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Calling all US AA's................

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  • Perfect Pony,

    It's a matter of priorities and perceived value. I start out each year with a set amount of my income set aside for expenses on the horses. Yes, I have multiple horses. I may or may not show them depending on how much money I have/have left. I do not think memberships should be free. I do think memberships and show entry fees are increasing to a point that most of us in the middle to even upper middle income bracket have to cut some things out (and then they call me to see if I'll volunteer which if I'm not working I do). Just because you choose to set your priorities differently does not mean your choices are the right ones for me or vice versa. Again, I budget for the whole year. Depending on what the show fees are (now they have gone from $60 for one FEI class to $75 per FEI class - just as one example) I will actually schedule the entire year based on two main things - my set funds (that is divided among hay, farrier charges, vet supplies, membership fees, feed supplements/ration balancer/etc, tack, and on and on .....) and what time off I have available. Again as costs go up, I show less (fewer horses and fewer shows).

    Let's be clear, I'm not crying woe is me. I consider myself quite lucky and frankly most clinic organizers are happy to take me and my cash because if one horse were to come up lame (rare, very rare, knock on wood) I can easily substitute the ride. BUT, what I am saying is that I've always spread out my money that I earn with my own job as far as I can get it to go. The higher fees go, the more things I must cut out and showing is one of those things. You can cry BS all you want; but, why is it that the last two shows I chose not to go to because the money was not there (paid for a $1900 colic bill instead) I got calls/emails from the show management wanting to find out if they "just missed my entries" in the mail!? If that is happening to a hopelessly addicted die hard like me, what about others who are on a more stringent budget? Let me put it another way, when the fees get too high for even those of us you feel have too much or don't spend it as you would,......well.....someone else either has to take our place or if the entries don't come in, they cancel the show. They've modified some of our shows to accommodate those of us who can't play as hard as we once did due to the expenses. It's funny every time the power-that-be hear this response and others like mine they first turn up their noses, cry foul, or turn a blind eye but then they see the entry fees dwindle, shows fail to fill, 3 rings go to 2 rings or 2 to 1 and then they call the riff raff who are supposedly wading in BS.

    I suppose I should sell or better yet give away some of my beasts so that I can pay the show fees and just show one.....but let's see....shall we do the math? Hmm 1 horse at FEI, one class a day at the new higher fees.......or 2 horses, 1 FEI and one below at 2 tests a day for the lower level one, 1 test a day for the FEI one....at last year's fees, or let's go 4 years ago when I would bring 3-4 because I didn't have to pay as high of a haul in fee, office fee was $10 lower and classes/tests were $35 a pop. In the end, USEF/USDF both were getting more money from me overall back in the day; but, why go on? There's a lot of BS alright but it's not just at my house
    Ranch of Last Resort

    Comment


    • i am kinda shocked at what perfect pony is saying - that since I do not choose to spend my hard earned $$ on showing - i might as well give up dressage?

      did i read that right???

      Comment


      • Originally posted by mbm View Post
        i am kinda shocked at what perfect pony is saying - that since I do not choose to spend my hard earned $$ on showing - i might as well give up dressage?

        did i read that right???


        I'm not sure if that's quite what was meant, but I do not that anytime finances get tight for me (.eE.g. medical expenses when I broke my arm last May), showing is the first thing that goes, then lessons. 10 years ago, I had a lesson every week and showed twice a month. Now, I'm, lucky if I have two lessons in a month and one show every 4-6 weeks, if that. This year, no lessons from May through July - while I had to pay someone to ride my horse, and even when I was able to ride myself, showing was out of the question while I paid (and continue to pay) what medical bills my insurance didn't cover. And that's really the case with a lot of people I am sure: One financial oops! and showing and/or training STOP.

        Comment


        • i guess i see dressage differently - to me it is my life passion - and since i know life is short i want to learn the most i can given my financial "place" ---- i know some folks really love showing - and that is cool... but to me it is the icing and not the cake and there are so many other things more important..

