From Endurance to Dressage
As some of you know, I serve as Vice-Chairperson for the Tehachapi Mountain Chapter (TMC) of the California Dressage Society (CDS). CDS is a Group Member Organization (GMO) of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). Not just a group member, but the largest GMO. And while we're not the biggest CDS Chapter, we've got it going on!
By studying my little attempt to organize the various dressage organizations (see above), you can see that TMC is a chapter of CDS which is a GMO of USDF which falls under the USEF umbrella. I thought education won the prize for alphabet soup; I might be wrong.
This is my second year as Vice-chairperson of my CDS chapter. At the end of 2019, all of the previous board members retired - aren't they glad now? Try as we might, the new board struggled mightily during 2020. Every single time we tried to plan something, the Covid-rug was yanked out from under us. Even with COVID restrictions though, we still managed to get some things accomplished. We held four, two-day clinics, we sold t-shirts in support of the 50th anniversary of the Bear Valley Springs community, and many members learned how to Zoom.
We've been MUCH more successful this year. We've just finished our third show & clinic combination, and our entry for the fourth one is now up on our website. We've held an ongoing tack sale which has raised hundreds of dollars thanks to the many donations we've received. Plus, with help from our sister chapter, Ventura County Chapter, we've sent both an adult amateur and a junior rider to their respective CDS clinics.
One of my jobs as Vice-Chairperson is to manage pretty much all social media on behalf of the chapter. I update our website regularly - check it out! as well as our Facebook page. On our Facebook page, I post funny or interesting memes as well as create Events for our shows/clinics and monthly meetings.
Besides managing the website and Facebook account, I've also worked really hard with the rest of the board (all two of them!) to redesign our chapter's logo. You wouldn't believe the amount of discussion that took. Simply ditching the old for something new wasn't nearly as easy as it sounds. First we had to identify what was wrong with the old logo and then create a plan for designing something that accurately fit our region and demographic.
After lots of discussion, mock ups, and jokes about the poop emoji, we finally sent our idea to a local graphics company who happily modified the design no less than a dozen times. We chose a rider wearing a helmet with the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background. California's state flower is the poppy, and since it blooms all over Kern county in the spring, we felt it was just the pop of color we needed. With an updated font and a rearrangement of our chapter name, we're incredibly proud of our new logo.
Over the past few days, I've been working with the graphics company to place our first few orders. So far we've ordered two banners, one for CDS to keep, and one for us to to display at our shows and clinics. We've also ordered year-end awards that have the logo embroidered on them (shhhh ... that's still a bit of a secret). Right now, I am collecting order forms and payment for this year's t-shirt.
Now that we have a logo, we're coming up with all kinds of things upon which to embroider or silkscreen. As soon as the Union Hill Dressage Pad comes back in stock, I am definitely getting at least one so I can embroider our logo on it.
When I was in my 20s, and even my 30s, I rarely volunteered for anything because I didn't have the time, or frankly, the experience to be of any real help. Now that I am 50, I understand how important volunteers are for any organization. And with 30 years of adulting under my belt, I feel that it's my turn to give back. Being on a board does take a lot of time, but just like being a trainer/coach, I get to see the other side of the coin.
Volunteering is hard work, but it's also a ton of fun. Do it!
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 the lower levels. 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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%