Western Dressage Judges Education

Western Dressage Judges Education

Western Dressage Judges Education
The WDAA Western Dressage Judge’s Education Program is open to all that are interested in earning a USEF Western Dressage judges license. This program offers training to applicants that will provide them with the tools and knowledge to accurately evaluate horse and rider combinations, score the tests and provide comments with confidence. There are no prerequisites to begin the process.

The program consists of 3 separate parts to be completed in the following order prior to applying to USEF for licensure.

Part 1 – Attend in person the WDAA/USEF Western Dressage Judges Seminar:

  • Organized by WDAA and held once per year in January or February. For up-to-date information please join the WDAA Judges Enews list found to the right in the sidebar >>>
  • 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, willing cooperation, 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. Judging Freestyles and Gaited Horses are a focus in the program.
  • Participants are required to pass a written test of the current USEF General and Western Dressage rules.
  • Judge Applicants and small r judges attend for 3 full days of instruction and Large R licensed judges attend for 2 ½ days.

The 2020 WDAA/USEF Western Dressage Judges Seminar will be held February 6-8th, 2020 at the Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech Center, Denver, CO; more information to come soon.

 Part 2 – Apprentice Judge at three USEf licensed Competitions in Western Dressage

  • All candidates will be asked to complete Apprentice Judge opportunities with USEF licensed Western Dressage judges.
  • 1 group apprentice judging opportunity is offered every year at the WDAA Western Dressage World Championship Show. This counts as two apprenticeships and is organized by WDAA only.

Part 3 – Complete online testing using the WDAA Western Dressage Judge Evaluation Program

  • Applicants will judge 16 Western Dressage test videos and complete a score card for each.
  • Upon completion of all 16 tests, score cards will be assessed by two evaluators and a ruling of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory will be given along with comments from the evaluators.
  • Online Judges Platform will be an additional charge of $250.

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)


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

For Western Dressage Licensing maintenance please go to the following form on the USEF website.