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Letter to USEF BOD re Performance Standards

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  • #21
    And if they do this for dressage, will they then put this same Nanny of America bullshit on the hunter/jumper people?

    Comment


    • #22
      Well, according to the COTH coverage of the USHJA convention, they do want to start licensing course designers and requiring instructor certification in order to show. Doesn't seem too much of a stretch from there to start having performance standards for competing in the h/j classes.

      Comment


      • #23
        FWIW, here's what mine said:

        Dear USEF Board of Directors

        RE Proposed Rule Change No. 275.07

        Re the referenced rule change, I am a USEF, USDF and California Dressage Society member. And if I had needed a babysitter, I would have hired one. I do not need a paternalistic rule sent down by my governing body to do the same.

        Let's get real. We have a sport with a huge reliance on sponsors and volunteers and the money they pour into the sport. And now there is a proposal to raise the middle finger at those very people with a Nanny Of America rule re moving up the levels?

        If the judges who do not wish to see crappy rides at upper levels are so offended by it, then they should stop judging. What are they going to do next, petition the FEI to keep the riders from developing dressage nations out of the international competitions because they might only trot off with a 54%?

        The arrogance is overwhelming. It smacks of paternalistic, socialist nannying, and is certainly not the American way. What's next, having to qualify to ride in the AO Hunters?

        Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

        Comment


        • #24
          Snippy, snippy Coreene....I love it. LOL

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by Coreene View Post
            And if they do this for dressage, will they then put this same Nanny of America bullshit on the hunter/jumper people?
            They wouldn't do that at least not until there is some actual competition coming up the ranks or there is more money coming in at the upper levels for the USEF than the lower levels generate which isn't happening soon but could happen eventually. It would damage the business model the h/j world has been using for years to stay afloat. The old "You're child has Olympic potential." routine wouldn't work as well and the market for experienced horses would falter because people at the lower end of the skill spectrum wouldn't be able to blow their dough trying to buy their way to the top like they do now. If you look at the UL h/j talent pool, it's pretty shallow (personality references aside) because of the expenses which are way out of control due to the social institution that particular sport has become. You have to live in certain places, train with certain trainers, fall in line with certain beliefs, and have at least six and a half figures yearly to commit to your riding or you're just another nugget of poo in the toilet bowl as far as they are concerned.
            Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

            Comment


            • #26
              "You have to live in certain places, train with certain trainers, fall in line with certain beliefs, and have at least six and a half figures yearly to commit to your riding or you're just another nugget of poo in the toilet bowl as far as they are concerned."

              which seems to be the direction that (the powers that be in the org. for) dressage is heading towards
              Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

              The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

              Comment


              • #27
                Unlike dressage, in the H/J there is a built-in limiting factor other than just fear of embarassing yourself -- fear of death and dismemberment. You can enter your horse in level 4 jumpers, but if you as a pair aren't ready to do that level, you won't get past the first few jumps because the horse is going to know better than you what it can and can't do. Or if you have a terrifically brave horse with no sense of self-preservation, you will soon enough get one or the other of you seriously injured.

                That's not to say we don't see plenty of folks in jumper classes where they should probably be down a level, or where the rounds aren't pretty, but it's really not practical to go more than about one level above where you really should be -- at least, not more than a few times.
                Last edited by Portia; Jan. 4, 2008, 01:58 PM.
                "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry

                Comment


                • #28
                  How unfortunate that some members of the Dressage Committee have sent out the most rude, bitchy, condescending replies to people who have taken the time to write. They should remember that there is a forward option on emails. Seeing the true colors demonstrated by some of them was absolutely mortifying.

                  My email went to the USEF BoD, not the Dressage Committee. Fortunately they have been very receptive to hearing our comments. But a few of the people on the Dressage Committee are just disgraceful.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Post Those Puppies Here!

