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Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear Members:

WDAA has just released the prize list for the 2019 WDAA World Championship Show!  We have made some changes to make this the most exciting show ever:
We added another day and the show is now five days long, starting with Rail Classes on Wednesday, October 2 and ending with the grand awards ceremony on Sunday, October 6.  This is so we can offer all four tests at each level as well as the new Intro. Freestyle competition. 

Entries open July 1 and you will want to get them in early to ensure your spot in the freestyle competitions.  We accept the first 15 entries in each freestyle class and close it.
Also new for this year are two special awards:
• Silver Spur Award - This is for the highest scoring horse and rider team whose combined age is at least  75 years.
• World Show Greenhorn Award - This is for the amateur or junior rider and horse, both competing at this show, for the first time, with the highest score. Neither horse nor rider may have ever shown at any WDAA Western Dressage World Championship Show.

We still have all the great breed high points and division awards as well!

Katharina Nowotny-Boles will be back with t-shirts and snacks for volunteers.  Contact her in advance to get a job assignment. [email protected]

Sponsor a class or a division if you can or advertise in the program if you have a great product or service horse lovers could support. www.wdaaworldshow.org

Plan to come to the welcome party to kick off the WDAA World Championship Show and stay to congratulate all the winners Sunday afternoon.  This show is a great time with great people who will become some of the best friends you ever find!  Bring a horse or two or a dozen. I hope to see you there!

Cindy Butler, Your President,
Western Dressage Association Of America

P.S.  I got a darling new horse and I’m going to post her picture on the Social Corral so you can meet her.  Please post pictures of you and your horses there too because it’s fun to get to know each other better and we all love to see more horses!
Attention Western Dressage Trainers!

WDAA is asking for donations, but not the financial kind:

We are looking for video clips 3 minutes or less, demonstrating Western Dressage maneuvers. You can submit as many videos as you like, but each video should address only one maneuver. You may demonstrate how the maneuver is achieved or what it is and is not supposed to look like and add your own special way of helping riders understand the maneuver.  

Examples of a maneuver:
Free Walk
Free Jog
Pivot
Shoulder-In
Half Pass
Collected Lope
Lope pirouette
Turn on the forehand
Flying lead change
Simple lead change
Working jog 

Choose a maneuver from the list or another one you have a great example of or a great way to teach about it.  It can be a simple or complicated maneuver or a helpful hint. Begin the video clip with a shot of yourself and the introduction, “I am (name) from (farm, town, state) (website if you want) and I am going to show you the (maneuver)”.  After that, say whatever you want to describe or teach the maneuver. It is our hope, this will give trainers some recognition on a national level and help our members learn about Western Dressage maneuvers.

To submit a video clip just go to WDAA Social Corral on Facebook! You must be a WDAA member to have access to the Social Corral. https://westerndressageassociation.org/wdaa-social-corral/
Please Support Your World Show!
Go to www.wdaaworldshow.org and sponsor a class, division or breed high score.

Nichole Oster the Chairwoman of the sponsorship committee, has a huge goal of having EVERY SINGLE CLASS SPONSORED that is 128 classes, let's help them achieve their goal! Contact Nichole with questions [email protected].
New Awards for the World Show!
In addition to the new Green Horn Award and Silver Spur Award, WDAA is extremely proud to offer a High Score Veterans Award!! Exhibitors can register for these Awards in the secretaries office at check-in.
World Championship Awards Ceremony

Plan to attend the Sunday night Farewell Celebration and Awards Ceremony, it will be held 1 hour following the completion of the show on Sunday night. Over All High Score, Division Buckles, breed high score and special awards will be presented then. NO AWARDS WILL BE HANDED OUT prior to the event. If you can't attend please make sure someone picks up the award for you. 
 
WDAA Honors Dinner

WDAA Honors Dinner 
Last years Awards Dinner was such a great success we decided to make it an annual event! The WDAA Honors Dinner will be Wednesday night Oct 6th in the Roper's Cantina. Plan now to attend, invitations will be sent soon!
World Show Gold Cart Rentals
Golf cart reservation information will be included with your entry confirmation.
Connect with us on Facebook!
Follow on Twitter
WDAA Website
WDAA Social Corral
 

Western Dressage Education!

Find all the WDAA Tests, Guides and lots of great reading materials in our Western Dressage Education Center!
Get More Info
 
Clinics & Shows
Looking for a Schooling Show or Clinic to brush up on your skills. Stop by the Events Calendar on the WDAA website where you will find lots of events happening all over the USA!
View Calendar
 

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral Facebook Group where members of the Western Dressage Association® of America can interact, discuss various topics, conceive new ideas and generally share all things Western Dressage, including people who are instructors, clinicians and even judges like yourself.
Join the Social Corral
 

Judges Education Program

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

Learn More
Current USEF Licensed Western Dressage Judges
 

Find A Professional in Your Area

The Western Dressage Association® of America is proud to offer an ever-growing list of dedicated Western Dressage professionals.
Find A Professional
 

WDAA General Store

Where You can purchase WDAA Customized Apparel in our Apparel Boutique as well as Books, DVDs and other educational material all about Western Dressage in our Products General Store.
Shop Now
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all of the latest Western Dressage updates from all over the US and Canada.

Find new WD groups, follow your favorite riders, find shows and clinics and connect up with Western Dressage friends in your neck of the woods.

Please Join our rapidly-growing online community...
Follow Us on Facebook
 
Why Be A WDAA Member?
Ever wondered what it means to be a WDAA member? Sure, you get access to the Social Corral, events, dressage tests, and tons of information on our website; you can participate in high points programs and receive our awesome newsletter each month, but what else?
Learn More

Breed Alliances



 

Corporate Sponsor




 
 

About The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.

 
Copyright © Western Dressage Association of America®, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Western Dressage Association® of America
P.O. Box 2349
Parker, CO 80134

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April 2019 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear Members,

Spring cleaning, purging, and organizing helps us keep our lives in order.  The same is true for WDAA.  We have been working internally to upgrade and streamline our processes so WDAA can achieve the goal of providing members with the best service possible.

First - under upgrading, I am excited to announce that Diana “Dini” Swanson has been named as the new Executive Director for WDAA.  Dini has served in a contract role as our Executive Secretary for three years.  WDAA and Dini have grown together over that time and both are ready for the next step.  So, on May 1, Dini will become WDAA’s first non-contract, full-time employee.  She will continue to perform most of her previous duties, but will also be overseeing many of the projects our volunteer board members headed up in the past.

One of Dini’s first new projects involves working to upload an all-in-one membership management software application.  WDAA is working with a software company to onboard all components of a new system.  We hope this will streamline some of our internal processes so WDAA customer service can be even more efficient.  The new system includes a web portal for members where we will post videos and educational material.  Onboarding takes several months so I don’t have a good time estimate yet for when the portal will open.  You can be sure we will notify you with great fanfare when it is opened.

By now you have had the chance to look over the newly released Intro Level Freestyle requirements.  Developing Intro Freestyle was a member request, and the WDAA team worked hard to bring it to fruition quickly so riders could have time to plan and practice performances well before the WDAA World Championship Show.  I hope this makes competing in freestyle attainable for everyone.  Freestyle is a fun way to celebrate your achievements with your horse in an individual, creative way.

Chris Rushton is updating our corporate sponsorship plan.  He will post it on the WDAA website soon.

Kathy Newcomb is working with show managers across the country, and they have almost doubled the number of WDAA recognized shows scheduled from 2018 to 2019.  Please, head out and support the shows in your area if you want them to continue. Show managers will give Western Dressage a chance, but you have to support it to keep it as your favorite shows.  There has never been a better time to sign up for the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program!

We have great momentum and our future looks very bright!  Thanks to you, WDAA members, who honor the horse and the journey.  By bringing your horses and yourselves out to shows, you give us more power to get more support for programs we want to provide to you.  You make our jobs at WDAA easier, even the Spring cleaning.

Cindy Butler, Your President
Western Dressage Association Of America
New This Year At the 2019 WDAA Western Dressage World Championship Show

1. The new Silver Spur Award will be awarded to the highest scoring horse/rider team that equals 75 years or more in age combined. This very special new award will be presented Sunday night after the show at the Farewell Celebration and Awards Ceremony.

2. Intro freestyle has been added to the schedule!

3. The World Show will be 5 days 1 full day of rail classes with 4 full days of tests 1-4. The prize list will be out soon!

WHLPAP Update!

