ABOUT – Working Equitation Working Equitation is a fun new horse sport to hit Australia. It is overseen by WAWE (World Association of Working Equitation) and growing fast on the world scene. Here in Australia we are keen to learn more about enjoying training horses effectively and respectfully, while also developing fitness and confidence for horses and riders.
Already popular in many countries around the world, Working Equitation is based on Classical Dressage with obstacles. It preserves traditional "Working Horse" cultures from around the world, and here in Australia we have a great tradition of horses in farm and stock work. To this end we add the best of classical dressage training to create a sport that is inclusive to all riders, and all breeds, that is interesting for the horse and fun and challenging for riders.
At WEYV we aim to promote the benefits of healthy classical gymnastic schooling - that is - dressage that respects the nature and capacities of each individual horse. From this we are more easily able to add the challenge of working with obstacles, while still retaining the qualities of grace, relaxation and harmony that good dressage aspires to. And eventually, this is all done one handed, with balance & collection!
Internationally there are 4 phases to Working Equitation: 1. Dressage 2. Obstacles - Style 3. Obstacles - timed 4. Cow
The fourth phase; “Cow” involving a team of 4 riders herding and penning a cow is not yet part of our program as we are not insured by HRCAV for this phase. However there are clinics and events available from time to time with other clubs and clinicians that cover this training.
In Australia the peak governing body for Working Equitation is: Australian National Working Equitation Ltd. ANWE is affiliated with the World Association for Working Equitation: WAWE. ANWE is based in NSW but has state bodies that it works through. Our club WEYV is affiliated with ANWE - Vic. We train according to the ANWE rule book, and the competition guidelines and tests that ANWE provides, and we use ANWE accredited judges & officials. Members of WEYV pay a small contribution to ANWE as part of our membership fees. For ANWE website, rules & tests see our 'links' page.
Skills gained in training the obstacle phase leads well to skills required for the dressage phase... obedience, confidence, relaxation, and the longitudinal and lateral flexibility required for light and balanced transitions, half pass, pirouette and flying changes. The Speed phase is not the main focus of this group – it requires advanced dressage skills and extremely fit horses. However, members are welcome to go at a pace they feel comfortable with.
What is Classical Dressage? Simply, classical dressage is not some fancy footwork or style. Classical dressage should mean schooling with respect for the horse - for its mental, physical and individual nature and capacity according to its age, and stage of training. WEYV gives opportunities for members to train on a regular basis with quality teaching and facilities, social support and encouragement. What we all have in common is a genuine respect for our horses and their welfare in training.