USE Webinar on changing the AA rule

I know some folks will be interested in this. I got an email; do not think I can share it here, but this is the text of the message: ( and that Register button at the end is a hot link)


Amateur Task Force: Proposed Amateur Rule Changes

August 2, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EDT

The current amateur rule does not meet the needs of our current members. The environment has changed considerably since the latest version of the rule was approved. We are examining the rule to ensure its relevance in today’s environment.

Member feedback, accessibility to equestrian sport, and sport growth are driving the analysis of this rule.

The Amateur Task Force began work in March of 2021. The task force would like to present the recommendations to our members to solicit feedback prior to proposing rule changes.



This was tried a few years ago. The only amateurs well served are the wealthy ones. For everyone else shows remain very expensive.

I would suggest any current members request online shows where you can submit tests. It’s done for western dressage via the WDAA which, from my understanding, is the western dressage equivalent of the USDF.


How does getting rid of the AA rule make things cheaper though?

Legit question because I don’t know.

Edit: I meant to direct this question at you, @Knights_Mom or did I read your first paragraph wrong?


I don’t know what’s on the agenda rule change wise

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I believe they are trying to figure out how to reconfigure and update the whole definition of an amateur. There was a rule change proposal last winter that included loss of amateur status for bloggers, or social media influencers, or something like that. But that rule change proposal got dropped, and they were going to start over, I think.

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They probably want to shut people up.

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Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but I think running a sponsored blog SHOULD lose your ammy status… I’m not clear on the rules but I would think plugging something you like but that you don’t receive compensation for is different.


my guess is they are attempting to address income produced on social media … are they professional media or just people earning money like driving for Uber

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I thought there were two major complaints. 1 - Someone who receives the vast majority of her income from a job but gives a few low level lessons once or twice a week (or month) or rides a horse for an absentee owner or gets free or discounted board or lessons in exchange for barn work. 2 - People were tired of competing against wealthy riders like Charlotte Jorst or Alice Tarjan, who can buy the fanciest horses on the planet and have unlimited time to ride and unlimited funds to show.

At least, those were some of the comments I have heard.


How does one make a rule where this does not happen?
Have levels where you show your income to qualify to ride in it?


But does running a blog make someone a better rider?

I don’t have strong feelings about it, but I can see both sides of the discussion.


Does teaching up down lessons make you a better rider?


Maybe, maybe not. But I can imagine that would be a harder line to draw in the sand as far as regulating it.

Let’s not forget how the rulebook got to be so thick in the first place. People keep coming up with new ways to circumvent the rules, and they have to keep writing more rules to close the loopholes. And so on, and so on, and so on.

The amateur rule is a prime example.


How about hearing from someone who has been through this? I have a relatively popular blog I’ve maintained for 12 years. I went pro several years ago because I was not making much money at the time, and I had companies paying me commissions and giving me products to review that I loved but could never afford. It felt like a dream.

I continued to show, but put my bigger show dreams on hold because I was just not placing among open riders (off-breed horse and rider’s first time doing Dressage, spent four years floundering through 2nd, no one will accuse me of being a pro and no a blog does not make you a better rider, wish that it did, lol).

I went through the whole song and dance to become an AA again this year after quitting all those pro activities a few years ago, and what do you know, I finally qualified for Regionals and started winning big ribbons again. But I only quit the pro activities because I’d finally gotten promoted enough in at my day job (as a computer engineer, again, nowhere near a pro!) that I can afford to do horses without the blog income.

This social media rule is sorely misguided and belongs in the same category as teaching up down lessons. We talk so much about how to make the sport more affordable and then we turn around and hamstring AAs from having side hustles that could make the sport more affordable, and it just does not make any sense to me.


I think part of the problem is there needs to be a clear line in the sand because there will always be someone who breaks the rules trying to find a way around that line.


Not disagreeing with you there. But I think we’ve definitively proven at this point that people will always find loopholes no matter how “clearly” you try to write the AA rule, and the way it’s written now is actively hurting lower-middle income AAs.

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I agree. I am very much in this demographic.


Trubi and Cob Jockey you are both prime examples of the people who need to file testimony and contribute to the conversations where they can be taken in to consideration.


another aspect of the social media is who has the rights when they record at a venue, normally the show’s organizers have the sole right

But then you get the social media dude recording at a show, posting on their account acquire revenue and they really do not have the right to (unless there is prior agreement with management)

Let me put it this way: people get bumped out of AA status for much lesser “crimes.”

Signed as someone who is no longer an ammy because I decided the small income I get from occasional training rides and commissions is better than the ammy status.

Flame suit on again: obviously so much about showing is about money, but if you (g) can afford to get to the show and are bopping around any level with bad scores, maybe you (g) should go back to the training. We’ve all seen the people with all the gear and no idea… maybe we need better judges education too, if they’re really rewarding the money instead of the ride (and I think judges need to learn to judge a fancy horse more accurately. Fancy =/= correct.)