                    Coreene, please post those rude and nasty replies here so we can see too!
                    DulciusexAsperis
                    http://www.facebook.com/Susanlvs2jmp

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by SueCoo2 View Post
                      Coreene, please post those rude and nasty replies here so we can see too!
                      I didn't contact the Dressage Committee, so I did not receive them; these were emails sent back to others who had contacted those members. I will leave it up to them to share them here, but I was just mortified.

                      Members taking the time to explain their concerns to Dressage Committee members - people who are supposed to be representing us, the membership - and instead of no response or a generic "thank you for sharing your thoughts," a few of these absolute bitches decided that it was appropriate for them to send back condescending, unspeakably rude responses. I mean, really the email version of "eff you, bitch." Which is why I am glad that there is a forwarding option on emails.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        [quote=Coreene;2910883]........If the judges who do not wish to see crappy rides at upper levels are so offended by it, then they should stop judging....../quote]

                        perhaps those judges (that we mortals so offend) should limit the jobs they will accept to Wellington and Devon?
                        Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                        The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I sent my rather lengthy letter to the entire USEF dressage committee and some board members today. So far, I've received civil and personal responses.

                          Thanks, Rebecca, for spearheading the campaign!

                          J.
                          Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by rebecca yount View Post
                            Got a reply to my email version of the letter from Archibald Cox, one of the BOD members, and he said he will look into the matter. I'm impressed that he answered.

                            I can't help but think that letters and emails to all of the BOD members will bear some fruit. I think it's worth the time and the $20 or so in postage. They will have a paper in their hand to take to the USEF convention.
                            Great letter, Rebecca.

                            Archie was a good friend of mine when we were juniors; he is a great person and I am sure he will take your letter seriously.
                            Roseknoll Sporthorses
                            www.roseknoll.net

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                              I didn't contact the Dressage Committee, so I did not receive them; these were emails sent back to others who had contacted those members. I will leave it up to them to share them here, but I was just mortified.

                              Members taking the time to explain their concerns to Dressage Committee members - people who are supposed to be representing us, the membership - and instead of no response or a generic "thank you for sharing your thoughts," a few of these absolute bitches decided that it was appropriate for them to send back condescending, unspeakably rude responses. I mean, really the email version of "eff you, bitch." Which is why I am glad that there is a forwarding option on emails.

                              I would draft a follow-up letter to the USEF and attach those responses to demonstrate how considerate those particular dressage committee members are of the members at large. Surely, if one cannot review and consider comments directed at a rule proposal, one should not "serve" on a committee. I think a number of these people need to get a reality check.

                              Theoretically, rules are supposed to address identifiable issues, and should be tailored narrowly to successully deal with those issues without having adverse consequences (whether foreseeable or not). In the case of this particular proposal, I am still not convinced there is any real, identifiable problem (such as poor riding or abuse). To the extent there is, as others have said, there are more efffective and direct ways to deal with these that would not be unduly burdensome to the vast majority of riders out there who do not present any issue.
                              Roseknoll Sporthorses
                              www.roseknoll.net

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                From another BB:

                                << "I have been asked to post the following memo from the USEF Dressage
                                Committee.

                                I hope that all of you who read it; read it in the manner and spirit in which
                                it was written. I also hope that someone will post it on the other Bulletin
                                Boards on which discussions have been taking place as I am not a member of
                                those other boards.

                                Memo from the USEF Dressage Committee Concerning the Performance Standards
                                Proposal :



                                The members of the USEF Dressage Committee have received many e-mails from
                                competitors and show organizers, and have, indeed, listened to you. We answered
                                most of your communications individually. Letters that we did not answer often
                                were of excessive length and, considering the workload of the Dressage
                                Committee, difficult for a point-by-point response.

                                We need to remind the correspondents that the document is exactly what it is
                                named, a proposal. If performance standards were to be implemented in this or
                                any other form, they would not take effect before 2010. Rather than rejecting
                                the proposal outright, competitors can contribute to the deliberations by
                                reviewing their points and percentages when they show this year. This might
                                provide us with further concrete suggestions and ideas.

