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THE SPORT OF WORKING EQUITATION
The name Working “Equitation” is defined as the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship. Working Equitation (WE) has something for everyone – English, western, Spanish vaqueros, gaited, as well as any breed, any age, any ambition. There are seven levels to progress through and riders from all disciplines participate together which makes it super fun and interesting.
Working Equitation, a sport originating in Europe and gaining popularity throughout the world, is a competition for horses that work in the field. It promotes the various equitation techniques in countries that use the riding horse to work on ranches and farms. Its goal is to preserve and promote the cultural traditions, tack, and riding attire of each country.
Working Equitation is comprised of four trials: Dressage, Ease of Handling with obstacles, Speed with obstacles, and Cows (Cattle Handling). The fourth trial is offered when available for team competitions.
Any breed of horse can compete in Working Equitation. The only requirement is that the horse be agile, bold, and responsive to direction from the rider. Riders from any discipline can compete, e.g., dressage, eventing, reining, trail, and anything in between.
There are a number of performance levels in a competition, from Children to Masters. The number and complexity of dressage movements and obstacles increase with the levels. Horses may be ridden with one hand or two at the lower levels, but in the Advanced and Masters level, all trials must be executed with the rider using one hand.
Competitions are held throughout the United States at a variety of levels: schooling shows, A- and B-rated shows, regional championships, and national championships. The number of competitions in the U.S. increases each year.
Working Equitation is a sport that's enjoyable for the horse, the rider, and the spectator. No matter what your riding discipline or breed of horse, we hope you will join us to share in the fun and excitement!