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.
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.
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.