Committee Reports: May 2023

Youth Development Committee

A letter from the Youth Development Committee Chair:

Howdy fellow WE family. I wanted to take this opportunity since I am a newly appointed chair to this committee to reassure you that myself and our growing committee are in overdrive with new thoughts and ideas for the youth. Not only are we prioritizing all of our dreams for the youth to experience, we are bringing several into fruition right now! There are some things to keep a lookout for in the very near future….

  • USA Working Equitation Youth Club Facebook Group – This new, private group will be active within the next few weeks open to all USAWE youth and parents of youth. This community is designed for our youth riders to network and share milestones,  as well as stay informed about upcoming opportunities that are available. Licenced officials are welcome to join to encourage youth riders. Youth may use their parents/guardians facebook account and this page will be a safe and closely monitored space. Parents of youth, please keep an eye out for an invite link into the group, or email
  • Youth Logo Design – We are working on specifications to open up an opportunity for ALL USAWE members and especially  YOUTH to develop a logo design. This logo will be used to represent our YOUTH, the youth club, apparel, gifts, awards, fundraising items, and various other fun items. Get your creative brains flowing and stay tuned.
  • Future Grant Program – Still in the developmental stages, we are working on a Youth Grant Program to help more youth members attend working equitation events. We are very hopeful for this grant program and looking forward to the excitement and opportunities it will bring to the youth and families.
  • Live Youth Map – Enjoy our NEW USAWE Youth Member Map. Pins dropped are city and state locations of all current youth members and will be updated monthly! 

In conclusion of our updates for this newsletter, I would like to say we have a total of 8 committee members hard at work now. It is important we have a YOUTH voice on our committee as they share a unique perspective to guide us all. Alyx West is an exemplary youth USAWE rider and member and below is her story and how she intends to represent the youth on this committee. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any ideas or concerns. I’m available to you at or (828) 450-9269.

Happy trails!

My name is Alyx West, I am a 17 year old Youth rider from Vermont. My Working Equitation journey began in 2019, when I competed for the first time at L2. This was after a couple of years of Training Level Dressage, and I was feeling that I wanted something different. I had been training with Stephanie Hayes for multiple years, whom I also lease my mare, Maya, from. Stephanie introduced me to the sport of Working Equitation, and I immediately fell in love with it. I love the challenge of the obstacles, mixed with the tradition of dressage, and how it all falls together to create a working sport.

Over the past few years, with multiple horses, I have competed L1-L3. In 2021 I received High Point Youth for L3 and Reserve High Point Youth for L1. I plan to compete this year at L3 as well, with a goal of moving up to L4. Stephanie Hayes has taught me so much about this sport, and I am eternally grateful to have such an amazing coach. I have found that WE is always providing me with new challenges and goals, even when staying within a level.

By joining the Youth Development Committee, I am excited to bring a youth perspective into its ideas and goals. It has been very encouraging to see the growing interest of youth across the country in recent years, and I hope to aid in increasing these numbers through the YDC. In the meetings I have attended so far, the discussion has been incredible, and I am excited to help in reaching the goals we have set.


By: Kasey Riddle, Youth Development Committee Chair

Membership Committee

Total Members as of 05/11/23: 947 (+103 from last month)

Members by Region

  • Region 1 – 239 (+31) Way to go!
  • Region 2 – 227 (+20)
  • Region 3 – 72 (+5)
  • Region 4 – 67 (+13)
  • Region 5 – 111 (+17)
  • Region 6 – 133 (+14)
  • Region 7 – 89 (+3)
  • International – 9 (8 Canada, 1 Germany)

Members by Competition Status

  • Amateur 589 (+63)
  • Junior 88 (+20)
  • Open 270 (+20)
By: Kate Steffes, Membership Committee Chair

Licensed Officials Committee

A few spots are left in the Ease of Handling Seminar being held in Woodstock, Illinois, June 15 – 18.  Classroom sessions with WAWE Judge, Jose Benito and S Judge, Polly Limond will be held Thursday and Friday at the Crystal Lake Convention Center.  Ringside education continues on Saturday and Sunday with the opportunity to remotely shadow the judge via headsets.  This opportunity is open to all USAWE members and is an extraordinary way to build your understanding of the sport and what the judges are looking for.  

Use this link for more details and to sign up.  

A reminder to all of our Licensed Officials-  your CE logs are due to the LOC on June 30th.  If you find yourself behind in CE credits, the seminar is a great way to build them up.  

The LOC is pleased to announce our newest licensed judge, Andre Ganc ‘r’.  Please join us in welcoming him to the Licensed Officials team.   


By Doreen Atkinson & Christy Reich, LOC Committee Co-chairs

Competitions Committee

So far the Competitions Committee has received applications for 117 licensed competitions for the 2023 competition year, with 28 having taken place already.

Region Number of Shows
Region 1 32
Region 2 19
Region 3 7
Region 4 5
Region 5 27
Region 6 14
Region 7 3

In addition, the first 2024 Zone Championship show proposal has been received, and we are looking forward to seeing other Zone Championship show proposals. Check out the 2023 Zone Championships here. (You can also consult the spreadsheet on that page to see if you have qualified for the 2023 Zone Championships yet!)

In case you haven’t heard, we have a competitor feedback form for competitors to send in any kudos or constructive criticism from the licensed shows they have attended so that show managers can put on better and better events. Consider sharing your thoughts!


By: Competitions Committee Members

Coaches Network

Coaches in your region:

Region 1
Trisha Kiefer-Reed of Wolf Creek, MT
Laura Stutesman of Ashland, OR

Region 2
Ashley Bowers of Cave Creek, AZ
Polly Limond of San Diego, CA
Jessica Mosbaugh of Fiddletown, CA
Tessa Nicolet of Payson, AZ
Sue Watkins of Riverside, CA

Region 3
Chris Stanko of Niwot, CO

Region 5
Emily Kemp of Newton, WI
Michelle Lackey of Medina, OH
Erica Peet of Wonder Lake, IL

Region 6
Stephanie Hayes of Johnson, VT
Holly Linz of Woodbine, MD
Bree Sprik of Ancramdale, NY

Region 7
Shannon Yee of Bradley, SC
Jody Fontanetta of Milton, TN

To learn more about our coaches or how to become a coach visit:


Get To Know A Recognized USAWE Coach

Holly Linz  – Woodbine MD

What inspires you to be a Working Equitation Coach?
Helping horses and humans expand their potential through learning WE, even if they do not compete. Encouraging them to find ways to develop and enjoy themselves along the journey.

What is your favorite obstacle? Why?
I love the bridge. Such an easy way to earn good points, and its a total blast in speed round! 

What’s your best tip for competitors heading into the show ring?
Prepare as best you can at the time, then get out there and enjoy yourselves. It’s a never ending journey, do not be afraid of the learning opportunities mistake can be. 

What’s your favorite trick for remembering WE courses?
I memorize and recall the course like a trail map, imagining I am riding a trail out in the wilds. The obstacles become landmarks to keep me on course!

Your all time favorite WE horse?
I will never forget the first time I saw Pedro and Oxidado compete in WE, before I knew who they were. That was the point I realized it was the sport for me, and I was hooked! 

What would your students say is your catchphrase?
You got this!! 

What non-equestrian activities do you love to do?
If I am not in an arena you will find me in a garden, or out on a mountain side with my bike or family. 

Thanks for the great information, Holly! Learn more about Holly and all our coaches at:

Check back next month to learn about our next featured coach from our diverse network!


By: Coaches Network Committee Members

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