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The Fed & USET -- Marketing and Fundraising

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  • #61
    They have MADE show jumping into a household word in Calgary - the horse business is BOOMING up there, and people who would otherwise sit by the boob tube take their WHOLE FAMILIES to watch the horses!!

    And because this is a family outing place - WHOLESOME entertainment, the one Canadien team member with the major drug problem is NOT invited to compete!

    I think that is GREAT!
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


    • #62
      Spruce Meadows has a deal that if you purchase a Spruce Meadow scarf it entitles you forever to a spot on the green knoll for free.

      And YES! they have proved that on this continent it can be done. But then Canadians are wonderful at hospitality and making people feel important to them. We competed at Jimmie Elder's place near Toronto some years back for a Jumper Derby. There was a glorious side of a hill that was home to spectators. Plenty of room to spread out. They also were not in a hurry and had limited entries with one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon. In between was a lovely catered lunch with music and dancing.

      We offer ring side tables but who has time to ever sit at one?
      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


      • #63
        Ok, this is not really what the rest of you are talking about - but I always wonder if there isn't some way to entice Sports Illustrated for Women, Sports and Fitness, or any of the magazines I read to interview equestrians? I mean - they interview participants of obscure sports all of the time - why not equestrians? Do we really have to wait for them to ask, or is there a way to get them to interview Anky or another young rider like they do the tennis stars?
        You know that when I was a kid - not all that long ago - I didn't even KNOW that dressage and jumping were done in this country? I thought that they rode English in England. And, although I rode Western, I'd never really learned anything about reining - everything was cowboy western type stuff. If the top competitors had ever seemed like they were actually real people it would have made a huge difference in how I (and MY 'sponsors' - parents!) saw the sport. Most non-horsey parents would so much rather have little johnny and jane cheerlead or play football - at least they can get a scholorship for it, and the parents know what they're watching.
        Ok, just my rambling thoughts.


        • #64
          Lucassb wrote: <<There are success stories everywhere of local circuits that offer great competition in quality environments, pony clubs who foster education and provide opportunities for those of more limited means to ride and learn, breed associations who do a great job of obtaining support and sponsorship, and who knows what else.>>

          Yes there are and I've often wondered why the top folks in riding don't look there for candidates to come train with them or be working students. Whenever George Morris or Denny Emerson write about the lack of horsemanship I think for God's sake go to a pony club rating or rally and LOOK.

          Emmet wrote: <<But here's an idea for you. Why not send talent scouts to some of the local or regional shows? Just like in football, roundball, etc.>>

          Exactly. Weatherford, I attended a C3 rating last weekend. 2 of 15 passed and let me tell you, most of the 15 could ride rings around competitors at AHSA shows. In addition to 4 hours of flat, grids, stadium, and cross country work, including switching horses on the flat and another switch over fences, there was bandaging (shipping and stable) and longeing. Plus, get this, 2 HOURS of oral exams.

          For the 2 candidates who passed I thought now here are two horsemen with such a solid foundation you'd think top trainers like Mr. Morris and Mr. Emerson would be clamoring for them. These kids don't come from money, but they work hard and they're good horsemen. They'd be perfect for many of our top stables.

          For the others, many were so close, passing every section but maybe missing on parasites or wraps, for instance, and they are bound and determined to work and improve and pass next time. Again, more solid horsemen in the making.

          This is just one example. There are local, good dressage organizations, specific breed shows (the POA people have a good one), etc. Solid grassroots organizations are out there but the top folks never come look at us. Hey, we're easily reachable!


          • #65
            Anne -

            I am glad you saw good riding - I saw GREAT horsemanship, and the potential for good riding - certainly better basics than I often see at the shows - but I didn't see the kind of riding I expect from "B" pony clubbers - and I honestly believe it is because they don't WATCH the top riders - they don't have the opportunity to WATCH the top riders, much less work with them!

            And that is a terrible shame - here we have an incredible BASE of excellent horsekids who don't get the chance - except in Eventing & possibly in Dressage - to get to the top. Or even teach at the levels where their superior horsemanship NEEDS to be taught.

