From Endurance to Dressage
The Hating Continues
Please give me a moment as I wait for my head to stop exploding. Oh, USEF, What. The. Frick.
I do not know if you truly and sincerely understand how much I absolutely, unequivocally, categorically despise the behemoth known as US Equestrian. To this day, some twelve years of membership later, I am still trying to figure out in what way this organization has done me, as an adult rider, a single ounce of good.
Shut up. I hear you already mumbling something about USEF being an organization who makes it possible for the sport to exist blah blah blah. No they don't. Schooling shows do just fine on their own. My own Group Member Organization, the California Dressage Society (CDS), offers fabulous awards and educational opportunities that have given me tremendous motivation. The United States Dressage Federation (USDF), our sport's national governing body, does even more with even fewer of my membership dollars. Both USDF and CDS are in touch with their members and are genuinely here to serve.
USEF offers me nothing in return for my membership dues. I get a card that says I can compete as an amateur. I get a worthless magazine that has no appeal to me as a rider who has zero aspiration (or means) to compete on the international stage. So what good is this organization? In my opinion, USEF is a a group of bureaucrats whose sole purpose for existing is to bilk grassroots riders out of their money in an effort to line their own pockets and serve their own greedy interests. So what has me riled up this week? This pathetic message that was sent out on Tuesday.
Lexington, Ky. - In support of action taken at the Mid-Year Board meeting, the USEF Board of Directors approved an Extraordinary Rule change to GR 202.1 Membership Requirements amending the approved use of Show Passes effective 12/1/22.
The emphasis is mine. An extraordinarily sucky rule change is right. And yes, it "streamlined" something - your money heading straight into USEF's pocket. They thought they'd fool us into thinking they've done something good for us. They haven't. What they've done is made it even more expensive for those riders who only want to show once or twice a year. Riders who maybe don't have more than one or two shows that are within driving distance. Riders who can't afford to do more than one or two shows a year.
Now, those riders have to pay for a full membership, which by the way is more than I pay to be a member of CDS and a group member of USDF combined. And how about those horse show moms and dads? The ones who just want to give their kiddos an opportunity to play an individual sport. Those moms and dads who want to coach their own kiddos now need to fork over annual dues as well. Want to know what else all "senior members" in good standing have to do? They have to take USEF's worthless SafeSport training every year.
I am not generally a conspiracy theorist, but I'm three-quarters of the way through Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Google it if it's not on your radar. Holy cow. Shit's gettin' real. I am over this current notion that Americans need to be forced into doing someone else's version of what is "right" - à la SafeSport. I do not need some jackass in Washington (or Lexington) tinkering with my moral compass. I can take care of that on my own. I am not molesting kids, and if I were, we'll let the police take care of it. Oh, wait. Those same jackasses wanted to defund the police.
This idea that self-appointed individuals in our society should somehow have the right to decide what is in everyone else's best interest horrifies me. Has no one ever read a book? When we give up control of our lives, nothing good EVER comes of it.
Shame on you, USEF. Shame on you. And you know what? Shame on me for continuing to be a member of an organization that disgusts me.
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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%: