I get an idea, it sticks with me for a few days, and then I work until it's done. The funny thing is that I don't usually know where the ideas come from. Dressage is a perfect example. Why dressage? I honestly don't know. I had no understanding of the sport, I'd never seen a dressage show apart from on TV, and I owned no dressage tack. And yet, the idea took, and here I am.
My goals for the 2013 show season aren't very lofty. I am not feeling compelled to move on to First Level. I am happy plugging along at Training Level, for now. I do want to qualify for the RAAC, and I do want to earn my USDF Rider Award at Training Level.
"USDF Rider Awards are based strictly on the scores the rider achieves over time and need not be earned in one year." Thank goodness for that, or I'd be up a creek without a paddle!
The Rider Performance Awards may be achieved at Training, First, and Second Levels. Riders must earn four scores of 60% or higher at the respective level from two different shows, four different judges, and four different rides. So far I have two scores from two judges from two different shows. I just need two more scores from two different judges.
In order to be eligible for a USDF Rider Award, a rider must have a Participating Membership (PM) or a Group Membership (GM) when scores are earned. I have a group membership with my GMO, the California Dressage Society.
The horse need not have a USDF Lifetime Horse Registration Number (LHR) at the time the scores are earned, but the horse must meet minimum competition eligibility requirements at the time the scores are earned. Speedy has a USDF Horse ID Number which meets the requirement.
Scores may be earned on one or more horses. Good to know, but so far I am on track to do it with just one horse, Speedy G.
I think the Rider Performance Awards are a way to encourage riders to begin their journey toward earning their Bronze, Silver, and ultimately, their Gold Medal. When the 2012 USDF yearbook arrived, I flipped through the pages eagerly hoping to spot riders' names that I knew. I saw that Jennifer Nunez, from Ventura County Chapter of CDS, earned her Bronze Medal. I looked for other riders that I knew, but no one's name popped out. It must be quite exciting to earn the Bronze medal.
Near the back of the Yearbook is the list of riders who have earned their Rider Performance Awards (RPA) at Training, First, and Second Levels. There were a ton more medal recipients than Performance Award recipients. From a goal oriented thinker's point of view, this seemed really odd, but then I gave it more thought. There are likely many reasons why the list of names is so small.
First, it might be that many Training Level riders are not aware that there is an award available to them long before the Bronze medal. And to add to that confusion, the award is not automatically mailed out; riders must complete an application and submit a $25 fee. It might also be that riders don't feel that the Performance Award is worth the trouble. For those riders, the medals might be the recognition they seek. Out of the Training Level list of riders pictured below, only four were Californians.
But no pressure or anything!