Because I’m the biggest procrastinator ever, I waited until the day my USEA membership expired to renew. One of the great things about being a lower level eventer is the membership fees – technically all I have to have is the $85 annual membership to do recognized shows. Coming from Jumperland, where you need 5 thousand different memberships and registrations and renewals that come out to something around 19 million dollars annually if you want to do rated shows (only a slight exaggeration), I will never complain about USEA’s cost. It’s a bargain, and so much less headache to renew and keep up with.
They do give you the option of joining your area’s Adult Rider program, which I did last year but opted not to do for 2016. Aside from the Adult Team Championship at AEC (for which you had to be an Adult Rider’s member) I did nothing with Adult Riders in 2015, and since I don’t plan on going to AEC this year I decided to skip it. I can always join later if I need to.
Instead I think I’m going to join a local association instead. Of course Texas is split up kind of awkwardly for me… Dallas/Ft Worth has North Texas Eventing, Houston has Greater Houston Combined Training, and San Antonio has Central Texas Eventing. Austin has nothing centered around it. Of course. Because there is no eventing in Austin.
I’m pretty on the fence about which one to join. Each association has a couple of things that appeal to me, but no one in particular stands head and shoulders above the rest. When I did local h/j shows you had to be a member of the local association to do their shows, so there was no option – you had to join. None of the local eventing associations put on their own shows (at least not ones I would go to), the venues do, so there’s no membership requirement to do the shows.
If you’re in an area where you have more than one choice for a local association, how do you decide what to join? What things make one organization more appealing to you than another?
Mostly I’d just like to support their existence with my membership dollars, and since I can’t do all 3 of them I have to pick one. I have to be honest, I think I might just pick the one where I have the most friends and know the most people…