            For those of you who are NOT familiar with Pony Club, by the time these kids pass their "B", they are incredibly well educated horsepeople with fantastic teaching skills.

            And they can ride. I simply find that they only ride as well as what's around them, and what they see (and emulate).

            Someone commented about GM & Denny's lack of horsemanship tirades - I don't know if GM takes (free) working students anymore. I do know that Denny does - and he is appalled at the lack of knowlege of the kids who do come to him. He says, some learn, and some don't - the latter attitude also upset him tremendously.

            Which brings us back to the issues at hand -

            How do we market our sport? (and its corollary - to whom do we market our sport?)

            How do we support and increase the level of knowlege at the very bottom so that it rises up through the ranks?
            co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


            • #66
              LucasB wrote "There are success stories everywhere of local circuits that offer great competition in quality environments, pony clubs who foster education and provide opportunities for those of more limited means to ride and learn, breed associations who do a great job of obtaining support and sponsorship, and who knows what else."

              I'm willing to bet that those who agree with this statement live on either coast or in a very few locations inland. The vast majority of this country lacks such opportunities. We very much need to get the "word" about riding spread much wider, and support grassroots involvement in areas which are not currently horse-oriented or which are losing/have lost their small circuits, school barns, etc.

              If you want a plant to flourish, you must water the roots.


              • #67
                Between this thread and the Kanavy v. Balch one I've been reply here to stuff I read there!

                pt wrote (on the other thread): <<If you can't see how AHSA has failed to help the grassroots of the sport, then you need to come out of the rarified air of the big circuits and talk to those of us who aren't involved in those circuits. I'm one, and you don't want to hear what I'm telling you.>>

                pt's right. Thank God USPC is out there teaching horsemanship and riding, 'cuz Lord knows AHSA is all about winning at horse shows. AHSA has overlooked the average and/or grassroots of the sport, which is why pony club, 4-H, local circuits, breed clubs with their own local shows, etc. have sprung up to fill the gap. Unfortunately, it seems that some areas of the country are not as fortunate in having enough non-AHSA groups to fill the need. These grassroots people are producing the future horsemen who will be unobserved and unappreciated and yes, overlooked by the h/j circuit leaders. If these threads are an indication that the Fed is changing, great. But let's face it, people join AHSA because they have to (to avoid paying non-member fees), not because they feel AHSA does anything for them. And a zillion people choose not to join. I admit it riles me to read those COH Commentaries about no horsemanship when I am involved in Pony Club and see hundreds of children being taught horsemanship every day and then GM and DE write columns and act like it doesn't exist anymore. It doesn't exist at AHSA shows so therefore it doesn't exist period. Well, come on over here and we'll show you excellent horsemanship. Bring our good competitors to your barns to help show the way. Stop acting as though if it's not at Wellington it doesn't exist. Give the other kids a chance. Your horses and your barn and even your A-show hunter riders will be the better for it.

                There, now, someone who can write should put this in a Commentary for the COH.


                • #68
                  I agree that our lower rated hunter jumper shows have been diminshed because of a lack of solid foundation for the new riders.

                  I agree there are programs out there that are a vast improvement over just two directions around the ring and get a ribbon.

                  So then this seems to be at the feet of two groups and how do we fix it?

                  Trainers who do not know the basics and therefore can't teach them but, they have bills to pay.

                  Riders who just want to win and not necessarily be horsemen, parents who don't care as long as their little rider is happy.

                  What about if the new Riding Establishment Membership could be a way to some how test trainers and issue a list of items for which they are approved?

                  What if as a means of being permitted to enter a show a some level it was required that they had passed some tests which ascertained their qualification to be competitive?

                  And, if you don't like either idea then what or how would you suggest we could remedy the problems.

                  If we can find solutions for the problems then we can move on to the other problems. That's the kind of feed back we need to be discussing. Right now we have an antagonistic situation where various levels seem to be pitted against each other instead of being related to each other in some way to measure accomplishment.
                  http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                  • #69
                    Anne, when you have a chance, take a look at the new AHSA (USA Equestrian) constitution. One of the things they discussed on the webcast of their board meeting, that has gotten little notice, is a new provision for affiliates to bring Pony Club, 4-H, and youth organizations into the federation. It's in the part about affiliates.

                    I agree, this has been long overdue, and it is one of the (few) silver linings in all the nonsense we are seeing. But at least the AHSA is seeing the big, non-elite picture, and grass roots picture, maybe for the first time. I think that David O'Connor coming up from Pony Club has probably taught everyone a lot, or should have. He wasn't the first, for sure, and of course the AHSA is now neighbors with the USPC in KY.


                    • #70
                      Snowbird, sorry if I sounded antagonistic. I'm not, and would show at more A shows if we could afford it & weren't prioritizing eventing, but I don't begrudge those who have the money. After all, we fortunately have the money to do that and many people don't.

                      I was just requesting that when the Fed powers-that-be need to find quality horsemanship and riding, they look to other horse areas and encourage those people by helping them, and when they decry lack of horsemanship at A shows, they mention the groups who are actively promoting horsemanship, not simply act as though they don't exist.

                      In that vein, there are people who have 'made it' who give back. Since I got on the pony club topic, look at some of the clinicians coming to USPC's festival to teach mounted clinics to pony clubbers this year: Julie Black, Joe Carr, Mark Combs, Frank Conway, Robert Costello, Denny Emerson (hope to have a word with him!), Ralph Hill, Mike Huber, Carol Kozlowski, Richard Lamb, Nick Larkin, Francois Lemaire de Ruffieu, Kathleen Raine, John Williams....

                      Do you think our kids are excited or what?!! And you bet I'd be more willing to in future support those elite equestrians who show up in Lexington for these kids.


                      • #71
                        Groundline, what wonderful news! I'll definitely check it out.


                        • #72
                          Is this committee of yours devoted only to the promoting of strictly h/j activities, or is it a committee that is going to be looking at promoting all the disciplines?

                          I'm seeing a distinctly h/j slant here, and that may be as it should be, but, I somehow got the idea into my head that it was a "horse sport" committee.

                          I have started a thread on the dressage board, in which I am asking dressage people for their ideas for you. I am beginning to wonder if these suggestions are things that should be directed elsewhere - maybe within the USDF.
                          If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                          Desmond Tutu


                          • #73
                            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pt:
                            We very much need to get the "word" about riding spread much wider, and support grassroots involvement in areas which are not currently horse-oriented or which are losing/have lost their small circuits, school barns, etc.

                            If you want a plant to flourish, you must water the roots.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                            Absolutely! I totally agree that the AHSA has not been doing these things.

                            Here in the Los Angeles area, land costs are so high that owning horses is prohibitively expensive. So, very few barns have lesson horses and thus lesson programs any more. People won't start riding if they can't start with minimal expense and equipment.
                            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


                            • #74
                              Snowbird - I absolutely believe that an important part of redefining equestrian sport is to provide QUALIFIED instruction.

                              So yes, I think some form of certification of trainers and instructors would be a good thing.

                              I also think some form of skills qualification for entering certain levels at NBG affiliated activities would be a good thing.

                              At least, there would be some means of making sure your instructor or trainer, or the person to whom you are entrusting your child, has achieved a standard of expertise. And that the standards are the same nationwide, so if you move from NJ to CA, you still have a measuring stick.

                              And, by requiring skills achievement for competition levels, there might be more incentive to provide adequate instruction to novices whether adult or children.

                              It would seem these actions might also help the liability question.


                              • #75
                                It appears the other disciplines are all for the grassroots approach, and many do it through their association (USDF, USEA, etc)

                                Looking at the NHJC "business plan" and knowing they are adamently against amateurs on their board (council), I find absolutely no consideration (in reality) for anything other than horse shows. I see the NHJC as the same old "AHSA" under a new name.

                                I find it disturbing - and I agree they need to be a separate entity. But NOT at the expense of all the changes we are making/have made.

