USA Working Equitation

the national organization for Working equitation in the USA

Fostering a Supportive Community of Riders and Building a Strong Future for the Sport

Rules & Dressage Tests
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About the Sport

Dressage Trial

The first of the Working Equitation trials is the Dressage trial. During this trial, the horse and rider ride a pattern of movements prescribed by the official test for their level. WE dressage tests are performed in a 20 x 40 meter “short court”. The judge scores each movement on a scale of 0-10, and provides Collective Marks at the conclusion of the test for gaits, impulsion, submission, rider and presentation.

Ease of Handling

Ease of Handling (EOH) is the second trial comprising a Working Equitation competition. The EOH trial is required at all performance levels–Introductory, Novice A/B, Intermediate A/B, Advanced, and Masters.

As with the Dressage trial, the judge scores each obstacle on a scale of 0-10 and also provides Collective Marks for transitions/navigation, gaits, impulsion, submission, and rider.

Speed Trial

The third trial in a  Working Equitation competition is the Speed trial. This is a test of a horse and rider’s ability to navigate obstacles with accuracy as quickly as possible. It is thrilling to watch!

The Speed trial is first encountered by horse/rider pairs competing at the Novice A level. Riders soon learn that precision in the obstacles, coupled with strategic course lines, translate to winning speed rounds.  

Cattle Trial

During the Cattle trial, a team of three or four riders work together as each rider separates a designated cow from the herd and moves it across the enclosure to a holding pen.

The Cattle trial is not always offered at WE competitions, but it is a crowd and competitor favorite when it is available. Riders use the same tack/attire for this trial as they did for Dressage, EOH, and Speed.

About the Organization

USAWE is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Colorado. We are in the process of filing for federal 501(c)(3) recognition.

USAWE was formed in 2020, when WE United and the Confederation for Working Equitation consolidated into a single national organization. The decision to merge into USAWE was unanimously supported by the Boards of both prior WE organizations.

The merger is the culmination of many months of work, and we are excited about the future!

Membership Regions

USAWE is structured into distinct geographical Regions. The purpose of Regions is to provide geographically-based representation in the governance of the organization as well as for awards. The Regions are:

  • Region 1:  Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.
  • Region 2:  California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, and U.S. territories in the Pacific.
  • Region 3:  Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado.
  • Region 4:  New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
  • Region 5:  Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
  • Region 6:  New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
  • Region 7:  Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and US territories in the Atlantic.
  • International: All locations outside the United States of America.
Meeting Minutes
Policies & Procedures Manual
Codes of Conduct & Ethics
National & Regional Leaderboards
National Breed Performance Awards
National High Point Junior
Lifetime Rider Medals

Contact Information
Lists of Committee
Members & Chairs

Why We Love Working Equitation

I LOVE that all breeds can be competitive. That teaching the obstacles gives Dressage exercises “purpose” to the horse and “meaning” to the riders. They get instant feedback if their training is on the right track because you either make it around an obstacle with symmetry and balance…or you don’t. And we get to work cattle!!!!!
Nicole Chastain Price


Personally, I love the diversity of the training for the various trials. It challenges me to think, plan, and develop quieter, clearer aids for my horse. I LOVE the fact that WE brings together many like minded riders who are accepting of a wide range of riding styles whose main goal is to have harmony with the horse and to have fun with our horses!
Biddie Lowry


The different layers of training involved, attract me. I like the dressage work, have competed in obstacle challenges, now I can combine the two. I also like the diversity of people, horses and discipline. The absolute best part is the supportive community. It’s such fun to be involved in a sport where people cheer each other on and console each other when a ride doesn’t go as planned.
Jan Harris


I love how the horses participate and feel proud when they are confident with their job at the obstacles. I enjoy the partnership formed from training and participation in WE.
Cari Schwartz


I am a professional dressage rider, and WE is highly complimentary to dressage. I use it to work on flying changes and collection. It’s fun for the horses, and it gives riders a purpose.
Emilie Laval


Thank you to the WE Organization and the all the people involved. Friendships have developed this year that I am truly grateful for, and could have never imagined happening. I’ve never been involved in a showing environment where my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard, my brain hurts from all the memorization, everyone is so supportive for each other, and horsemanship is truly tested.
Michelle Lackey


Gaited horses can compete with non- gaited horses. Fun to train for and love the challenges!
Gayl Raye

South Carolina

I love, love, love the people – seriously, it is the best and most supportive community! I also feel like it is an inclusive discipline. You can be successful and have fun even without the most expensive horse or a particular breed or without being in the best physical shape yourself. There is so much variety that there is always something to learn and no horse or person is going to be naturally great with all of it.
Sara Barnwell


The people that this sport attracts seem to put the horse first. There are no gimmicks, only desire to improve horsemanship and communication with the horse. All horse types and riding disciplines are included. No matter your choice, there is something to be learned by observation and appreciation of the others. There will always be a challenge to improve at every outing, and as one progresses through the levels. The correlation of the phases gives purpose to the skills we strive for. Our judges are so knowledgeable, fair, and encouraging to each exhibitor. They also spend their time offering many learning opportunities to those interested in the sport.
Elena Juarez


Board of Directors

Leslie Martien


A resident of Colorado, Leslie Martien was elected to serve as the first President of USAWE. Her term will expire at the end of 2021.

Barbara Price

President Elect

Barbara Price was elected President Elect in November of 2020. She will rotate into the role of President at the end of 2021.

Julie Alonzo


A resident of Oregon, Julie was elected in 2020 to the position of Secretary. Her term will expire at the end of 2022.

Erin O'Shaughnessy


A resident of Washington state, Erin was appointed to the office of Treasurer in November of 2020.

Doreen Atkinson

At-Large Director

Doreen Atkinson, who lives in Texas, was elected to the office of At-Large Director in the first election. Her term will run through  November of 2022.

Trisha Kiefer-Reed

At-Large Director

Trisha Kiefer-Reed, who lives in Montana, was elected to the office of At-Large Director in the first election. Her term will run through November of 2021.

Kristine Strasburger

Region 1 Director

Kristine Strasburger, a resident of Idaho, was elected to serve as Region 1 Director in the first election of USAWE. Her term will expire in November of 2021.

Region 2 Director

Robin Bond, a resident of California, was elected to the office of Region 2 Director in the first USAWE election. Her term will expire in November of 2022.

Cindy Branham

Region 3 Director

A resident of Kansas, Cindy Branham was elected to the position of Region 3 Director in the first USAWE election. Her term will expire in November of 2021.

Kiki Pantaze

Region 4 Director

Kiki Pantaze, a resident of Texas, was elected to serve as Region 4 Director in the first election of USAWE. Her term will expire in November of 2022.

Region 5 Director

A resident of Michigan, Alex Tyson was elected to the office of R5 Director in the first USAWE election. She will serve through November of 2021.

Kimberley Hillyer

Region 6 Director

A resident of Pennsylvania, Kimberley Hillyer was elected to the position of Region 6 Director in the first USAWE election. Her term will expire in November of 2022.

Kimberly Hillyer

Rebecca Algar

Region 7 Director

Rebecca Algar, a resident of Florida, was elected to the office of R7 Director in the first election. Her term will expire in November of 2021.

Rebecca Alger

Code of Conduct – Officers and Directors

Duly elected and appointed Officers and Directors of USA Working Equitation (USAWE) shall agree to and abide by this Code of Conduct in promoting and advancing the sport of working equitation in the United States.

Officers and Directors shall commit to upholding and promoting the highest level of ethical conduct in the performance and administration of their duties on behalf of USAWE.

Officers and Directors recognize that even the appearance of misconduct or impropriety can be very damaging to the reputation and integrity of USAWE and will act accordingly.


  • Officers and Directors shall abide by the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and the Policies and Procedures manual of USAWE.
  • Officers and Directors shall conduct all USAWE business in good faith, with honesty, integrity, due diligence, and competence in governing and managing USAWE’s affairs.
  • Officers and Directors shall exercise good faith in their dealings with USAWE members, show managers, vendors, and the general public and will interact with these individuals in a responsible, respectful, and professional manner, free from discrimination, self-dealing, or harassment of any type.
  • Officers and Directors shall uphold the strict confidentiality of all closed meetings and other confidential deliberations and communications.
  • Officers and Directors shall hold themselves and each other accountable for the administration of financial responsibilities to USAWE.

