Utah Dressage Society (UDS)

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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: 1994

Locality: Region 5, Utah

Website: www.utahdressagesociety.net

How many members does your GMO have annually, on average? 175 members

Tell us about your GMO. We have twelve perpetual trophies we give out each year at our awards banquet. Some of the trophies are very old and date back to 1978! On our website, we have a photo of all of them with history listed about the award and who has won it over the years. We not only have perpetual trophies for all levels and musical freestyle but also for Para-equestrian, a Pony award, a Senior award, and soon we will be adding a Junior award in memory of a special teen who recently passed away very suddenly. Most trophies are dedicated to special members who have passed on. We completed the Instructor Certification program and we also held an L Program session. At our banquet last year, we held a silent auction to benefit one of our Utah trainers that was struggling with cancer. We also started a Short Tour program for those just starting out in the sport to be able to show and learn how to compete in a more laid back atmosphere while also being more financially friendly. We have 3-4 short tour shows (a bump up from a schooling show) that the competitor needs to braid and dress for and they see what it is like to compete at a recognized show. They then qualify to ride in the Short Tour championships and win the BIG ribbons.

Does your GMO offer unique classes or activities that cater to youth, adult amateurs, or professionals? If so, please provide a brief description. We developed a scribing certification. We give out cards based on their competency level. It gives the scribes credibility! We hold a training class on how to scribe and we have an L judge there so the participants can practice scribing while they sit in front of a large screen playing “On the Levels” – the L Judge pretends to be giving scores and comments so the participants can get a feel for what it is like to scribe. We then have them co-scribe along with a competent scribe at schooling shows, short tour shows and a ride-a-test clinic. Once they pass off on a level, they then get a certification card. Bronze is scribing Intro through Second Level, including freestyles, silver is for Third and Fourth including freestyles and gold is FEI Levels including freestyles. This year we also added ring steward and bit/ tack checking and after the class we put pictures of various bits, spurs, bridles, logo pads and attire on the screen and tested them to see if they understood if the item was legal or not.

What type of educational events does your GMO offer? We hold a winter symposium each winter and have guest speakers and breakout sessions. We have a variety of topics and this is not just for dressage riders but all disciplines! We want horse folks in our community to know what dressage is and how it is the basis of every discipline and we wish to bring the community together to learn about horses. We cover topics like horse care emergency managements, how to develop a young horse, yoga for the rider, biomechanics, dealing with setbacks, nutrition, training issues. We also have a panel of our top trainers who answer the audience’s riding and training questions.

What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer? Our Juniors get together for pool parties, clinics, trail rides and horse care clinics with stations such as how to braid, horse stretches, how to take a temp, how to put polo wraps on, or how to lunge correctly.

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