The current AQHA Dressage program makes participation very difficult. My state does not currently offer any AQHA approved dressage shows. Each USDF/USEF licensed dressage show must apply for approval with AQHA with a $50 charge per show. Additionally, while not currently enforced, the show secretary must be a member of AQHA. Our state dressage shows are pretty large but I'm still usually the only one showing a quarter horse.
I was told that I could pay the fee myself for each show but that's cost prohibitive. I show quite a bit and that would mean hundreds of dollars each year just to earn points. I also can't expect our dressage association to pay for it for just me. There's also no incentive for a dressage show secretary to have an AQHA membership, which is another thing out of my control. They rarely deal with the anything related to AQHA, why would they want to be a member?
I don't mind the $85 lifetime fee for my horse, and wouldn't mind paying a yearly participation fee to cover costs of awards, etc, but the way the program is currently set up makes it nearly impossible for me to get points on my horse. He has been quite successful and is an upper level dressage horse showing with warmbloods but I can't earn any points under this system. He would have earned his superior long ago if I could and most likely would have won some year end awards.
The AQHA dressage program could be much more successful if it were made more easily accessible to more members. It's extremely frustrating to have so many roadblocks just to get some recognition for my horse.