all levels of horses, riders would have to be of a particular ranking to be in the class.
    Example: An A level horse could not have a level 1 rider.
    Classes could be restricted to particular combosÂ…
    Sample show class list:
    Show XYX offering the following divisions
    Baby Green Hunters Division - fences 2'6" and under. Restricted to Horses of A or B rating. Rider must be level 4 or above.
    Amateur Adult Hunter Division - fences 3'0" Restricted to Riders level 4 or 5, and Horses level B, C or D.

    Show Ratings and Points.
    Shows would be broken into 3 levels
    Bronze - Shows 2 days or less offering under $20k in Jumper divisions (note - NO money limit for hunters)
    Silver - Shows 2-3 days offering $20 - $50k in Jumper division prize money (note -NO money limit for hunters)
    Gold - Shows 4+ days offering $50k + in Jumper division. (note - NO money limit for hunters)

    Ribbons and Points would need to be worked out..

    Just a though...
    CS



  8. #68
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 1999
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    Boston, Mass.
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    Great ideas!!!My only input is that large, mostly volunteer organizations tend toward chaos.I believe each discipline should have its own governing body answerable to no one else.Why, for example, do the dressage folk need anything other than the USDF? Foxhunting folk, Steeplechasers' endurance riders, etc have, I believe, nothing to do with the AHSA and get along just fine with their own governing bodies. Same is true, I think, for vaulters, quarterhorse people, thoroughbred racers etc,, In brief, why do we need<and this isNOT a negative statement>the AHSA? Sorry, can't type



  9. #69
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    Dec. 18, 1999
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    Salinas, CA USA
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    WOW! there have been 37 different responders to this thread, and more to the offshoot on Amateur status! I consider this the 'get lots of ideas out there stage.' Next would come 'which ones aren't as realistic as others, short-term at least?' Followed by 'how to we prioritize and categorize?' And the critical, 'where do we start (translated into who does the hard work of fleshing things out where everyone else can understand), and how do we implement?' These steps are all do-able (IMAHO at least!) I'm leaning toward the idea of the AHSA implementing some sort of 'formal' discussion/chat room(s) format - no aliases allowed at that level: real people doing real work, in areas they have particular interest and experience in, bringing ideas and concepts to fruition. This is a time consuming and often frustrating process but I'm seeing people out there more than able and willing(?) to tackle more than jumps....

    Ideas on this "crazy" idea???
    Linda
    PS The AHSA now includes Endurance (very organized in it's own right including approximately 70% of its total membership attending its convention each year!!!), Vaulting (takes lots of the AHSA staff time but, as the National Federation, vaulting has to be part of the AHSA responsibility), reining (but not the AQHA - they do great with lots of $$ from breed registrations, and they contract for our D & M program), USDF and USCTA work closely with the AHSA every day (not always without some degree of disagreement on small issues but very cooperatively) -- the AHSA role is as an umbrella meant to help all groups accomplish more together than they can apart - especially in the areas of rule making and rule enforcement. We don't deal with foxhunting (not a competition sport, I don't believe) or any of the racing industry. They have plenty of their own regulatory bodies (and politics to go with it probably...) Anyway, on with the idea generation!



  10. #70
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    Jun. 30, 1999
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    Bethesda, MD
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    For Jumpcrew especially - the USDF and USCTA are primarily educational organizations. The rules and test for dressage and eventing come from AHSA as do the licensed officials, show dates, drug testing, etc. USCTA does have some kind of deal with AHSA that the Novice and Training levels are not recognized by AHSA but are recognized by USCTA. Therefore, folks who only compete at those levels do not have to belong to the AHSA. They do have to belong to USCTA or pay a nonmember fee. I've also heard that if you try a couple of events, decide you like it and want to do more, you can send in the receipts from each time you paid the nonmember fee and USCTA will deduct that amount from your membership for that year.



  11. #71
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 1999
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    Ireland & sometimes the US ;)
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    I like the ratings idea presented above - but think it needs work.

    My suggestion - and forgive me if I have already posted this - is that the Hunters and Eq work on a open numerical scoring system, with 100 being perfect. One score at any show at (arbitrarily) 85 and above equals one point. AND that is how points are collected. Your level of competition is dependant upon your cumulation of points - thus you are "GRADED" (as CT horse are graded). Once a horse moves to the next grade, it can compete at the lower grade with special permission, but it CANNOT collect more points.

    Ditto Jumpers - they are GRADED (E-A each grade with a maximum fence heights) (1 point per double clear round - time not included) with the point accummulation during a year tallied towards Regional and National Championships.

    Can you imagine going to look at a horse and finding out it has 100 points and is a Grade E (or A or whatever)? You would know what that means!

    (This is based on the Irish system - which really really works for the young horses, especially.)

    Lastly, I would like to suggest we rate our GP's - as three day events are rated. All GP's would have a "qualifying" class, making them more in line with how the Europeans run them - and they would be rated for difficulty - *, **, ***, ****. With only 2 or 3 four star classes in the US. (There are only 3 four star CT events in the World, I do believe!) Perhaps, the location of the event should have more to do with it's rating than the prize money. Who should have the 4 star events? Certainly this year's selection trials would have qualified!

