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WDAA Announces New Partnership with ASPCA Right Horse program

Each year, hundreds of thousands of horses are transitioned from career or ownership. A number of these horses end up at risk of inhumane treatment. The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) Right Horse program was developed to unify horse industry professionals, equine welfare advocates, and the broader horse loving public to improve the lives of horses in transition.

ASPCA Right Horse promotes horse adoption as a trusted method for finding your next horse and operates an equine adoption platform, myrighthorse.org. The Western Dressage Association of America’s partnership with the program commits time, talent, and resources to promote horse adoption through education, training, and public awareness on a national level. Together, alongside over 100 industry partners and equine shelters and rescues, we will work to achieve our shared goal of massively increasing the number of horse adoptions nationwide.

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Addressing concerns from participants at the 2023 World Show

FROM Dini Swanson WDAA Executive Director,

Addressing concerns from participants at the 2023 World Show.

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In Memory of Ellen DiBella, WDAA Founder

View the Memorial Email for Ellen DiBella as a PDF.

2023 March WDAA Member Question of the Month - Saddle Survey

Dear WDAA members,  

Thank you for your time answering this short survey, as the WDAA board of directors tries to determine how the majority of members feel about Western saddles. Because of the recent debate, we realize the saddle rule needs to be amended or clarified, one way or the other, so that it can be easily understood and consistently enforced. We welcome your opinion. DEADLINE TO RESPOND IS Tuesday, March 21st at 11:00PM Mountain time. 

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New statement on saddles from WDAA Board of Directors

Thank you WDAA Family for your many insightful and supportive messages to the WDAA Board of Directors regarding the recent discussion of what constitutes a standard American Western stock saddle.

The WDAA Board of Directors has determined to use the rest of 2023 to evaluate the definition of permitted saddles within the USEF discipline of Western Dressage by conducting research and WDAA member surveys.

If these activities indicate a change should be made, a rule proposal could be developed for implementation no earlier than the 2025 competition season.

We, the WDAA Board of Directors, will find a way forward that continues to uphold the WDAA Mission:
To build an equine community that combines the Western traditions of horse and rider with Classical Dressage.
We honor the horse.
We value the partnership between horse and rider.
We celebrate the legacy of the American West.

Sincerely,
The Western Dressage Association of America Board of Directors

AMHECT Announces the Ellen DiBella Western Dressage Scholarship

The American Morgan Horse Educational Trust (AMHECT) is thrilled to announce the creation of a NEW scholarship opportunity for AMHA members. The Ellen DiBella Western Dressage Scholarship was established to promote the use of Morgan horses within the growing discipline of Western Dressage.

Western Dressage seeks to improve balance, cadence, and carriage of both horse and rider. By combining the disciplines of Dressage with the Philosophies of Western Riding, Western Dressage seeks to improve our partnership with our horse. The goal is a happier, more sound horse, and a more aware and knowledgeable rider. Achieving these goals is a journey of technique, learning, growth, practice, and patience. To help Western Dressage Riders participating with Morgan horses, this scholarship hopes to allow riders to advance in their skills once they are well into the first level.

The Scholarship is named to honor Ellen DiBella of Parker, Colorado in recognition for her years of service to all things Morgan and especially her support in the creation of the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA). Ellen has spent a lifetime supporting the Morgan industry via her countless volunteer roles including (but certainly not limited to) AMHECT Board of Trustee, AMHA Board of Director, USEF Board of Director, USEF Rules Committee Member, Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® Committee Member and other countless subcommittees. Her passion for Western Dressage and her commitment to the WDAA is just one example of Ellen’s positive influence on the equestrian community.

