June/July 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,

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!
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 © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

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

Share this post:

Comments on "June/July 2018 Newsletter"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment