Working Equitation (WE) is a well-known discipline in Europe that is beginning to grow in popularity in the United States. Founded in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy, the sport quickly expanded to Sweden, Germany, the UK and Brazil, and it promoted the different types of equitation techniques developed in countries that use the riding horse to work on farms, ranches and with livestock.
An International Competition since 1996, this sport has been taking hold across the United States. Horsemen, riding every breed of horse in disciplines ranging from Classical Dressage to Western Cow Horse competitions, are trying their hand at the precision and unity of horse and rider needed to excel at Working Equitation.
Working Equitation is comprised of four phases: Working Dressage, Ease of Handling with Obstacles, Speed Obstacles and Cattle Handling. At the International level, advanced riders must ride one-handed, but riders at the lower levels are permitted to ride with both hands. Since this discipline is based on horses working on the ranch and in the fields, at the International level, each country denotes the rider’s outfit and horse’s tack which should be based on their typical “working dress.” Lower levels may ride in the tack and attire of their choice.
Apart from the foundational dressage training needed, the horses need to be agile and bold. These are horses that you could use in the field for opening gates, crossing over bridges and herding cattle. This competition bring the outdoor country atmosphere into the confines of an arena, which makes it a very popular spectator as well as rider sport.
No matter what your riding discipline or breed of horse, we hope you join us in Working Equitation!