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

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  • Originally posted by rideastar View Post
    BTW The FEI trainers conference is designed for FEI trainers to be able to discuss FEI level training issues and get feedback from their peers (ie other FEI trainers). The idea being that they can ask questions and get feedback in a constructive forum, without worrying that their comments and questions will be "analyzed" by people who are not FEI level riders/trainers.....<snipped>
    I don't have a problem if that is the criteria, and I have no desire to go anyway. However, among those eligible to attend are 'L' Program Grads and not only those that graduated with 'distinction'. L grads only have to have shown to 2nd and many don't even make it to FEI, yet they are on the list that can go. So are 'r' judges, also many have never shown FEI. 'L' Grads and 'r' judges are also not necessarily trainers.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by mjhco View Post
      Ok. I consider membership fees just that. They might be worth some years. Other years not so much. It is STILL up to me to be in charge of my own training / education / development. If there is something that can be provided by a given membership fee, then great. Else, so sad too bad. Some years it is benefitial. Some years, not so much.
      Then the USDF should not be surprised if they lose members. Member organization are in business to be in service to the membership.

      As of April 2012:
      http://www.usdf.org/docs/about/about...ortApril12.pdf
      Group Member Organizations
      There are currently 117 active GMOs for the 2012 membership year. There were 121 GMOs at this time last year.

      Three GMOs have confirmed that they are inactive, or have dissolved, and will not be affiliated with USDF during the 2012 membership year.
      - Middle Tennessee Dressage & Eventing Association (Region 3)
      - Mississippi Eventing & Dressage Association (Region 9)
      - Carl-Heinrich Asmis Memorial Dressage Association (Region 1)
      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
      Alfred A. Montapert

      Comment


      • ToN is right - I attended this conference a few years back - at that point, the closest to FEI I had gotten was scribing for FEI rides. But I passed the L program (with distinction), which got me in. Granted, I didn't know everyone at the symposium, but based on who I did know, I would estimate that at least 1/3 of the attendees were NOT FEI trainers! There were several L grads and "r" judges who had not shown FEI, and quite a few AA riders who had eked out their silver medals on schoolmasters. Also a few trainer guests who were lower level students. So to say the conference is only for FEI trainers isn't forthright.

        And - the symposium was really well suited for anyone who was riding 2nd level or above. There were no discussions that were not suitable for us mid-level riders!

        Several years ago, I was a demo rider for an Association of Instructors - it was open to pros only - ONLY - and some of that discussion was, uh, eye opening... Definately a pro-only event. But the USDF symposium was not a forum of Trainers discussing things that were beyond the typical rider.

        The reason so many of us are frustrated is we do pay dues, and don't necessarily feel that those dues benefit us equally - they seem more aimed at pro and JR/YR membership.

        Why not open these educational events to all - and again, hold them in multiple locations so more can participate? It is really good business sense to do so.

        Comment


        • Or just record it and sell it, or record it and stream it online.

          Or stream it real time and let people do pay per view.

          I think some people are just thumb sucking over something they wouldn't attend if it was free and the USDF was handing out snaffles at the door. If you really, really really wanted to go, you don't know anyone who is going that qualifies who would take you along as a friend? Well...think on that.

          I pay a whopping 20 bones a year to be a USDF member. I don't expect a heckuva lot for twenty bucks

          Holding these events is expensive from top to bottom. I would suggest looking to your local GMO for opportunities to learn. Mine is trying to drum up more interest in clinicians and clinics but they are historically hard to fill. We riders often whine about the cheese we can't get, while turning down the cheese we offered.

          Make your own cheese, folks.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by katarine View Post
            Holding these events is expensive from top to bottom. I would suggest looking to your local GMO for opportunities to learn. Mine is trying to drum up more interest in clinicians and clinics but they are historically hard to fill. We riders often whine about the cheese we can't get, while turning down the cheese we offered.

            Make your own cheese, folks.
            If you are willing to share...what region are you in and why do you think clinics are not filling?