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2020 WDAA Year in Review

2020 Year in Review video produced by WDAA Board Secretary Thallia Blight.

Voices from the WDAA World Show by ProStride

The Horse Radio Network Western Dressage with Stacy Westfall:  The online Western Dressage Association of America was a huge hit this year.  Hear the voices of some of the amazing competitors and how the WDAA impacted them this year.  Listen in…

Listen to the podcast here: https://www.horseradionetwork.com/2020/12/23/western-dressage-598-voices-from-the-wdaa-world-show-by-prostride/

True Versatility

By Andrea Caudill

The versatility of the American Quarter Horse is certainly a bragging point for the breed – the horse that is willing and able to do whatever task asked of it. While that is quite common, it is rare when performed on the breed’s biggest stage, a place where specialists typically have the advantage. But at the 2020 Farnam AQHA and Adequan® World Championship Shows, Colorado resident Renee Anderson and her mare, Hi Risk, were successful in two wildly different events: The duo placed ninth in the Select barrel racing and, a few days later, were finalists in the brand-new western dressage stakes class.

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WDAA partners with eVet and shows you how to easily store and share your horse’s medical documents

Easily store and share your horse’s medical documents

by Katie Navarra

Relying on paper copies to track vaccination records, health certificates, registration, and microchip numbers is cumbersome. The more horses you have, the more challenging it becomes.

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What does the judge want to see in a successful test?

What does the judge want to see in a successful test?

By Dolly Hannon

· Regular and free gaits and paces (variations of the gaits) that have no rhythm issues and are elastic and expressive, with reach and springiness. Horse covers ground without speed or loss of balance.

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USEF free fan membership to all WDAA Military Veteran Members

WDAA is very proud to announce that USEF will be offering a yearly free fan membership to all WDAA Military Veteran Members. All WDAA members receive a 1 year free USEF Fan Membership but our veterans will get it every year!!!
 
"US Equestrian is honored to be able to provide benefits to these brave servicemen and servicewomen.  We are very appreciative of the sacrifices they make in service to our country and their efforts to keep our country and our families safe.  Additionally, US Equestrian commends WDAA’s efforts to not only bring the joy of horse sports to a new segment, but also promote the many therapeutic benefits that interaction with horses provides." - Leslie Mangan- USEF Executive Assistant and Project Management Analyst. 
 
A USEF Fan membership opens the door to amazing member benefits, for more information please visit, 

2020 USEF Annual Meeting Recap

US Equestrian Outlines Key Areas of Success, New Goals at 2020 Annual Meeting
President Murray Kessler and senior staff report on membership growth, program successes, and new member benefits.

At US Equestrian’s 2020 Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla., federation President Murray Kessler unveiled statistics that show how a vibrant US Equestrian that is growing membership, boosting sponsorships, and building for the future with new initiatives and operational efficiencies.

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USEF Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ellen Di Bella

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award to be acknowledged at the 2020 US Equestrian Annual Meeting at the Hilton West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Fla. Ellen Di Bella is the winner of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, while Julia Stone is the 2019 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Both Di Bella and Stone will be recognized at the Pegasus Awards presented by Adequan® on Friday, January 10, 2020, along with other prestigious award winners.

Ellen Di Bella (Parker, Colo.), the Western Dressage Association of America’s founding President and now its Director Emeritus, has been key to the rise of Western dressage in the U.S. She has devoted her life to inspiring others, creating opportunities for equestrians and their horses, and working for every horse to be valued and cherished. She also served on the US Equestrian board for a decade and currently is on five US Equestrian committees.

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A Good Sport

By Barb McLintock

 

He’s one of the youngest competitors at the Western Dressage World Show. And he’s riding the oldest horse in the competition.

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Western Dressage Therapeutic Riding Division Debut at Preston Horse Farm PVDA Show

On April 15th 2018 PVDA hosted a Dressage Schooling Show at Preston Horse Farm (owned by Becky Langwost-Barlow). At this show we (Courageous Hearts Horsemanship) were able to debut an idea, passion, and dream of ours to have a division for riders with special needs and abilities to be able to show in dressage. It has taken a long time to develop a program that would meet the dressage standards, as well as meet the needs of therapeutic riding and horsemanship. We are so excited that PVDA has supported our passion and helped us make this a reality for our riders and their families and hopefully more riders to come!

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