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

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  • #21
    I think something to note is that there is now a committee in the USDF aimed at AAs, and both Janet Foy and Axel Steiner have specifically sought out opinions from us. I know that many of you have felt ignored in the past, but this is an attempt to collect feedback from a wide variety of folks in every region to have a voice of what can help the general AA, not just the one headed to FEI or the one with a lot of money.


    I have had the experience in my area of inclusiveness, with a GMO who has specifically tried to come up with events for those who don't show as well as those who do. My TB who tends to get aerial and I have had the chance to clinic with a biomechanics instructor who doesn't show (two more rides with her this weekend) and Jeremy Steinberg when he was last here, and those rides on top of my trainer's help have made a HUGE difference in my ability to ride him and improve our performances as well as improve everything about him. From the impression I get, "crazy TB" wouldn't be so welcome elsewhere, no matter how nice he is when he's going well. I feel like this is a chance to help get riders in other areas the same types of chances, as well as look at other programs and opportunities to help folks improve.
    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
    -meupatdoes

    Comment


    • #22
      Netg - I have also found the two GMOs I have been involved with (both as officers as well as actively showing and participating in events) to be very inclusive, and also believe that we work hard to meet the needs of our members.

      Also, for the record I never said that USDF events were NOT inclusive, only that the forms for the regional clinics seem to imply that you have to be pretty good based on the info they want w/out describing any selection criteria and the ONE person I know that has participated was "up there" by all measures.
      I'm lucky in that I have a nice mare, we were showing 4th before the wither trauma situation, and I can hopefully handle the expenses I need to incur to get where I want with her. But I regularly see and hear people who are intimidated by the organization and don't feel any type of connection.
      So maybe one of the USDF challenges is how to communicate that it wants to be inclusive. Where I used to live I knew our rep as she lived in the area and came to our GMO meetings. In my current world, this is not the case and the GMO does not have the $$ to send anyone to the convention. I'm thinking I should track down our rep and see if she/he would come to us...It is always easier to have a good discussion when you've at least met the person you should communicate with!
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

      Comment


      • #23
        AA Drop Out

        AA drop out here...

        I won't be showing at licensed shows or renewing my membership for the first time in a few years.

        In my case, it's a MATH question...mostly (not entirely)

        Just to have enough memberships to ENTER A SHOW, I would have to pay $355 in membership fees. That's BEFORE I pick up an entry form...
        local GMO registration $60
        annual PM USDF $75
        USDF horse id $25
        USEF membership fee $55
        USEF horse fee $75
        AMHA membership fee $65

        Now, with entry form in hand...showing 1 day and not stabling for dressage on the "cheap"...
        USDF Drug Fee $16
        non-stabled horse fee $25
        office fee $25
        online entry fee $5

        So now we're at $483 and I still haven't entered a class and I'm working out of my trailer...
        $40 a class plus $10 BLM or GAIG fee per class x2 classes=$100

        =

        $583 plus gas $90=$673 for 2 CLASSES

        I love dressage, I'm sad I won't be able to continue pursuing my Silver Medal, but I just can't justify spending 25% of my income per MONTH to sign up for 2 dressage classes anymore (assuming we don't go over the fiscal cliff, in which case 28%). I get it. Horses are expensive...showing is REALLY expensive (for me)

        My local GMO isn't very active anymore--the only time I interacted with them was when I volunteered at the recognized show for a day. I did ask the local GMO VP about clinics (in case I was just missing the boat), but she said that the GMO guard was burned out and there just wasn't the enthusiasm or young blood to organize anything. I know clinic organizing is a huge undertaking, so I understand. I certainly don't have time (though I do volunteer to help if someone else organizes) with a full time job, working part-time at the barn, and odd other jobs for trainer.

        As I recall, riding in the USDF clinics are expensive (even for members)...so I never went, choosing to audit or ride in private and far more local dressage clinics instead.

        I know most AAs probably aren't in my low financial bracket, but that's my math.

        I do think if USDF had or advertised more clinics around the country that I would go audit, even if I couldn't ride. It seems to me that we DESPERATELY need ONE website that people hosting clinics open to auditors can list. A DRESSAGE CLINIC LIST by REGION for when BNT or Riders are coming to the area. VADA doesn't. The local GMO doesn't either. Nor does USDF unless it is one of the few clinics they themselves sponsor. It's all word of mouth around here! Just a small suggestion.

        Comment


        • #24
          Well, for starters, don't know how ....willing?....I am to accept at face value anything from Janet Foy-Brown. She was one of the leaders in the Qualification Standard brou-hah-hah; she was the one who said she was "tired of seeing horses coming down the centerline that should be out chasing cattle." (If she'd said "tired of seeing horses dumped on the forehand," no problem, but that was obviously a dig at stock horse breeds.)

          Additionally, from the noted clinic requirements, obviously, the ONLY AA's they really want are the ones with lots of $$$$$, fancy horses, and a full-time trainer.

          I'm not going to hold my breath until a wonderful program that truly accommodates the AVERAGE AA appears.

          Re Shows: Okay, I was out of circulation this year. My first show got cancelled (rain), and a month later I broke my arm. But... I showed enough in 2011 to get my qualifying scores for All Breeds. My average show cost was about $175 including gas, not including purchasing a video (which I only did once in 2011). Is this perhaps a regional issue?

          I do 1 day trailer in shows.
          I will NOT go to a show that demands a trailer-in fee.
          Fortunately, there are a lot of recognized shows within two hours or less of where I live/board.
          Two classes: $80 or $90
          Drug/Office Fees: $30-$50
          Gas: $25-$40
          I do without trainer at shows, unless it's so close she can easily attend.
          If it cost me over $400 to do two classes, I wouldn't be showing either.
          (Of course, there are all the membership fees, but those are pro-rated over the year, so I don't include them in the actual costs of one show. (CDS/USDF/USEF/ApHC/sometimes AHA)

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
            Netg - I have also found the two GMOs I have been involved with (both as officers as well as actively showing and participating in events) to be very inclusive, and also believe that we work hard to meet the needs of our members.

            Also, for the record I never said that USDF events were NOT inclusive, only that the forms for the regional clinics seem to imply that you have to be pretty good based on the info they want w/out describing any selection criteria and the ONE person I know that has participated was "up there" by all measures.
            I'm lucky in that I have a nice mare, we were showing 4th before the wither trauma situation, and I can hopefully handle the expenses I need to incur to get where I want with her. But I regularly see and hear people who are intimidated by the organization and don't feel any type of connection.
            So maybe one of the USDF challenges is how to communicate that it wants to be inclusive. Where I used to live I knew our rep as she lived in the area and came to our GMO meetings. In my current world, this is not the case and the GMO does not have the $$ to send anyone to the convention. I'm thinking I should track down our rep and see if she/he would come to us...It is always easier to have a good discussion when you've at least met the person you should communicate with!
            I think that intimidating factor is one of the important things. I know what it's like to bang your head against the wall repeatedly in other organizations... how can we make change here so that it doesn't feel that way for folks, and so it's not intimidating? How can the USDF become a valuable organization to join for someone who wants to learn but doesn't want to show?

            My GMO makes it worth it to at least join locally, IMO, but my motivation to join USDF is it becomes worthwhile with my showing. Shouldn't there be more reason than that for each of us?


            I was scribing for an L candidate in a session Janet was teaching. The only thing I know about her opinion on stock breeds is that there was one class where she said there was a VERY clear winner, but placings after that might have more variety - and that winner was a paint.


            ETA: I appreciate all the feedback everyone is giving here. I have had other places I gave up because of frustration and lack of people listening, and since I'm not at that point in relation to USDF I want to help make change because I totally get why other people are.
            If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
            -meupatdoes

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by HollysHobbies View Post
              AA drop out here...

              I won't be showing at licensed shows or renewing my membership for the first time in a few years.

              In my case, it's a MATH question...mostly (not entirely)

              Just to have enough memberships to ENTER A SHOW, I would have to pay $355 in membership fees. That's BEFORE I pick up an entry form...
              local GMO registration $60
              annual PM USDF $75
              USDF horse id $25
              USEF membership fee $55
              USEF horse fee $75
              AMHA membership fee $65.
              Hollyhobbies,

              If you are showing dressage at Morgan shows only (I see you listed AMHA membership), you don't need GMO, PM USDF, USDF horse, or USEF horse fee. If you shows open dressage shows, you don't need AMHA membership. And even if you do show open dressage, you don't need both GMO and PM USDF... The membership gets crazy when you show all and above. Anyway, just wondering...

              Comment


              • #27
                As an aside on the adult clinics, I wonder how many of you have actually been to them? The extensive application is because they are really symposiums- not clinics. The intended target is the audience of auditors(hundreds)- not the 8 riders (although they certainly benefit). Yes- the explanation should be much better. It should say something like "symposium x with y trainers seeks one horse per level from training through GP. Horse should be confirmed in the level of work so clinician can use them to demonstate correct work at that level." OR "symposium x with y trainer seeks 8 horses with particular training issues that AA's confront from training to third level. Examples include, stiffness, ducking behind the bit, changes late behind, etc."

                Comment


                • #28
                  Yes, I'm also puzzled somewhat by hollyhobbies fees.
                  I show OPEN on an Appy.

                  GMO dues $70
                  USDF $45
                  USEF: $55
                  USEF Horse ID - Got it free, 5 years ago
                  I don't do "Zone" or whatever, so my horse is not "registered" with USEF, and that's the only thing it's needed for.
                  Horse lifetime registered with USDF about 5 years ago - don't remember fee, but long since "amortized."
                  ApHC: $50


                  There are no Appy dressage shows, but to be eligible for USDF All Breeds, I have to belong to the ApHC.

                  If I want to get Appy points FROM ApHC through the ACAAP program, that would be more money, so I've passed on that in recent years.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Yeah ok some of you – in fact many of you think “Ugh here we go again”. Yeah I kinda thought that also but you know – I’m going to play along this time. I’m a French classical enthusiast – very active on those threads. But I still support my local GMO and I frequent the schooling shows and different events we put on. We have an excellent, inclusive GMO and it is a direct reflection of its members.

                    I’m one of those people who is not afraid to stare down the “big gorgeous WB dressage machine owners/riders” you know the “mean gals” who give you condescending looks at the small shows when you warm up on an OTTB or a mustang. N’importe quoi – I think to myself as I proceed to do a nice workmanlike test that the judges usually appreciate and score well. Oh and in a Wintec Isabel too boot. Boy that really gets the looks…

                    I really am part of the bank book of the USDF – and if they ask me for a piece of my mind they’re going to get it. I don’t feel I can have some cheese with my “whine” if I don’t make suggestions.
                    Unfortunately for many of us – or according to the USDF/USEF Stats – most of us, we cannot meet the requirements of the regional USDF clinics “criteria nazis” because of $$, time, our jobs (oh yes we work don’t ya know), our equines, etc…, oh did I mention $$?

                    But oooh – who needs to clinic with a USDF instructor/ selection committee who has that kind of selection criteria?? I mean really?? As much as I respect our dressage BNT’s (not all of them mind you) – really?? When I read those requirements and, as you all know, they are getting more and more frequent by the BNT’s to weed out the rift raft.
                    Side note, rift raft= (those on LTIWB type equines – less than imported warm blood) I’m seriously thinking about tatooing LTIWB on the mustang I ride somewhere!!

                    I won’t apply to that clinic – because I’m broke?– No – Lord knows I’m payin my way as an auditor through the “Legerite” clinics with B. Ravoux – and that costs a small fortune!! Non, I won’t apply because - the participants in the Legerite clinics are handpicked by a small committee including M. Karl himself. They pick on a completely different criteria than what the BNT’s are looking for and I for one happen to agree with their opinions. Are all the horses – Olympic contenders – Umm no far from it in some cases. Are the riders serious, passionate and motivated to learn? Yes.

                    Why do I research whom I will spend my hard earned $$ to clinic with and choose folks like Sarah Martin, Catherine Henriquet , Harry Bolt (Aus), Uta Graf (France), the list goes on… because IMO they give a d… good clinic without the “noise”.

                    Like NETG says – DON’T BE INSULTED because you don’t fit the BNT LTIWB mold – just do your research and apply to instructors who will constructively help you and your horse.
                    Oh and speak your opinions - someday as they watch their bottom line tumble, they'll have to listen. Maybe today is that day?

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I think something to note is that there is now a committee in the USDF aimed at AAs, and both Janet Foy and Axel Steiner have specifically sought out opinions from us. I know that many of you have felt ignored in the past, but this is an attempt to collect feedback from a wide variety of folks in every region to have a voice of what can help the general AA, not just the one headed to FEI or the one with a lot of money.
                      Ms Foy and Mr. Steiner need only to look at the USDF Strategic Plan for ideas. They don't need "more feedback"....they need an ACTION PLAN.

                      The quote below is supposedly attributed to Gaius Petronius, and it is used regularly in corporate circles to spoof what happens when management has no clue what to do next.

                      We trained hard ... but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization
                      Don't be misled by delaying tactics with signs of "activity"...a committee here, a survey there.....don't confuse activities with results.

                      My suggestion, which can be easily implemented very quickly, is to open the Florida FEI Trainer's forum to all comers. Pay your fee and you're in.

                      That's it. Won't cost USDF anything and the USDF might actually make more money if people who are interested but wouldn't qualify, would attend. It's a win-win.

                      Throw us a bone....let Ms Foy and Mr Steiner show the AA's that the USDF willing to act....then we AA's will listen.
                      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                      Alfred A. Montapert

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        I don't know if this new initiative will make a huge difference or not but I do know that if we don't try, nothing will change.

                        We (well I, if selected by the AADI) will ask those difficult questions and do the best I can to get straight forward answers. There is no reason we can't at least get answers and when we do we can then work towards change.