New WHLPAP Awards earned since August 2018 are listed below. All awards earned prior to the cut off date in 2018 were presented at the WDAA Honors Dinner held during the World Show. The cut off this year for WHLPAP submissions will be August 1st, 2019, we must set this date so we have time to order, produce and ship the ever-increasing list of awards to be presented at the Honors Dinner, it is quite the display!!! We hope to see you there Wednesday Night October 2nd in the Ropers Cantina for a fun celebration of your horses' accomplishments!
Connect with us on Facebook!
Follow on Twitter
WDAA Website
WDAA Social Corral
 

Western Dressage Education!

Find all the WDAA Tests, Guides and lots of great reading materials in our Western Dressage Education Center!
Get More Info
 
Clinics & Shows
Looking for a Schooling Show or Clinic to brush up on your skills. Stop by the Events Calendar on the WDAA website where you will find lots of events happening all over the USA!
View Calendar
 

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral Facebook Group where members of the Western Dressage Association® of America can interact, discuss various topics, conceive new ideas and generally share all things Western Dressage, including people who are instructors, clinicians and even judges like yourself.
Join the Social Corral
 

Judges Education Program

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

Learn More
Current USEF Licensed Western Dressage Judges
 

Find A Professional in Your Area

The Western Dressage Association® of America is proud to offer an ever-growing list of dedicated Western Dressage professionals.
Find A Professional
 

WDAA General Store

Where You can purchase WDAA Customized Apparel in our Apparel Boutique as well as Books, DVDs and other educational material all about Western Dressage in our Products General Store.
Shop Now
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all of the latest Western Dressage updates from all over the US and Canada.

Find new WD groups, follow your favorite riders, find shows and clinics and connect up with Western Dressage friends in your neck of the woods.

Please Join our rapidly-growing online community...
Follow Us on Facebook
 
Why Be A WDAA Member?
Ever wondered what it means to be a WDAA member? Sure, you get access to the Social Corral, events, dressage tests, and tons of information on our website; you can participate in high points programs and receive our awesome newsletter each month, but what else?
Learn More

Breed Alliances



 

Corporate Sponsor




 
 

About The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.

 
Copyright © Western Dressage Association of America®, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Western Dressage Association® of America
P.O. Box 2349
Parker, CO 80134

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February/March 2019 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President 

The Game of Western Dressage

Dear Members,

One of my Spring time duties for WDAA is to craft rule change proposals we receive from members.  So, I have been reviewing requests for changes and preparing them for presentation to our internal rules committee. 

I love reading and working on rules because rules teach you how to play a game (or how to win a horse show).  If the game is too simple, it’s not fun for long.  It should be challenging and engaging so I want to keep playing.  Think of all the video games that you like for a month and then get bored of. Chess is a good game because you can develop skill and strategy while using the rules.  Working Cow Horse is a good game because it’s fun and incorporates multiple skills.  Western Dressage is a great game, because as the players get better, the game gets more challenging.  

I think rules should be clear and easy to follow.  There should be enough rules so we know what the game is and how to proceed when something unexpected happens.  However, there shouldn’t be so many rules that they are impossible to follow or that beginners just don’t even bother to learn… Rules shouldn’t be so restrictive that all creativity is limited.  I remember playing Monopoly with my dad.  He was always making side deals with other players, like buying hotels from my sister when she was almost out of money (maybe Monopoly needs an ethics committee…)  

Using Dressage methods to train Western horses is not new, but the game of Western Dressage (showing) is pretty new.  Therefore, we still have to tweek the rules sometimes as the game evolves. 

Luckily, I don’t have to work on rule change proposals by myself.  WDAA is fortunate to have a great Rules Committee made up of a diverse group of individuals committed to honoring the horse and providing clear instructions for competition. 
Members include:

  • Ronald Bartholomew
  • Tori Blankenship
  • Cindy Butler
  • Ellen DiBella
  • Lillian Evaniew-Phelan
  • Joyce Hamlin
  • Ann Judge
  • Lynn Palm
  • Cindy Reid
  • Cliff Swanson
  • Joyce Swanson
 
Rule change proposals recommended by the rules committee go to the WDAA Board of Directors and then to the USEF Western Dressage Committee for review before they end up with the USEF Legislative Committee.  The USEF Legislative Committee allows other USEF committees which may be affected by the proposal have input before sending proposals to the USEF Board of Directors for final approval. 
 
I have received a few requests related to “leveling the playing field” for various types of awards programs through rule change proposals.  If your interpretation of the phrase “level the playing field” is to provide all players with the same set of rules so players can make informed choices, then I think WDAA is doing that for the program we manage.
Regarding awards programs, WDAA can only implement rules for WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Achievements Program (WHLPAP).  That program is designed to add value to horses as they progress through the Western Dressage levels over their lifetimes.  Our goal is for every horse to be loved for its lifetime.  WHLPAP is not a competitive program and there’s no time limit.  However, there are really cool prizes along the journey.  WHLPAP is a program everyone who plays can win and truly the biggest prize is the harmony you get between the horse and rider just because you played.
Other awards programs Western Dressage riders can participate in include:
  • USEF Horse of the Year points,
  • WDAA State affiliate high point programs,
  • national breed organization high points,
  • local schooling show circuit awards) 

Whatever awards programs you choose or not and whatever games you play, I hope you are still having fun.  I know I am whenever my partner is a horse.  This morning, I looked out my bedroom window and my horse looked back at me and well, you know how that makes a girl feel….
 
Cindy Butler, Your President,
Western Dressage Association of America





















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January 2019 Newsletter

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Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

As we close the door on 2018, I have the chance to reflect on my first year as WDAA President.  I hope I have served you well.  I know I have given it my best shot and I still am. 
WDAA implemented a few new programs this year.  Some worked out better than we could have imagined and we are still learning and working on others.

READ MORE...
2018 Annual Meeting Report
 
The 2018 WDAA Annual meeting took place on Dec 16th at 4:00 PM Eastern time for the first time by way of “webinar”. Over 150 registrants attended the meeting online and over 150 people have viewed the meeting on YouTube since the 16th. The WDAA Board of Directors felt this was the best way to reach as many people as possible at the lowest cost. Members that registered were asked to submit questions for the Board and staff to address during the meeting. Most questions were answered within the 1-hour time frame. WDAA President Cindy Butler gave a very thorough Presidents report, Sharron Sarchet WDAA treasurer presented the WDAA financial report and Dini Swanson WDAA Executive Secretary spoke about the Western Dressage Judges Seminar and other WDAA programs. We were lucky to also have Ellen DiBella the first WDAA Board Member Emeritus on hand to lend insight and historical knowledge of the foundation of WDAA.

Prior to the Annual meeting a small group of WDAA board members and staff met at Ellen’s beautiful home in Parker, CO for a strategic planning weekend. Gail Mathews was an able leader for the important planning meeting where the future of WDAA was envisioned and a map was developed to help us achieve our goals.   
  
 
USEF Horse of the Year Ceremony

Western Dressage had a HUGE presence at the USEF Annual Meeting this year! 

Congratulations go to our own Ellen DiBella, WDAA Past President and now the first WDAA Director Emeritus. USEF added to her vast list of accomplishments at the 2018 Pegasus Awards ceremony and awarded her the Pegasus Medal of Honor! For her tireless work to create and grow the now booming discipline of Western Dressage!

There was also a Western Dressage meeting held during the USEF Annual Meeting which was very well attended and very informational






 
WDAA Wishes to congratulate Cobra the Three Strikes Mustang and Western Dressage World Champion on being voted USEF National Horse of the Year!!! What an asset he is to the horse community in general, may he enjoy his well-earned retirement!






WDAA wants to also congratulate this year’s USEF Horse of the Year National High Point winners!
Intro Level - SHARIS GEMINI /MANN CZAJA, MONIQUE – FL
Basic Level - AM SWEET VICTORY+++/ /TAYLOR, MARIE – VA
Level 1 - ZIPS BIT OF LUCK /ROSS, TERRI – FL
Level 2 - PROUD TRADITION /CORBETT, MARCIA – FL
Level 3 - TRULY UNSURPASSED /CONLEY, NANCY KAYE – GA
Level 4 - COBRA /HARTFORD-SAPP, MARSHA – FL


US Equestrian's 2019 Annual Meeting: The Take-Home Points 

Entering the third year of the Strategic Plan, US Equestrian President Murray Kessler told Annual Meeting attendees that equestrian sport’s national governing body has much to celebrate and more to accomplish
 
US Equestrian members gathered in sunny West Palm Beach, Fla., in January for the organization’s Annual Meeting, where President Murray Kessler had good news to report and paid glowing tributes to US Equestrian’s many members and volunteers.
 
