Here is the text for an email I sent this morning to a certain individual, copying a small group of people whom I thought might care about my concerns (silly, silly me):

A fellow DC member alerted me to the proposed rule changes for 2012. In spite of the fact that I am both an EC and DC member, I did not receive the email sent out on September 16th to EC members regarding all rule changes within EC. But even if I had, I am quite surprised that after last year’s situation, in which you readily admitted that  there had been a lack of pro-active communication from DC regarding the proposed rule changes for 2011, there seems to be even less effort made this year. I find nothing on the DC website regarding the changes (not even a passive sharing of the proposed changes), and the deadline for feedback is now only 3 days away. Some of the rule changes proposed are dramatic – even more so than last year. Do you care to comment on this situation? I believe it is a lack of transparency in the extreme to make no effort to inform members that there are several proposed changes which will have a significant impact on everyone competing in Canada. I have never seen so many changes to a rulebook – there are so many red underlined areas that it would be quite easy for a member not to notice, for example, the rule that will require helmets for all levels – which will make Canada the only country in the world to do so. 

For background, you could take a boo at this post of mine from just under a year ago.  The first part of the post is kind of relevant to the 2012 whiz-the-rule-changes-under-the-people’s-nose project, but the section after the muskox photo is directly connected.  Is there a psychological disorder that results in a person having no sense of personal responsibility or need for transparency with the people to whom she (we might as well just use a feminine pronoun, since at the moment that represents more than 90% of the group I’m talking about) has supposedly committed to serve? If that particular illness has not yet been named, I propose we create an entry in the medical books for such a malady. And since many illnesses are named after their discoverers or their first known sufferers, we could call this one Robinson’s Dressage Committee-Member Sociopsychosis Syndrome, or K-Rob’s Complaint for short.

The proposed rule changes, which have never been shared in any kind of pro-active, passive or even passive-aggressive way directly with DC members, are so plentiful that one could be forgiven for taking one look at all those pages of red underlined ink and think the the proposal is for a rewriting of the entire dressage rule book.  This massive overhaul of the Dressage rules reminds me of a billboard ad I saw about 15 years ago in the Czech Republic for one of their new Skoda cars. “The new Skoda Favorit, with 500 improvements!” it proudly exclaimed. Well gosh, with 500 improvements it must have been a pretty lousy product up until now, wouldn’t you say? An interesting note about the name Skoda – translated into English it means ‘pity’ or ‘shame’. Maybe we should rename our national dressage club Dommage Canada – accurate and Francofriendly at once.

You should have a look at the new rules, which bear no resemblance to Bill Maher’s charming segment on his show. Really. You have only two more days to say you don’t like these rules before they sail into your future. DC doesn’t really want you to look, but I do.

Who’s not getting it here? There are three possibilities:

1. DC B and some committee members aren’t getting that they aren’t within their rights to treat their volunteer positions like membership in a cabbalistic secret society which deliberately ignores or even jeopardizes the interests of its PAYING members.

2. DC members aren’t getting it that they are effectively ‘mushroom’ members: kept in the dark and fed horse shit. I know dogs that are better communicators than this lot, not to mention more ethically responsible.

3. I’m not getting it that thanks to a complete lack of intervention from the next powers up in EC, DC B et al can keep doing whatever they bloody well please, and the members don’t give a flying f*@k anyway.

You know what I think? I think it’s all three.

I woke up in the middle of last night with a terrible pain in my neck – a pain which is only somewhat dulled by a slightly higher than maximum dosage of Robax Platinum. And while I’d love to blame DC for the pain in my neck, in reality the discomfort started several hours before one of Canada’s few concerned DQ’s sent me the link to the proposed rewriting of the rule book. And besides – if DC  gives me a pain, it’s located somewhere south of my neck region.

I know some of you who read this blog think I’m just a sour old patch of nasty who can’t see the good in anything. That’s not true. I absolutely loved the first episode of this season’s Rick Mercer Report, where Rick got Jan Arden to stand outside the top of CN Tower with him. I found the piece inspiring, uplifting and restored my faith in humanity – at least in some of its members, anyway. What does that say about the world of Dressage Canada when I find TV and entertainment celebrities a welcome break from immoral behaviour?