          Comment


          • Again, PP, it's a difference in priorities. If my horse needs shoes to be comfortable then I will pay for those before I will pay for memberships or shows. If they need veterinary care, which is what happened to me, then I will forgo the show to save the horse. I do have 3 for sale but they haven't sold yet; so, I must cut based on my priorities to keep them fed and cared for in the manner with which I see is best. That doesn't mean I will give up dressage, though. If shows are too expensive then I will cut those out or at least choose very wisely to reach my goals and keep the horses I have. I will take what "mad" money I have to pay for lessons and clinics before I will pay for a show. I think there are others that prioritize as I do. The only real difference is the number of horses I choose to maintain which leaves less for shows. Oh and before you go there, I'm not selling in order to show. I'm selling because I believe that another amateur can realize a dream or two as I did.
            Ranch of Last Resort

            Comment


            • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
              I'm in Region 2 and I could have written this almost verbatim. A few years ago our GMO had to cancel a symposium with Jan Ebeling because we couldn't get enough riders.
              He's pricey, though. He likes a rental car and a hotel room. Did your GMO significantly subsidize his costs?
              Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

              Comment


              • I'm going to agree with exvet on the issue of cost. Horse memberships are the first things that slip.
                Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                Comment


                • More people might support the membership and show fees if they felt they were getting their monies worth... whether $300 or 20.

                  I am one of the "drifted away"... after heavy involvement in my GMO chapter, a regular showing schedule, spending the equivalent of an Ivy League education on my various horses and horsey habits, I just don't have the drive to keep it up to a show-ready level. So I hack around on my FEI horses and it's all going well.

                  My suggestion is to support the AA's through education... as many said upthread, why exclude anyone as a spectator? Surely letting an ammy pull up a bleacher seat won't hurt anybody. In marketing, we have a term called an "engaged consumer"... they are the ones actively participating... anyone reading a dressage forum, dressage horse for sale ads, putting a dressage saddle on a horse, all these people are potential members. As has also been said and repeated-- the USDF knows what to do, they have an action plan to do it, but nothing seems to change.

                  I remember the dressage statistics that were compiled by members of this forum many years ago. It was accurate, and, brilliant! What happened with all that?
                  Jill
                  www.eurofoal.homestead.com
                  European bloodlines made in America

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by eurofoal View Post
                    More people might support the membership and show fees if they felt they were getting their monies worth... whether $300 or 20.

                    I am one of the "drifted away"... after heavy involvement in my GMO chapter, a regular showing schedule, spending the equivalent of an Ivy League education on my various horses and horsey habits, I just don't have the drive to keep it up to a show-ready level. So I hack around on my FEI horses and it's all going well.

                    My suggestion is to support the AA's through education... as many said upthread, why exclude anyone as a spectator? Surely letting an ammy pull up a bleacher seat won't hurt anybody. In marketing, we have a term called an "engaged consumer"... they are the ones actively participating... anyone reading a dressage forum, dressage horse for sale ads, putting a dressage saddle on a horse, all these people are potential members. As has also been said and repeated-- the USDF knows what to do, they have an action plan to do it, but nothing seems to change.

                    I remember the dressage statistics that were compiled by members of this forum many years ago. It was accurate, and, brilliant! What happened with all that?
                    Thank you.....your marketing insights are right on point regarding the "engaged consumer."

                    To answer your questions regarding the dressage stats paper......

                    A number of us (depending on time period up to 9 individuals) consisting of riders, trainers, 3 PhD's, 2 university professors and a retired manager of operations research in a department of the Federal govt. spent over one man-year's worth of work to compile and analyze the competition data. The group was colloquially called the COTH Nerd Herd.

                    The paper was published in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. It is the only (or one of the few) peer reviewed papers studying dressage stats. A copy lives at the PVDA web site.
                    http://www.pvda.org/Documents/Scorin...mpetitions.pdf

                    During our work, one of our members tried to engage 11 judges at a major show. We distributed a survey requesting their questions and "what did they want to know" to understand their questions that might be available thru analysis. What did that get us? One O judge refused to give a lesson to a Nerd for our group's audacity to ask questions.

