May 2016 Newsletter

Exciting happenings at Western Dressage Association of America... Be sure to check it all out!
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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!


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!

WDAA Social Corral

If you wish to be more informed about the Western Dressage movement, we do have a private Social Corral network 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.

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.

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...

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.

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...


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?

Why Be a WDAA Member?
It is the end of April and snow is still falling! 

Where is Spring? 

Soon the snow will turn to mud and the job of taking winter hair off horses will be complicated by the mud.  I hope those mud baths are fun for the horses.  I am sure that there must be shiny horses under there somewhere!
It has been another busy month for the board and staff of WDAA.  Our staff has been “test driving” the software for our Lifetime Points and Awards program.  After looking for existing software platforms, it became apparent that WDAA would have to have custom software created.  The “test driving” went well and our staff is working with the software developer to put the finishing touches on the platform.  I am helping by not touching anything!
WDAA has two new state affiliates; one in Alabama and another in Texas.  We have had a large number of calls from members in other states as well.  Our staff works to support these efforts.  Those of you who have been involved in creating a state affiliate know firsthand how much work it takes.  Standing applause for Alabama and Texas and a helping hand to other groups working to form affiliates.

As the Recognized National Affiliate of USEF for the discipline of Western Dressage, WDAA works closely with both USEF and the USEF Western Dressage Committee.  The membership of this committee has recently been expanded to reflect all of the stakeholders in WDAA.  The committee met by phone last week to work on a variety of issues ranging from education and licensing of Western Dressage judges to promotion for judges, to rule change proposals.  Please go to the USEF website at and/or the WDAA website for more information on the rule change process.  This is your discipline and we need your input.
The WDAA has its internal Rules Committee ably headed by Cindy Butler; this group is reviewing the Western Dressage chapter in the USEF Rule Book to identify any problems that will need to be addressed.  Both of these committees deserve our thanks for their generosity.  Each of these committee members is a volunteer who devotes many hours working on behalf of all of us. 
The WDAA Marketing Committee is working on sponsorships for both our association and our World Championship show.  This group has put together a packet of informational materials to provide to potential sponsors and has developed a comprehensive contact list based on the wonderful response from all of you to the recent survey.
WDAA continues to focus on our educational mission; at the request of USEF, WDAA recently produced an educational video for USEF Stewards on checking Western Dressage horses. The WDAA Executive Board is working with our show management regarding the Apprentice Judging Program for our 2016 World Championship Show.
Just writing this makes me both tired and exhilarated!  This Western Dressage Journey is such great fun! 

Thanks to each of you and go hug a horse!
Ellen DiBella

WDAA needs you!

Whether you plan to attend the 2016 WDAA World Championship show as an exhibitor or a spectator or will be joining by live video feed, you can be part of this amazing celebration of Western Dressage.
Not only will WDAA hold its Annual Meeting and Honors Luncheon at the 2016 World Championship Show, we will also offer educational opportunities for Western Dressage Judges with our Apprentice Judging Program.  
There is a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities and levels to chose from.  Many levels of sponsorship offer box seats, tickets to parties and more.  Your Sponsorship at any level is Tax Deductible!

To place a sponsorship for the show please go to Sponsorship Opportunities

Future WDAA World Show Dates:

September 28 – October 1, 2017
October 4 – 7, 2018

Lifetime Achievement Award Program

Don’t forget to sign up for the Lifetime Achievement & Awards Program, so you can start earning points in the 2016 show seasons. Simply register, then attend recognized shows, submit your results and start to earn points! This awards program tracks points achieved by a horse with their riding partner throughout their Western Dressage career. This award is open to all horses, ponies, and mules regardless of any breed registration, type, age, etc. A horse enrolled in the program can continue to earn points with a new owner if the horse is sold, and the points earned with the previous owner will stay with the horse.

Learn more and register your horse here...

Finding A Western Dressage Professional

We have had several requests for information about Western Dressage trainers around the country. Please check out the Professional Directory on the WDAA website . You can also find WDAA Train The Trainers™ graduates listed on the website. Please use these resources as they have put their heart and soul into learning and perfecting their unique skills; training both horse and rider in our beautiful new discipline of Western Dressage.

Need a Western Dressage Judge...

If you’d like to search for a Licensed Western Dressage Judge... Simply go to this webpage on the USEF website: and License Type box, scroll to the bottom of the list and choose "Western Dressage"

How to get active in your area with Western Dressage.

You will be surprised how many local events are already offering Western Dressage classes on their show bills. You can do an good old fashioned web search for, Western Dressage Show <enter your state or county here> to see what is already available to you in your area.

Then, go to the Western Dressage Association Of America’s website and search the state affiliate list for your state. Contact them to see about Western Dressage events near you.

If your state is not a WDAA affiliate yet, contact them to see how you can help to organize a WDAA affiliate in your state. Next, search for state affiliates of the United States Dressage Federation - USDF. The USDF is an affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation. USDF affiliates are
called Group Member Organizations - GMO.

Find the ones that are closest to you, click on the information that will direct you to their website and see if they are offering Western Dressage on their show class line up. If not, send them an e-mail introducing yourself. Share with them the news that the discipline of Western Dressage and Gaited Western Dressage is growing by leaps and bounds. Also inform them that the Western Dressage Association of America is a United States Equestrian Federation affiliate - this fact will get your foot in the door! Share the link below (this one from a Group Member Organization actively including WD) and share the news that GMO's in other regions have added Western Dressage and Gaited Western Dressage successfully to their schooling show line up:

Finally, ask them to consider adding a Western Dressage and Gaited Western Dressage class to their schooling show line up. Provide for them this link to the Western Dressage Association of America‘s website:

Also provide the link to the "Western Dressage Judges Guideline - What To Expect".

Attention State Affiliates

We ask you to search out and contact local shows in your region that could possibly qualify for WDAA recognized show status. Being a recognized show provides competitors with the opportunity to participate in the WDAA Lifetime Performance Awards Program. Information and rules for becoming a recognized show and the awards program can be found on the WDAA web site:

Show managers who have questions about the programs also can contact Kathy Newcomb by email at [email protected].

Breed Alliances


Corporate Sponsor

International Alliance Partners

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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