    Linda, would that be possible?

    Thanks.
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!



  12. #72
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 1999
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    2,545

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CS:
    Level 4-6 would be 2'6 and over showing and a written/oral test of comprehensive horsemanship.

    I'm being vague at what the level requirements would be, but a level 6 rider would be able to jump a Grand Prix course with a strong level of comprehensive/competent horsemanship written and oral.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not to be a broken record, but the written/oral test part is the only thing in your scenario that bothers me - isn't there some other way to measure this? What about the sort of tests they use in the Medals?



  13. #73
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    Dec. 14, 1999
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    Snowbird:I think I get it - what you're saying is that the change in attitude caused the changes in these divisions, not the other way around, right? Either way, the current set-up definitely needs revision - I wish I had the knowledge to contribute more to this discussion!



  14. #74
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 1999
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    New England
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LindaAllen:
    WOW! I'm leaning toward the idea of the AHSA implementing some sort of 'formal' discussion/chat room(s) format - no aliases allowed at that level: real people doing real work, in areas they have particular interest and experience in, bringing ideas and concepts to fruition. This is a time consuming and often frustrating process but I'm seeing people out there more than able and willing(?) to tackle more than jumps....

    Ideas on this "crazy" idea???
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not crazy at all! As shown by the responses to this thread, there's a wealth of enthusiasm and ideas just waiting to be tapped...BUT, an AHSA sponsored forum will only succeed if the creative juices are allowed to flow, even when the ideas aren't what they want to hear. The NHJC tried a forum that seemed too heavy-handed to allow the generation of new ideas.



  15. #75
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AM:
    For Jumpcrew especially - the USDF and USCTA are primarily educational organizations. The rules and test for dressage and eventing come from AHSA as do the licensed officials, show dates, drug testing, etc. USCTA does have some kind of deal with AHSA that the Novice and Training levels are not recognized by AHSA but are recognized by USCTA. Therefore, folks who only compete at those levels do not have to belong to the AHSA. They do have to belong to USCTA or pay a nonmember fee. I've also heard that if you try a couple of events, decide you like it and want to do more, you can send in the receipts from each time you paid the nonmember fee and USCTA will deduct that amount from your membership for that year.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is not quite true.

    CT events are exempt from the mileage rule, and the USCTA (NOT the AHSA) sets the dates.

    Prelim and above has to be BOTH AHSA and USCTA sanctioned.

    Novice and Training events can choose to be either just USCTA sanctioned, or both USCTA and AHSA sanctioed.

    The USCTA (not the AHSA) administers the year end awards system.

    The USCTA (not the AHSA) administers the horse grading system.

    Horses competing at Prelim and abve must be registered with the USCTA (not AHSA).

    The USCTA (independent of the AHSA) collects a starter fee for eahc entry.

    The USCTA (not the AHSA) approved the choice of TD for first time events.

    All rules changes are presented to the AHSA by the USCTA rules committees. The AHSA rarely makes additional changes, and usually approves the rules as presented by the USCTA.

    USCTA insurance covers CT events, and CT clinics.

    That is a lot more than just an educational organization.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  16. #76
    Join Date
    May. 15, 1999
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    HSM you have it exactly,
    As the inner core became interested in living the life style of their richest clients, it became necessary to please people too much. The need esculated into a situation where the richer people bought horses to win rather than learn to ride. This was accomplished through the use of excess medications in many cases and training tricks in others.

    As a sport we lost our focus, instead of selling the benefits of a personal accomplishment we sold the right to be a winner. Those same people are in charge of all the committees and their persistent conviction that winning is not the only thing, but everything has started the spiral on all the other issues.

    Since, we cannot convince them that they have the wrong values, then we need a system which will give us all a voice and an opportunity to say this is not the way we want to go. I agree that accountability and our right to know could correct the situation.

    Ideas are wonderful, but with each idea there should be a way to impliment the idea. My suggestion is that we start with ammending the By-Laws of the NHJC. The latest news Letter was delivered here today. It is as useless as the last version but it cost less. So the NHJC learned part of the lesson but not the important part. I think accountability did play a part in the reduced cost of yet another News Letter.

    But, it's main purpose was obviously to raise a personal cash fund for the NHJC since it is essentially a membership call for non-AHSA Members. This is an obvious fallacy since they don't have anything but AHSA Members on their lists. To me that makes it clear that rather than first try to please those of us who are captive members whether we agree or not they have chosen to solicit membership from those who do not support the AHSA.

    If they can't learn from their mistakes, if they continue to pursue the same pointless waste of our time and our funds, then we need a way to change the management or the association. The choice to me is quite simple, either we can reform the NHJC to represent us, or we find another association that can represent us.

    I wonder, if we put the same pressure on the NHJA if they wouldn't be better prepared to represent our opinions. At least they welcome votes and opinions, if it is not them then who? and how?

