Western Dressage Judges Education

The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all licensed Dressage judges, Western, Breed judges and those starting out who want to learn about Western Dressage. This Judges Education Program offers training so that they can accurately evaluate horse rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments.

During the judges seminar, participants will learn about a judge’s perception of gaits, impulsion, rider position and seat in western tack, correct and effective use of aids, and harmony between riders and horses of different breeds and styles. The seminar focuses on the evaluation of horse and rider combinations, scoring tests, and providing correctly worded comments.

The Judges Education Program consists of three parts:

Part 1 – Western Dressage Judges Seminar:

  • Organized by WDAA and held in January or February, for up-to-date information please join the WDAA email list found to the right in the sidebar >>>
  • Participants will hear from experts and have an opportunity to interact with them and each other.
  • Topics include evaluating horse and rider combinations, scoring tests and providing comments with additional focus on clarifying and broadening a judge’s perception of gaits, impulsion, submission, rider position and seat in western tack, the rider’s correct and effective use of aids and harmony between rider and horses of different styles.
  • Participants take a written open book test of the USEF Western Dressage Rules.

Part 2 – Apprentice Judge at three Federation Competition in Western Dressage

  • All candidates will be asked to complete Apprentice Judge opportunities with USEF licensed Western Dressage judges.
  • For more information about USEF Licensing for Western Dressage, please refer to the USEF website Licensed Officials page under the heading “Licensing Information” and subheading of “Western Dressage”. (You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page as categories are sorted alphabetically)


Part 3 –Western Dressage Online Judging Platform:

  • Participants access 16 online videos randomly selected from rides at each Level of Western Dressage
  • Candidates score and make comments on each of the tests.
  • Upon completion of scoring all of the test the candidates are able to compare their scores and comments to those on the Master Scorecard.
  • Judge Evaluators then interact directly with the candidate to review their results.
  • Online Judges Platform will be an additional charge of $220.

Advanced Training Program (ATP) – designed for those with history in judging for Dressage, Western and/or Breed events. Consult Chapter 10 of the USEF Rules for a full description.

Any questions should be directed to the Licensed Officials Department through the following email address: LOinquiry@usef.org.

**The ATP Program will expire on 6/1/2017. All applications must be received in the Federation office or post marked by this date.