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.
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.
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.