    We have been rambling ideas, but how do we put them into practice, or even have them on the national agenda for discussion. If we went to the convention then why would we be there? Would we go to be preached at? Would we go to be told that the very people who have spoiled the purposes of our sport know more than we do?

    So I ask you all to take it to the next step. There are some very good ideas and suggestions that have been made. They need discussion and analysis how will that happen?

    [This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 08-24-2000).]



  17. #77
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 1999
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    Phoenix, AZ USA
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pwynnnorman:
    Lack of accountability is what permeates AHSA. That, too, would change is accountability were insisted upon because decisions would have to be defended, not just made.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Accountability ... being responsible for one's actions.

    Very recently in my zone, a vote was taken during a zone committee meeting on a key issue that has a direct impact on Juniors in this zone. The results of the vote, after considerable thought on the part of a couple of members, will have a negative impact on the sport. Feeling like the only way to possibly correct this situation is to let the general membership in our zone have its say, the zone is publishing the results of this vote in local newsletters and state association web sites in hopes that those who voted against it will be contacted by the members and be convinced to change their mind.

    It's a free society and anyone can vote any way they like, but they will be held accountable in this zone starting now and must justify their decisions. My hats off to our zone chairman for making this possible!



  18. #78
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:

    But, it's main purpose was obviously to raise a personal cash fund for the NHJC since it is essentially a membership call for non-AHSA Members. This is an obvious fallacy since they don't have anything but AHSA Members on their lists.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    It would appear to be even norrower than that, going only to those who have paid the H/J discipline fee, and omitting those who have paid the CT discipline fee (who also may compete in H/J).
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  19. #79
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    Wow Ccollman, hats off to you and Zone 8. That is a giant step! It's about time we are all held responsible, and that includes us as members.

    I totally agree with having a qualifying class for our GP's. Having 25-30 horses in a GP is enough. The qualifyier will keep it at a reasonable level, and hopefully stimulate some spectators. Someone also suggested that we split hunter and jumper shows. We may have gotten to a point where this is feasible at a higher level, numbers wise. Using the lower rated shows as beignner or entry levels where both h/j show together.

    Linda, love the idea of a real chat with no pseudo names used. This group almost sounds like an ad hoc committee. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]



  20. #80
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    So last night I thought, if I was Linda, how would I get my arms around all of this? This and other similar Chronicle threads are great examples of how the Internet is truly a spectacular resource for collecting ideas and communicating them. And this really does change the dynamics of a membership organization’s, like the AHSA’s, evolution. But it can also confuse things with sheer mass. Linda, I return to my reply earlier in the thread. I think that the AHSA (and the other entities) should: I. Organize and empower an inclusive planning process that involves a cross-section of constituencies who are all committed to the improvement of the sport. This committee’s agenda should be very clear: To take an unbiased look at goals, impediments, strategies, alternatives, and conclude with concrete proposals. II. The committee should gather empirical and subjective information that constitutes a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Risks) and creative brainstorming. Part of this could and should utilize the solicitation of specific ideas/examples, in response to specific questions/categories. [As an example, I printed out the this thread last night and had a family discussion about it with my daughter and husband. My daughter, 10, had a significant number of cogent, well-thought through, constructive ideas on how, if the AHSA wanted to, it could improve the pony hunter division. My husband, the lawyer, had some very fine thoughts as they pertained to rules. I was very interested in "raising the bar" on showjumping standards.] By soliciting input in critical, well-defined areas, data can be collected, organized, synthesized and communicated. The Internet is a great vehicle for this, but so are organized, local and/or Zone meetings where at least one or more committee members participate. Nothing should be "out of bounds" but rules of engagement need to be articulated upfront: In my practice, I define this as participants’ obligation to contribute "above the line." Any comments "below the line" are unacceptable and the participant is swiftly jettisoned from the process. III. Strategic and tactical recommendations are made (this will affect structure, composition, policies, rules, etc.) and presented for feedback and discussion (maybe even, as Snowbird suggests), a vote. In the end, however, final decisions and the commitment toward implementation has go be done by leadership. Then the final plans need to be broadcast and communicated. Please note, this process should be ongoing and not stagnant. Discussions, reviews, revisions need to occur on an ongoing basis. The old saying, "If it ain’t broke…" sure doesn’t apply here today. These boards, the insights of people like Mark Leone, Katie Prudent, you, Chronicle posters, Towerheads, etc. point to the need/mandate for change. In the end, I’m pretty selfish. My daughter, Sophie, has been riding several hours a day since she was six. She’ll catch ride just about anything. She’ll clean tack til the cows come home and she’ll do anything necessary to earn money to support her participation in this sport—no entitlements here. She dreams of being on the Olympic Team and she loves this sport with a passion that leaves those around her breathless. Our family has given up a lot to support her because we believe that big dreams deserve a chance. Do I want her to have the opportunity to ride in Europe when she’s ready? You bet. Do I want to send her to Europe because our U.S. standards are too low, or too political? Absolutely not. Please, please urge your fellow board members to consider how her future can be impacted by incremental, well-organized steps taken today.

    Andi Benjamin (Sorry for hogging the board—I don’t do it often!)



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