December 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,

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.

December 16th, 2018

1:00PM Pacific, 2:00PM Mountain, 3:00PM Central and 4:00PM Eastern

Webinar log in will be sent to WDAA members 1 week prior to the event. At this time members will be asked to submit questions that they have for the WDAA staff and Board of Directors. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the 1 hour meeting. This is something completely new to everyone involved but we felt it is the best way to include as many WDAA members as possible. We look forward to speaking with WDAA members on the 16th!

If you would like to participate and are not a WDAA, member please visit this page to join, we would love to have you join us on this wonderful journey!
2019 WDAA/USEF Western Dressage Judges Seminar Registration is Now OPEN!

This exceptional educational opportunity is available to everyone. Auditors are welcome and it has proven to be invaluable for trainers, exhibitors and enthusiasts. The seminar willbe held in Denver, Colorado February 5th-7th 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech Center and is the first step in the USEF Western Dressage judges licensing process. Please visit this link to register and learn more about the Western Dressage licensing process.

2019 Western Dressage World Championship Show

WDAA is very proud to announce that we will continue our excellent partnership with the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, OK and host the 2019 WDAA Western Dressage World Championship Show on Oct 2nd-6th, 2019. New this year5 full show days!! 1 full day of rail classes and 4 full days of Western Dressage tests, every test of every level will be offered.
Meet the 2019 World Show Dream Team! 
Manager – Cindy Reid of Walnut, CA
Show Coordinator – Vivian Van Buren of Franktown, CO
Show Secretary - Susan Peacock of Guthrie, OK

Joanne Coy of Otsego, MI
Melissa Creswick of Clovis, CA
Susan Lang of Wichita, KS
Brian MacMahon of Wellborn, FL (including rail classes)

Joyce Hamblin 
Francie Newsom 

We can't wait to see you in Guthrie to celebrate our journey together! 
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 Today!
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.

Another problem with horses, or at least with my horses, is that they seem determined to escape from the barn, the paddocks, the pasture, etc.  I have opened the front door in the morning to find a gelding standing on the front lawn drinking out of a pond;  two mares escaped one late night and appeared at the barn door the next morning expecting their breakfast; one of the neighbor’s horses was doing his best to join the mares in our back pasture.  We have never had a horse out in traffic but that may be as much a matter of luck as anything else.  The quiet dirt road that used to boarder our property is now a very busy paved road with lots of fast traffic.  Imagine the liability if an AWOL horse causes a car accident!
Working with our insurance agency partner, Equisure, WDAA is offering a member benefit that provides $1,000,000 excess liability coverage for $24 per year.  This is an annual policy that runs from January 1 to December 31 of a calendar year.  WDAA is posting more details along with a page of FAQs on the website.  WDAA will administer this program.  Sign me up!

~Ellen DiBella
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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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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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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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