                        Pluvinel: Why don't you sign up to become a part of it? I totally agree with everything you said. The more people we have on our side demanding change the stronger our powers will be.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by KurPlexed View Post
                          I don't know if this new initiative will make a huge difference or not but I do know that if we don't try, nothing will change.

                          We (well I, if selected by the AADI) will ask those difficult questions and do the best I can to get straight forward answers. There is no reason we can't at least get answers and when we do we can then work towards change.

                          Pluvinel: Why don't you sign up to become a part of it? I totally agree with everything you said. The more people we have on our side demanding change the stronger our powers will be.
                          Again, I applaud your energy and cheer you on. Really....I mean it. You guys rock.

                          Some of us have tried to make change. One gets tired and eventually one morphs into a local dressage curmudgeon......if you guys charge the castle walls, let me know and I will be in Florida in January ready to pay my fees to attend the FEI Trainer's Forum. (disclaimer, I have no clue what the forum is this year, but I would attend just on principle if you guys pull this off).
                          Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                          Alfred A. Montapert

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                            As an aside on the adult clinics, I wonder how many of you have actually been to them? The extensive application is because they are really symposiums- not clinics. The intended target is the audience of auditors(hundreds)- not the 8 riders (although they certainly benefit). Yes- the explanation should be much better. It should say something like "symposium x with y trainers seeks one horse per level from training through GP. Horse should be confirmed in the level of work so clinician can use them to demonstate correct work at that level." OR "symposium x with y trainer seeks 8 horses with particular training issues that AA's confront from training to third level. Examples include, stiffness, ducking behind the bit, changes late behind, etc."
                            AH HA! the answer........Thank you JDV for this explanation. Yes it makes sense to me as you describe. Jane Savoie's clinic done by our prior GMO was done this way, though our selection process was, lets say, a bit less formal. And yes USDF could do a better job of the explaining.
                            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by belgianWBLuver View Post
                              ... When I read those requirements and, as you all know, they are getting more and more frequent by the BNT’s to weed out the rift raft.
                              Side note, rift raft= (those on LTIWB type equines – less than imported warm blood)
                              What is "rift raft"? Do you mean "riffraff" (riff raff)?

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
                                Yes I well know that I wont get in if I dont apply. But sadly for me, right now there is no ability to do the video - see earlier post. Maybe in a month we'll be working enougn. Maybe next year. That said, I still think the PROCESS is too complicated (just one person's opinion). And I do believe that I would be more willing to go through that process if there was an explanation of the selection criteria such as you mentioned above included in the forms. Your choice of riders/horses seems quite well rounded and logical; but really not what I would have expected from having read the application requirements.
                                Here is what they told us in New Orleans: They look for horses across the breeds and levels. These clinics are focused on the auditors - so they look for horses that will provide teachable moments, not perfect superstars of the level. The questions re: soundness relate to being sure your horse will appear if selected - and not be lame on the day of the clinic.

                                L

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by HollysHobbies View Post

                                  I do think if USDF had or advertised more clinics around the country that I would go audit, even if I couldn't ride. It seems to me that we DESPERATELY need ONE website that people hosting clinics open to auditors can list. A DRESSAGE CLINIC LIST by REGION for when BNT or Riders are coming to the area. VADA doesn't. The local GMO doesn't either. Nor does USDF unless it is one of the few clinics they themselves sponsor. It's all word of mouth around here! Just a small suggestion.
                                  Well, Region 3 has that on it's website. Look at the December calendar - it even includes our GMO banquet. If no one sends clinics IN, they won't get listed.

                                  But then, everyone seems too Busy to do anything but complain.
                                  L

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Whoever it was who led the initiative to allow recognized shows to have Training 1 & 2 classes open to riders who weren't USDF members etc deserves a round of applause. That's inclusiveness and making the way into the sport just a wee bit more possible.

                                    I think it's been especially positive at multidiscipline shows like the West Coast Connemara Show, where people who might not normally show dressage probably took the opportunity to ride the tests just to have something to do that day. :-)
                                    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

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      fwiw, what I find interesting is that the "AA" committee is headed up by Non AA's......

                                      honestly, what "they" need to do is drop costs, open the entry for learning (ie FEI level only symposiums ) and somehow make sure we have qualified trainers.....

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by KurPlexed View Post
                                        The USEF Dressage Committee has formed a sub-committee (members: Janet Foy, Hilary Clayton,
                                        Lisa Goretta, Axel Steiner and Jayne Ayers).
                                        So I know the resumes of Foy, Clayton, and Steiner, but not Ayers and Goretta. Is anyone other than Clayton an adult amateur?
                                        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

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Is Goretta even a rider? Was she ever a rider? Isn't she the one the owns a tack store.

                                          Comment

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