READ MORE...
Truly Unsurpassed is an Official Breyer Horse!

Congratulations to this beautiful Western Dressage Multi Titled World Champion horse! She will be representing Western Dressage at Breyerfest in Lexington, KY at the Kentucky Horse Park  July 12-14 2019. She and owner, Nancy Conley are so very proud to be able to promote Western Dressage in this way. Next time you see Nancy ask her to sign your own "Calico".

Connect with us on Facebook!
Follow on Twitter
WDAA Website
WDAA Social Corral
 

Western Dressage Education!

Find all the WDAA Tests, Guides and lots of great reading materials in our Western Dressage Education Center!
Get More Info
 
Clinics & Shows
Looking for a Schooling Show or Clinic to brush up on your skills. Stop by the Events Calendar on the WDAA website where you will find lots of events happening all over the USA!
View Calendar
 

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral Facebook Group where members of the Western Dressage Association® of America can interact, discuss various topics, conceive new ideas and generally share all things Western Dressage, including people who are instructors, clinicians and even judges like yourself.
Join the Social Corral
 

Judges Education Program

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

Learn More
Current Licensed WDAA Judges
 

Find A TTT Graduate

The Western Dressage Association® of America has a list of professionals that have graduated from the past few years of Train The Trainer Clinics. If you are looking for an instructor or trainer in your area..
Find A Graduate
 

WDAA General Store

Where You can purchase WDAA Customized Apparel in our Apparel Boutique as well as Books, DVDs and other educational material all about Western Dressage in our Products General Store.
Shop Now
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all of the latest Western Dressage updates from all over the US and Canada.

Find new WD groups, follow your favorite riders, find shows and clinics and connect up with Western Dressage friends in your neck of the woods.

Please Join our rapidly-growing online community...
Follow Us on Facebook
 
Why Be A WDAA Member?
Ever wondered what it means to be a WDAA member? Sure, you get access to the Social Corral, events, dressage tests, and tons of information on our website; you can participate in high points programs and receive our awesome newsletter each month, but what else?
Learn More

Breed Alliances



 

Corporate Sponsor




 
 

About The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.

 
Copyright © Western Dressage Association of America®, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Western Dressage Association® of America
P.O. Box 2349
Parker, CO 80134

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

December 2018 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
View this email in your browser
A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear Members,

First, I would like to correct a mistake from my newsletter last month regarding USEF Lite shows.  Last month, I said, “A competition may be approved as a Lite Competition for two years instead of only one year before it must graduate to USEF Local or Regular status”.  I was given permission by USEF to tell you about the changes to our Lite show program before the formal written agreement between USEF and WDAA was finished because both parties were satisfied with our negotiations.  So, I shared.  Then, I got the formal agreement to sign and in reading it, found there was no time limit for Lite shows to remain as Lite shows.  

I promptly signed the agreement because I feel this is a good thing for WDAA members.  Then, I verified with my contacts at USEF that my interpretation of the agreement and what I thought we agreed to on the phone was different and that the written contract is acceptable to both parties.  USEF and WDAA are happy with the agreement as it is written. Also, USEF agreed to update the competition comparison chart on their website to reflect what is written in the contract.

There is nothing in the agreement to require Lite shows to ever graduate to USEF Local or Regular status.  Previously licensed USEF Regular or Local shows are not eligible to change to Lite shows, but previously licensed USEF Lite shows are eligible to be re-licensed as Lite shows indefinitely.  The misunderstanding came in that the formal agreement between USEF and WDAA is to be renegotiated in two years.  Therefore, there is a possibility the policy could change, if we agree, in two years.
I am sorry for the miscommunication and I hope we are all on the same page now.  Thinking about this issue and browsing around social media, reading Veteran’s Day stories about war horses and stories about brave people who rescued horses from fires in California, got me thinking about another mistake I made:

I remember telling my riding lesson students, “There’s no crying at horse shows”.  Boy, was that ever a big mistake!

Everything about horses makes you cry.  It doesn’t matter if it’s happy or sad.

You cry when horses are born, when they die, when they get hurt, when they get better, when they come to you, when they run away, when they comply, when they balk, when they win, when they lose, when you buy them, when you sell them, when they’re beautiful, or when they’re suffering...  You even cry when you just hear about someone else’s horse doing any of the above and you cry more if horses are neglected or if they’re rescued.  So, the whole horse industry is just one big, messy bucket of tears that we engage in because we want to? because we like it? because we can’t help it?.... 

I guess the point to this is that maybe horse people are hard-wired to be sympathetic to horses and to love them like nothing else.  There is just something about horses that makes us feel more deeply about them than we feel about anything else.  I don’t really know what it is, but I am happy I was drawn into this lifestyle where I spend all my time and all my money and work all the time and do nothing else, but plan my next equestrian exploits and how to further help the whole horse industry.  I guess I like knowing we all feel the same way because it validates my sanity at least somewhat.  It’s not crazy to have so much passion for one thing.  Horse people are all different in other ways.  We can argue for days without resolutions, but when it comes to horses, protecting them, preserving our rights to have them, living in a World with horses, we are united.  I like that.  Is that how addicts feel?  If so, I don’t want to go to rehab.  Instead, let’s change the World.  Let’s make it a better place for horses and horse people.

Making the World a better place for horses and horse people is what WDAA is all about and has been from its inception.  We have a leveled training system to guide us and we are committed to sharing it with Western riders everywhere.  We have started a great journey and the WDAA board members have some great ideas for the future.  One of our next steps is that WDAA will host a strategic planning meeting in December.  Board members will be asked to share their big dreams for WDAA with the group.  We will evaluate our current abilities and develop baby steps to move towards the big dreams that we share.  So, in preparation for the meeting, if you have big dreams for WDAA, share them with me at [email protected].

I hope there’s no crying in planning meetings, but you never know.  The conversation will eventually turn from changing the World to horses…  It’s only logical…  Someone will need Kleenex...

Announcing the 1st WDAA Annual Member Meeting via webinar.






















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November 2018 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear Members,

By now, you have received the email about our annual membership rate increase.  Deciding to implement this increase was a difficult decision for the board because we want to keep Western Dressage affordable for all, but we cannot maintain operations on our current budget.  The modest rate increase will help.  We will still rely mostly on volunteers like myself and the other board members to do as much as possible.  We appreciate every one of you and we take seriously our obligation to be good stewards of your organization and your funds directed to it.
 
In the last newsletter, I promised you an update to policy regarding USEF Lite Shows.  WDAA and USEF have agreed that beginning with the 2019 competition season, there will be two changes to Western Dressage Competition Lite:

1. Half points for Horse of the Year (HOTY) Awards will only be awarded for tests judged by USEF-licensed Western Dressage judges judging levels for which they are licensed.  Individuals who have attended the WDAA judges’ seminar in the past two years will still be eligible to judge Lite shows, but HOTY points will only be awarded when licensed Western Dressage judges officiate.  Dressage judges who are not also Licensed Western Dressage judges and who have not attended the judges seminar in the past two years will not be eligible to judge Lite shows.  We have implemented this change to ensure our members will be evaluated by the best trained Western Dressage judges.

2. A competition may be approved as a Lite Competition for two years instead of only one year before it must graduate to USEF Local or Regular status.
 
This month, we say goodbye to one board member and hello to a new one.  
 
Lisa Blackstone has been a valued board member for WDAA.  She has stood up for Western Dressage and taken on any challenge as our Vice President.  Lisa is leaving the board because her other obligations demand more of her time now.  Lisa will remain on our Risk Management Committee and continue to advise us as needed, but we will miss having her involved on a daily basis.
 
Mike Corcoran is joining us as the newest board member.  He was a unanimous choice and we are all excited to have him on our board.  Many of you know Mike as a saddle maker who produces outstanding Western Dressage saddles, or as the guy who rides the gorgeous Haflingers or maybe as the President of Western Dressage Association of Oklahoma.  Any way you know him, we are sure you will agree he is a great horseman, leader, and promoter of Western Dressage.  Welcome aboard the board, Mike!
 
I could go on and on about how great the 2018 World Show was, but for now, I would just like to congratulate all our exhibitors, our fabulous show committee chairman, Ellen DiBella, and the team of amazing contractors and volunteers who came together to celebrate Western Dressage as only WDAA does it.  You all make me so proud!!!
 
Enjoy the Journey,
 
Cindy Butler, your President
Western Dressage Association Of America
Looking Back On A Successful Show
 
Competition with camaraderie: That’s what summed up the sixth annual Western Dressage World Championship Show, held Sept. 27-30 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla. There was camaraderie between fellow exhibitors, amongst the cadre of volunteers who showed up to make things happen, and most especially between horses and their riders – the most important beneficiaries of this sport that fosters that essential partnership.
 
Final numbers showed nearly 900 rides, 202 exhibitors and 178 horses, hailing from 32 states from coast to coast, as well as Canada. Forty breeds of horses were represented, everything from stock breeds to gaited horses to POAs and ponies – and even one mule.
 
Competitors were vying for 77 world championships, more than 30 breed high-score awards and 20 divisional championship belt buckles. Full results are available here: http://www.showsecretary.com/rs.asp?Show_ID=715. World Show judges were Ronald Bartholomew (Martville, N.Y.), Donna Longacre (Longview, Wash.), Fatima Pawlenko-Kranz (Algonquin, Ill.), and Charlotte Trentelman (Anthony, Fla.).
 

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE!

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WDAA Honors Awards Dinner Recap

The first annual WDAA Honors Awards Dinner was held on Thursday night Sept 27th in The Ropers Cantina at the Lazy E Arena. After a very full day of World Championship rail classes, over 70 WDAA members gathered together to celebrate the achievements of their fellow horse and rider combinations.

Beginning with the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program awards there were a total of 83 awards presented, 38 Register of Merit, 16 register of Achievement, 14 Register of Excellence, 9 Bronze medals, 4 Silver medals, 1 gold medal and our very first WDAA Supreme Champion! Nancy Conley was over the moon about receiving this beautiful award.

Bill Moroney the CEO of USEF was on hand to address the attendees and see what wonderful and enthusiastic participation we have in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program, you all made WDAA look great!

The WDAA Top Hand Awards are presented to a volunteer whose contribution to WDAA and its educational mission was outstanding during the current award year. This year we had so many hard-working volunteers it was so difficult to name just one volunteer. The WDAA Board decided to award the Top Hand status to three unbelievably dedicated WDAA volunteers. This Association owes these three a huge debt of gratitude.

Congratulations to:
  • Katharina Nowotny-Boles - Shelbyville, TN
  • Kelly Coldiron – Wellston, OK
  • Cliff Swanson – Castlerock, CO
The WDAA Hall of Champions is presented in memory of a World or Reserve World Champion horse who has won in the discipline of Western Dressage. This year's recipients are:
  • Canabar Kokopelli GCH - Mai Wisdom – Sterling, CO
  • Mountain Rose Charisma -  Emily Johnson - Kearney, NE
The Western Dressage world will miss both horses deeply.

For a full list of the WHLPAP Awards presented at the 2018 WDAA Honors Awards Dinner visit our new WDAA Honors page - Click the button below!
Click here to view WDAA Honors!
WDAA Nomination for USEF Youth Sportsman's Award

Every year WDAA nominates a youth member to be considered for the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award. This year the WDAA Board of Directors is very proud to announce that Aubrey Albers of Coulterville, IL is their nominee. Applicants submit a 9-part submission packet to be considered, they go to quite a bit of effort just to apply to be nominated! The following was written to describe Aubrey’s dedication to Western Dressage.

“Aubrey’s development has been phenomenal!  She was amazingly cool, calm and collected during the World Show!  She has been to a few away shows with us, but nothing of this caliber and we were all amazed at how well she coped.  Her horse was rock steady, and we are sure a lot of that was because Aubrey was just so incredibly rock steady herself.  We are incredibly proud of all that Aubrey has accomplished and she is raring to go for next year.”
 
Aubrey and the other applicants receive a free WDAA youth membership.
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Western Dressage Education!

Find all the WDAA Tests, Guides and lots of great reading materials in our Western Dressage Education Center!
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Clinics & Shows
Looking for a Schooling Show or Clinic to brush up on your skills. Stop by the Events Calendar on the WDAA website where you will find lots of events happening all over the USA!
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WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral Facebook Group where members of the Western Dressage Association® of America can interact, discuss various topics, conceive new ideas and generally share all things Western Dressage, including people who are instructors, clinicians and even judges like yourself.
Join the Social Corral
 

Judges Education Program

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

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Current Licensed WDAA Judges
 

Find A TTT Graduate

The Western Dressage Association® of America has a list of professionals that have graduated from the past few years of Train The Trainer Clinics. If you are looking for an instructor or trainer in your area..
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Where You can purchase WDAA Customized Apparel in our Apparel Boutique as well as Books, DVDs and other educational material all about Western Dressage in our Products General Store.
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About The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.

 
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September 2018 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear WDAA Members,

As Western Dressage becomes ever more popular, WDAA is continuing to learn, adapt, and grow. We are excited to make some changes and add some services that we were too small to consider in the past.
WDAA is committed to providing our members the best-trained and most knowledgeable Western Dressage judges, so we have been aggressively training judges to become USEF Western Dressage judges for the past couple of years. WDAA wants to support judges who have gone through the expensive and time-consuming process to become USEF licensed Western Dressage judges. At the same time, we want to ensure the ability of show managers to find judges close to wherever Western Dressage shows are being planned, so they can offer Western Dressage shows in every area of the United States. Therefore, we have been methodically leveling (the same way we do when we train our horses) our way toward requiring USEF Western Dressage judges for all USEF-licensed and WDAA-recognized shows. It’s not quite time to go full Monty, but we are ready for the next steps in that direction. These steps involve modifications to USEF and WDAA recognized show rules:
1. USEF Regular and Local Competitions – Starting with the USEF 2019 competition year, which begins this December, only USEF-licensed Western Dressage judges will be allowed to judge USEF Regular and Local Competitions. Those competitions can no longer be judged by USEF-licensed Dressage judges, unless those judges are also licensed as USEF Western Dressage judges.
2. USEF Competition Lite –WDAA and USEF will meet to update requirements for Lite shows later this month. We will notify you of any changes that are made ASAP.
3. WDAA Recognized Shows – Starting with the 2019 show season,
 
USEF- licensed "r" Western Dressage judges will be eligible to judge Intro through Level 1 and all rail classes.

USEF-licensed “r” Dressage judges will be eligible to judge Intro through Level 1 but not rail classes.
 
USEF-licensed “R” Western Dressage judges will be eligible to judge tests at all levels and all rail classes.
 
USEF-licensed “R” or above Dressage judges will be eligible to judge tests at all levels but not rail classes.
 
*Beginning with the 2020 competition year, only USEF-licensed Western Dressage judges will be eligible to judge WDAA Recognized shows.
To support the changes above, WDAA will also modify and simplify the points system for the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program (WHLPAP).
Beginning with the 2019 show season, WHLPAP points will be awarded as follows:
 
½ points Shows judged by USEF-licensed Dressage judges
1x points Shows judged by USEF-licensed Western Dressage judges
2x points USEF licensed shows judged by USEF-licensed Western Dressage judges
3x points at the WDAA World Championship Show

I realize that growing pains are called “pains” for a reason and that changes can sometimes be difficult and take some time to get used to. WDAA is growing. It is getting better and better, one level at a time. I hope you will continue the journey with us as we continue to grow and keep sending us your ideas and answering our questionnaires to let us know how to best serve you. Because of your input, we come up with the best compromises and solutions.

Thank you for your continued support.

Cindy Butler, Your President
Western Dressage Association of America
 

See you soon at the 2018 Western Dressage World Championship Show!

Make sure to keep up with the festivities by watching the live feed at www.totalhorsechannel.com/wdaa/.

Who needs a golf cart?
Golf Carts can be rented for the World Show for $250 for the week, please contact Show Manager Jon Haugen at 970-217-7820 or fill out THIS FORM.
Century Club for Western Dressage riders from The Dressage Foundation

WDAA is thrilled to promote the Century Club from The Dressage Foundation. We will be adding a "WDAA Honors" page to the WDAA Website to honor these great, dedicated horse and rider teams whose ages add up to 100 years. For much more information on this wonderful program and possible grant opportunities read on.
Several years ago, as interest in Western Dressage was growing around the country, The Dressage Foundation (TDF) started to receive requests for grants to help the growth of Western Dressage and the education of its riders.  At that time, TDF’s Board of Directors offered to support Western Dressage because they agreed that classical dressage principles are beneficial to all riders and horses. 
 
Since then, grants have been awarded to dressage clubs hosting events dedicated to Western Dressage.  For example, the Western Dressage Association of Oklahoma teamed up with the Oklahoma Dressage Society in 2012 to host a “Classical Dressage meets Western Dressage Clinic and Workshop.”  The event was awarded a $2,000 grant from TDF’s Violet Hopkins Fund.  Since Western Dressage was relatively new at that point, the goal of the event was to introduce Western riders to the correct basics of dressage.
 
Around that time, TDF also started welcoming Western Dressage riders into the Century Club.  To join the Club, the ages or horse and rider must add up to at least 100 years and they must ride any level test at a dressage show or event.  As of September 2018, ten Western Dressage riders from across the country have joined the Century Club!
                       
  • 2012 – Cayce Black and Liquid Asset, Florida – Team #113
  • 2014 – John FitzGerald and Jacks Host, Hawaii – Team #161
  • 2015 – Thomas Faylor and Wildmoon, Michigan – Team #199
  • 2016 – Yan Ross and Merlin, Arizona – Team #232
  • 2016 – Suzanne Hall and April’s Cricket, Oregon – Team #246
  • 2016 – Harry Alban and MNK Made to Play, Michigan – Team #259
  • 2016 – Leanna Mae Bellinger and Fleeting Chance, Virginia – Team #263
  • 2017 – Isabel Surrey Saylor and Conclusions Shadow, Florida – Team #320
  • 2017 – Stella Gordon and Madoc Best Regards, Texas – Team #324
  • 2018 – JoAnne Percy and King’s Dutch Doll, Washington – Team #341

To learn more about TDF’s grants for educational events:
http://www.dressagefoundation.org/grants-and-programs/apply/educational_clinics_seminars_symposia/

To learn more about TDF’s Century Club:
http://www.dressagefoundation.org/grants-and-programs/century-club/
 
 
About The Dressage Foundation
The Dressage Foundation, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit donor-driven organization that is dedicated to educating, supporting and advancing the sport of dressage.  The organization solicits contributions, appropriately allocates the donations and awards grants and scholarships to dressage riders, judges, instructors, breeders, high performance teams, nonprofit equestrian organizations and more.  For more information, please visit www.dressagefoundation.org.
 
ATTENTION ALL WDAA YOUTH!!
The USEF Youth Sportsman's Award Applications are due!! This is a great opportunity to earn a free WDAA membership for 2019 and become the WDAA Nominee for the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award. Applications due now to [email protected] to earn your free WDAA membership. Let's show them what our Western Dressage Youth are all about!

https://www.usef.org/media/press-releases/applications-available-for-2018-usef-youth
2017 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award
As a result of WDAA submitting a nominee for the 2017 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award WDAA receives a grant from USEF to pass onto a worthy youth program. The most recent $1500 grant was presented to the WDA Florida Affiliate. WDAFL is grateful for the opportunity to produce an educational video promoting junior riders in the discipline of Western Dressage, made possible with a youth focused grant from the United States Equestrian Federation through the Western Dressage Association of America. WDAFL has obtained footage from the Florida Championships Show in November 2017 and WDAA shows at Fox Grove Farm earlier this spring. On September 9, the WDAFL production team will interview four junior riders who have competed at the Southeast Regional 4-H Horse Show in Perry, GA, WDAA shows throughout the state of Florida and the WDAFL Championship Show. WDAFL appreciates the funds to complete this important educational project and look forward to sharing the media soon.

Safe Sport FAQ
Safe Sport Training Frequently Asked Questions

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Lexington, KY – The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced a rule change on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, requiring that, effective January 1, 2019, all USEF members 18 and over with an Adult Competing Membership must complete Safe Sport training in order to be eligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions. Since that announcement, we are pleased to report that over 3,500 USEF members completed the Safe Sport training. To provide further guidance, below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new rule change.  
 
Where can I locate the required Safe Sport training? How long does it take? 
The required Safe Sport Core Training is on the U.S. Center for SafeSport website. Instructions on how to set up an account and access the training are here. It will take approximately 90 minutes to complete and consists of three modules: Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education, Mandatory Reporting, and Emotional and Physical Misconduct. All three modules must be completed in order to satisfy the requirement.
 
Who is required to take the Safe Sport training? 
Any USEF member who is 18 years old and above and who has a USEF Adult Competing Membership is required to take the Safe Sport training, including amateurs, professionals, and owners who have an annual, three-year, or lifetime membership. The Safe Sport training requirement does not include USEF Fan Members.



























































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August 2018 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear Members,

    Horse shows are my life.  I don’t know about you, but it has been a few months since I have been home over a weekend.  I have been burning up the highways and airways rushing from show to show.  Everywhere I go, I am impressed by the people working at the competitions. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who volunteers to work so others can ride and show horses.
    I see volunteers working diligently for little or no pay so their friends, family members and people they don’t even know can show.  They even take off work to do it!  These volunteers are fantabulous people!!!  Managing and working at horse shows is hard and finding people willing to help is even harder.  I have witnessed volunteers giving their all and working long hours in devastating heat to provide excellent service to riders.  At one show, the ring steward was limping and obviously in pain, but he still ran back and forth to perform his duties at the show. 
I also want to recognize the horse show moms, dads and spouses who support their horse-loving children and spouses.  I could never leave home if not for my husband taking on both of our chores while I am away.
    Because of the efforts of volunteers, exhibitors are given the privilege to compete. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful to all of you who volunteer your time and talent to support horse shows. 
    Volunteers themselves, Ellen DiBella and Katharina Nowotny-Boles are coordinating volunteers for our own WDAA World Show.  If you will be at the show and have time to help, please check in with Katharina. www.wdaaworldshow.org is where you can find the link to the World Show Volunteer application. There are some fun positions still available and volunteers will have the opportunity to meet and hobnob with Ellen and Katharina as well as learn something about putting on a World Class Show. Regardless of your ability to volunteer at the World Show, I thank you for supporting it and any other show through competing or volunteering. 
    To the Volunteers:  I see you.  I respect you and most of all - I cherish you for your time and dedication to allow horse shows to happen.  Because of you, I can say what I said in my very first sentence: Horse shows are my life.

Your President,
Cindy Butler
Western Dressage Association of America








The 2018 WDAA World Show hotel reservation blocks end in 10 days! There is a huge demand for rooms at that time so after the cut off dates the hotels will not have any available rooms. Please book your rooms ASAP.

For hotel information please go to 



















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June/July 2018 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear Members,

One of my favorite things about WDAA is the spirit of positivity, support, and encouragement our members have for each other and for all horses.  I think part of what made us this way is the individualized nature of our sport.  We work with an animal, progressing through levels and achieve individual accomplishment regardless of what happens at a show.  I also think sharing and learning each other’s stories has given us a level of compassion that is rare in other disciplines.  For example, we all root for Cobra the Mustang who was rescued from the kill pen and now performs Level 4 Western Dressage. Even if you compete against him, your heartstrings are with him. 

Cobra’s story isn’t even unusual for Western Dressage.  Many if not most of our horses and exhibitors have amazing stories of overcoming adversity which sometimes culminates in competing at the WDAA World Championship Show.  Our membership is made up of outstanding individuals.

I bring this up because it is special.  You are special. I want us to stay this way.

We are in the midst of show season and WDAA and I, personally, are receiving an abundance of messages to report rule infractions at shows.  WDAA sees this as an opportunity to educate people, not tear them or the process down.

All people make mistakes.  I do. Our judges do. Our stewards do. Our riders do. Our show managers do.  Even the people who make statements on social media are wrong sometimes.  As hard as we try, and believe me, I really try, none of us are perfect. 

I believe all our judges, stewards, riders, show managers, and even Facebook posters (ok, well mostly) are well-intentioned people of integrity doing the best they can to represent WDAA, themselves and the Equestrian discipline in the most positive and accurate way possible.  Therefore, when one of us falls, it is up to the rest of us to catch that one so s/he can successfully continue on. 

If you feel it necessary to report a rule infraction at a show, please report this to the steward or show manager first.  If you feel the need to further report to WDAA, please supply WDAA with enough information that we can provide helpful, educational information where it is needed.  We are not interested in witch hunts or glorifying those who nitpick.  We are interested in providing a supportive and level playing field for exhibitors to show their horses.  Sometimes we do need to be made aware of problems in order to address them. 

We want all of our exhibitors, judges, stewards, show managers, and general members to be successful.  When we work together in a positive manner, that is possible in Western Dressage.  Everyone can be successful.  We can help each other without hurting ourselves in the process. We can learn with our horses through the levels.  As you improve, you lift your horse.  Your horse lifts you.  Our membership, board, employees, partners and show officials lift each other.  It is real and it is special.