                                We know that amateur riders are the backbone of our sport. The goal of the DC
                                is to re-work this proposal and to find a system that is fair to the horses
                                and allows riders with average horses who are on the right track with their
                                training to move to the next level expeditiously.

                                Most judges do complete the score sheets with great care and try hard to give
                                competitors the scores they deserve. Unfortunately, some riders do not agree
                                or choose to ignore the judges’ comments. With our proposal, we will try to
                                find a solution that will work well for all dressage sport participants. Also,
                                please keep in mind that the proposal to be voted on at the USEF Convention in
                                January 2008 will only establish a time-line for developing a qualification
                                system. When the performance standards proposal is finalized, the qualification
                                requirements will be submitted as a separate rule change proposal."

                                Respectfully,
                                USEF Dressage Committee>>


                                adding from myself:

                                No, I am not appeased or particularly grateful.

                                If the Committee wants to do something productive, I can only hope they start focusing on education--teaching trainers HOW to teach; developing a standardized codified system, the way they do in Europe.

                                The proposal is misguided. No matter how courteous this reply is; no matter how watered down the finalized proposal presentation is--the bottom line is--something that is essentially misguided does not improve by window-dressing. The heart and core of the proposal is still misguided.
                                IMHO.

                                OTOH--I am very grateful that we are all now talking like adults and adopting common courtesy.

                                WRITE to the BoD!!!!

                                Otherwise, the BoD will just think everyone accepts this new sanitized version of the proposal.
                                one oak, lots of canyons

                                http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  So, the bottom line in that memo is that we shouldn't be concerned bcause the proposal, if implemented, will not be effective until 2010, and by the way, in the meantime, we should review the scores we receive? What is that supposed to mean? Are they suggesting that we should not worry because by then we could be grandfathered in anyway? I am not sure how the proposed effective date of the rule has anything to do with the merits (or lack thereof) of the rule.

                                  Will someone please explain what problem they are trying to fix? I have not seen one explanation that justifies (or even explains) the implementation of such a rule. Not one.
                                  Roseknoll Sporthorses
                                  www.roseknoll.net

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Did anyone beside me get the email on their personal email from the committee? I did... Hope I'm not being singled out! But if I am, oh, well, here was my response to the email. I tried to be respectful and thoughtful!

                                    .................................................. ..

                                    I appreciate that the USEF Dressage Committee is trying to improve dressage in this country, and I think the committee has the best of intentions. I honestly believe the committee wants to improve dressage in the U.S. because it is made up of a group of individuals that I highly, highly respect.

                                    However, unlike your email states, I do wonder if the committee IS really listening to members (USEF and USDF), many of whom -- including myself -- do not want a qualification system at this time. I say "at this time," because I'm not opposed to a qualifying system in the future (later than 2010) -- because right now I don't believe we're anywhere near where this is the best way to use limited resources (staff and money). My belief is that we need to be putting the effort toward education because when a rider goes into the ring at a show, it is "after the fact." I'd rather see effort put toward teaching people how to ride, and teaching instructors how to teach. We are not like Germany and other European countries; not only are these much, much smaller country with access to many shows within a close distance, but more importantly, these countries have an infrastructure that could be likened to our baseball culture where there is "Little League," and baseball is a part of high school and college programs, for example. We are not at that point yet with a system of riding schools and education. We just can't copy another country's system and expect it to work here.

                                    Should a qualifying system be put into place -- perhaps a version with much easier qualifications, in order to make it more "palatable" to members, I'm afraid it really won't do what the USEF committee is hoping it will do (because the requirements have been watered down), and we will be stuck with the technology, staff and administrative expense of supporting a data base/monitoring system that isn't doing what was hoped.

