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

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  • Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
    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...
    Thanks for this, Seigi. I do want to mention to everyone that one of our biggest supporters was Karen Offield, who paved the way for us to receive WEG scores. Her generosity and enthusiasm for wanting to improve the sport using actual data is truly admirable. Hats off to this woman. It is unfortunate that many others weren't as enthusiastic as she was.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

    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.
      To be completely honest with you, yes. In my life, memberships have slipped away completely in years I haven't shown because I don't perceive a benefit from keeping those memberships. I'd rather spend hundreds on clinics or lessons than membership fees. For the first show or two, it is cheaper to drop the membership fees than pay them. When I was breeding and not showing I dropped my memberships. I'd rather have $300 to apply to a semen shipment than memberships that aren't doing much for me. It's sad to say but I am one of those dressage people on a budget finding creative ways to do my best in the sport. I LOVE this sport and leaving it because I'm not wealthy enough to easily afford it simply isn't an option. I make more sacrifices than you know.
      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

      Comment


      • re: breed/area bias. i don't think the results of the nerd herd prove breed bias one way or another.

        why? because

        1) judges don't usually know the breeds of the horse
        2) folks with non WBs "generally" are those that are not in full training, or live in areas that are not strong in dressage etc.
        3) folks with fancy WBs "tend" to be in training with good trainers.

        all the above can lead to results that look like breed bias.

        so i guess what i am saying is: i think there are other causes to the score differentiation than breed bias.

        Comment


        • 1) judges don't usually know the breeds of the horse

          I'm not sure I would agree with this. I have had far too many judges (or has the scribe ask) ask me what my horse is when I have saluted/leaving the arena. This has occurred with multiple horses of mine, not just one. I am not using this as proof to breed bias but I do think that if it's something unusual, curiosity does lead them to the knowledge. I have never, ever seen scores crossed out and "redone" based on my answer To date I can remember 3 times over all these years and tests a judge asking me before my test. I felt during each of those times I received a fair score; so, again I don't think my answer influenced the scoring.

          Also, for the years I showed my Bey Shah gelding, no one ever asked me what he was because they didn't have to, it was obvious. I have also scribed for a judge who made it clear that she didn't care for Arabs and announced the breed of each Arab when it came down the center line. This was many years ago but she is still judging.

          So while my experience is in no way a replacement for statistics or data gathering, my impression is that judges often do know what someone is riding.
          Ranch of Last Resort

          Comment


          • The analysis of the scores should not be interpreted as "breed bias" necessarily by judges themselves. It could reflect how the US judges are being instructed to score (by USDF/USEF), or how dressage scoring trends are moving in general. The study does validate that "on average" (for whatever reasons) some breeds do score higher than others.

            Maybe those current with the judge's training can chime in, but if I can recall from L-judges program, gait has a huge impact on each and every movement score.

            Back in the days of the dinosaurs, gaits were scored in the collective marks and the rest of the dressage test was a test of obedience and training.

            So, if USDF/USEF are losing members, it might be due to lack of interest in showing in competitions where intuitively people feel the test is skewed against one's breed.

            As far as maintaining membership, if one only shows a few times a year, it's just as easy to pay non-member fee at a show.
            Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
            Alfred A. Montapert

            Comment


            • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
              The analysis of the scores should not be interpreted as "breed bias" necessarily by judges themselves. It could reflect how the US judges are being instructed to score (by USDF/USEF), or how dressage scoring trends are moving in general. The study does validate that "on average" (for whatever reasons) some breeds do score higher than others.
              But some breeds have been breed for decades and decades to excel at dressage. These breeds have say - a walk with good overstep - which must be shown to score well in the extended walk. I don't think its fair to say something like the judge doesn't like _____ breed. The criteria favors certain horses. (IMO)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Perfect Pony

                If you aren't out there showing, then why would you become a member or even care?
                well because the USDF has HUGE leverage on the direction of dressage in this country. so as a life long dressage addict i care about what forces are working on the sport that i live for.

