Western Dressage Rules & Guidelines

Western Dressage Rules and Tests are based in Dressage fundamentals and showcase applications for the Working Western Horse.  They were devised through a collaborative effort on the part of member feedback, the evaluation of respected horse people and equine organization and then revised and edited by a special division of our education committee.

WDAA Steward FAQs from WDAA on Vimeo.

The Rules are designed for use by judges and show managers, but also for riders of all experience level.  The Rules are a wonderful educational tool with highlights that include gait descriptions, movements, goals and objectives – all of which lend to a progressive learning and training program regardless of intent to show or ride in any other discipline.  They are mindful of the mission of the WDAA in which we honor the horse and provide a safe, comfortable and fair environment to explore the discipline.

Our Western Dressage Tests are designed with progressive elements to showcase the developing skill of horse and rider. They will remain in effect and should not change for at least 4 years from the “Title Year” printed on the test.  What a great way to learn while having fun!

WDAA Western Dressage Documents


  • 10-Excellent
  • 9-Very good
  • 8-Good
  • 7-Fairly good
  • 6-Satisfactory
  • 5-Marginal
  • 4-Insufficient
  • 3-Fairly bad
  • 2-Bad
  • 1-Very bad
  • 0-Not performed


Western Dressage is trained and shown in specific levels which build on each other and which reflect the development of the skills and abilities of both the horse and rider. The tests ridden in shows are used as a measure of the correctness of the horse’s (and rider’s) schooling. The collective marks are based on:

  • Gaits: the freedom and regularity of the horse’s movement
  • Impulsion: the horse’s desire to move forward, elasticity of steps, roundness
  • Submission: the horse’s attention and confidence, harmony with rider, lightness of movements, and acceptance of the bit
  • Rider’s position and seat: correctness and effect of the aids


Printable Dressage Arena Document – Download & Print

The small dressage arena measure 20×40 meters.

The large dressage arena measure 20×60 meters.

If you are interested in getting western dressage classes for your breed included in
your breed’s rules, please consider Contacting Us.