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.

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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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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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