December 2015 Newsletter

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

Our Rules incorporate elements of both Western and Dressage disciplines. Their revision was a collaborative effort on the part of member feedback, evaluation of respected horse people and equine organizations, and edited by a team of our Advisory Board members.

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.

WDAA Professional Directory

The Western Dressage Association® of America has implemented a new Professional Directory for WDAA members. For a very small fee you can "Get Listed... Get Found... Find an Instructor or Clinician!"

Try it FREE for 30 days!!!

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.
First the leaves turned red and orange, then the leaves were gone from the trees and now the snow is piling up.  I think that it is winter.  Time to send the husband out to put Christmas lights on trees!

This is the time of year when I count my blessings.   I include our wonderful board and our staff on my list.  The board members are all volunteers who receive absolutely no financial support from WDAA; they give their time and talent while living real lives and working at real jobs.   They have to suffer my endless emails asking for input, advice, decisions on issues.  I suspect that they would all love to put me on their "spam" list.

I hope that you will visit our website to meet our staff; they are also challenged dealing with me.  I am a little too old to really understand the Internet and they have to rescue me daily.  They work Social Medial; deal with membership, Points and Awards; answer your questions or find someone who can provide the answers that you need; maintain backup of all of our information and records; update the website and more.  Thanks to each of them for their patience with me and with each of us who needs answers and information.

I number our wonderful volunteers among my blessings.  You email and offer your time and talents to this discipline.  You are learning that I call on you and take advantage of your generosity.  Thank you for caring about our wonderful horses and this discipline.

I count my horses as blessings.  I have eight Morgan horses in the barn; many were born in my lap over the years.  Others have come to me later in life but each is a cherished friend.  Every one of them would have loved Western Dressage; I continue to serve this discipline because Western Dressage would have been a huge benefit for them.  I owe these wonderful horses and all horses as well.   Each of them has a Christmas stocking on the front of their stall; they have special treats for those stockings.  The favorite seems to be homemade nut brittle!  My equine vet has been seen stealing nut brittle from the horses.  If he were not my next door neighbor, I might be upset.

I count my family as my most special blessing.  I have a husband who has never asked what I have spent on my horses over 43 years; he continues to tolerate travel for equine business and endless conference calls.   My children have endured a mother who was always in the barn, traveling to horse shows, and going to meetings. My grandchildren have stacked hay, cleaned stalls, ridden horses and driven tractors; the grandsons were more into the tractors and the granddaughter more into riding the horses!

I hope that each of you will count Western Dressage among your blessings. With the New Year I will recommit to serve this discipline, this association and each of you. I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year.
Ellen DiBella

Membership Renewal Reminder

Don’t forget your 2016 membership renewals! We’ve sent out a renewal notice to all active members for the 2016 year who have already been converted to the NEW Calendar Year format.

We will continue to invoice existing 2015 members that were not converted to the new format during the first half of the year. If you renewed your membership or joined before July 1st, 2015 please be on the watch for your prorated membership invoice in your email.

All new members, will join at the regular rate and automatically be on the new calendar format.
Please note that memberships may be prorated (if applicable) up until June 30th 2016. After July 1, 2016, all renewing members must pay the full year ($25).

If you’d like to get a head start and renew early, just click here:
Thank you for supporting the Western Dressage Association of America by renewing your annual membership.

Give the Gift of Membership

Why not give the gift of WDAA membership in the new year? Member Membership Benefits include: access to WDAA Western Dressage Tests, Educational Tools and Resources; our Cornerstone Education Programs; Points and Awards program; Social Corral; a flourishing State Affiliate Community and Breed Alliance Partnerships; and access to our events and training clinic listings.

Basic membership is only $25. Or, show your commitment to the WDAA with a Gold, Silver or Founding Pioneer Lifetime membership.

Meet The Staff

Deirdre is our Online Operations Manager, otherwise known as our IT specialist and website guru.
Kaili is our Social Media Marketing Manager and hails from Ventura, CA.



Horse & Rider of the month

December’s Horse & Rider of the month is the delightful duo, Peggy Riley and Jetalito Sunny Step. They saw great success at the World Championships this year and have participated in Western Dressage since 2011. They hail from Alabama, but are originally from much further away!

Read their story here:

Judge’s Seminar

The Western Dressage Association of America is hosting a Judge’s Seminar as part of the International Equine Judging Seminar (IEJS) at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa, OK on February 1st and 2nd, 2016.

This seminar is an integral part of the Judge’s Education program offered by the WDAA and is considered the first step in the process to attain USEF Western Dressage judge’s licensing. The clinic is taught by Joyce Swanson, Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez and Cliff Swanson. Samantha Klein ,USEF Director of Licensed Officials will also be in attendance.

Early bird registration fee of $350.00 is valid up until Dec 25th. Registration increases to $375.00 until Jan 25th, and $400.00 after that. Auditors are welcome.

If you’d like to learn more or register for this program, click here:

Consider Donating to WDAA this Holiday Season

The Western Dressage Association of America is a 501c3 non-profit association, and as such, relies on membership and donations to keep running. Why not consider a gift that will make a big impact to your favorite organization? Consider donating to the WDAA this holiday season. All donations are 100% tax-deductible. No amount is too large or small.

Please consider helping us to fulfill our mission:

TTT Clinic in March

The California Western Dressage Association is hosting the first Train the Trainers clinic of the year on March 9-10th at the Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, CA. The Train the Trainers™ program is designed educate professional trainers, judges and Western Dressage enthusiasts who want to learn the standards of Western Dressage and how to train, hold clinics, show and judge this exciting new discipline.  A Certificate of Completion will be provided to all clinic graduates.  The WDAA lists all TTT graduate trainers on the WDAA website. Amateurs may also attend, being awarded an Amateur Certificate of Completion. Please note that you must be a current WDAA member to attend.

The second WDAA Train the Trainers™ clinic of 2016 will be in Michigan - stay tuned for more details!

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...

Congratulations to our December photo caption contest winner; Shirley Branston from ON, Canada. Shirley will be the proud recipient of some WDAA-logo swag, and all the bragging rights to go along with it!
The Ohio University Southern Equestrian Team had the opportunity to take a journey to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete at the WDAA World Championship Show.

We were able to go on this amazing journey because we were awarded a $1500 grant through the United States Equestrian Federation and the WDAA Grant Program for Youth and Collegiate Equestrians.

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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