Western Dressage is supported by the Western Equestrian Society as an
Unaffiliated discipline acceptable for all WES Approved or Affiliated Shows.

Western Dressage UK Rules   [PRINT]


    1. Western Equestrian Society GENERAL RULES & REGULATIONS will apply where relevant, except that for references to WES and its officials substitute WDUK:
           Section 2. Animal Welfare - Rules 2.1, 2.2, 2.5 & 2.7
           Section 5. Equipment & Attire - Rules 5.1 to 5.9
           Section 6. Performance Classes - Rules 6.10, 6.12 to 6.17 & 6.19 to 6.21

    2. Judging will be according to WDAA Guidelines & Judges Guidance Notes

    3. All Tests will be ridden in a 20m x 40m arena except WDAA Level 1 Test 4 and above (ie. except for more advanced tests with extra letters for a 20m x 60m).

    If you are already fully conversant with everything in 1 to 3 above, the only additional specific Rules of which you need to be aware are listed below.


    1. Horses/ponies must be four years old or over.

    2. A horse/pony may not be shown under a judge who has been its owner, exhibitor, trainer, or agent within the previous 14 days or if it is ridden by a member of their immediate family (partner, sibling, parent, child) or by an employee/employer of the judge.

    3. Horses/ponies may compete only once in any Class including separate divisions or sections of the same Class except if entered Hors Concours on the second or subsequent occasion.


    1. Correct Western tack and stock saddle with horn are mandatory - hornless saddles are NOT acceptable except Hors Concours for practice.

    2. At Intro level a snaffle bit is expected and use of a curb will incur a 2-mark penalty.  At Basic level either snaffle or curb may be used, but at Medium level and above a curb is expected.

    3. A correctly-fitted Western-style noseband which must not be tight or restrictive may be used.

    4. Protective boots may be used provided they are well-fitting and discreet, but bandages are discouraged unless necessary for limb support.

    5. When riding tests in inclement weather smart protective clothing suitable for Western attire may be worn with the Judge's consent.

    6. Hard hats are recommended and must be marked BS/EN 1384, PAS015, ASTM F1163 or prefixed with SE1, with the straps properly adjusted and fastened. Riders choosing to wear a Stetson do so at their own risk and MUST SUBMIT A DISCLAIMER FORM PRIOR TO COMPETING.


    1. Rider position should be similar to that for Horsemanship.

    2. Gaits should be "forward" as Western Dressage is considered to be a "working" class rather than "pleasure".

    3. Draped reins are unacceptable.  Horses/ponies should be ridden on a LIGHT CONTACT and with a level top-line or whatever appears natural for the breed and type of horse.  The face should be vertical or slightly nose out; behind the vertical is considered to be over-bent. 

    4. Split reins must be crossed with tails on opposite sides of the neck.  Riding 2-handed with a curb bit is permissible but each rein must be held separately.  When using a snaffle bit each rein should be held separately but may be bridged if preferred.

    5. The salute may be either "English" or Western style as preferred.


    1. At WDUK events rosettes will be awarded in each class not for placings but according to the Points Grade relevant to the score percentage achieved:

      Over 75% - Grade 1 (Gold) Over 65% - Grade 3 (Bronze)
      Over 70% - Grade 2 (Silver) Over 60% - Grade 4 (Good)
    2. Points are accrued from 1st January to 31st December and are awarded to each eligible Rider/Horse combination for which results specifying name of Rider & Horse, Score & Percent are submitted to WDUK, preferably accompanied by a copy of each score sheet (phone photo acceptable).

    3. To qualify for the OVERALL Hi-Point Trophy competitors must have accrued points at two or more levels of Intro, Basic & Medium in the current year.

    4. Walk/Jog Classes are restricted to Rider/Horse combinations not having previously scored 75% or over 3 or more times at Walk/Jog level as at 1st January in the current year, after which they must progress to Lope but may still enter Hors Concours in Walk/Jog for practice if desired but will not accrue points.

    5. Riders entering Hors Concours will be awarded rosettes but will not be eligible for prizes or to accrue points.

    6. For an Event to be eligible for WDUK points complete  THIS EMAIL  and submit as early as possible but at least one month in advance for inclusion on the Events Calendar.


    1. For issues not addressed above or within WES "General Rules & Regulations" on any specific topic, the relevant WDAA Rules will apply until clarified on this page.

    2. Non-Western riders wishing to participate may enter Hors Concours in conventional "English" tack and Dressage attire.


 WES News 
Western Dressage

 Western Horse UK 
Western Dressage
Western Dressage

Western Dressage

 Dressage Training 
for Western Horses,
& how to get started
in Western Dressage:
> Mary Knetter
Stacie Moyle
> Di Schorzman

 Jack Brainard 
Western Dressage
Hands-On Horseman

 Eitan Beth-Halachmy 
"Best of Both Worlds"
Western Dressage

 Dr Robert M Miller 
Western Dressage

 America's Horse 
"Western Dressage"
by Holly Clanahan.

 Discover Horses 
"New Horse Sport"
by Gavin Ehringer.

 Horse Junction 
"Western Dressage
in South Africa"
by Izak Hofmeyr.


[NEWS] [About] [History] [Media] [FAQ's] [Advice] [Books] [Events] [Venues] [Videos] [Contacts] [Rules] [Judging] [Tests] [Results] [Points] [Links]
Copyright 2009-19 Western Dressage UK    Webmaster    Website by WestWaysWebs    Revised: 07/01/17