Group Member Organizations (GMOs) are the foundation of USDF and integral in bringing dressage and dressage education to the masses.
Stay connected with your local dressage community and support dressage at the local level by joining a GMO in your area today!
USDF GMO Established: 1974
Locality: Region 6, Washington
How many members does your GMO have annually, on average?
Tell us about your GMO.
Equestrians Institute (EI) is a nonprofit member organization with four decades of experience managing equestrian events in the Pacific Northwest. EI provides educational and competitive opportunities in Dressage, Eventing, Driving, and Sporthorse Breeding. As a volunteer-run organization, EI encourages camaraderie, support, and skill development.
EI is governed by an elected Board of Directors, and work is coordinated across multiple committees. The Dressage, Eventing, Driving, and Sport Horse Breeding Divisions are independently responsible for managing activities to promote their respective pursuits. Bookkeeping, membership, insurance, information technology, and grants are managed centrally and overseen by the Board. The Board includes representation from each Division.
EI is partnered with national organizations in each discipline.
• Alliance Partner #200 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
• Group Member Organization (GMO) #601 United States Dressage Federation (USDF).
• Affiliate Member of the United States Eventing Association (USEA).
• Club Member of the American Driving Society (ADS).
Equestrians Institute was incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in the State of Washington in 1974. Donations to EI are tax-deductible.
Does your GMO offer unique classes or activities that cater to youth, adult amateurs, or professionals? If so, please provide a brief description.
During the calendar year, EI runs 20-25 events. For dressage, EI offers USDF-recognized dressage show competitions and educational opportunities, like schooling shows and scribing clinics. For eventing, EI runs USEA-sanctioned Horse Trials, Hunter-Pace clinics, and cross-country clinics. For driving, EI holds beginning driving clinics, CDE schooling weekends, ADS-recognized Combined Driving Events, TREC events, and Driving Trials.
EI also offers programs of general appeal, including cross-discipline clinics, educational grants, social events, and fundraisers. Volunteers are honored and celebrated with gifts and prizes, and competition riders vie for trophies, ribbons, and certificates through demonstrated achievement in their sport.
What type of educational events does your GMO offer?
With its main mission of education, EI offers events and activities in all four divisions. In support, each Division of EI (Dressage, Eventing, Driving, and Sport Horse Breeding) offers annual educational grants to EI members.
Grant money is used for educational purposes such as clinics, seminars, symposia, and lectures. Grant money may also be used for travel costs to attend the annual meetings of equestrian organizations such as USDF, USEA, USEF, or ADS. Grant money is not for competitive endeavors.
In the case of equally qualified applicants, preference will be given to applicants under eighteen years old.
What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer?
EI is unique in its blend and balance of disciplines. A poker ride finds not only cross country riders, but drivers, young horses learning about new experiences, and dressage horses enjoying a wide-world hack. A TREC may be ridden or driven, a meld of orienteering, easy obstacle games, timing and control of paces. Driving Division hosts its “Everything but the Kitchen Sink Weekend,” combining open schooling, lessons with renowned trainers, dressage festival, driving derby, and a one-day driving trial.
EI strives to keep members informed with accurate and timely information about equestrian events, activities, and news. As part of the ‘Go Green’ initiative launched in 2007, EI has dramatically reduced paper use and mailing costs by using electronic communication whenever feasible. EI maintains an active website, Facebook page (Equestrians Institute), and Twitter account (ei_tweets). Mass e-mail notifications to members (“e-Flashes”) are periodically sent when needed. EI maintains a “do-not-e-mail” list with people who have expressed a desire not to receive e-mail from EI. EI has ongoing column space in the monthly printed publication Flying Changes. Each Division provides written content for the column. A sidebar of contact information and an ongoing event calendar are kept current.
As a USDF GMO, members receive the USDF Connection magazine with articles of interest to dressage riders in particular and all horse-persons in general. And now, we get to add EI to the national scene via the GMO Spotlight in the digital publication YourDressage!