Member Spotlights

Valerie Larson


Valerie Larson

Howdy Pardners,

My name is Valerie Larson, and I live in Spirit Lake, Idaho. My mule and I are new members to USAWE. Annie, my mule, is an Appaloosa. We compete in English, Western, trail, ride in the mountains and parades.

I have owned Annie for five years. She was a mountain mule before she joined me. I’ve had the pleasure of introducing her to competition and her trust and willingness to work with me is very rewarding. We try to have as much fun as we can and laugh through it all.

Last year I attended my first WE clinic with Julie Alonzo and Kristine Strasburger in North Idaho. I instantly was “hooked” into the sport. Absolutely love it. Fast forward to Memorial weekend 2021, I attended my second WE clinic and schooling show in North Idaho. One week later we competed in our first WE show (two actually) at Milton Freewater, OR.   We both worked extremely hard and learned a ton more.

The enthusiasm WE brings to our partnership is amazing.  I can’t say I have one “favorite” thing at this point, as we’re embracing ALL of it.  The bond and connection it brings to Annie and I is beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  It forces both of us to step our game up and improve in so many levels.  It makes me smile from long ear to long ear (mule humor).

As for the organization, a HUGE shoutout and “thank you” to Julie Alonzo!  I would never have done this without you and your encouragement and guidance.  What a great attribute you are to WE and all of us who have had the pleasure to learn from you.

I share with everyone what WE is and how much fun it is and encourage them to try it.  The shows are fun and everyone is very supportive and helpful.  The atmosphere is very positive.
Annie and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for us.  Looking forward to meeting more great folks on our journey.

Happy trails,

Valerie Larson & Annie

USAWE Logo design by Alexandra Crippen of Crippen Designs.

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).

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