The purpose of the Oregon Dressage Society is to educate, promote and inspire its members and the general public through programs, publications and competitions, in a way that enhances the image of Dressage and promotes the welfare of the horse.
ODS was established in 1971 and officially chartered on March 21, 1972. We currently are the third largest Group Member Organization (GMO) in the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) with around 1150 members.
After a 6 year discussion, in the early 1980's, chapters were originally formed to encourage member growth outside of the NW corner of Oregon. North Willamette Valley, Twin Rivers (Eugene), Portland Area Chapter, Cascade Chapter (Klamath Falls) and Mid Valley in the Salem area are charter. Today, there are 18 chapters within four regions of the state and in SW Washington. Chapters then and today offer educational opportunities and shows in addition to the offerings of the ODS Committees at the behest of the ODS Board.
ODS has strong youth programs. Because of ODS members in the Pacific Crest Trail Chapter, the first county to participate in a Pilot program in 4-H was Washington County 1987. In 1988, Clackamas County joined and was incorporated in full honors offering medallions. 4-H Program in Oregon. The 4-H State Fair first offered Dressage in 1991, years ahead of many other states. In addition to our work with Oregon's 4-H Youth, we have had a strong influence on the OHSET Dressage Program, offer a Varsity Lettering Program here in Oregon and helped lead the creation of the USDF's High School Lettering Program. Write something about the PCTC members wrote the Oregon 4-H Dressage Manual which is now a national publication.
ODS has also been a strong leader in educational programs for adults. Glimmers of the Learner Judge program started in the 1980s with an local training program for Oregon Dressage Society Only judges. This program has since gone national and is currently administrated by the USDF. "L" Programs have run in Oregon twice since the USDF took over, with a third scheduled in early 2011.
We were also helpful with the USDF Instructor Trainer Program and the formation of Adult Camp Guidelines. Dressage shows provide testing opportunities that measure the progress of horse and rider in the discipline of dressage. ODS has proposed at a national level the concept of the team competitions as a result of our successful Adult Team Competition and the Youth Team Championships, which are still held today. The ODS Championship Show was established in 1981, 5 years ahead of the USDF Regional Championships. At the 2010 ODS Championships, we enjoyed approximately 110 horse and rider combinations.