                If the USDF had more things for me then i might join - but as it is right now my $$ go farther elsewhere.

                i want to join and i want to know my $$ are helping me and my goals and also helping the sport i love.

                right now that is not the case.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Perfect Pony
                  What I posted gives dressage an elitist label? Geeze, I don't even show! I guess I just don't expect much from the national organizations. Every single sport has national and local organizations one has to join if they want to compete. When I raced motorcycles I had to join the AMA as well as the regional and local organizations. I never expected much from the AMA - a magazine, lobbying on the behalf of motorcycle riders, sponsoring major events.

                  I guess I am confused what exactly people expect? And sure, complain that the orgs don't do enough. All I was commenting on was the cost, especially relative to owning a horse. I just don't see how it's cost prohibitive in the grand scheme of things.

                  If you aren't out there showing, then why would you become a member or even care?
                  The analogy is AMA = USEF.....and truly, I don't expect a lot from them.

                  But the USDF is a member organization....they should be lobbying on behalf of member in Arkansas.....Oklahoma.......Dakotas.....and any state that's not withing a day's drive of the east or west coast....or Florida on how to help its members improve their riding. Let the USEF, our National Equestrian Federation, deal with the competition stuff.

                  Originally posted by Perfect Pony
                  Oh, and personally I think what is wrong with the dressage community is illustrated on the "Western Dressage" threads.
                  I agree with this.....but the point is that instead of "welcoming" the western riders into the tent, the statement by USDF is pretty off-putting.
                  http://www.usdf.org/press/news/view-news.asp?news=643

                  Anything below 3rd level is basic horse riding. Any horse should be able to do it....western, arab, QH, etc. USDF should say, "Come join us and we will help you." USDF has a huge potential market of people who currently ride by putting a "western" saddle on their horse. If they would embrace those people, some might become paying members of USDF.
                  Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                  Alfred A. Montapert

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by dudleyc View Post
                    But some breeds have been breed for decades and decades to excel at dressage. These breeds have say - a walk with good overstep - which must be shown to score well in the extended walk. I don't think its fair to say something like the judge doesn't like _____ breed. The criteria favors certain horses. (IMO)
                    And who sets that criteria?

                    Back in the days of the dinosaurs, (like when the FEI was created and the first Olympic equestrian events were held ca 1912) horses were "using" horses. Dressage was a test of obedience. The competitions were ridden by cavalry officers who came from a tradition where they rode their horses to war and the horse was key to the safety of the rider's life. Obedience and agility were key. Gaits were considered but as a small factor overall.

                    Now, the criteria have changed and gaits override all. If that's the case, then let's call it a materiale class and be done with it.

                    The USDF doe NOT have to follow the FEI for National tests. It can decide the criteria that is appropriate for the assortment of horses we have in this country.

                    Instead, we cave to the European model.....again.
                    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                    Alfred A. Montapert

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by mbm View Post
                      re: breed/area bias. i don't think the results of the nerd herd prove breed bias one way or another.

                      why? because

                      1) judges don't usually know the breeds of the horse
                      2) folks with non WBs "generally" are those that are not in full training, or live in areas that are not strong in dressage etc.
                      3) folks with fancy WBs "tend" to be in training with good trainers.

                      all the above can lead to results that look like breed bias.

                      so i guess what i am saying is: i think there are other causes to the score differentiation than breed bias.
                      MBM, I do agree with you about some of your points - generally, those with expensive WBs are in training, thus have a better chance at getting higher scores. But I disagree that judges don't know the breed - if you ride an Arab, or a Friesian, or an Appaloosa (with spots), the minute you come down the centerline, the judge knows. And some of them don't care, and others do. Having ridden a Friesian, I can tell you some judges are biased - that is a breed you can't disguise (even if you shave feathers and pull mane, which I did).

                      In general, when analyzing numbers - the numbers don't lie, but the conclusions we come to are based on human thought processes, expectations, and our own bias. If you torture numbers enough, you can get them to say anything. But - the point is, the numbers do indicate that perhaps USDF should ask a few questions, perform some more analysis, question whether all is perfect in paradise!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                        Maybe those current with the judge's training can chime in, but if I can recall from L-judges program, gait has a huge impact on each and every movement score.

                        Back in the days of the dinosaurs, gaits were scored in the collective marks and the rest of the dressage test was a test of obedience and training.

                        So, if USDF/USEF are losing members, it might be due to lack of interest in showing in competitions where intuitively people feel the test is skewed against one's breed.

                        .
                        You are correct, almost every single score is based on quality of gaits, then other collectives, then criteria of the movement. And yes, I remember back in the good ol' days when the big gaits meant you scored extra in that one collective mark (Gaits), and the ocassional brilliance movement, such as medium (or extended) trot. So you could still go out on an average moving horse, and if you were a good rider and your horse was well trained, you could still be competitive. The big moving horse got an extra few points at the end.

                        This is how judges are instructed to judge - and I think it is one of the big reasons that many are becoming disillusioned with the discipline. USDF has a lot of influence in how our judges judge .

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by dudleyc View Post
                          That info is on the USDF website - it was really weird. Region 1 has 15 GMO's each has around 100 members (with one large group of 1000), Region 2's 15 GMO's had around 200 members, region 3 - 300, region 4 - 400 region 5 500......held true up to region 9 where the GMO's had around 900. many regions had 1 or two large GMO's with around 1000 members (CDS is listed as 700 - of course it is in region 7)

                          Sorry I'm a number pattern geek

                          http://www.usdf.org/clubs/list.asp?r...9&Typepass=GMO
                          Region 1 has 15 GMOs. The number following the name of the GMO is not the number of members. You have to click on the name of the GMO and open the next page. The first GMO listed is Commonwealth Dressage (134). When you open to the next page is says there are 22 recorded members.

                          Region 7 (California, Nevada and Hawaii) has 7 GMOs. Four of those are in Hawaii. One has no listed members (Dressage Association of So Cal) and CDS has 930 recorded members.

                          So each region is very different in how many members are in the GMOs and the sub-areas the GMOs represent.

                          I live in Nevada. I am a member of CDS. I can see where Hawaii would want their own GMO, but 4 of them.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by mjhco View Post
                            And THIS is why it is good to know your resources.

                            The Dressage Foundation DOES offer grants for educational events.
                            Our local chapter of CDS (we have about 75 members here in N. NV) applied for a Dressage Foundation Grant last year for a freestyle clinic and had no problem getting the grant. The grant money helped us to cover the cost of the clinician, her expenses, kept the riding fee for the clinic low and we did not charge an audit fee for auditors. The chapter lost about $12 on this clinic. Our chapter tries to put on at least one large clinic like this a year. We also have AA and open riders/members that bring in other BNT such as Catherine Haddad, Micheal Etherly, Ellen Eckstein, Rachel Savvadra, etc. These clinics are not sponsored by our GMO, local chapter or USDF. It is just people that take the time to put together a clinic to better our dressage community. We don't expect anything out of USDF and/or CDS. We want to improve our dressage community so we rely on ourselves to do so.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                              And who sets that criteria?

                              Back in the days of the dinosaurs, (like when the FEI was created and the first Olympic equestrian events were held ca 1912) horses were "using" horses. Dressage was a test of obedience. The competitions were ridden by cavalry officers who came from a tradition where they rode their horses to war and the horse was key to the safety of the rider's life. Obedience and agility were key. Gaits were considered but as a small factor overall.

                              Now, the criteria have changed and gaits override all. If that's the case, then let's call it a materiale class and be done with it.

                              The USDF doe NOT have to follow the FEI for National tests. It can decide the criteria that is appropriate for the assortment of horses we have in this country.

                              Instead, we cave to the European model.....again.
                              The tests are USEF testsn not DF tests. The newest ones were rewritten to reduce the effect of gaits, but yes, they do form the basis of all the scores.

                              And, if we want to "raise up" competitors to eventually compete at the International levels, don't you think it would be best if the tests they take lead to the same standards? Right now we have the second or third number of riders in the global top 100- but only one rider, S. Peters, in the top 25.

                              Of course, MOST of DFs members are not heading there - and it is THOSE members that are being left behind.

                              Comment


                              • The number after the GMO name is the GMO's number , Has nothing to do with the number of members. Might have something to do with when the GMO was established.?

                                Originally posted by MLD View Post
                                Region 1 has 15 GMOs. The number following the name of the GMO is not the number of members. You have to click on the name of the GMO and open the next page. The first GMO listed is Commonwealth Dressage (134). When you open to the next page is says there are 22 recorded members.

                                Region 7 (California, Nevada and Hawaii) has 7 GMOs. Four of those are in Hawaii. One has no listed members (Dressage Association of So Cal) and CDS has 930 recorded members.

