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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by pluvinel View Post
    Ok...so there goes the USDF FEI Trainer's forum...guess I won't be going to Fla.

    "
    The USDF FEI Trainer's Forum does NOT exclude Adult Amateurs



  2. #82
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    This is the attendance criteria. It does exclude quite a few AAs.

    All eligible attendees must be current Participating Members of USDF at the time of program and meet one of the following criteria:

    • Current trainers who are teaching students at the FEI Level and who have trained several successful FEI Level horses
    • Current USDF Instructor Certification Examiners
    • Current USDF Certified Instructors-Training-Second Level
    • Current USDF Certified Instructors-Training-Fourth Level
    • Current FEI Judges and Current USEF Judges-“r”, “R”, “S”
    • Current Intercollegiate Dressage coaches, school must be a current IDA team
    • Current USDF ”L” Program Faculty members
    • USDF “L” Program Graduates
    • Current USDF Instructor/Trainer Committee members
    • Past Olympic, World Cup, World Equestrian Games and Pan Am Games Riders
    • Members of the USEF HP Dressage Long List
    • Riders of all past USDF Horse of the Year top 10 winners at the FEI Levels
    • All past USDF Year End Award top 10 winners in the Adult Amateur and JR/YR Divisions at the FEI Level
    • All Great American Insurance Group/ USDF Regional Championships FEI Champions and Reserve Champions of Open Divisions
    • All USDF Gold and Silver Medal Rider Award Recipients
    • Current USDF Executive Board Members
    • Qualified FEI Young Riders, current and previous year
    o Must have met minimum score requirements to compete at the NAYRC
    • Qualified FEI Junior Riders, current and previous year
    o Must have met minimum score requirements to compete at the NAJC
    • Brentina Cup qualified riders, current and previous year
    • Current and past participants in Young Rider Graduate Program
    • Previous year USEF National Junior Dressage Championship Riders

    Eligible attendees may bring up to three guests who are actively riding, training or competing at the FEI Level.*

    Foreign applicants who meet at least one of the above criteria are welcome.*

    * All eligible guests and foreign applicants must be current Participating Members of USDF at the time of program.



  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    fwiw, i assume "AA" in this context means someone NOT at the top echelons of the sport - who isn't in full training and who doesn't have access to excellent training - and its not about full time jobs.

    AA = most of us slobs at the bottom.

    (maybe it should be average Adult ammie =AAA)

    Dr Clayton obviously has access to good training and has been able to make it to the top..... so therefore she is not average...
    I'm an AA. I show GP on a horse I trained myself from 2nd on up. I haven't had access to lessons of any sort of regularity in over 2 years. Do my opinions about AA challenges matter at all?

    The trouble with AAs is that we're a wide swath of humanity, spanning from sponsors of international riders to DYI-ers at home at intro on an off breed. Do you think one committee can see to the needs of the entirety of the AA population? Especially when those needs are so diverse-- spanning from "I never show so I only want clinics" to "I don't see value in clinics when I could be spending my money on my trainer, so I want to see competition-based activities"?

    In my experience, most GMOs are headed by the "average ammie"; that's a great place to make a mark on the local scene.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnm161 View Post

    The trouble with AAs is that we're a wide swath of humanity, spanning from sponsors of international riders to DYI-ers at home at intro on an off breed. Do you think one committee can see to the needs of the entirety of the AA population? Especially when those needs are so diverse-- spanning from "I never show so I only want clinics" to "I don't see value in clinics when I could be spending my money on my trainer, so I want to see competition-based activities"?

    In my experience, most GMOs are headed by the "average ammie"; that's a great place to make a mark on the local scene.
    And what does one do with the "I just read about dressage from time to time and don't take lessons or go to clinics or show, so who speaks for me???? AA. How does one possibly represent their.....needs?



  5. #85
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    I think a big part of the disconnect is with how the USDF defines AA and what most AA's actually are. The majority of the paying membership of the USDF is AA's; however, I think the USDF's belief is all AA's that are members are showing, training and looking to move up the dressage ladder, where in reality (my assumption) a good many probably do not show or only show locally and will likely never get past the lower levels of dressage (though I'm sure they would aspire to move up but will never get the opportunity, who doesn't). I don't think the USDF has the ability to address everyone's concerns or desires. If they are going to keep the interest of the AA's that don't show then maybe they can come up with programs that offer some kind of reward system for them. On the Facebook page I suggested doing something like the AQHA Ride Program that awards individuals for hours in the saddle. It isn't based on showing or training, just getting out and riding your horse. Sponsors donate awards and those awards are given out based the number of hours individuals spend riding. I don't exactly know how the program works but it at least acknowledges and rewards those individuals that are out there riding even if you aren't showing.
    Last edited by js; Dec. 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM.