Thank you for being one of the outstanding individuals who chose to join WDAA and make it the organization we love and are proud to be a part of.

Cindy Butler, Your President
Western Dressage Association Of America
Please plan to attend the 2018 WDAA Honors Banquet, Thursday Night Sept 27th in the Ropers Cantina at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, OK. It will be the social event of the season where the WDAA Top Hand Volunteer Award, Milestone Memorial, and all Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program presentations will be made. These are such important and exciting awards we felt they deserved their own night! Ticketing information coming soon.
   
The World Show prize list is now available, many classes have been added this year, there will be 7 new Buckle divisions;
  • Lower Level Gaited Horse Open Rider
  • Lower Level Gaited Horse Am/Jr Rider
  • Level 2 Junior Rider 
  • Level 3 Junior Rider
  • Level 4 Open Rider
  • Level 4 Am/Jr Rider
  • Upper Level Gaited Horse Open Rider
Click here to download the WS Prize List
For the first year we will be offering a full Gaited Horse division and the juniors get their own classes through Level 3. We can’t wait to see you there!
What does it take to put on a World Championship Horse show?
The list is long but it starts with lots of sticky notes and a very large surface to put them on!  Our 2018 Western Dressage World Championship show has lots of sticky notes and I have plenty of room in my office on cabinets.  We also have an outstanding Show Manager in Jon Haugen and a premier Show Secretary in Susan Peacock. Our list of judges and stewards is amazing and we have announcers, a videographer, and so many others to support a wonderful show experience for all of our exhibitors.  You deserve nothing less!

Putting on a World Championship Horse Show is a very expensive undertaking.  Somehow the bills have to be paid.  The board of WDAA is the Executive Show Committee and it has a fiduciary responsibility to do this.  The board has made a commitment to make the cost of showing at our 2018 World Championship Show as affordable as possible.
When we look at the budget, we consider the costs of getting show officials like judges, stewards and more to the show and home again and housing them and feeding them while at the show.  WDAA has decided that live streaming each of our rings is very important to marketing our discipline to the equine world.  This is another very significant expense.  We have facility costs, a huge hospitality budget, insurance and more to consider.  Ribbons, jackets, belt buckles are important to our competitors but they are not inexpensive.  The bottom line is a little scary!

If WDAA is going to put on a first-class show and make it affordable for our competitors, we need help.  The help comes from our wonderful sponsors.  The wide variety of sponsorship opportunities has been created to offer everyone to be part of our World Championship Horse Show.  You can sponsor a class for $100 which covers the cost of the ribbons and the jacket.  High point breed awards are also $100 each.  WDAA is committed to making the show a celebration with parties each night.  Sponsoring a party costs $250.  A division award with an amazing belt buckle and ribbons is only $250.

Whether you are competing at the World Championship Show or watching on free live streaming, won’t you be part of our celebration of the discipline of Western Dressage?  Stand up and cheer for our wonderful horses and riders by being a sponsor!

Follow the link to the World Show Sponsorship Page to discover all the different ways that you can support the championships. 
This is the third in a 3 part series concerning the WDAA Mission Statement, by Ellen DiBella

Words matter! In keeping with my belief in this short statement, I would like to explore our core mission statements with you all. I do my best thinking in the barn with a brush or a manure fork or broom, so I will include the long-suffering horses in my thinking process.

We celebrate the tradition of the American West. So what does this mean? Does this statement limit in any way the universal appeal of Western Dressage? Once again, words matter.
What are the traditions of the American West? How are they unique and what do they offer us today in our Journey as horsemen and horsewomen? Take my words and my thoughts with context. I am a fourth-generation Californian who grew up when there were not so many people in California. I moved to Colorado 50 years ago. Geography always forms our view of the world and our values.

When the founding board met in December 2010 to create a vision and a mission, the reality of the American West, both historically and currently, was a reality for us all. Horses have been man’s major means of traveling, moving goods, etc for thousands of years. This was true for all of our country until a little more than a hundred years ago when cars first appeared on our roads terrifying horses and people alike.

The realities of geography and distance do not change even when our means of travel change. Generally speaking, distances in the western parts of this country are greater than the distances in the east when moving from one population center to another. When I hooked up the truck and trailer, I planned to travel 500-600 miles in a day. I do not think I would have planned to travel that far if I lived in the east.

Following the Civil War, a huge number of Americans moved West to find land, new lives, and new opportunities. They traveled huge distances, and those distances became a reality for any new commercial realities. Moving cattle from Texas to summer pasture in the north and moving cattle railroads created a culture of horsemanship to serve those goals and challenges.

Moving west to California following the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill introduced us to a long tradition of horsemanship coming from great European routes in the Spanish and Mexican vaquero tradition. These traditions were found in early horsemanship in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and all of the Southwest.

The vast distances and challenges of making a living perpetuated and amplified a tradition that is uniquely American. You are judged on what you can do, and what you can do involved what you and your essential partner, your horse, could do. This is the tradition of the American West and it is no less important now than it was a hundred years ago. We live in a complex, confusing world that presents daily challenges that can confound us. Each of us can carve out a part of our lives that involve our horses and our partnerships with them. We can create and cherish who we are in that context. It can still be about what we can do with our horse partners. What a gift!
Update for the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program

We have several achievements to announce since last month for horses enrolled in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points & Awards Program (WHLPAP). Zips Vanilla Bella, a very cute palomino mare owned by California resident Sandra Ogden and shown by Carole Perkins has reached Silver Medalist, the second horse to reach that level. We have added another horse, Danville Dinero, a talented Morgan owned and ridden by Nady Peters from New Hampshire, to the Bronze Medalist level. We also have a very capable horse who has earned awards at two levels in a very short time, Gallod Ffantastic, a Welsh cob, owned and ridden by Joann Williams from Wisconsin. Every level reached provides a fantastic award for your horse.

We have received a few questions and comments from members regarding the WHLPAP program that they would like to have an easier way to see the show history and point-tracking information on horses in the program. A very thorough and comprehensive listing of each horse’s show and award level history is easily accessed on the WDAA website. To reach a horse’s record, scroll down to the Important Links section on the WDAA home page and click on the link for the Top 100 horses in WHLPAP.
Whatever final award levels are achieved by horses in the program will be calculated from scores submitted up to approximately September 1st to allow time for personalized awards to be ordered for presentation at the annual meeting.

To date in 2018, WDAA has recognized 209 shows, including many that are licensed at some level by USEF and judged by a USEF-licensed western dressage judge. These shows provide double point opportunities for all members with horses enrolled in WHLPAP. We have found the easiest way to provide a listing of WDAA recognized shows is to have a listing available on the WDAA event calendar, so we recommend that you check the WDAA event calendar for recognized shows near you. We also ask that you speak with shows having western dressage classes/divisions judged by a USEF-licensed dressage or western dressage judge to have their show recognized to earn points for horses enrolled in WHLPAP. We hope that many of you will be able to find shows in your area to continue your journey to higher achievements with your partners.

(Click image to enlarge)
Connect with us on Facebook!
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WDAA Website
WDAA Social Corral
 

Western Dressage Education!

Find all the WDAA Tests, Guides and lots of great reading materials in our Western Dressage Education Center!
Get More Info
 
Clinics & Shows
Looking for a Schooling Show or Clinic to brush up on your skills. Stop by the Events Calendar on the WDAA website where you will find lots of events happening all over the USA!
View Calendar
 

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral Facebook Group where members of the Western Dressage Association® of America can interact, discuss various topics, conceive new ideas and generally share all things Western Dressage, including people who are instructors, clinicians and even judges like yourself.
Join the Social Corral
 

Judges Education Program

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

Learn More
Current Licensed WDAA Judges
 

Find A TTT Graduate

The Western Dressage Association® of America has a list of professionals that have graduated from the past few years of Train The Trainer Clinics. If you are looking for an instructor or trainer in your area..
Find A Graduate
 

WDAA General Store

Where You can purchase WDAA Customized Apparel in our Apparel Boutique as well as Books, DVDs and other educational material all about Western Dressage in our Products General Store.
Shop Now
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all of the latest Western Dressage updates from all over the US and Canada.

Find new WD groups, follow your favorite riders, find shows and clinics and connect up with Western Dressage friends in your neck of the woods.

Please Join our rapidly-growing online community...
Follow Us on Facebook
 
Why Be A WDAA Member?
Ever wondered what it means to be a WDAA member? Sure, you get access to the Social Corral, events, dressage tests, and tons of information on our website; you can participate in high points programs and receive our awesome newsletter each month, but what else?
Learn More

Breed Alliances



 

Corporate Sponsor




 
 

About The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.

