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Welcome to working Equitation

The discipline of Working Equitation (WE) was created to recognize and promote the equestrian techniques employed in countries that use the horse to work in the field. The aim is to preserve and perpetuate not only the type of equitation in each country but also the various traditions, riding attire, and tack that constitute part of the intrinsic cultural tradition of each country. The sport is gaining popularity in many countries around the world. The World Association for Working Equitation (WAWE) governs the sport internationally and maintains a set of rules for international competition. Each country, however, has its own rules for domestic WE competitions. 

There are four trials that make up a Working Equitation competition. The first three (Dressage, Ease of Handling, and Speed) are the mandatory trials required for a complete Working Equitation competition. The fourth trial, Cattle, is included when location and facilities allow. The trials are conducted in this  order. 

Dressage Trial. Prescribed dressage tests are ridden at each level. Each movement is given a numerical score, and collective marks are given for gaits, impulsion, submission, rider’s position, effectiveness of the aids, and overall presentation. Movements in the dressage test coincide with the type and difficulty of movements required in the Ease of Handling and Speed trials at each level. Requirements for the Dressage trial are presented in Section 5. Dressage tests are contained in Appendix A. 

Ease of Handling (EOH) Trial. Obstacles are set up to simulate the difficulties encountered by a horse and rider in the field. Each obstacle is given a numerical score, and collective marks are given for transitions/navigation, gaits, impulsion, submission, and rider/ presentation. Obstacles are numbered and are ridden in order. The goal of this trial is to negotiate the obstacles with accuracy, ease, and smoothness. The obstacles are described in Appendix B of the rule book. 

Speed Trial. Obstacles are ridden at speed. The objective is to negotiate the course with no errors, in the correct order, as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are no gait restrictions unless enacted by show management for safety reasons due to weather conditions or footing. Individual scores are based on elapsed time through the obstacles plus time penalties and minus time bonuses. 

Cattle Trial. This trial tests the ability of a horse and rider to work with cattle individually and as a team. The trial is performed with a team of 3 or 4 riders. The objective is for each rider to individually sort, cut, and herd a pre-selected cow from the herd and then put it in a designated pen. This is a timed event, with time penalties for course errors. 

WE Levels 

  • Level 1 - walk trot

  • Level 2 - walk trot canter

  • Level 3 - w/t/c, lead changes thru trot, leg yielding

  • Level 4 - w/t/c, lead changes thru walk, leg yielding, collected canter

  • Level 5 - w/t/c, flying changes, leg yield, half pass at walk, walk ½ pirouette

  • Level 6 - w/t/c, flying changes, extended canter, full pirouette at walk, ½ pirouette at canter, 

There are  23 obstacles in the Rule book

  1. Bridge

  2. Figure 8

  3. Pen

  4. Jug

  5. Remove Pole

  6. Spear Ring 

  7. Replace Pole

  8. Switch cup

  9. Bell Corridor

  10. Reinback “L”

  11. Rounding Posts

  12. Single Slalom

  13.  Double Slalom

  14.  Gate

  15.  Jump

  16.  Sidepass Rail

  17.  Water

  18.  Bank

  19.  Drums

  20.  Move Sack

  21.  Drag Item

  22.  Varied Footing

  23.  Herding Cattle

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