                                So each region is very different in how many members are in the GMOs and the sub-areas the GMOs represent.

                                I live in Nevada. I am a member of CDS. I can see where Hawaii would want their own GMO, but 4 of them.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Perfect Pony
                                  What I posted gives dressage an elitist label? Geeze, I don't even show! I guess I just don't expect much from the national organizations. Every single sport has national and local organizations one has to join if they want to compete. When I raced motorcycles I had to join the AMA as well as the regional and local organizations. I never expected much from the AMA - a magazine, lobbying on the behalf of motorcycle riders, sponsoring major events.

                                  I guess I am confused what exactly people expect? And sure, complain that the orgs don't do enough. All I was commenting on was the cost, especially relative to owning a horse. I just don't see how it's cost prohibitive in the grand scheme of things.

                                  If you aren't out there showing, then why would you become a member or even care?
                                  The point is that USDF says it is for all dressage riders, whether competitors or not. But, that is not really the case -

                                  Your comments create an elitist image because
                                  1. you assume (or seem to assume) that only competitors really "care" about the sport, so really those are the only ones DF should be concerned with.
                                  2. And you seem to assume that If you do not compete, or do not belong due to ...just $300 in fees... (not an exact quote), well, why should you care about the direction of dressage in the USA?
                                  3. And finally, the feeling that non-competitors have nothing to add to the diversity and depth of the dressage experience in the USA.

                                  It is important that DF maintain a "big tent" -which they SAY they want to do - yet so often those of us with alternative breeds, or who do not show, or are beginners on older generous horses....... feel left out. UNLESS, that is, we join a GMO, get involved, and get the GMO to offer what WE need. Many GMO feel that DF does not support those efforts at the grass roots as much as they could/should.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by lorilu View Post
                                    The number after the GMO name is the GMO's number , Has nothing to do with the number of members. Might have something to do with when the GMO was established.?
                                    oh duh, so funny how stupid I can be lol.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by lorilu View Post
                                      The tests are USEF tests not DF tests. The newest ones were rewritten to reduce the effect of gaits, but yes, they do form the basis of all the scores.

                                      And, if we want to "raise up" competitors to eventually compete at the International levels, don't you think it would be best if the tests they take lead to the same standards? Right now we have the second or third number of riders in the global top 100- but only one rider, S. Peters, in the top 25.

                                      Of course, MOST of DFs members are not heading there - and it is THOSE members that are being left behind.
                                      It should not be the role of the USDF to "raise up" international competitors. The USDF is a member organization that should support the needs of the majority of the members, not some elite sub-set who want to go to international competitions. Those people have their own committee....it is called the USEF High Performance Committee.

                                      The USEF dressage tests are written by members of the USEF Dressage Committee....and guess who is on that committee.....all are USDF leaders
                                      http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/AboutUs...eeDisplay.aspx

                                      The USDF leaders who are on the USEF Dressage Committee should be advocating for USDF members by proposing programs and NATIONAL tests that would favor the greatest number of horses and riders in the US.

                                      Once you get to CDI's the FEI tests come into play.....so its another game.....a game that the majority of USDF members will probably not play.

                                      Here's who's on that USEF Dressage Committee that associated themselves with the AADI....

                                      MS JAYNE AYERS - Chair
                                      DR. HILARY M. CLAYTON
                                      MRS JANET FOY
                                      MS LISA GORRETTA
                                      MR AXEL STEINER
                                      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                                      Alfred A. Montapert

                                      Comment


                                      • pluvinel.... this is probably a stupid question, but how are the members of the USEF Dressage Committee put into place?

                                        Thanks for all of your insights into this big mystery... :-)
                                        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
                                          pluvinel.... this is probably a stupid question, but how are the members of the USEF Dressage Committee put into place?

                                          Thanks for all of your insights into this big mystery... :-)
                                          Good question....I don't have the answer....'tis one of those cosmic mysteries. I'm just a schmoe/smurf nerding away in the hinterlands.

                                          Perhaps it might be a question for USDF/USEF.....pls let us know if you find out. Maybe an AA from COTH can volunteer to be on the committee.....
                                          Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                                          Alfred A. Montapert

                                          Comment

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