 
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May 2018 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President

Dear Members,

We have only one full-time staff contractor and two part-time staffers who work for WDAA. All the rest of us are volunteers. In order to keep up with the incredible growth of Western Dressage and continue providing outstanding services and educational opportunities to members and enthusiasts nationwide, WDAA must prepare to expand in a fiscally responsible manner. There are so many benefits I would love to provide to members, but with the lowest membership fee of any equine organization I am aware of, WDAA’s capabilities are limited. We are contemplating a small raise in our annual membership fee, but we don’t want to cause a hardship for any of you.

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April 2018 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President
Happy Spring!  At least that’s what I’m hoping for.  This month has been rainy and snowy and hot and cold and all I can say is I am looking forward to May flowers.  My mom has a favorite joke: if April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? (Answer at the end of this article)

Spring is the beginning of show season for many of us.  I am excited to say that USEF has acknowledged, “Western Dressage is blowing all other breeds and disciplines out of the water”, their words not mine, when it comes to sanctioning USEF Lite shows.  I have already judged several of them and have been amazed by the growing numbers of exhibitors.  I also judged my first 4th Level riders last week!  It’s really something to see horses grow and improve through Western Dressage training.  

Many of you are working to come and show at our World Show this year.  WDAA staff and board members are also working to make sure you have the best show experience of your life at our World Show.  We want to outdo ourselves every single year.  We need help to do this.  We are asking for you to become a World Show sponsor or round-up some World Show Sponsors.  Please, visit the World Show webpage to find out how to become a sponsor:  http://www.wdaaworldshow.org/sponsor-the-wdaa-world-show/

All sponsorship funds go toward improving the show for you.  I hope you will all come and show or cheer for our outstanding Western Dressage horses.  Our World Show has an atmosphere like no other show.  You must go for the experience of a lifetime.

(Joke Answer: Pilgrims!)

Have a great show season!  I wish you all a wheelbarrow load full of blue ribbons... oh yeah, and good health, safe travels, and all that stuff too

Your President,
Cindy Butler
Level 4, Test 2 Revision
You will notice that Level 4, Test 2 has been revised as of 4/18/18 on the WDAA website.
I would like to explain why: 

Before the recent amendment, Maneuvers 4 and 7 included lengthened jogs across a diagonal and continuing further down the track.  Both maneuvers have been amended so the lengthening ends at the end of the diagonal, when the horse gets to the track.  This is to make the maneuvers more consistent with our other tests.  

I encourage our judges to realize that some exhibitors may not see this revision right away and give them credit either way for a couple of weeks.
 
I apologize for this oversight and hope it will not cause anyone too much grief.  We have chosen to fix the mistake on Level 4, Test 2 rather than leave it and live with it.  We hope you will respect our decision and we think you will like the test better since it has been revised.  

As much as we try to be perfect, we’re not.  We’ll keep trying, anyway.

Thank you for understanding,

Cindy Butler, Your President
Western Dressage Association Of America
Level 4 Freestyle
The Level 4 Freestyle is ready for your viewing & riding pleasure! We cannot wait to see you riding this test at the shows, put on your creativity hat and start building your freestyles!
Get the Test
Equisure offers Excess Personal Liability Coverage to all WDAA members that can be used in addition to the coverage offered by USEF to total up to $2,000,000 in coverage. Please see the FAQ page for more information.
Sign Up for Equisure Coverage

Why you need extra personal liability coverage

by Ellen DiBella

When I am out in the barn feeding, cleaning, clipping my horses, I see my well-loved equine partners.  When my homeowner’s insurance company looks at my equine partners, they see lawsuits waiting to happen!

Each state has different laws that govern equine liability that range from very helpful to horse owners to very difficult for us.  Activities such as allowing someone else to ride your horse, having visitors in your barn all have an effect on liability.































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March 2018 Newsletter

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Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter from your WDAA President
Dear Members,

Spring is certainly arriving with a flourish around here! I think most of us got enough rain or snow to keep the muck boots by the back door a bit longer.. Even with all the blustering and blowing, Spring symbolizes foaling, new beginningsand hope. I am working with our board and staff to plan for the future and I have a couple of projects I need your help with.

First, I am excited that many of you participated in our first Question of the Month membership poll to help us with planning.

The first Question of the Month was emailed to ask for your opinion regarding saddle types. The rules committee will use your preference to guide us as we attempt to clarify the rules regarding saddles.

We received responses from 302 members.

We learned:
  • 58% are in favor of side saddles,
  • 59% want saddle horns to be optional,
  • 60% don’t think Australian saddles should be allowed for shows.

I will present this information to the rules committee this month before we work to amend rule WD 120.

Thank you for your enthusiasm for this project. I have been receiving wonderful, encouraging emails from some of you, thanking WDAA for respecting our membership’s wishes and offering some inspiring suggestions. We will send you another question soon so you can continue to help us plan for our future together.

Second, I have been working with USEF to expand Horse of the Year (HOTY) awards for Western Dressage to include Open, Amateur, and Youth divisions for each level and rail classes and Equitation.

USEF conducted a study and determined we have enough competitors to offer Open and Amateur awards, but not Junior rider or rail classes and Equitation. They say we have to propose a rule change that can’t be effective until December 1,2019 to get just the Amateur and Open awards.

Since the standard rule change procedure takes so long, I took a leap and proposed a change to include the Junior rider division, all rail classes and Equitation as well as Open and Amateur divisions. I need you to increase the number of riders in divisions you want USEF HOTY Awards for. If the number of riders falls short, the proposal will be amended in committee to include only Open and Amateur divisions for HOTY Awards and it will take us at least another year to try again for junior riders, rail classesand Equitation.

So, grab all the junior riders you can find and help them become USEF competing members and record their horses. Then, bring them to USEF shows and let them ride in Western Dressage classes where they will have the time of their lives! I know that we can get HOTY awards expanded for them if we put our notions in motions! Don’t forget to ride in the rail classes and Equitation classes too. We can do this!!!

Thank you for riding with us!
     Cindy Butler,
          Your President Western Dressage Association Of America
USEF Fan Membership
As a WDAA membership benefit, USEF is offering every WDAA member a free USEF Fan membership for the 2018 competition year. All WDAA members will be sent an email with directions to claim your USEF Fan Membership. Both USEF and WDAA are very proud of our affiliation and are thrilled to extend the following USEF fan member benefits, normally costing $25. This is not a USEF competing membership.
  • Full access to Learning Center with educational videos and content featuring elite athletes, trainers, and industry experts, with new videos released frequently throughout the year
  • Access to full USEF Network coverage with over 4,000 hours of live and on-demand content
  • A fresh and updated US Equestrian magazine with digital stories that educate and celebrate, delivered quarterly to members
  • Ability to access full search, standings, and competition results
  • Optional $1,000,000 excess personal liability insurance for as low as $18/year for Junior members
  • MemberPerks Program including cost-saving discounts like:
    • 10% off purchases online and in-store at Dover Saddlery
    • Up to 40% off at Sherwin Williams
    • Up to 28% off John Deere Equipment
    • 10% off Premier Equestrian arena footing
    • Buy 10 bags of feed, get one bag free from Triple Crown Nutrition
    • $15 off your activation fee with US Rider...and many more
  • Youth participation in US Equestrian Lettering Program and other opportunities
  • Special member-only offers from ShopUSEF
  • Exclusive discounts from our Media and Education Partners
  • Member communications via press releases, US Equestrian Weekly, and more
  • Access to USOC Safe Sport training and compliance
Update for WDAA Horse Lifetime Points & Awards Program by Kathy Newcomb
We have several achievements to announce for horses enrolled in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points & Awards Program (WHLPAP). First of all, one horse (Truly Unsurpassed, owned by Nancy Conley) has achieved Silver Medalist since last September, and more recently earned Gold Medalist. We also recognize six horses that have achieved Bronze Medalist level. We are truly amazed at how many new levels have been achieved since the month before the 2017 World Show.

Remember that you can review each horse’s record, which includes points earned at each show as well as their current award level, by scrolling down to the Important Links boxes on the WDAA home page and clicking on the link for the Top 100 horses in WHLPAP. We will be providing an updated listing of new achievements periodically in our newsletters through the year, and final award levels will be calculated from scores submitted up to approximately September 1st to allow time for personalized awards to be ordered for presentation at the annual meeting. Below is the list of new level achievements from September 2017-March 27, 2018. Congratulations to all!!

