Western Dressage makes debut in the Great White North!

Hello from Canada!

Western Dressage is starting to make it’s debut in the Great White North!

Last June I was reading an article by Eitan Beth-Halachmy which led me to the Western Dressage Association of America website. What I realized is that I was not alone putting proper dressage principles to the Western horse for the past 30 years. I never had a name for it. 

I absolutely loved the WDAA website, and the information that I was reading, and really felt positive about the possibilities of Western Dressage becoming a sport in Canada. It was quite refreshing to share ideas and information with the people on the website, and to realize that my ideas of the Western Dressage horse in Canada were very much the same as my new friends in the US.


When I approached several people about bringing Western Dressage to Canada through the formation of a not for profit association, I received nothing but enthusiasm and praise!


Upon further investigation and communications with the WDAA secretary Neide Cooley we began our journey to officially bring Western Dressage to Canada.

The Canadian Government is very particular about the names of not-for-profit organizations, as Industry Canada, the Government body who oversees the corporations act cannot permit a name that is at all confusing to other corporations already in place. Our original incorporation applications were filed in September, but due to the fact that the name we originally reserved was too confusing to already established associations, we could not use it.  Industry Canada felt our name was too confusing to Alberta Dressage Association,  Equine Canada, Dressage Canada, and about 10 other names.  We were not going have that stop our application as a not for profit.. It actually helped us gain communication  and acknowledgment with Equine Canada and Dressage Canada. Through the President of Equine Canada (Mike Gallagher),  he kindly  brought up the application name to the board of directors at their annual meeting. The directors did not know what Western Dressage was, as they thought it was Dressage in Western Canada. They suggested that we put a descriptive word between Western and Dressage. Well sure enough, we re-applied for a name change,  and the Western Style Dressage Association of Canada finally received it’s articles of incorporation in December.


2011 National WDAA Annual MeetingIn November I attended the National affiliate meeting with the WDAA in Denver, and met many wonderful people and shared so many ideas! It was great to put a face to the names that I had talked to, and meet so many like minded people.

Since then, we have shown a presence on Facebook, and are in the process of developing a website. We cannot believe the response we have received from all over Canada. From British Columbia to New Brunswick, and all the Provinces in between. Our Facebook page has only been in existence for about 5 weeks, and we already have 130+ friends and about 1000 monthly users.


Our promotions for Western Style Dressage have included 3 demonstrations in London, Toronto, and Paris Ontario. We have been greeted by enthusiasm and people wanting to join us. They too see a breath of fresh air in the approach to enjoying and understanding themselves and their horses. We are looking forward now to develop a network of members and dressage instructors from every corner of Canada.


We have already had 3 dressage clubs in Ontario that are willing to put our Western Style Dressage classes in their shows for 2012. We are also planning a benefit clinic in early spring in Ontario.


Thanks to the WDAA our friendly Alliance, and the originators of Western Dressage as a discipline. They have been very generous and supportive, and have permitted us to use their official rules and tests.

Website is underway for the WSD of Canada… visit them at www.westernstyledressage.ca or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Western-Style-Dressage-Association-of-Canada


We look forward to 2012 as a building and promotional year!



2 Responses to “Western Dressage makes debut in the Great White North!

  • Ardith McCann
    6 years ago

    Hi I am from Stettler AB.I am very interested in western dressage. I competed in barrel racing for a long time and I would love to find another sport that I can do with my horses.Do you know of any clinics that would be reasonably close to where I live.Stettler is east of Red Deer Alberta and Red Deer is south of Calgary. Looking forward too hearing from you. Ardith

    • DMD-Admin
      5 years ago

      My suggestion would be to contact the Canadian Group through their website at http://westernstyledressage.ca/ as this is the Western Dressage Association of America their International Alliance.