                    Privately we did "personal lobbying"....we reached out to judges with whom we had relationships. We tried to explain our work. We suggested that this information was valuable and that it would give the US a leading edge in dressage statistics analysis. Where did that go? The US bowed to Europe to lead the way in dressage stats analysis.

                    We devoted the good part of 2 years trying to show the US dressage decision makers how the US (USDF and USEF) could take the leadership and set the gold standard for the FEI in equestrian sports scoring and analysis.

                    You could say we were engaged consumers.
                    Last edited by pluvinel; Dec. 27, 2012, 07:34 AM.
                    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                    Alfred A. Montapert

                    Comment


                    • PP, I'm thinking they are not just talking about m-ships, but mships and rated shows. I do think many people are on budgets - and many of us feel our budgets tightening every year. It is easy to say - oh cut this, cut that, sell a few horses, etc - but reality (and I'm sure Ex Vet and the others here who have multiple horses will tell you) - the market ain't so great, especially when your market is typical AA riders!

                      I saw a poll somewhere (on Facebook) and the high end breeders were increasing their breeding, seeing that market pick up - but that is not the typical middle class rider - that market continues to tank. Well, that market is the typical AA rider - the person USDF needs, but tends to ignore.

                      I'm not cutting my mships yet, but a few years ago, I thought nothing of showing 8 or 10 or 12 times during the year. This year, I'll probaby take my youngster to a handful of schooling shows, and my FEI horse to two or three shows, see if I can eke out my Silver Medal, and that is it. I'll audit a few clinics, take a few lessons monthly, and hope for no major vet bills, and that hay prices stabilize to something a little more realistic.

                      I keep my horses at home, as does ExVet - so our budgets are different then those who pay board. Showing and memberships are a huge chunk of money. Education is important, and members validly want something for that money.

                      Comment


                      • pluvinel, you nerd herd folks put together such a well-researched and intelligent paper that there was no way the USDF could accept it. Why? Because it made them look as incompetent as they have shown themselves to be over the years. Several years ago upon the formation of the USDF, there was a thread on COTH discussing the need for one ID per horse with lots of good suggestions for implementation, benefits, etc. Well, somebody from USDF got involved and basically told us that they had already implemented all that and then some, so there was no need for us to make these suggestions. Here we are so many years later and nothing has changed....

                        I think it's time the USDF act like a business organization that values its clients as well as an organization that is managed in a cost-effective manner. I haven't seen any of this in the past few years....

                        Just my opinion...
                        Siegi Belz
                        www.stalleuropa.com
                        2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                        Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                          I think it's time the USDF act like a business organization that values its clients as well as an organization that is managed in a cost-effective manner
                          But is it not the goal of a business to make a profit?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by alicen View Post
                            But is it not the goal of a business to make a profit?
                            not so much if it is a non-profit organization in which case monies brought in should be used to the furtherance of the stated goals of said non-profit
                            Last edited by SGray; Dec. 27, 2012, 06:06 PM.
                            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


                            • re high-performance vs professional vs AA vs Jr/Yr and education vs competition
                              might be nice to set goals for ed. vs comp. and then parcel out resources with some thought to % of members in hp vs pro vs aa vs jr/yr
                              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


                              • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                                ....A number of us (depending on time period up to 9 individuals) consisting of riders, trainers, 3 PhD's, 2 university professors and a retired manager of operations research in a department of the Federal govt. spent over one man-year's worth of work to compile and analyze the competition data. The group was colloquially called the COTH Nerd Herd.

                                The paper was published in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. It is the only (or one of the few) peer reviewed papers studying dressage stats. A copy lives at the PVDA web site.
                                http://www.pvda.org/Documents/Scorin...mpetitions.pdf

                                .......
                                really kind of sad that the powers that be decided against making use of all that (volunteer) brain-power/experience
                                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


                                • Wow, Pluvinel,

                                  I had never seen that article before. Some very interesting stats. My bias is of course your data regarding breed bias in judging. There it is in black and white (and orange, green and blue LOL).

                                  I've been following this discussion closely as my PVDA membership renewal has just come in the mail.

