From Endurance to Dressage
Small number 1: I finally finished my SafeSport annual refresher course. Man I hate that thing. It's probably not as bad as I make it out to be, but on the heels of just having completed HOURS of training on that very subject for work, it's easy to see why YET ANOTHER training irritates me. And before you get all up in my business, know that I am already a MANDATED reporter and could potentially lose my job for NOT reporting. Even at a horse show. I take this stuff seriously. I am trained to spot bullying, cyber bullying, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and on and on. I've been receiving annual training for nearly three decades.
Enough of that. I will will throw US Equestrian a small bone though. Last year, my "refresher date" sailed right on past, and without warning, US Equestrian declared me ineligible for any and all USEF events. Later, several folks reached out to me and gently explained that there had been reminder emails. I get so much junk from USEF that I no doubt deleted them. This year, I received a very polite reminder notice about once a week for the entire month of August.
My very OCD self had to be restrained multiple times as she tried to take the course IMMEDIATELY. Common sense self urged patience. The sooner you take the course, the sooner you have to retake the course. It makes more sense to wait until it's actually due.
Small number 2: In the ongoing battle to soothe Izzy's skin, I bought yet another product, this one recommended by a Facebook friend. I checked out the product at their website. One look at their landing page hand me convinced.
In my enthusiasm, I neglected to search for a better deal. Yes, Ecovet will sell it to you directly, but I don't recommend it. I paid more than at other retailers, and the shipping was EXORBITANT, and I am not exaggerating. I think I paid $15 in shipping, and it took at least ten days to arrive.
Once I came to my senses, I realized that it was also available from my trusty favorite online retailer, the Riding Warehouse. Well, rats. Either way, it finally arrived yesterday afternoon. It's a lot smaller than your typical quart at only 16 ounces, so I sure hope it works as well as it claims. It may be too late to save Izzy's skin and hair this year, but it may still offer him some relief.
So there you have it; two small things. There is a third, but it's irrelevant to dressage or horses, but here goes. Along with the Ecovet, my new office chair arrived last night so I am off to assemble it. My back needs some relief. So there you have it; two smalls and an even smaller small.
Sometimes it's the small stuff that gets us through the day.
I don't know if I am simply the last person to discover Your Dressage, but I am sure enjoying it. I am not sure how USDF describes the site, but it feels like a better version of a magazine. It's a dynamic platform, changing all the time, loaded with all kinds of (what we in education call) multi-media text. There are videos, articles, polling questions, Words of the Week, Photos of the Week, and on and on.
Besides the landing page and a link to the USDF website, there are five other topics to browse: Education, Competition, Achievement, Community and Quick Reads. Within in each section, there are tons of articles, videos, and other things related to that general idea. If you haven't checked out the page, you might find it worth your while.
I am not joking when I say that I am quite possibly the last person to appreciate (and even notice) what USDF is sharing. Recently on my radar is USDF's eNews. I never have time to read everything, but I like being able to scroll through quickly to see if there's anything I need to know about. Like yesterday, when I saw the July 2020 "issue," my curiosity was piqued about what's going on in my own region - Region 7. You can obviously read it for yourself, but I was quite proud of how my own Group Member Organization (GMO), the California Dressage Society (CDS), has responded to COVID-19. I know I am lucky to have such an active and enterprising GMO.
As if all that weren't enough, I opened my July/August edition of the USDF Connection to read about a "new" face on the Executive Board, CDS's own Kevin Reinig. His election to the position of Vice-President wasn't news to me of course, California's not that big, but it was great to see someone I know and recognize, representing my interests at the national level. I know Kevin will do a great job.
One last thing. Speedy and I are headed to a CDS/USDF/USEF show this weekend. While I know that many states are probably not allowing equestrian shows to happen, I am ever so grateful that CDS, along with help from both USDF and US Equestrian, has persevered through the governmental red tape in order to provide a safe way for many Californians to still compete this year.
So, USDF, thank you!
Actually, this could be about membership cards in general. Well more specifically, dressage association cards. Your gym membership card is on you.
It all started because I never received my California Dressage Society card. I had forgotten about it until this weekend when I sat down to do my first show entry of the year. I am sure a lot of you do something similar, but I like to lay out all of my cards on one sheet and print up a whole year's worth.