  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by js View Post
    I think a big part of the disconnect is with how the USDF defines AA and what most AA's actually are. The majority of the paying membership of the USDF is AA's; however, I think the USDF's belief is all AA's that are members are showing, training and looking to move up the dressage ladder, where in reality (my assumption) a good many probably do not show or only show locally and will likely never get past the lower levels of dressage (though I'm sure they would aspire to move up but will never get the opportunity, who doesn't). I don't think the USDF has the ability to address everyone's concerns or desires. If they are going to keep the interest of the AA's that don't show then maybe they can come up with programs that offer some kind of reward system for them. On the Facebook page I suggested doing something like the AQHA Ride Program that awards individuals for hours in the saddle. It isn't based on showing or training, just getting out and riding your horse. Sponsors donate awards and those awards are given out based the number of hours individuals spend riding. I don't exactly know how the program works but it at least acknowledges and rewards those individuals that are out there riding even if you aren't showing.

    If an AA is not showing or only showing locally (such as one star or schooling shows) then they DO NOT need a membership to the USDF or USEF.

    Look at the USDF website, it is ALL devoted to competition, education, awards. If an AA dressage rider is not interest in competing and/or moving up the dressage levels (education) then why on earth would they want to be involved and pay money to an organization that supports something the rider doesn't have interest in.

    Why try to make the USDF something it is NOT. It is an organization that is dedicated to education, the recognition of achievement and promotion of dressage,

    The USDF is not an organization for those that do not want to show, train and work their way up the levels Sorry, it is as simple as that. If you don't show/train, you don't pay membership fees... and you are not entitled to the benefits of the organization. If you do not show and you do pay membership fees, that would be like me a non-skier buying a season pass to a ski resort and then complaining that they have nothing to offer me.


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  7. #87
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    Creating goals that are compatible with a typical AA lifestyle are very valuable for keeping people interested in competing in Dressage. I value the Medal program for that, because the scores are about gaining competence rather than brilliance, and can be had with relatively few shows in theory (although not so much in practice!). It's a cumulative goal that can stretch as many years as it needs to. (And it has a slot machine effect when you think you can do it in just one or two more great shows...!)

    Perhaps some awards achievable at first and second only along the same lines would be worth adding. Instead of the medal, add some new idea of a rank when you get say 5 or 10 60+ scores at first or second. Or perhaps do those in conjunction with the Rider tests. The idea being that you get a line in the sand of "See, I'm competent at X level" that can be accumulated over time and never goes away. And you can award say a nice ribbon for it, too, something that they'd be pleased to display.

    CDS does something a little like that with their awards, where if you get more than X 60% scores at any level in a year, you get your name published on the list and you get a little brass plate. I don't find that exact idea all that motivating, but it's something to look at.

    I'm just riffing here. You could play with percentages and counts and whatever, and maybe this isn't the right format. My thought here is to make something that appeals to the rider on a relatively ordinary horse and who has the time and resources to show a little bit but not a lot, and to keep it interesting. (I note that cutting the tests in the level from 4 to 3 might make showing less interesting for people who are staying at their current level for years, too.)

    I think it's worth noting that there's value to the sport in keeping people in it even during low resource times like raising kids and career pressures, because many of them will end up with more time and money to ride later. If they lose interest in dressage and end up moving to competitive trail or some other discipline, they probably won't be back.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLD View Post
    If an AA is not showing or only showing locally (such as one star or schooling shows) then they DO NOT need a membership to the USDF or USEF.

    Look at the USDF website, it is ALL devoted to competition, education, awards. If an AA dressage rider is not interest in competing and/or moving up the dressage levels (education) then why on earth would they want to be involved and pay money to an organization that supports something the rider doesn't have interest in.
    I agree with you: the current goals of USDF and USEF are about showing and about moving up. (Note that education is valuable even to people who know they don't have the resources to move up, however.)

    The fee structure, though, causes a lot of these riders to join if they (hope to) get to two shows a year. And the fee structure keeps a lot of riders from going to the first show because the initial cost of all those memberships is daunting.