                                  Paula
                                  He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                  Comment


                                  • PVDA rocks....actually most GMO's rock. They support their members.

                                    The JQAS article was the culmination of an effort that started simply enough. The Performance Standard was proposed based on anecdotal statements about “bad riding.” The Nerds got curious about all this supposed “bad riding.” Well, how bad was it? So we went looking....and being Nerds, we did a statistical analysis.

                                    Initially we looked at a smaller subset of data. Eventually we looked at the +45,000 scores that led to the JQAS paper. Along the way, there was great debate on COTH which is how the Nerd Herd came together.

                                    During this dialog about performance standards way back in July 2008, Jayne Ayers wrote a letter to the editor of the WDCTA newsletter, the Equester. The letter was rather long at a full 2+ columns of 8x11 paper, so I will paraphrase some select comments from pages 16-17 of that issue. Electronic versions of that newsletter are not available on line, but perhaps someone from WDCTA can have it posted on their web site.

                                    Basically Ms Ayers was replying to an article the newsletter editor had written about the proposed Performance Standards in the June issue of Equester.

                                    "I was interested to read the Equester article on the proposed Performance Standards, as well as the WDCTA President's Message and Board Meeting Minutes on the subject.......

                                    The Performance Standards idea was first presented to the USDF in 2005 and again in 2006.....

                                    Anyone more than minimally involved in the sport has seen riding at the shows that makes the viewer cringe and brings on thoughts of the poor horse's daily suffering at the hands of unfeeling riders......

                                    Riders who have never been to a show have, in most cases, contributed nothing to the sport. Why should you and I pay for their lessons and training?...The really bad riding we see at shows is done by those not interested in making the effort to improve. It does us all a disservice to have this displayed in public."
                                    I hope the AADI is reading this thread.

                                    Instead of advocating for those riders who struggle to improve their skills, to help those riders improve, the USDF chose to propose a performance standard to exclude those people from showing.

                                    USDF and USEF were handed a gift with the statistical analysis. Work that would have cost many $10,000's if paid statisticians were hired, was done by volunteers and laid at the USDF/USEF doorstep. The US could have led the FEI to develop a robust standard for judging equestrian sports.

                                    Instead, Europe has led the way......again.

                                    The Performance Standard was withdrawn due to the efforts of the GMO's who understood what their membership needed.
                                    Last edited by pluvinel; Dec. 27, 2012, 07:23 PM.
                                    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                                    Alfred A. Montapert

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                      Georgia DCTA has 300 recorded members on their initial roster, Deep South (Ocala), 151
                                      STRIDE is the original Ocala area GMO - and we have about 180 members at this time. We will have more come February, when we have our first show.

                                      We have only a Chapter of Deep South here in Ocala - most of those members are in the panhandle or other places in Florida. Ocala is listed as their town because the President lives here. While they do sponsor many interesting things - Regional a few years ago, and the 2013 Adult Clinic - they do not have shows, or clinics that I know of, in this area......

                                      L

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Perfect Pony
                                        Really? Wouldn't the first thing to slip be the # of shows you attend yearly? If you truly want to show, you don't think most people could find a way to save that $300 somewhere else in their life?

                                        I just don't see how $300 in association fees a year is some huge number or is "too expensive", that's all. If you are someone actively showing at rated dressage shows that's a drop in the bucket. That's all I am saying.
                                        THIS attitude - basicly, everything PP has posted in this "minithread" - is what gives Dressage an elitist label!! USDf sees ONLY the competitors - yet they "want" the non-competitors to be members - while giving us little - unless we have a very committed and active GMO.

                                        L

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by SGray View Post
                                          re high-performance vs professional vs AA vs Jr/Yr and education vs competition
                                          might be nice to set goals for ed. vs comp. and then parcel out resources with some thought to % of members in hp vs pro vs aa vs jr/yr
                                          this is a great idea - divide up the $$ based on proportional membership. Unfortunately, I have been told (by USDf) that they actually LOSE money on group members...... so it probably would not work out so well......

                                          Comment

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