I am delighted to be coming on as the new Area II Adult Rider Coordinator and can only hope to fill one of Cindy DePorter’s two shoes. It is a daunting taskI’ve had the luxury of several months becoming familiar with what the position entails and how Cindy and others see it as evolving. In this short piece, I will note some of the ideas that we’ve kicked about, in the hopes that other adult riders will chime in and provide suggestions and direction.

First, what IS the Adult Rider Program?

It is a USEA educational program with groups in all ten Areas, with the Missionto increase adult rider participation in eventing by providing education and recognition and offering communication and camaraderie.”  Just because you are an adult, and you ride, does not make a you a member of the program – you have to join!

The Adult Rider Program has flourished and expanded under Cindy’s direction.  When I was first introduced to the Adult Rider Program, about seven years ago, I was at a point where I was giving up eventing.  But meeting some of the AR2 riders, and feeling the sense of camaraderie and support that only comes from such a vibrant program, encouraged me to give it another go.  So here I am, age 50-something, giving it another go.  I couldn’t do it without the friends and support that come from our program.

Most adult riders in our area have not joined the Program.  Of the approximately 1150 Area II USEA members who are over 21, only about 30% are members of the Program; many don’t even realize that the Program exists.    I do think our Adult Rider Program can be much stronger.  Area II is the heart of eventing land!  We have so many resources right here and we truly need to use those resources as a unified group.  So often I meet people at events and ask if they’re part of the Adult Rider Program.  Often the answer is, “I think I might be… but I’m not entirely sure.”  Membership is not automatic, you have to join.

Are you over 21?  Are you a member of the Area II Adult Rider Program?

Not if you haven’t registered.  In order to be part of the program, you have to actually register at the time you pay your USEA dues.  Are you not sure if you did this?  You can find out if you are a paid AR2 Member by contacting Michele Schwartz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Michele is our AR2 Adult Rider Membership Chair and has all of those records.   Please join if you are over 21 and haven’t done so already!  It’s great fun and the education and camaraderie are so worth it!

What brings us together?  We communicate through a Yahoo listserv, which has brought many of us together and serves to forge friendships and bonds among all segments of our region.  If you are not familiar with this list, you can request to join by going to http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/ar2/ and requesting to join through the site.  If that doesn’t work, you can just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can walk you through the process.

The Adult Rider Program can be so much more than just an email chat list, though, and that’s what I want to begin working toward.

How do we set our goals?

Part of what I want to accomplish this year is developing better communication amongst ALL USEA adult riders in area 2.  What is it that we want from our adult rider membership?  More clinics?  Online seminars?  Course walks?  Picnics at our events?  I honestly can only speak for myself so it is imperative that we all speak out and generate ideas about what we want from our group.

It is all about communication: sharing ideas, bringing those ideas to fruition, and using our AR2 resources to help each of us attain our goals as eventers, trainers, and riders.

State Coordinators:

One way to improve communication is to strengthen smaller groups within our group.  How many of us know that we have state coordinators within Area II?   We do!  There are two states, Pennsylvania and Delaware that are currently in need of state coordinators.  Susan MacRae has been the state coordinator for PA for many years now, and would like to pass on her baton.  Delaware is a small state but heck, there are quite a few very active adult riders there and while we could just lop it together with Maryland, how the heck do you get across that big puddle of water?  So we need someone for Delaware.

So we need two volunteers for state coordinators: one from Pennsylvania and one from Delaware. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give me a call at 540-270-4625 if you are interested.  What is required?  Enthusiasm!

What do we want to do?

Well, to quote again from the USEA Website, the mission of the USEA Adult Rider Program is “to increase adult rider participation in eventing by providing education and recognition and offering communication and camaraderie.”   Seems to me that our first step is communication, and that includes talking about, writing about, and discussing what sort of educational programs we want in our area.

  • Clinics: Historically, we haven’t had great attendance at clinics, at least here in Northern Virginia.  One reason might be that we already have top trainers right here.  So why spend money to take a clinic with someone who lives less than an hour from you, where you could go get a private lesson for less money?  If we planned clinics with trainers who are outside of our areas, there might be more enthusiasm.  For example, Carol Kozlowski is not a local trainer here in Virginia and if she were to travel here, perhaps more folks would want to attend.  I’d especially like to attend if we add a strong social component, i.e., picnic, refreshments, and the like.
  • Reduced fees for coaching and course walking at events: I personally love these options as I train with different people and rarely have a trainer available at any given event.
  • Seminars: How about educational seminars offered at events, say on the evenings or late afternoons of 2 day events?  Topics could range from a talk on proper warm up for dressage, how to prepare for hard footing, use and choice of studs, or any other topics.
  • Summer Camps: Would there be interest in a summer camp north and a summer camp south, with clinicians hired from outside of the immediate areas?
  • Ultimately, these decisions are up to the AR2 Membership.  We have so much that we can garner from the resources in our area.  But we need to hear from the membership, and not just those who are active on the chat list.  We need to hear from all of you.

In the coming weeks, you will receive an email from me asking for your input.  More importantly, I am asking that you contact your state coordinator with any ideas that you might have.  Our season is upon us (at least it is in Southern Pines!), and while most of us are hard at work, conditioning and training, it is also that time to start marking our calendars and setting up the trailer tack room.

See you at the finish line!

Ann Baumgardner

 

 

 

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Megan Profitt

Megan Proffitt

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