            TIA

            Comment


            • Region 3. We are way too far from Florida and too far East of the ATL to draw those peeps. Our schooling shows are popular and well attended...but clinics just seem to be hard to fill: We have access to some truly nice facilities but in the few years I've been involved it's been like pulling teeth to get riders to ride... rates are reasonable and we've had some really nice caliber of clinicians. It seems like around here barns have their own routinely-scheduled visiting clinicians and people ride with that visiting clinician, and don't venture out to ride with different eyes, unless it's a really, really big name clinician.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by mbm View Post
                the question was: what can the USDF do to bring members in...... well maybe they should focus on training and not showing? maybe they should work to educate the masses so they know what good training/riding is?

                that would help dressage in this country more than anything.
                I agree. Also, a rising tide lifts all boats. Better instruction/training/education is the sort of foundational thing that would help those who don't show, but also those who do, even the "future-of-our-sport" folks that I think the USDF has a keen interest in. The people learning to post correctly today are the potential international grand prix riders of 20 years from now. I would love to see the USDF focus on that unglamorous but foundational, long-term stuff. JMO.

                Comment


                • As a former AA, this FEI Trainer Conference exclusion bugged me the most. USDF is to educate all of its membership. The programs for the Juniors and Young Riders are developed because USDF is quite sure the future of dressage is in that basket. I respectfully beg to disagree. The hunter/jumper folks have an Emerging Athlete program for those horse/rider combinations who aspire to more. USDF should have an Emerging Athlete Program. Ya know how football coaches send talent scouts to high school football games to have a look at local talent? USDF could do the same in each region...choose a rep, send them to shows and have them scout possible talent. AA's have NO National Championship, the Regional Championships are it. That isn't acceptable either. The biggest part of the USDF membership is the AA, whether the AA competes or not, every AA member deserves the same funding as the juniors and the pros. Parity is tantamount. I am involved in the AA Dressage Initiative with Region 7. Guys, I teach and I train young horses. I have a voice that won't stop. ;-) I give up on nothing. I am a pro now, but I got involved in this because as an AA, I was SO dissapointed in how the AA's are glossed over. USDF cannot put the future of dressage in the hands of the juniors, they are missing a pool of riders they don't know about...maybe because some of the AA's don't compete or for whatever reason. Every member, regardless of their personal dream, deserves a chance to be a better rider. Period. And...I do not want to win some measely ribbon at a show....let me win a weekend with, shall we say, Steffen Peters, or Hilda Gurney or someone who knows their stuff...all expenses paid by USDF. Or let me win money to further my education. Yes, there are grants and foundations that offer money for furthering ones education. I know. And now USDF will be sending Debbie McDonald to a few select shows to scout out the talent....sorry guys, she cannot be all over the USA........select regional scouts. I know Debbie knows what she is looking at, but there are others who can do that too! They just don't have Olympic medals..... Alot of riders are just getting into dressage...USDF needs to chat with AQHA about marketing!
                  Bethe Mounce
                  Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                  https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
                  Brentwood CA

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Bethe Mounce View Post
                    As a former AA, this FEI Trainer Conference exclusion bugged me the most. USDF is to educate all of its membership.
                    .....
                    The biggest part of the USDF membership is the AA, whether the AA competes or not, every AA member deserves the same funding as the juniors and the pros. Parity is tantamount. I am involved in the AA Dressage Initiative with Region 7. Guys, I teach and I train young horses. I have a voice that won't stop. ;-) I give up on nothing. I am a pro now, but I got involved in this because as an AA, I was SO dissapointed in how the AA's are glossed over. USDF cannot put the future of dressage in the hands of the juniors, they are missing a pool of riders they don't know about...maybe because some of the AA's don't compete or for whatever reason. Every member, regardless of their personal dream, deserves a chance to be a better rider. Period. \
                    .......
                    Alot of riders are just getting into dressage...USDF needs to chat with AQHA about marketing!
                    Thank you!.....I hope that you bring attention to this discussion over there at FB. And please diffuse any tendency towards accepting a "second class citizen" mentality.

                    If the lower level rider is not taking space away from an upper level rider/trainer, then there is no harm......if lower level amateur riders are taking space away from those who do teach.
                    A USDF Member is a USDF member due the rights and privileges of membership.

                    The FEI trainers conference is designed for FEI trainers to be able to discuss FEI level training issues and get feedback from their peers (ie other FEI trainers). The idea being that they can ask questions and get feedback in a constructive forum, without worrying that their comments and questions will be "analyzed" by people who are not FEI level riders/trainers.
                    Actually that's how most newbies learn in most disciplines....they watch experts and try to emulate what they seen. If you want to improve your tennis game, play with someone better than you.

                    And yes, the AQHA marketing folks could help greatly. The AQHA has ~400,000 members. The USDF has about ~37,000 members. Big difference. It would be interesting to understand why.

                    The USDF leadership should have a philosophy that states something like "we will help our members succeed....join us and we will help you achieve your goals."

                    Instead we get qualification rules and segregation by arbitrary criteria.

                    I support the AADI and wish you guys luck.
                    Last edited by pluvinel; Dec. 24, 2012, 07:31 AM.
                    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                    Alfred A. Montapert

                    Comment


                    • Maybe comparing the AQHA to USDF is like comparing apples and oranges since one represents a breed of horse and all disciplines (hence its size) and the other just a discipline. However, the USDF could take some lessons on what the AQHA offers to ALL its members as it addresses everyone with some type of program, even those that are not interested in showing. I suggested on the Facebook conversation that they look at the Ride Program the AQHA has. It has nothing to do what so ever with showing but just recording and submitting the hours you spend riding, doing anything from trail, to riding in your backyard. They have sponsors that offer some very nice awards to those riders, I believe the program works on the honor system where individuals record and submit their time in the saddle without any verification (but don't quote me on that). That said, they really don't offer much in the way of education or clinics that I'm aware of. I have to say from my personal experience that the AQHA is very friendly in all aspects and comes off as being a family, and armature friendly place; where the USDF I always got just the opposite feel from. The years I was a member of the USDF and a few personal emails to me from a couple of board members when I was actively involved in the conversations to promote more for AA's, they were very elitist and dismissive of the "backyard" owner with "other" breeds as not being serious about dressage (those words were used in one email to me).

                      It's surprising that in a country the size of the USA that there are only 117 active GMO's. I would be interested to know the where the concentration of GMO's are. Considering the size of some states it's no wonder so many (myself included) do not belong to any. Obviously they are not accessable to all, so back to square one with the USDF when they say get involved with your GMO and the GMO's are your go to place for education.
                      "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by katarine View Post
                        Region 3. We are way too far from Florida and too far East of the ATL to draw those peeps. Our schooling shows are popular and well attended...but clinics just seem to be hard to fill: We have access to some truly nice facilities but in the few years I've been involved it's been like pulling teeth to get riders to ride... rates are reasonable and we've had some really nice caliber of clinicians. It seems like around here barns have their own routinely-scheduled visiting clinicians and people ride with that visiting clinician, and don't venture out to ride with different eyes, unless it's a really, really big name clinician.
                        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.
                        Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                        Comment


                        • Silly horse, I would think jan to be a "really big name clinician"

                          How do you think something like an AA weekend dressage camp with multiple things going on like freestyle and maybe judges point of view along with lessons would go over?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by katarine View Post
                            Or just record it and sell it, or record it and stream it online.

                            Or stream it real time and let people do pay per view.

                            I think some people are just thumb sucking over something they wouldn't attend if it was free and the USDF was handing out snaffles at the door. If you really, really really wanted to go, you don't know anyone who is going that qualifies who would take you along as a friend? Well...think on that.

                            I pay a whopping 20 bones a year to be a USDF member. I don't expect a heckuva lot for twenty bucks

                            Holding these events is expensive from top to bottom. I would suggest looking to your local GMO for opportunities to learn. Mine is trying to drum up more interest in clinicians and clinics but they are historically hard to fill. We riders often whine about the cheese we can't get, while turning down the cheese we offered.

                            Make your own cheese, folks.
                            Um...those of us who show, even if not at higher level, pay more like $70, plus local GMO, plus USDF, Plus USEF (and for many, plus breed assn., usually something like $55), so yes, I expect something more than a (usually) useless magazine.

                            Comment


                            • I stand corrected: You pay $70/year.

                              I joined our GMO for $40.00. $20 of that goes to USDF. So, I'm a "Group Member" For that small sum, I get:
                              http://www.usdf.org/docs/GMOFlash/we...GMBenefits.pdf

                              -e-TRAK, USDF’s online learning center for dressage and equine education. Through one convenient location, access hundreds of educational resources, engage in structured learning activities, and earn USDF University Program credit!
                              -Ten issues of the award-winning USDF Connection magazine
                              -Access to the online version of USDF Connection
                              -Eligibility to compete as rider and/or owner at USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized shows
                              -Eligibility for rider awards (Rider Performance Awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal, Freestyle Gold, Silver and Bronze Bar, Master’s Challenge). Rider receives patch, pin, or picture frame, personalized certificate, honorary presentation at USDF’s Annual Awards Banquet, publicity in the Annual Award Banquet program, listing on the USDF website, (both current year and historical lists), and will be listed in the yearbook issue of the USDF Connection
                              -Eligibility to compete for Adequan/USDF Pas de Deux year-end awards
                              -Access to “members only” section of the USDF website
                              -E-newsletters sent by USDF, which helps Group Members stay in touch with what is happening at USDF and in the sport of dressage
                              -A USDF Group Member card which can be used at USDF competitions and an online membership card available for printing, at any time, free of charge
                              -Discounted rates at USDF educational events
                              -Discount in the USDF store
                              -Discount on memberships and subscriptions with USDF’s educational partners
                              -Eligibility to earn USDF University Program credit
                              -Representation at the BOG through the GMO delegate
                              -Eligibility to receive a Ruth Arvanette Memorial Fund grant, which funds convention attendance
                              -Eligibility for the Regional GMO Volunteer of the Year Award
                              -GMO youth members (21 and under) are eligible for the USDF Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, USDF Shining Star Awards, and USDF Arts and Creativity Contest
                              -Eligibility for the “L” Education Program
                              -Grants funded by The Dressage Foundation are available to USDF Group Members




                              So I get a lot more than some 'useless magazine' for a twenty.

                              and don't roll in breed orgs, etc, that's irrelevant. We're talking specifically what one gets for one's money from USEF as an AA, not what it takes to maintain a relationship with FancyFootedFurryFootHorseAssociation.

                              Comment


                              • You should get more than just that by joining a GMO. USDF leaves it to the GMOs to provide much of the education to it's members. Our GMO offers a 10% discount at almost all tack/feed stores in Ocala; we have our own schooling shows and clinics and awards program (members get discounts and/or free lessons at clinics); we regularly have guest speakers at our meetings. All that comes out of the "other" $20 of our $40 membership fee.

                                Do I think we AAs get what we deserve from USDF? NO. That's why I support the iniative. But, that said, go to your GMO and ask for them to step up!

                                And I an tell you this was a BIG point of discussion at both the 2011 and this year's convention.

                                We AAs need a voice. I hope this is it.

                                L

                                Comment


                                • I addressed what the USDF gives me for my money, Lorilu...not what our GMO does.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by js View Post
                                    Maybe comparing the AQHA to USDF is like comparing apples and oranges since one represents a breed of horse and all disciplines (hence its size) and the other just a discipline. However, the USDF could take some lessons on what the AQHA offers to ALL its members as it addresses everyone with some type of program, even those that are not interested in showing.
                                    .....
                                    I have to say from my personal experience that the AQHA is very friendly in all aspects and comes off as being a family, and amature friendly place; where the USDF I always got just the opposite feel from. The years I was a member of the USDF and a few personal emails to me from a couple of board members when I was actively involved in the conversations to promote more for AA's, they were very elitist and dismissive of the "backyard" owner with "other" breeds as not being serious about dressage (those words were used in one email to me).

                                    It's surprising that in a country the size of the USA that there are only 117 active GMO's. I would be interested to know the where the concentration of GMO's are. Considering the size of some states it's no wonder so many (myself included) do not belong to any. Obviously they are not accessable to all, so back to square one with the USDF when they say get involved with your GMO and the GMO's are your go to place for education.
                                    Again.....thank you. Hope the folks in FB are reading here.

                                    The AQHA comparison is actually TOTALLY applicable. AQHA is breed specific, so you would think that its membership would be limited by the people who own QH. Yet they have almost half a million members.

                                    Dressage is applicable to ALL HORSES, regardless of breed, so you would think that the "market space" for potential members would be greater than the number of people who own Quarter Horses....eg., the USDF should potentially be able to have more members than AQHA.

                                    My suspicion is that your experience with USDF being dismissive of the "backyard" owner is probably an important reason for limited growth.

                                    And thus the mystical question.....why are Foy and Steiner all of a sudden interested in AA's?
                                    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
                                      Silly horse, I would think jan to be a "really big name clinician"

                                      How do you think something like an AA weekend dressage camp with multiple things going on like freestyle and maybe judges point of view along with lessons would go over?
                                      One of our local dressage chapters hosts this event every year - it is called Adult Camp! They have three riding clinicians (two dressage, one eventing), and they rotate through them, so each clinician is there for two years in a row. They also bring in educational speakers and hands on demos, and they end the weekend with a schooling show. Some of the educational topics have been colic (a surgeon from UC Davis), massage (yes, each participant got to sign up for a 45 minute slot) to help the rider, caveletti work, pilates (including a morning mat class for anyone interested), and there have been many others. It is a 3 day long event, and people LOVE it! All meals included, pens for the horses, camping spots for the participants, or you can "upgrade" to a trailer. The only bummer (besides camping, which I despise) is the cost, of course. Many can't afford it - although the organizers do their best to keep it reasonable.

                                      The clinicians are not "big names", but they are good, valid, FEI level clincians/trainers who live in the region.

                                      It is a fabulous program, and one that USDF might use as one educational model.

                                      Another, done by my GMO (California Dressage Society) is an annual Adult Ammy clinic - each chapter can send one person. That person has to have volunteered during the year, must be an AA, and must have a sound, rideable horse. The GMO pays for the clinician (the year I rode, it was Debbie McDonald), the participant pays for stabling, transportation, and housing. It was not an inexpensive weekend - I had to haul 3+ hours and it was in a pricey area, so even the cheaper hotels were pricey, but it have me a chance to ride with someone I would NEVER have done on my own. And of course, a weekend of auditing and hanging out with other AA riders and our horses.

                                      I pay less to my GMO then I pay to USDF (and USDF takes a chunk out of my GMO dues) - and I feel like my GMO at least acknowledges the AAs!

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                                        Again.....thank you. Hope the folks in FB are reading here.

                                        ....My suspicion is that your experience with USDF being dismissive of the "backyard" owner is probably an important reason for limited growth.

                                        And thus the mystical question.....why are Foy and Steiner all of a sudden interested in AA's?
                                        You don't get much more backyard than me. My 2 stall barn is 40 feet from my house.

                                        I suspect Ms. Foy is interested because she teaches a great many AA every week. And many who have their horses in their back yard.

                                        Mr. Steiner certainly judges a tremendous number of AA. Probably the largest classes he gets to judge.

                                        I suspect they have an inkling of what a large spectrum the AA group entails.

                                        Comment


                                        • Of the 37,000 USDF members how many belong to the 117 active GMO's? That's a lot of people and not many GMO's so I'm guessing a fair few do not belong to GMO's? Is that due to lack of access to one locally or other reason? I ask because we always get the response to get involved and volunteer with your GMO, so I'm curious at the number of members v/s GMO's.
                                          "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

                                          Comment

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