From Endurance to Dressage
Let the flow of cash begin! Horse ownership is already a pricey venture. If you want to show, be prepared to fork over serious cash. And if you want to be recognized by the sanctioning bodies with even a certificate, just hand over your wallet.
Now that Speedy and I have left Training Level for a level that at least bears a number, low as it is, I am considering upping some of my memberships and adding others. I am seriously goal oriented; if there is a pin, certificate, or patch to be earned, my name is all over it. But after adding up what it would cost to earn the afore mentioned pins, certificates, and patches, I had to do some thinking.
Renewing with USEF is first. That membership is $55.00. Speedy already has a USEF Horse ID, but not his Horse Recording number ($200 for a lifetime number or $75 for an annual number). Having Speedy recorded with USEF just means we would be eligible for Horse of the Year and could compete at the USEF Championship. Eh … not interested. We'll stick with just having a regular membership.
USEF - $55.00
Next comes the USDF membership. I've always just gone with the Group Membership (free if I join my GMO) because we haven't been good enough to compete in the USDF Region 7 Championship. I also haven't been too worried about breed awards either. Group Membership allows you to participate in the Rider Award Program, which includes the medals, as well as all USDF shows.
This year, I am interested in some of the awards that the Arabian Horse Association offers, but I would need to be a Participating Member with USDF ($75) and Speedy would need his Lifetime Horse Registration number which would be a one-time upgrade fee of $70.00.
USDF - $145.00 or $0.00
And of course, I have to join my GMO, the California Dressage Society. I get most of my recognition from this organization. CDS offers all sorts of programs. This year, I took advantage of all of them: AA Clinic, RAAC, Championship, Rosettes (scores for my plaque), and I even submitted my name for the Henry Buchard Trophy (not likely, but still …). Joining CDS is $65 annually with no costs for Speedy.
CDS - $65.00
I am also considering joining DASC, a much smaller GMO that serves Southern California. The only real benefit to joining that group is to be able to compete in their championship show, but I've heard rumors that there might not be one this year. Joining DASC is $60.00 annually with an accompanying $10.00 for Speedy.
DASC - $70.00
And finally, there is a little pin that I wouldn't mind earning from the Arabian Horse Association (AHA). Getting it though (not guaranteed), would cost a whole lot more than the pin is worth. Joining AHA costs $40.00 with an additional $35.00 tacked on if I want my competition card. Speedy is already registered as a purebred Arabian, so he doesn't need a membership.
AHA runs their awards program in an à la carte fashion. If you want to participate in the particular program, you pay for it only. I think this is a way to bilk their membership though. If I am already a member, and I have also paid for a competition card, why must I now pay extra for the rewards that come with using that card? Sheesh, AHA, squeeze a little harder.
AHA offers three dressage programs: Dressage Rider Award, USDF All Breed Dressage Award, and an Open Qualifying Competions Program. The last one is definitely not for me. To get the little pin from AHA's Rider Award, I have to pay a $45.00 enrollment fee for each level. If I get the pin at First Level, I have to pay again for each level after.
For Speedy to be eligible for the USDF All Breed Award, which is given by USDF, I have to be a PM of USDF, Speedy needs to have a Lifetime Horse Registration number, and then I need to pay AHA a $25 enrollment fee.
If I wanted to be eligible for The AHA stuff, my total membership fees would be $410.00. If I wanted to skip AHA and just do the DASC stuff, it would be $190.00. If I wanted to do it all … $480.00. That's not going to happen.
The truth is, I just moved to First Level. We probably won't be very competitive this year anyway. I should probably just stick to my regular USEF and CDS memberships. And if I start to feel some money burning a hole in my pocket during the year, I could go ahead and upgrade Speedy's USDF Horse ID to a Lifetime Horse Registration. That way, I wouldn't have to do it in 2016.
This year's membership fees would be $120.00 - easy peasy.
11/16/2014 09:42:35 pm
If you join two GMO's you can get a refund of about $25 from USDF for the second GMO. Because the 25 is supposed to pay USDF for the group membership, but you already paid. If you want the form I can dig it up.
11/17/2014 09:36:53 pm
Good to know, Mia. I am definitely going to pass that on to my DASC pals.
Ugh. I'm thinking memberships, too. I'm considering not doing my GMO membership this year and doing the full Participating Membership with USDF. I think we could be competitive at 2nd this year, plus we'll be moving from Indiana in the middle of show season, and I will not be traveling back to get awards or do the end of year Championship show. That kind of makes me sad. My GMO has been awesome.
11/17/2014 09:39:00 pm
Yeah … that wold be a tough call. Leaving Indiana, where are you heading? IDS is the only GMO that I hear about that sounds even somewhat like CDS. Hopefully your next GMO will be similar.
I looooove IDS, and will be super sad to leave them! This little Indiana dressage community has been super!
11/17/2014 09:39:29 pm
11/17/2014 09:40:32 pm
That's what happened: a little of this and a little of then, and then I went, WAIT A MINUTE! Too much money for a little pin. :0)
11/17/2014 02:56:57 am
Yep, it's that time. I just did my GMO, now going for USDF for both myself and Paddy. And then there's the Haflinger association... Cha-CHING!
11/17/2014 09:41:11 pm
And then you have to pray that you and your horse both stay sound. :0)
1/25/2015 12:59:35 pm
1/26/2015 05:48:52 am
1/27/2015 02:12:00 am
Awesome, thanks a lot, saved me lots of reading/searching! The USEF website is wonky for new memberships, so I'll have to call. I do have my CDS one though :-)
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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
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: