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Working Equitation

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The sport of Working Equitation includes traditional dressage patterns as well as practical obstacles such as a working horse and rider would encounter in everyday ranch duties. Any type of horse can compete in Working Equitation and all types of tack and attire are allowed so long as they are of one coherent tradition or discipline.


The three Working Equitation phases or trials, and fourth optional trial, are as follows:

  • DRESSAGE TRIAL: The first of the Working Equitation trials is the Dressage trial. During this trial, the horse and rider ride a pattern of movements prescribed by the official test for their level. WE dressage tests are performed in a 20 x 40 meter “short court”. The judge scores each movement on a scale of 0-10, and provides Collective Marks at the conclusion of the test for gaits, impulsion, submission, rider and presentation.

  • EASE OF HANDLING: Ease of Handling (EOH) is the second trial comprising a Working Equitation competition. The EOH trial is required at all performance levels–Introductory, Novice A/B, Intermediate A/B, Advanced, and Masters. As with the Dressage trial, the judge scores each obstacle on a scale of 0-10 and also provides Collective Marks for transitions/navigation, gaits, impulsion, submission, and rider.

  • SPEED TRIAL: The third trial in a Working Equitation competition is the Speed trial. This is a test of a horse and rider’s ability to navigate obstacles with accuracy as quickly as possible. It is thrilling to watch! The Speed trial is first encountered by horse/rider pairs competing at the Novice A level. Riders soon learn that precision in the obstacles, coupled with strategic course lines, translate to winning speed rounds.

  • CATTLE TRIAL: During the Cattle trial, a team of three or four riders work together as each rider separates a designated cow from the herd and moves it across the enclosure to a holding pen. The Cattle trial is not always offered at WE competitions, but it is a crowd and competitor favorite when it is available. Riders use the same tack/attire for this trial as they did for Dressage, EOH, and Speed.


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Information also posted on Collective Roots Dressage Webpage

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