Conflict of Interest

  • Conflict of Interest is defined as an existing or potential incompatibility between an Officer’s or Director’s private interests and his/her duties toward USAWE.
  • Officers and Directors will avoid conflicts of interest, both real and perceived, whenever possible, and disclose conflicts of interest whenever they exist and cannot be avoided. They will excuse themselves from voting on any matter where a conflict of interest exists.
  • Officers and Directors shall exercise the powers vested in their position for the benefit of the organization and its members, rather than for personal benefit.
  • Officers and Directors will never use USAWE assets or information for personal gain, financial or otherwise.
  • Appointments to committees shall be made without bias or intent to influence the business of the committees.


This Social Media Policy governs the commentary via social media by Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Coaches when acting as a USA Working Equitation official or can be perceived as acting as a USAWE official. For the purposes of this policy, social media means any tool for online publication and commentary, including but not limited to blogs, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and any other new media.

This Social Media Policy does not limit a person’s right to post their opinions as an individual, when not acting as an Officer, Director, Licensed Official, or Coach.


Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Coaches may use social media as a conduit for conveying their activities in the WE environment. All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards as outlined in the Code of Conduct (Officers and Directors) or Code of Ethics (Licensed Officials and Coaches).

Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Coaches may not represent themselves as an authority for the organization on social media.


Officers, Directors, Licensed Officials, and Coaches must make every effort to consider all options within the context of appropriate civil behavior when responding to comments on social media, including the option of no response. It is best to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, do not post, comment, or engage. If you are unsure whether or not something is appropriate to post on social media, contact the Ethics Committee before making the post live. If you, for whatever reason, take an action that is in conflict with this policy, you may be contacted by the Ethics Committee to resolve the situation and may be asked to withdraw, correct, or revise the posting. Failure to adhere to this policy or to the resolution determined by the Ethics Committee may result in suspension of membership or licensure.

What You Should Do

  • Disclose your affiliation. If you talk about USAWE matters that are within your role as an Officer, Director, Licensed Official, or Coach, you must disclose your affiliation with USAWE.
  • State that it is your opinion. Unless authorized to speak for USAWE, you must state that the views are your own. No one should speak on behalf of USAWE without express permission.
  • Keep your comments respectful, professional, and helpful. Respectful discussions are a way for the sport and the organization to grow.
  • Protect yourself. Be careful about what personal information you share online.
  • Act responsibly and ethically. Do not misrepresent yourself.
  • Honor our differences. USAWE will not tolerate discriminatory comments of any kind (including age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability, or marital status, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local laws, regulations, or ordinances).

What You Should Not Do

  • Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential.
  • Do not discuss anything to do with a legal issue.
  • Do not use the USAWE logo unless expressly permitted.

Get In Touch

USA Working Equitation
5006 Forsythe Place
Boulder, CO, 80303

The USAWE logo was designed by Alexandra Crippen of Crippen Designs, in Creswell, Oregon.

The logo represents the four trials of Working Equitation and highlights the diversity for which the sport is known in the United States.


  • The first image depicts a mule, being ridden in western tack and attire in the Dressage trial.
  • The second image showcases an Iberian horse in traditional Iberian tack and attire performing in the EOH trial.
  • The third image shows a horse of indeterminate breeding and a rider in English tack and attire, competing in the Speed trial.
  • Together, all three riders represent a team competing together in the Cattle trial. Although the cow is not shown directly, the three teammates are working in concert. The image is intended to elicit the feeling of excitement and movement as the team moves their designated cow toward the holding pen to the far right, off the page. (Think of it as a “silent cow”, much as the letter “e” at the end of a word is often referred to as “the silent ‘e'” in recognition of its existence without being read aloud).
Images used on this website with permission of owners. Please observe the copyright privileges of the individual image owners and do not use the images from this website without express permission from the individual owners of the images. Thank you for respecting the work and rights of others.