From Endurance to Dressage
Man. They aren't messing around. On Sunday morning, I got this email from US Equestrian.
Last year, when the SafeSport training was launched, I dutifully, if not particularly willingly, completed the training well in advance of the required date. I did it on August 31, 2018 to be exact. US Equestrian's email arrived on September 1, 2019. I knew I was due for the refresher course, but since this is the first year for a refresher course, I wasn't quite sure how it was going to work. I assumed I'd get a friendly reminder just like when it's time to renew my membership. I got a reminder all right, but I didn't expect it to be so snappy and accusatory. Sheesh, US Equestrian. You made it sound like I failed to show up for a court hearing.
How about a slightly friendlier letter? Maybe along the lines of Dear Karen Sweaney, You are due to complete the SafeSport Refresher Course in order to be eligible to compete at USEF-licensed competitions. Yada yada yada. In fact, the email doesn't even mention that it's the refresher course I needed to take. Nope. Instead, I got a big fat accusation, "Because you did not complete the required SafeSport Training ..." Which kind of freaked me out because I did take the initial training, and I had a certificate to prove it.
While I might not be shy about voicing my opinion, I am still a rule follower, so I sat down on Sunday afternoon to take the course. I don't know if it was because US Equestrian's website was down over the weekend - I think they were moving to a new building, but logging on to my account on USEF and then getting to the SafeSport training both took a fair amount of time. Thankfully, I didn't have to retake the whole thing though. SafeSport seemed to know who I was and sent me to the Refresher Course.
Once I was finally on and ready to go, the course took no more than 15 minutes. I watched an introductory video, answered 7 questions on a pretest, and then read through a number of note cards all designed to remind me of what bullying, harassment, and sexual misconduct look like. I was also reminded of when to report a violation. The course ended with a posttest that was made up of the same 7 questions I took as a pretest.
As a classroom teacher who goes through much broader training each year, SafeSport's refresher course was thankfully quick and painless and certainly much better than was the original course.
And of course, when you finish, you get this handy dandy, very official certificate recognizing you for successfully completing SafeSport's Refresher Course. As I was studying the certificate though, I noticed that it stipulated that I had done Refresher Course 1. That got me wondering just how many Refresher Courses there might be, so I zipped back over to US Equestrian to see if I was truly finished.
Since I am hoping to take Speedy to a USDF-rated show in October, I wanted to make sure to get this done in as timely a manner as possible. I just wish US Equestrian would have been a bit less brusque in their communication. We're all supposed to support one another in a positive and friendly atmosphere, right?
I think we should expect the same thing from our governing bodies.
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%: