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AA's---what are your top 10 requests you want USDF to know about???

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  • #41
    I guess if I could ask for anything I would say make their Connections magazine a regular magazine subscription without requiring membership; beyond that I don't want anything from them, nor will I spend any of my money on their organization. Unfortunately they burned that bridge a while back for me.
    "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

    Comment


    • #42
      js, do you mind sharing how they burned the bridge?

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by js View Post
        It would be interesting to see how their budget stacks up agains other organizations. Anyone know how many people does the USDF have on the payroll?
        Yes, I would be interested in seeing that too - I was surprised to see the vast majority of their budget goes to Administration! So that is overall management, processing payroll and accounts payable, overseeing staff, etc. Why isn't there a higher % that goes to education and shows and programs?

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by dudleyc View Post
          js, do you mind sharing how they burned the bridge?

          An email to me from the president of the USDF with remarks about backyard owners and riders on other breeds not being serious about dressage.
          "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

          Comment


          • #45
            Well that is offensive. Also how shockingly stupid and clueless: a) to think that and b) to put it in an email!!!

            Did you save the emial? I'm thinking we should call them out on it

            Comment


            • #46
              A better value for the money re: shows.

              I can't justify a 300-400 dollar increase only to do more work (braiding, clothing, etc) and show in worse conditions. For that price it would be nice to show INSIDE like breed shows.

              It may not be a USDF issue but this is my main concern.

              Streamline paperwork to get new horses registered/AAs signed up for shows.

              I have a graduate degree but the process to get signed up is so daunting I'm not interested

              Fees! Fees and MORE FEES!

              Everything has a fee associated--- want your year end? pay for it. Want a championship class? pay more!!!!


              So showing is more money, confusing and I feel nickel and dimed.

              My showing budget is small as it is since I am focusing on training and paying a lot in board. I LOVE the schooling shows and I have a much better choice of venues and dates. It serves the purpose for feedback in a way that is enjoyable and low-stress.

              Comment


              • #47
                The email was sent a few years back. I had saved it but think it has since been lost because I have changed out computers twice since then. I had copied and PM'd a few people on the other board that had asked to see it. I choose to speak with my money by not renewing my memberships, even though I don't think his intent was to offend me (though I was).

                There has been a lot of rhetoric over the years but nothing has changed.
                I stay involved with these discussions to voice my opinion and to see if the USDF will truly address AA's and their concerns/needs or at least acknowledge that there is nothing they can do because of the scope of what is being asked. If that is the case then I would support it if they restated their mission as an organization to promote FEI and Olympic riders. I would like to be a member again.
                "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

                Comment


                • #48
                  Originally posted by Bogey2 View Post
                  I have to agree, the GMO's have a lot to offer...USEF oversees the rest.
                  And as a GMO member, you are a member of USDF...... a group member.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    I'd be thrilled if I wasn't charged a tax on my entry form. What tax ? The mandatory "fee" to fund a travel grant for someone.

                    That's courtesy of the California Dressage Society. Members and non-members are required to pay it.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Coming from eventing I was surprised people had a trainer ride their horse in an earlier class and then warm the horse up for them. Im sure theres a reason but I thought thats what schooling shows are for.

                      I also would like more clinics to audit and ride in at lower levels.





                      Trainer certification isnt important to me. I can figure out who Id like to ride with through word of mouth and watching them teach.

                      I would love for my GMO to have a couple of casual
                      Get togethers so I can get to know more people

                      Not sure how the USDF can make things friendlier but that would be nice too

                      A lot if events have a competitors party at the end of CC day if you volunteer you get a ticket. Its casual and fun the UL riders are mostly friendly
                      Gallop on

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        And as a GMO member, you are a member of USDF...... a group member
                        .
                        not all...some GMO's did not join USDF, like Charles River Dressage. Memberships tp GMO's run around 50.00 per year. It's hard to send 23.00 of that to the USDF knowing you really won't get anything back for the money...speaking as a GMO.Of course if you are a member and show recognized you benefit but in my area not a lot of people show both on a regular basis.
                        CRDA runs some camps and clinics and are a volunteer organization.
                        Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Bogey2 View Post
                          .
                          not all...some GMO's did not join USDF, like Charles River Dressage. Memberships tp GMO's run around 50.00 per year. It's hard to send 23.00 of that to the USDF knowing you really won't get anything back for the money...speaking as a GMO.Of course if you are a member and show recognized you benefit but in my area not a lot of people show both on a regular basis.
                          CRDA runs some camps and clinics and are a volunteer organization.
                          I believe the term "GMO" specifically refers to organizations that are affiliated with USDF. So if CRDA didn't join USDF, then it can't be considered a GMO.