I pulled out my trusty show binder, prepared to do just that. I found both boys' USDF Lifetime Registration certificates, those are always easy to find, but couldn't find my USDF or CDS cards. My USEF card had only recently arrived so it was still encased in its plastic case.
No matter how many times I shook my binder, the two missing cards were nowhere to be found. I wasn't too worried about the USDF card because that one is easy to print. In fact, I stopped searching and immediately went and printed a copy. If you're not sure how to do that, go to the USDF website and click Members/Horses at the top of the page. Under Person, click Print Card/Receipt. Type in your name, hit submit, and your info will pop up. Simply hit the mini print icon and your membership card will pop up, ready to print.
Even though I received my USEF membership card, I actually printed the copy from USEF because the online version now includes your SafeSport training information. From the USEF webpage, simply click the account button although you'll probably have to logon first. Once on the member dashboard, you'll see the option to print your card at the top of the page.
The CDS card was another matter. I went to the website and took a peek at the member page, but I didn't see an option for printing my card. I immediately emailed Paula Langan who runs the CDS Central Office. Paula is amazing. She answers questions from all 3,000 plus CDS members, and if the rest of the membership is anything like me, she does a lot of emailing. I must ask her no less than a question a week, and no matter how many times she sees my email address, she answers me anyway.
It must be particularly tiring to answer questions that a member can answer for herself. Even so, Paula politely informed me that CDS is no longer mailing out cards, Instead, riders can go to the member page and simply print their own. Guess where riders can do that? Yep, on the member page. I just hadn't scrolled down far enough. D'oh.
Sheesh. So, now my membership cards are all printed and ready for this year's show season. While I had planned to wait until March to start things off, it looks like Speedy and I are aiming for a show in just under two weeks.
Fingers crossed that we both stay healthy!
Peggy Klump is a former CDS president who lives in in my showing area. I've taken two lessons from her, and she's been my judge at least a few times. I am also very good friends with one of her former students. Since Peggy and I are "friends" on Facebook, this popped up on my feed on yesterday.
My Friend Jen puts on at least a dozen USDF-rated shows throughout the year. When USEF added the Safe Sport training to the list of things she had to verify for each competitor, her workload got even heavier. Having proof of training right there on the card will certainly make the job easier for show managers.
I haven't renewed my membership yet; I'll do it in December, but I am looking forward to a card that sports more information. Has anyone else already seen this?
I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but I somewhat reluctantly volunteered to serve on the board of my chapter of CDS, the Tehachapi Mountain Chapter (TMC). I've been a member since 2010, but since I live an hour away, I've never volunteered before. In all honestly, the team that has served until now has done an excellent job. I am not sure how welcome my help would have been anyway.
So here we are, a decade later, and as always happens, the core of the old board decided to retire. You know how it is though. When someone's been doing a really good job, it's hard to find people to step up to fill their shoes. After some deliberation, Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, stepped up and agreed to serve as the chapter Chairperson. She asked me to serve with her. Darn it.
At the chapter's annual awards banquet, Terry Quinn, the outgoing Chairperson, handed off a literal gavel to Chemaine and introduced the new board. Up until that moment, being chapter Vice-chair was really just words on a page. Once Terry formally introduced us to the membership though, my stomach gave a little flip flop. Stuff was about to get real.
Last night was our first official meeting. I am nothing if not dedicated, so as Vice-chair I've already logged in a few dozen hours. I started off by attending a Golden Empire Arabian Horse Society meeting in an attempt to join forces. We're hoping to put on a joint TMC/GEAHS show in the spring. So far, the folks at GEAHS are on board. Now we just need to get the venue lined up, the date established with CDS, and about a million other details ironed out.
Besides being the liaison between the two chapters, I also volunteered to redesign and manage the chapter's website. It's a job I like and actually feel that I can do well.
You're probably going to hear more about what it's like to actually work behind the scenes of a dressage organization. I love to show, and that won't change, but I felt like this was a good time to start giving back a little.
If you're part of the Tehachapi Mountain Chapter of CDS, or you just want to be, give us a holler. It'll be fun!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read