                                So, we strive to market the sport and raise money, and find we are still treated like second class citizens in our own discipline. And we find they really don't give a hoot about the grassroots and local shows, etc etc.

                                Perhaps my question is, is it possible to go elsewhere? Is there a USEA for Show Jumping or Hunters (which IMHO,m should be separate - just as Reining is separate)?

                                co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


                                • #76
                                  You are waking up and smelling the fresh air. Yes, my interests in particular are very broad based. I want people on horses and I don't care much what discipline they choose. I am one who sees the merit in a multitude of ideas that have been put in operation by different groups of people. There is no one solution any more than there is one breed of horse that better at everything.

                                  Yes, what I see is a generic approach, and don't bite my head off but I even want to see it include horse racing. As we have grown we've become splintered and each group operates in their own vacuum. Different strokes for differnt folks is fine with me. I think it is possible to link it all together. I see a relationship between free style in skating and free style in Dressage. And, horses like people have different characteristics and purposes, that's not wrong it's wonderful.

                                  Louise you had me going gangbusters until you mentioned my old friend Francois LeMaire. He used to work for me and I might know him a little too well.

                                  Thank you so much, I want to hear from all the different breeds and disciplines. I will if you tell me forward all their interests and concerns. And, I hope that we can put it all together. It's a huge job and I can't do it alone. But, if you all would glean what is pertinent and email me I will see to it that it's considered.

                                  My mission is to see that our "grass roots" are not only welcomed but respected for the good ideas. This is not intended to demean any other aspect. As a conservative Republican I do not want people to be penalized because they have accumululated wealth nor do I want them to feel that all they are is a deep pocket to be picked. I have to admit some of my best friends have a lot of money and I respect them.

                                  For the first time I feel as if you all understand what I've been trying to say. Sometimes not very well put but we are at a cross-roads and every one is welcome to help make the choices. You don't have to agree with me just keeping talking and thinking how the job can get done. One person can make a difference!
                                  http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                  • #77
                                    "Heck the Grand National used to be a great show with rodeo events alternating with horse show events, an Arab Division, Saddlebreds/Hackneys/ FineHarness/Roadsters, a Paint division, an Appy division, even a Mule day!"

                                    I remember the Chicago Grand National Horseshow - it, too, had everything including a draft hitch class. And it was a sellout with spectators who never had and never would sit on a horse in their lives.

                                    Berrien Springs used to (don't know if it still does) have a multi-discipline show - everything from jumpers to harness ponies. Also jammed with happy spectators - and lots of fun for exhibitors to check out disciplines not on their normal daily menu.

                                    How about the new NGB working on eliminating the divisiveness and resultant ignorance between the various disciplines and encouraging multi-cultural (so to speak) horse shows? For the public, and even for the horse-crazy kid I once was, it's a lot more fun to watch a variety of horses doing lots of things than to watch an endless progression of the same old, same old.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Is the NHJC business plan available on-line somewhere? I checked their web site and they have their bylaws, but no sign of the business plan proposal they made to the AHSA/Fed.

                                      Snowbird, we have a grand old multi-discipline show here in Houston -- Pin Oak Charity. It is H/J in one set of rings, and saddle horses and roadsters in the other set of rings.
                                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                      • #79
                                        I do not believe that any but the hierarchy have seen the plan. I have heard of a few who are friends of the hierarchy who have seen the plan but it's a big big secret surprise for us!

                                        As members without a vote they don't feel we need to know what they plan for us.
                                        http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                        • #80
                                          Sounds like good ideas are percolating....

                                          So as not to re-invent the wheel, why not take advantage of groups already out there?

                                          pt was asking about instructor certification. There's ARICP (American Riding Instructor Certification Program)-- you can get a link to their website through ahsa.org.

                                          Snowbird was talking about including all horse people. Let the Fed get in the loop with AHC (American Horse Council) already working to bring the entire industry together on both a national and state level.

                                          Practical Horseman had an interesting article recently on GMHA (Green Mtn. Horse Assn.). Those folks probably have tons of ideas.