    I think the conflict here is that USDF/USEF is getting less of those fees, and they miss them. So they would like to have more of those riders, and more willingly.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    I agree with you: the current goals of USDF and USEF are about showing and about moving up. (Note that education is valuable even to people who know they don't have the resources to move up, however.)

    The fee structure, though, causes a lot of these riders to join if they (hope to) get to two shows a year. And the fee structure keeps a lot of riders from going to the first show because the initial cost of all those memberships is daunting.

    I think the conflict here is that USDF/USEF is getting less of those fees, and they miss them. So they would like to have more of those riders, and more willingly.
    The annual membership fee a dressage rider pays to their GMO includes a group membership in USDF. This allows that rider to participate in three star shows without having to pay out more money. What it doesn't allow is participation in USDF awards programs.

    I know the membership fees are a lot of money when they are all added up together. I pay mine out over time. They do not all have to be paid at the same time. I just paid my membership fee to CDS. In January or February I will pay my fee for a participating membership in USDF. Then before my first show next spring I will pay my fee to USEF. My horse as life time memberships to USDF and USEF. A lot of money to pay out all at once, BUT!!!! I do not have to budget for that expense again as long as I have the same horse. Many horses when purchased come with the life time memberships and those do transfer to new owners.

    It is also the holiday season. Tell your friends and family that you exchange gifts with that you would like to have your membership fees as gift.

    Unfortunately, this is the way our sport operates. I do not see the membership fees going away any time soon since that is probably the main source of revenue for USDF and USEF (both non-profit organizations). I am not uncomfortable deducting these membership fees to these non-profits on my tax return as charitable contributions. What do I really get in return? A membership which is nothing really tangible. I have to pay more $$ for any awards I earn. That I do not put on my tax return.



  10. #90
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    I'm a non-member AA who is on the bubble about joining. I'm really right on the cusp, and a good argument from either side could tip me one way or the other.

    I'm most interested in joining a GMO so I can volunteer and contribute more to the local dressage community. Other than that, the benefit of USDF membership is unclear to me. I'd like to do schooling shows for now and eventually do recognized shows, but I don't see why I'd get a full membership in USDF until my showing goals are at a higher level than they are now.

    I support the USDF's educational goal and don't think education and showing are inherently related, but I'm not sure that joining USDF would get me access to any exclusive educational perks that I can't find elsewhere. I like the idea of my membership dues going to promote instructor (separate from trainer) education and certification because I believe that's a real hole in the USA, but I'm not sure to what extent the USDF or the dressage community as a whole really values that type of program.

    I've spent some time looking around on the USDF web site and it seems like they have a billion programs and initiatives and intentions to suit just about everybody, but I hear so much negativity about USDF that I kind of wonder if it isn't more about execution than it is about the programs themselves. I think that negative perception -- that the USDF is not interested in or beneficial to AAs unless they're ubershow-ers pursuing year-end awards -- is the biggest thing that keeps me from joining. I'm not even sure if it's true, or if it's just a bad rap.

    So --- that's a perspective from one membership fee that's hanging in the balance.



  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLD View Post
    The annual membership fee a dressage rider pays to their GMO includes a group membership in USDF. This allows that rider to participate in three star shows without having to pay out more money. What it doesn't allow is participation in USDF awards programs.
    But as you of course realize, CDS alone is $70 a year. And when I lived in Southern California, I also had to join DASC to avoid non-member fees.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLD View Post
    If an AA is not showing or only showing locally (such as one star or schooling shows) then they DO NOT need a membership to the USDF or USEF.

    Look at the USDF website, it is ALL devoted to competition, education, awards. If an AA dressage rider is not interest in competing and/or moving up the dressage levels (education) then why on earth would they want to be involved and pay money to an organization that supports something the rider doesn't have interest in.

    Why try to make the USDF something it is NOT. It is an organization that is dedicated to education, the recognition of achievement and promotion of dressage,

    The USDF is not an organization for those that do not want to show, train and work their way up the levels Sorry, it is as simple as that. If you don't show/train, you don't pay membership fees... and you are not entitled to the benefits of the organization. If you do not show and you do pay membership fees, that would be like me a non-skier buying a season pass to a ski resort and then complaining that they have nothing to offer me.
    I agree completely but that is not how the USDF representives at least in principle; per the USDF website the mission is: ".....dedication to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage." Really doesn't say showing. Look at the majority of the membership, take that away and you will be left with a very small organization. Maybe it should be this way and focus itself strictly on showing and moving those riders up in the standings to be more competative with the rest of the dressage world.


