Recipe: Growing Western Dressage in North Carolina

Ingredients: Volunteer time, energy, and commitment. A great group of riders and horses. Tools, an open field dressage court, and a dash of patience.


For some reason Western Dressage has had a slow start in North Carolina. So when Rachel Rushlow-Freeze, took over as WDANC President she knew some drastic action was needed. She enrolled the help of Deana Bost, and Patti Bost, two of the local 4H leaders. To create a free classroom series for the 4H groups on understanding and riding Western Dressage. Rachel teaches free monthly classes in the Concord, North Carolina region.

This was a great start, but Rachel soon realized the groups would need a local venue to be able to enjoy competition. So the Cabarrus Saddle Club was approached to host a Western Dressage competition during their 2016 show series. The Western Dressage classes are strategically placed between the Western Classes and the English classes so riders will not have to do a saddle change if they want to compete in the Western Dressage classes. Then came the next big hurdle. Making an affordable dressage court. With the help of Tony Freeze, a dressage court was designed. This project is a green recycling project utilizing two liter soda bottle and very affordable PVC pipe. See pictures below.

The next important ingredient was volunteers, who helped set up and tear down the dressage court at the very first show. A special thank you, goes to Barbara Long, Vice President of Western Dressage for her full day of contribution at the show, from helping set up the Dressage court, a wonderful job as scribe for the tests, and also helping with final test scores calculations.

Results: EIGHT brand spanking new western dressage riders. A fun filled day with unique awards and happy but tired crew.

To learn more about Western Dressage go the


1Start with a collection of two liter soda bottles, Utilize various 1 inch pvc connectors.

2Be sure to stabalize bottles by filling with sand or dirt.

3Use 10 ft PVC pipe on connectors to create corners.  There you have it the beginnings of a full dressage court.  The best part is easy to set up and pull apart.

One Response to “Recipe: Growing Western Dressage in North Carolina

  • Paula Walker
    2 years ago

    Congratulations and best wishes to North Carolina for a great start from Western Dressage Association of Oklahoma.