In the first quarter of 2018, more WDAA recognized shows than ever have been submitted, including several that are eligible for horses to earn double points. All recognized shows are listed on the WDAA event calendar, and you will see that shows are available from coast-to-coast. Many of these are breed shows that are offering open western dressage divisions. We are truly inspired by these shows and their support of western dressage. We hope that many of you will be able to find shows in your area to continue your journey to higher achievements with your partners.

(Click image to make it larger)
Attention College Students!
Are you a horse-loving (and western-dressage loving!) college student who would love to have some real-world experience for your resume? WDAA is offering an exciting opportunity: event internships at the 2018 Western Dressage World Championship Show, which will be Sept. 27-30 at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla.

A media intern will help run the press room, working with WDAA board members and staff to send out press releases on all world champions and top-10 finishers. This valuable work helps spread the word about WDAA and western dressage, it also gives much-deserved recognition to our wonderful exhibitors and horses. Although a journalism background is not required, this would be a plum learning experience for anyone interested in or majoring in ag communications, marketing or journalism.

The WDAA intern will help in all facets of event planning, from awards presentations to candid photography to judges hospitality, office work, etc.

Applications are welcome from youth who will be competing at the show; we are more than happy to work around your show schedule! To apply, email a resume and cover letter telling us about yourself and why you would be perfect for one of these internships to [email protected] Applications will be accepted through July 15.
Grooming for the Show Ring
written by Nance McManus

One of my favorite things about riding Western Dressage is that we can express ourselves in so many ways when it comes to how we dress and the tack we use to say nothing about the breed we ride. WD judges have said to me that it is so nice to see the differences and not have to keep looking at the same outfit on every rider for the day.

And one of the main things it’s good to think about is how to shine when you show off your style and your horse.

Remember to start from the inside to get a shiny healthy looking horse. After your horse is in good shape now it’s up to you to bring on the good looks.

Good points to remember when cleaning your horse is don’t stop at the coat. You will want to double check that your horse’s hooves are also clean outside and inside. When I enter the ring I want my horse’s coat to be clean and therefore shiny. No tangles in the mane or tail….and especially keep an eye on those pesky stall shavings. And check that your horse hasn’t been smelling the soil in the warm up pen and has dirt all over his muzzle.

Many of us don’t agree that one needs to take ALL of the hair out of their ears or off of their face. Depending on the time of year that you are showing your horse you may choose for a simple trim of ear hair that is sticking out past the ear. Personally, I only shave face whiskers (and tidy up the jaw line) when I show at the WDAA World Show.

I like to step up just a little more when it comes to the World Show. Knowing that the show is streamed live around the world I like to be looking my best. Also, I want to be respectful to our judges. I figure I have 5 seconds to make a good first impression before I start my test. I would like the judge to know that I brought my “A” game to the dressage court.

Since I ride in a hat I like to make sure it is dusted and the crease is good. I like to make sure that my shirts are pressed. I don’t worry so much about my jeans being pressed since I wear chaps. However, if I am not wearing chaps I make sure that my jeans are well pressed and long enough to drop past my boots when I am on a horse.

Riding in short jeans that creep up while you are riding your test will only make your legs look short and messy. You could choose to tuck your jeans in if you have a taller boot to ride in.

Now that you are wearing such nice clothes you REALLY want to make sure your saddle and bridle are not dusty or crusted with dirt or sweat. You don’t have to have silver on your saddle for it to shine.

Remember the judge has made an effort to look nice for the day and we are “asking” them for a judgement by riding into the dressage court. The judge WANTS you to do well. They enjoy seeing a good ride. And that includes how you present yourself as well as how well you ride the test.
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WDAA Website
WDAA Social Corral
 

Western Dressage Education!

Find all the WDAA Tests, Guides and lots of great reading materials in our Western Dressage Education Center!
Get More Info
 
Clinics & Shows
Looking for a Schooling Show or Clinic to brush up on your skills. Stop by the Events Calendar on the WDAA website where you will find lots of events happening all over the USA!
View Calendar
 

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral Facebook Group where members of the Western Dressage Association® of America can interact, discuss various topics, conceive new ideas and generally share all things Western Dressage, including people who are instructors, clinicians and even judges like yourself.
Join the Social Corral
 

Judges Education Program

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

Learn More
Current Licensed WDAA Judges
 

Find A TTT Graduate

The Western Dressage Association® of America has a list of professionals that have graduated from the past few years of Train The Trainer Clinics. If you are looking for an instructor or trainer in your area..
Find A Graduate
 

WDAA General Store

Where You can purchase WDAA Customized Apparel in our Apparel Boutique as well as Books, DVDs and other educational material all about Western Dressage in our Products General Store.
Shop Now
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all of the latest Western Dressage updates from all over the US and Canada.

Find new WD groups, follow your favorite riders, find shows and clinics and connect up with Western Dressage friends in your neck of the woods.

Please Join our rapidly-growing online community...
Follow Us on Facebook
 
Why Be A WDAA Member?
Ever wondered what it means to be a WDAA member? Sure, you get access to the Social Corral, events, dressage tests, and tons of information on our website; you can participate in high points programs and receive our awesome newsletter each month, but what else?
Learn More

Breed Alliances



 

Corporate Sponsor




 
 

About The Western Dressage Association® of America is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization focused on providing a model of horsemanship which optimizes the partnership of horse and rider for their mutual benefit.  The mission of the Western Dressage Association® is to honor the horse, to value the partnership between horse and rider and to celebrate the legacy of the American West which it focuses on through its offerings of educational opportunities and events to the equestrian community.

 
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February 2018 Newsletter

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Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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A Letter From Your WDAA President
Dear Members,

Your staff, directors, and volunteers have been busy as beavers working on new programs for you.

Your World Show Chairman, Ellen DiBella, is starting a monthly column in your newsletter to inform you about preparations for the 2018 World Show.  Don’t miss her entertaining and informative reports each month.  I am sure she is also scheming up a new idea for the golf cart decorating competition.

I have recently returned from the 2018 WDAA Judges Seminar.  I was blown away by how great our staff and trainers did and how dedicated our judges and judge applicants are.  You will truly be judged by the best-trained Western Dressage Judges in the World when you compete at USEF and WDAA recognized shows.  

Seminar attendees were the first to see the new Level 4 tests and everyone seemed thrilled with the content and opportunity for new challenges.  

Speaking of new, I would like to explain USEF’s new Competition Lite program here:  Essentially, a Competition Lite is a USEF schooling show.  USEF developed Competition Lite as a gateway into USEF Competition for new exhibitors and new shows.

Benefits of Competition Lite include lower costs and fewer requirements for riders, horses and show managers while still allowing USEF competing members to earn 1/2 points toward USEF Horse of the Year awards.

Only first time USEF shows are eligible to be Competition Lite shows.  

Keep in mind that shows must be WDAA recognized whether or not they are USEF Licensed in order for riders to earn points in the WDAA Horse Lifetime Points and Awards Program.  Rules for that can be found at:  
http://westerndressageassociation.org/wdaa-horse-lifetime-points-and-awards-program/

The following are eligible to judge USEF Competition Lite shows:
1. USEF Licensed Western Dressage judges,
2. USEF Licensed Dressage judges only for the 2018 Show season,
3. Judge applicants who have passed the written test and attended an official WDAA judges’ seminar within the past two years.  A list of applicants who attended the seminar and passed the written test in the past two years can be found on the USEF website https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/western-dressage.

Further, Judge applicants may receive USEF credit for apprentice judging at Competition Lite shows only if the presiding judge is fully USEF Licensed to Judge the levels being apprenticed.

Equipment checks at Competition Lite shows may be conducted by C2 stewards or appointed, knowledgeable show staff who have familiarized themselves with the WDAA Attire and Equipment Guide found online at: https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/western-dressage
and http://westerndressageassociation.org/western-dressage-rules-tests/

This chart offers a comparison of show types: http://westerndressageassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/USEF-lite-local-licensed-chart-final-2-21-2018.docx.pdf​

Additional information is available at:  https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/western-dressage

With so many different show options, I hope you throw your hat into the ring that works best for you and show your horses.  There is nothing more satisfying that setting a goal with your best equine friend and reaching it together.

Enjoy the Journey,

Cindy Butler, Your President
Western Dressage Association Of America
Bringing Joy, Embracing Change

US Equestrian’s 2018 Annual Meeting spotlighted progress on the ambitious strategic plan. Bottom line: it’s working!

By Glenye Cain Oakford








































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