I am very involved with our local GMO, STRIDE of Ocala. What do I like about it? We have 5 schooling shows at the Florida Horse Park (wonderful facility), an awards program and banquet, monthly meetings with guest speakers on all sorts of topics, at least one clinic a year (sometimes two, since we have many driven dressage members - they get a clinic too!), a fairly good newsletter and facebook page and website, and a very diverse membership. I like that we cooperate with North Fla Dressage in Jax. with a "North Florida Region Schooling Show Championship" show.
We try hard to meet the needs of our members. We don't bring in big name clinicians, since most of our members could not afford it, even if the club picked up a big portion of the fee. There are lots of clinicians who come thru Ocala, and we always advertise them to our members if we know about them - so they can enter, or audit. Many of our members are TL-First riders, but every year we have more riders in the second and above category - this year we were able to divide out the FEI level for awards.
What do I wish? More members would get involved - not just as volunteers (we can usually round up what we need) but as ORGANIZERS of events. Even with the offer of lots of help and guidance, no one seems to want to step up to get something started (except the handfull of us who seem to do it all). I wish we had more JR/YR, but they all seem to be H/J around here, and even tho we offer prix caprilli at our shows, they rarely come. I REALLY wish some of the local upper level riders would be more involved - hell, I wish they would become members! - so we could tap into their ideas and abilities. I'd like to offer more clinics - they mostly come out even money wise - but just wish some others would step up to do it!
I've been a member of the Paso Del Norte DS, Western PA DS and Houston DS. I have to say that I enjoyed my membership in each and each offered different things due primarily to budget.
PdNDS sponsored recognized and schooling shows, plus year end awards for members. They were also involved in the eventing community when I was a member. The members are close-knit and supportive, a really cool community of people.
I wasn't too involved in the WPDA but my barn did sponsor the WPDA annual amateur "retreat", which was great. Two FEI-level riders (one was a breeder, one was a judge) came in for the weekend and gave lectures and two half-hour lessons per day per rider. Auditing was open to all. Very educational and very fun!
HDS had a large membership and $$, and offered a number of educational events. They sponsored a breeding clinic with Hilda G, Jr. clinics, and other clinics. They also sponsored an educational didactic session with Janey Foy and Lois Yukins (poorly attended but it was poorly advertized). They also sponsored several shows and offered alot of opportunities for scribing, etc. I think I might have liked for them to do more amateur-oriented events but I really don't have many complaints about the group - I think they did a very good job.
Originally Posted by katarine
Please share your stories of how your GMO serves its members. Hosting Clinics? Excellent meeting topics? Newsletters? The number of shows? Options for greenbeans? young riders? donkeys (just testing your reading comprehension with that last one)?
I would love to hear your input on what's pretty cool about your GMO.
And what would you like to see the GMO STOP doing?
And what would you like to see the GMO START doing?