Para-Equestrian and Western Dressage at the WDAOK TTT

IMG_8072On May 5-6, 2015 the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) in conjunction with WDA of OK held a Train the Trainers clinic at A Joyful Noise Farm in Pryor, Oklahoma. As a Para-Equestrian and a member of the Educational Task Force on developing a Para-Western Dressage program I was delighted to attend.

The first day was a tough one and I had to miss the social event and dinner afterwards to go home and rest. Western Dressage is a systematic and progressive training of the working horse and rider that celebrates the legacy of the American West. I was glad to see the emphasis on safety and the steady working horse mounts. Harmony of the horse and rider is a goal as in traditional dressage. We learned to recognize correct Western Dressage gaits and participated in judging two tests. This was the fun part! The session of demonstration riders on de-marked 10 and 20 meter circles with emphasis on the inside leg to the outside rein was a familiar concept.

It appears that getting started in this sport will be relatively inexpensive in comparison with some other equestrian sports. This should open up more opportunities for Para-equestrians. Now that’s exciting! Western Dressage is a growing sport all over the country and in Oklahoma and Texas the availability of working horses is very good. I look forward to the WDAA World Show and Annual Convention November 4-8, 2015. I will definitely be there.

Written by Marsha Cullen – Grade II Para-Equestrian


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