                                    Anyway, as I said, it appears the wheels are set in motion, so since a qualifying system really appears to be a "done deal" according to your email ("When the performance standards proposal is finalized..."), I do hope that the expense of such a system (staff time, programming, postage, administrative costs, etc.) will be a part of the information disseminated to members as well as how it will affect membership dues and/or showing costs. (The expense has to be picked up somewhere!) I also hope if a qualification system is put in place that the technology can nearly instantly keep track of a rider's scores so that when riders meet the requirements, they could move up at the next show...which could be the next week. Once a rider is qualified, they should be able to move up to the next level quickly...and not have to wait weeks for "verification."

                                    Again, I appreciate the concern for dressage in the U.S. that the USEF Dressage Committee has. I personally would just like to see the idea redirected into another solution! : - )

                                    Caryn Vesperman
                                    USEF and USDF member (for at least 20 years!)
                                    "Dreams are the touchstone of our characters." Henry David Thoreau
                                    Touchstone Farm
                                    www.bytouchstonefarm.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                                      I would draft a follow-up letter to the USEF and attach those responses to demonstrate how considerate those particular dressage committee members are of the members at large. Surely, if one cannot review and consider comments directed at a rule proposal, one should not "serve" on a committee. I think a number of these people need to get a reality check.
                                      I was happy to see that some of these were indeed forwarded to the Board of Directors, and more are on the way. I mean, really, some of responses from DC members were just beyond belief.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        My email to BoD:



                                        Dear Director:



                                        I am or have been a competitor, trainer, GMO board member, show manager, scribe, volunteer, instructor, “L” judge graduate, dressage teacher. I have helped other riders gain the USDF Gold Medals.



                                        I am opposed to this proposal which seeks to establish rider eligibility according to the qualification criteria established by the Federation’s Dressage Committee. The proposal itself is misguided and addresses a ‘problem’ that no one except the proposal writers seems to believe is a valid problem.



                                        One. The proposal has no checks and balances. All criteria and management of the program will be determined and changed ONLY by the Federation Dressage Committee;

                                        i.e. : NO vote ever taken, NO input every required from the membership.



                                        Two. WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS?



                                        There has been no proposed budget.

                                        It won't be just the technology that needs to be paid for, but the staff time, postage, administrative expenses, etc. All this will have to be covered somehow -- increased dues? Increased show costs?


                                        Show managers are already concerned with the high cost of showing. This proposal puts ever more burden financially and geographically on the competitor.

                                        Chances are that fewer riders will go to fewer recognized shows.



                                        Three. The latest version of the proposal offered by the Committee LOWERS the necessary scores, to appease the opponents. But lowering the standard simply allows the bad rider on the ‘fancy mover’ more latitude to move up. In dressage tests, there is only one score for rider, all others apply to the horse.



                                        The proposal wants to foster ‘better riding.’ To this end, we ask that the judges makes use of the RIDER SCORE, newly given more weight with coefficient of 3, the only score that has such a high coefficient.



                                        We already have a Rider Medals program in place through USDF, rewarding better riding..



                                        thank you for your time and attention,
                                        one oak, lots of canyons

                                        http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I agree with canyonoak.....the solution is the TRAINING of trainers.

                                          Once upon a time, there was a university that admits all comers, pretty soon the teachers got tired of having to deal with the students lack of basic skills, so they got together to solve the problem and.............they raised the standards to get into the university. Pretty soon they were teaching to empty classrooms.
                                          If they would have focused their energies into improving the training of the lower grades, everybody lives happily ever after.

                                          There is nothing wrong with having high standards but there is something wrong when basic instruction is so difficult to find by the average dressage amateur. (There is another thread now on how many years people felt they have wasted getting improper instruction.)

                                          I've been through 6 trainers in dressage over the years. My current trainer is German, all others have been American. The German went through the German certification process and actually, until she told me about it, I had no idea there was such a serious and rigorous process in place anywhere to train horses.

                                          Needless to say she is the best trainer I've had to date.
                                          Uncle Fester

                                          "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

                                          Comment

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