There have some threads on the forum about the rising costs of showing and how Dressage is being exclusionary and becoming less accessible .
So what can be done to change it?
Besides the obvious like lowering the costs of showing, and membership fees.
From what I’ve read on other threads, there are fewer shows now and it makes it more difficult for the AA to show enough to earn points .
If you have the resources, you can move to Wellington in the winter and Maine in the summer.
You can go to Germany or Austria or Spain if you are so inclined
But what can the USDF do for the talented but income challenged?
( Does not apply to me, I ain’t got no talent. )
From what I gather, there are some active members of the USDF on COTH that are trying to get the
concerns of the AA heard but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
- Can we learn some lessons from Europe and make Dressage more attractive to American spectators?
Do we want to?
- What can GMOs do to attract local attention and
Anecdote: A long time ago I knew a woman who moved to my location from out of state where she had been very active her GMO. She was very ready to join our GMO and participate.
She went to two meetings and quit because she said all they did was sit around and gossip and trash talk.
They did have many volunteers, but only 2 shows per year. The serious dressage riders save all their energy for regionals and clinics.
From what I understand the membership has dropped as have the number of volunteers.
One of the biggest drawbacks I see in my area is that there are no Academy Dressage stables . There are 4 or 5 Hunter barns that have lesson horses and programs and camps geared toward lower level riders but there are no dressage stables that do that.
There are some dressage instructors and there is one who has a training stable but you have to have your own horse.
The GMO does put on a show twice a year, but other than a notice on the Web site they dont advertise or market except to put notices in the tack shops and most of their clientele already know.
There are very few spectators because the venues are rural and on private farms or stables that are not welcoming to visitors.
Most of the venues have no bleachers to sit and watch comfortably or little in the way of amenities.
I think the GMO is missing a great opportunity to reach out to young riders but maybe they dont want to.
Maybe the problem in the US is that Dressage is perceived as inaccessible because its largely unavailable.