                          But I agree, many GMO's are having a tough time financially because they have to send so much of their membership income to USDF. That doesn't leave the GMO with much in way of funds to spend on clinics, symposiums, camps, schooling shows, newsletters, etc. But people that don't show don't care if their organization is affiliated with USDF. They just want educational opportunities, and if the local organization isn't providing them (due to lack of available funds), they drop out. That means even less income for the GMO, so less funds to spend on said educational events. It becomes a vicious cycle, and the GMO can shrink so much it becomes completely inactive or even defunct.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Back to the average person being able to find a good trainer through the sea of people claiming to be. Trainer certification is great, but $2K to $3K is a lot for many trainers especially adding in the time away from home/barn/revenue while doing so.

                            It would be great to see a certification grant program, where experienced trainers would have to apply, and finalists ride, teach and interview in front of a panel for selection. This could open up oportunities for very talented trainers with limited funds.

                            I think better trainers, and better ability to evaluate trainer skill by the AA would help us all.
                            Rule 1- Keep the horse between you and the ground.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Thanks for asking, here is my list

                              As an AA in an area with many dressage shows/learning opportunities here is what I would like:

                              A regional championship each year (GAIG or BLM) in NJ/PA or Morven Park. (this is region 1)

                              No, Lexington is NOT central to me. And NC is a day's travel each way.

                              I think USDF should publish and maintain (meaning, study and update annually or more often) a:
                              *Standard of Care,
                              *Standard of Training,
                              *Standard of Riding

                              for dressage. It's ok with me if USDF copies Pony Club or 4-H or USEA materials or anything else that is currently available if it meets with their approval, it doesn't have to be all new material, but a real survey of information and a judgement by the organization and experienced trainers, riders, breeders as to what is a good 'standard' for these areas. And it's ok to have a 'range' of the standard, especially because there are regional differences.

                              As an example, I LOVE the 'lessons with Lendon' book about starting a horse in dressage.

                              As others (I think TKR) said, newbies need guidance on the use of 'gadgets'. Others may need an guideline for riding at each level.

                              I think the issues of affordability and access that others are discussing may not be able to be addressed by USDF. However, user-friendliness of entry forms, of clinic requirements and information about the learning opportunities could be improved.

                              A more organized database of professionals, their horses under their care, performance records and the age when they left competition would also be worthwhile. There are some professionals who do very well at shows, and you see their successfull horses, but they 'go through a lot of horses' to get that one that suceeds.

                              As an AA, most of my friends have the their horse(s) as I do, till death do us part, so it's not a matter of finding the new horse for the next step in the journey, it's a matter of making the most of the horse we have. And that is where a good trainer can make all the difference.

                              I have been on the board of a GMO and volunteered for a number of years. The time commitment is very difficult and when you're working full time the choice is between volunteering and riding. And I always need more time in the saddle. So I have cut back my involvement (still there but less time now). I doubt that USDF can do anything about the lack of time many working AA's have for our sport, but any ideas would be welcome.

                              p.s. I have a bunch of 1 day shows in my area and I love them. Would love them even more if we could get a more casual outfit for showing - e.g. clean polo shirt rather than coat and stock tie.
                              Forward...go forward

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                1. Streamline paperwork. Usef and usdf sites are awful!

                                2. Show fees need to go down they are getting unmanageable making only the riders with more money or sponsors able to show.

                                3. Mandatory split AA, JR, and open riders. I'm tired of riding against Grand Prix riders in First level classes when they have a nice young horse or sale horse.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #56
                                  am taking stock of all comments and when i return home to California tomorrow, will be copying your requests, without names, for the facebook AA dressage initiative laundry list document already started. keep those requests coming!!!!!! :-)
                                  Bethe Mounce
                                  Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                                  https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
                                  Brentwood CA

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    I audited a session of an "L" judge training session at one point. (About half the attendees were auditors, and we were in the back of the room behind the candidates.) I committed what apparently was a dramatic and almost unforgivable faux pas of asking a question (questions were allowed!) when I turned out not to be a candidate. Oh the horror. My completely inappropriate question was about one of the sample videos they were using of a horse trotting up the center line with a substantial plaiting motion in his gait - and my question was whether that plaiting affected the score or the evaluation of straightness. But I was dressed down for wasting everyone's time for asking it. (Her answer was no, it didn't matter.)

                                    (I note that the candidates were really not interested in asking questions after that. I wasn't going to be evaluated by the presenter... but they were.)

                                    So all that said, I was wondering if USDF had ever thought to put together an online course/videos of the L program that could be available to everyone. Just videoing one clinic would provide some value, though to truly leverage it for online use and comprehension, you'd probably want to make a series of 10 minute lessons on dressage judging.

                                    What we need more than anything are more ways to fit dressage learning, instruction, and showing into the busy multi-tasking lives of the adult amateurs who love it the most.

                                    The CDS symposiums... they were a good idea and they were very good. But, even though I was local at the time, it was hugely expensive in time and money to go. Setting up hour or half day auditing makes it more accessible by making it less expensive and by honestly setting it up so that I wasn't giving up my riding time to be there.

                                    For camaraderie - you need more events where people get together and just party. Camps. Potluck dinners. Whatever. Eventers are well accustomed to traveling many hours and then basically all camping out together for the whole day. Dressage doesn't tend to create that.

                                    Coming back to pluvinel's observation of the loss on the junior programs... so the question is, what do we get for that? Are those juniors becoming our future professionals, our future elite riders? Or are they going to Young Riders and then off to college? If we are investing in dressage's future pipeline, and getting that, it's valuable. If we're not, though, maybe there's a better way to build the pipeline. Is the dressage pipeline coming from juniors doing dressage... or is it coming from amateurs who get progressively more serious and capable in their riding? I don't know the answer... does USDF?
                                    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


                                    • #58
                                      At shows--as several posters have already mentioned--AAs should have separate classes from Pros and juniors.

                                      I love all the suggestions for more educational opportunities--it would be very helpful.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                        I audited a session of an "L" judge training session at one point. (About half the attendees were auditors, and we were in the back of the room behind the candidates.) I committed what apparently was a dramatic and almost unforgivable faux pas of asking a question (questions were allowed!) when I turned out not to be a candidate. Oh the horror. My completely inappropriate question was about one of the sample videos they were using of a horse trotting up the center line with a substantial plaiting motion in his gait - and my question was whether that plaiting affected the score or the evaluation of straightness. But I was dressed down for wasting everyone's time for asking it. (Her answer was no, it didn't matter.)

                                        (I note that the candidates were really not interested in asking questions after that. I wasn't going to be evaluated by the presenter... but they were.)

                                        .....
                                        Heee...heee.....heee....been there done that. I asked a simple honest question to inderstand out how to apply the scoring criteria to a horse that was "behind the vertical"....instructor got huffy...said horse was NOT behind the vertical (ok I'm blind). I got lambasted for the audacity to ask question even though I was a paying auditor (and a 2nd level demo rider).

                                        Talked to one of the candidates later and they had the same response, "who me, ask questions......nahhh". Auditors sever a good purpose in the L-program as they ask valid questions that the candidates are probably thinking about but are too afraid to ask....that fear thing again.

                                        I don't think putting on a special case of the L-program on line is the way to go. (Takes resources to pull that...videoing the orgininal then hosting the on-line).

                                        I go back to my original broken record.....open up the training USDF is ALREADY DOING to all comers (of course they have to pay to audit) and treat them with RESPECT....answer questions......RESPECTFULLY.....treat AA's professionally (since most of us already are in real life) and maybe we will become one in the horse world.

                                        The Nerd Herd proposed ways that the statistical tools could be used to validate and improve the teaching of judges....I will let you guess where that went.
                                        Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                                        Alfred A. Montapert

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                                          Heee...heee.....heee....been there done that. I asked a simple honest question to inderstand out how to apply the scoring criteria to a horse that was "behind the vertical"....instructor got huffy...said horse was NOT behind the vertical (ok I'm blind). I got lambasted for the audacity to ask question even though I was a paying auditor (and a 2nd level demo rider).

                                          Talked to one of the candidates later and they had the same response, "who me, ask questions......nahhh". Auditors sever a good purpose in the L-program as they ask valid questions that the candidates are probably thinking about but are too afraid to ask....that fear thing again.

                                          I don't think putting on a special case of the L-program on line is the way to go. (Takes resources to pull that...videoing the orgininal then hosting the on-line).

                                          I go back to my original broken record.....open up the training USDF is ALREADY DOING to all comers (of course they have to pay to audit) and treat them with RESPECT....answer questions......RESPECTFULLY.....treat AA's professionally (since most of us already are in real life) and maybe we will become one in the horse world.

                                          The Nerd Herd proposed ways that the statistical tools could be used to validate and improve the teaching of judges....I will let you guess where that went.
                                          Unfortunately, all instructors are not equally effective in their communication skills. Many get defensive and seem to feel that they are being challenged when they are asked questions, and don't handle it well. That's one reason that I believe that having a really good educator in an online course can be of tremendous value. Susan Jacoma's new online dressage instruction is a good example of how this can work. She simply posts to Youtube and her Facebook page and I don't believe that the costs are prohibitive.

                                          Great riders/trainers are not necessarily great educators. An online course with a great educator could be much cheaper for the participants and certainly better than an in person course with an instructor with only modest communication skills.
                                          "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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