depends on your experience and the quality of your horse. i started unaffiliated with welsh boy coz i thought affiliated was for pro's. i worked up to elem unaff before finally giving aff a go after a lot of pressure from my instructor. didn't think i'd be good enough, but got points and placings on 1st outing and clocked up 81 points, 3 trips to the regionals, 2 top 6 placings at the area festivals and 4th at the winter champs in the next couple of years. if doing it again from the start i'd probably just go for affiliated, but the points clock up quick so i'd make sure i was established at home first. if introducing a baby to dressage, i'd go unaff first just to get it used to going out, then go aff prelim where you dont get any points. the judging is much more reliable aff, but obviously it costs more money (£100 a yr plus more expensive entry fees) and you clock up points and put yourself out of a level. good points are better judges, prestigious finals to qualify for, chance to be in H&H, better competition etc
Definately affiliate, you can still do unaffiliated as well. i know you are local to me and you'll find most of the affil venues run unaffil as well. You'll find about 2/3rds are the same people! You tend not to get the bottom third just having a go at unaf, and the top third tend to be better or just do affiliated, but it's not that big a step if you have competed at these venues unafiliated already. The judging does tend to be more consistent at affiliated as well, although I found my scores tended to be around 5% lower on average at affiliated!
I'd say affiliate. The judges are much better, I find huge variances in the marking at unaffiliated competitions. At unaffiliated they mark you so much higher and you don't get a true picture of your horse that way.
i say go to a few unaffliated comps and see how it goes and if you do well then affliate. I really enjoyed it, i won a couple of classes and got placed at Area Festivals. I personally found very little difference in unaffliated marks to affliated marks, may just be the area i am in
i have to totally disagree with you, i find judgin at affliated level VERY erratic. i can do an amazing test and come out with the most awful mark, and also get marked down for the most stupid of things sometimes. Unaffliated ive always scored consistently, and come out with a mark reflecting my performance.
I am however not dissing affliated, as you all know i compete most weekends. I am however now only competing at certain places because i know that at some venues the marking is just ridiculous. You will get to know the judges and the venues and then you can decide for yourself which venues give you the fairest marks and comments.
There is no point competing somewhere that you get a rubbish mark at and that only writes about 2 comments on your whole sheet. its very dimorrolising and i find a total waste of my time and money. I wouldnt mind so much if people wrote comments on your sheets, but it seems that these days half the time the judges arent paying any attention anyways..........
for example - i did a test a couple of weeks ago when Bloss broke in the counter canter. i didnt bother to correct it for fear of getting the wrong lead which would have made the movement look worse - i got an 8 for it????????????????? The judge was obviously paying no attention whatsoever.
[ QUOTE ]
Ok, so if you affiliate where's the best place to find out what's going on etc?
[/ QUOTE ]
when you affiliate BD will send you the BD mag every other month which contains all the schedules for the next 2 months. You also get sent all the entry forms, rule book etc. Just pick your show and enter it. If you decide you want to have a go on a ticket first, just contact BD and with your ticket they'll send you the latest mag and some entry forms. Nice and easy - go for it!