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  13. #93
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    Just a note, USEF/USDF as classes that do not require you to be a member but still gives you the opportunity to show recognized if you wish, second level and below if memory serves me correctly.



  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRG View Post
    Just a note, USEF/USDF as classes that do not require you to be a member but still gives you the opportunity to show recognized if you wish, second level and below if memory serves me correctly.
    Yes, the Opportunity Classes. You don't have to pay the USEF Drug Fee either.



  15. #95
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    It seems that USDF has a promotional problem, as several of these programs exist:

    Rider Performance Awards are for training, first, and second levels- 4 scores over 60%. http://www.usdf.org/awards/performance/rider-awards.asp
    There are also Horse Certificates for each level.

    Opportunity Classes allow an individual to show at rated shows without paying membership fees. The smallest rated shows (Level 1) can offer these at training, first and second level. Level 2 shows can offer training and first. Level 3 shows can offer training level.

    Joining a GMO gives you a group membership in USDF. You can show at almost any rated show with this membership (not Championship-type shows). However, your scores don't count towards USDF Awards programs. You only need to buy a separate Participating Membership in USDF if you want to qualify for Championships or USDF Awards.

    On another note, I think the One-Day-Show concept from the Arab world is definitely worth considering. It could bring a lot of the current schooling shows into the rated world without increasing the fees much (if no EMT, no TD on site, and greatly reduced paperwork).


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  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post

    Perhaps some awards achievable at first and second only along the same lines would be worth adding. Instead of the medal, add some new idea of a rank when you get say 5 or 10 60+ scores at first or second. Or perhaps do those in conjunction with the Rider tests. The idea being that you get a line in the sand of "See, I'm competent at X level" that can be accumulated over time and never goes away. And you can award say a nice ribbon for it, too, something that they'd be pleased to display.
    USDF has that already - the Horse Performance Certificates. But you do need the PM Membership and have your horse Lifetime registered. Maybe if they opened it to GMO Members?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by joiedevie99 View Post
    It seems that USDF has a promotional problem, as several of these programs exist:

    Rider Performance Awards are for training, first, and second levels- 4 scores over 60%. http://www.usdf.org/awards/performance/rider-awards.asp
    There are also Horse Certificates for each level.

    Opportunity Classes allow an individual to show at rated shows without paying membership fees. The smallest rated shows (Level 1) can offer these at training, first and second level. Level 2 shows can offer training and first. Level 3 shows can offer training level.

    Joining a GMO gives you a group membership in USDF. You can show at almost any rated show with this membership (not Championship-type shows). However, your scores don't count towards USDF Awards programs. You only need to buy a separate Participating Membership in USDF if you want to qualify for Championships or USDF Awards.

    On another note, I think the One-Day-Show concept from the Arab world is definitely worth considering. It could bring a lot of the current schooling shows into the rated world without increasing the fees much (if no EMT, no TD on site, and greatly reduced paperwork).
    This information is all on their web site. Not sure USDF has a promotional problem. Seems to me like there is more of a problem with people not taking the time to find out what there.



  18. #98
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    They have a problem with continuity as well. The website says to look in the member guide for info on the Rider Performance Awards, but there is no mention of them in the guide, only the horse certificates.



  19. #99
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    yaya - It's on page 18.



  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLD View Post
    The USDF is not an organization for those that do not want to show, train and work their way up the levels Sorry, it is as simple as that. If you don't show/train, you don't pay membership fees... and you are not entitled to the benefits of the organization. If you do not show and you do pay membership fees, that would be like me a non-skier buying a season pass to a ski resort and then complaining that they have nothing to offer me.
    Well, that is one reason they ARE losing members. Not everyone is oriented toward moving up the levels - many (the vast majority) of members are middle class, working people who don't have the money or time (or physical ability), but are still happy to own their horses, show once or twice a year, maybe at 1st level. They want to learn, to do the best they can, within their realistic monetary, time, and physical limits. If USDF can't reach out to that group and provide them something for their membership fees, they lose that huge portion of their membership.

    Things like the All Breeds Awards reach out to us - a way to recognize the rider who doesn't have the fancy Warmblood. The rider medals reach out to us (but now we have to pay extra for those). But what else is there for this huge portion of the membership?


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