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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2010

    Default New to Dressage- competition question

    Hello, I have an event horse that is now best suited to be a dressage horse and am looking for some insight on how to start. Basically I don't really have a very good understanding of how the competitions work. How do you find sanctioned shows? what horse and rider memberships are necessary? I have knowledge of many of the schooling shows as they often coincide with combined tests and schooling horse trials, but i would like to take my guy to some of the regular shows. I am in Virginia fwiw.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Spotsylvania, VA


    VADA has chapters all over VA. Can you be more specific?
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2000


    Both USDF ( and USEF ( have calendars listing licensed shows. Look under the Competitions tab on each site.

    USDF lists by region, USEF is searchable by state, date, or type of show.

    Here is the list of the memberships and registrations needed to show (from USDF):

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
    Andover, MA


    Also, find your USDF GMO and USDF Area websites. (I don't know what they are for your area.) They will often have schooling shows, clinics, and other helpful things that do not make it onto the USDF or USEF website.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Deep South

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2012
    Taft, TN


    I made a similar switch with my OTTB a couple years ago : ) The USDF website is a big help- they list all of the recognized competitions by area. Also, definitely get in touch with your local GMO, and find a reputable trainer. The competitions themselves (at least in my area) are much smaller and quieter than your average horse trial, but the rules are essentially the same as for the dressage phase of eventing, the main exception being that you have the option to have your test read. To compete at a recognized show, both you and your horse will need to be registered with USDF, and USEF if you want to be eligible for championships. If you haven't already, read through the USDF rulebook; most of the pertinent membership information is contained in the show prize lists anyway, but it's always a good idea to be informed of the full rules.

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