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September Newsletter

Welcome to our newest members: 

Lorelei Benkendorf • Barbara Lawson • Elizabeth Fecteau • Tania Radda • Sarah Pinney • Patti Blichmann

• Lisa Scebbi • Bryan Ludens • Laura Post

Welcome also to our newest Group Member,
the Asociación Mexicana de Criadores de Caballos Lusitanos - AMCCL.
This is a big step for the development of Working Equitation since there will be more followers in the continent under the same set of Rules, Educational Programs, Competitions and Events.

Group Member Spotlights

Each month we will continue to highlight one of the Confederation's many Group Members. Confederation Group Members benefit by having their events advertised through the Confederation's website as well as on the Confederation's social media outlets. GM's can also take advantage of the group rates for event insurance through the Confederation.
Get a group together and be next in the Spotlight.  We'll be looking for the next spotlight Group Member in October.  Please email us details on our group activities and success stories and photos to be included in future Spotlights.
September Spotlight is on
Working Equitation Kansas (WEKS)

by Kate Fowler

Working Equitation KANSAS (WEKS) is not even a year old but what an awesome start we've had.  A little history of how we came to be.  Cindy Branham, trainer/instructor, from R & D Ranch here in Topeka, KS held (2) clinics and shows last year (2016) and I was lucky enough to participate in the second one.  Tarrin Warren was the clinician and judge and the three of us really hit it off.  Over the Winter, Cindy and I talked about creating WEKS and putting on a couple of shows.  Cindy jumped on the idea and created our logo and set up our Club.  After brainstorming of what to do, Cindy and I came up with the idea of putting on 4 clinic/shows for 2017.   To be more creative, we decided on a Buckle Series to entice more riders. 

The first event was held at Rocking V Ranch in Topeka, the weekend of May 26-28, 2017, with me as the host.  We were hoping for 10 riders for the show and would be thrilled with 15.  Our clinics were full with 15 riders per day and the shows entries were 22 riders.  What a weekend we had!!  

July 14-16 was the second event weekend at R & D Ranch hosted by Cindy.  Again, we had full clinics both days and 28 show riders.  I might add, with extreme heat for the three days.  Cindy and I are thrilled with the interest in Working Equitation around the Kansas areas.  We have riders from Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and each time at least 5 new riders to the sport.

Our next event will be August 25-27 again at R & D Ranch hosted by Cindy.  The last of the Buckle Series will be September 15-17 at Rocking V Ranch, hosted by me.  My clinics are full and the show has 29 entries.  With such rapid responses to this great sport, we have had to limit our shows to 30 riders.  We are not prepared this year to do a two day show but it looks like we will have to think about that for next year.

I want to personally thank Tarrin Warren for all of her guidance and solid advice to get our Club off the ground.  Cindy and I were lucky enough to participate in the judging seminar in Texas in the Spring and came home with so much hands on knowledge.  We chose to have Tarrin as our clinician and judge for all four clinics and shows with the purpose of having the continuity of continuing education for the riders.  It has paid off, hands down.  Tarrin picks up where she left off with the riders from the previous clinics.

The Confederation for Working Equitation is here to stay and Working Equitation KANSAS will be in line with the other great Clubs around the country, to support and be excited for the next years to come.   

Cindy Branham is pictured above on the buckskin named Tucker the Mustang and she shows him in Level 5, Open.  Kate Fowler is on the beautiful bay named Wingman and shows in Level 3, Amateur.  The photo credits:  Kari Harris Photography of Topeka, KS. Contact her at 913-927-0138.

Obstacle Options
by Karen Boso

This month let's talk about the Gate.  There are many options and variations available with the gate.  It's design is limited only by your imagination, creativity and maybe budget too.  

Photo take at KarMik Acres in Woodstock, IL of Mario Contreras (MC Horse Training) rider/trainer of Andalusian stallion RA Maximo.

It's fun to assemble and build your own Working Equitation obstacle course.  Please take the time to review the obstacle section of the rules here - Appendix B in the Rules. Each obstacle's requirements are outlined in detail.  

Straight from the rulebook here are the requirements for the Gate as well as the execution and assessment criteria.  

14. Gate

  1. Description. The gate must be at least 1.3 m (4-ft 3-in.) high and 2-m (6.5-ft) wide, supported by two weighted posts (or jump standards) and two hinges. A latch easily operated from horseback should be used. The gate can be opened to the right or left depending on how the obstacle is set in the course. A rope between two posts can be used instead of a solid gate. A solid gate is preferred for Ease of Handling and is required in A- rated and championship competitions; a rope gate should be used for Speed.

  2. Execution. The rider will approach perpendicular to the gate at the prescribed gait for the level and transition to the walk as he/she approaches the gate. The rider then moves the horse laterally and halts alongside the gate. The rider must lift the latch, open the gate, and go through the entrance. When the horse has fully passed to the other side of the gate, the rider may back up one or two steps to close the gate. With the horse squarely halted, the rider will then put the latch in place to complete the obstacle. The rider should not release control of the gate at any point in the performance of this exercise until the gate is latched. The obstacle may be required in both directions providing there is at least one obstacle in between the first and second execution.

  3. Assessment Criteria (EOH). The Judge will evaluate the horse’s action which should be fluid and without any hesitation. The horse should pay attention to and participate in the opening and closing movements without showing any signs of insecurity or disobedience. The rider’s action should be easy, precise, and free from hesitation. A negative score will be given if the rider releases control of the gate by letting go for more than a momentary adjustment of hand position at any time during the execution of this obstacle, or if there is any sign of insecurity by the horse or rider or lack of continuity (fluidity) of the action. Switching hands will result in a disqualification.

As with any of the obstacles for Working Equitation safety should be the first consideration. Primary things to think about when constructing your gate:

1. If using the recommended solid gate for EOH you will want to make sure your end panels or wings have enough weight to them to support the weight of the gate itself. Often riders will inadvertently push down on the gate while working the obstacle so you'll need to make sure the wing (or base end) of the gate does not tip. One option is to add flower boxes filled with concrete to add weight.  The gate above is constructed with a bottom brace piece of wood that allows the flower boxes to sit over the top.  The flower boxes are plastic planters found at a local Hardware store (Menards, Lowes or Home Depot should have them). To decorate we painted the boxes with Rust-Oleum plastic paint, added foam above the concrete to hold in the flowers. The foam also allows us to change out the flowers.


2.  The swinging part of gate is another thing to keep in mind.  Per the rules the solid gate is preferred for EOH and must use two hinges.  Take into consideration how you will protect horses/riders from scrapes from the hinges if bumped during a speed round.  One option we've found that works well is to take tennis balls, slit them and place them over the hinges. You'll also want to make sure the gate opens easily either direction but isn't easily pulled off the hinges (hint, we've seen this happen).

The above gate is constructed with 4" x 4" untreated pine boards for the wings, the gate itself is made of pine 1" x 6" boards in two layers and laminated to have a smooth finish on both sides. The hinges are screwed in and the finish hardware are standard post caps painted silver. Everything was then sanded and stained with a Walnut wood stain and a clear acrylic varnish.  Approximate material cost on this gate was - $500.

If your obstacle budget is small don't let that stop you from assembling your course.  The gate can be as simple as two jump standards with a rope gate which is perfectly fine for practice, schooling shows, all the way up until A-rated shows where a solid gate is required.

We would love to share our Group Member gate ideas on Facebook to continue to give others creative ideas. Please email your obstacle ideas and pictures to us at

Remember Regional Director Nominations

must be in by Sept. 30th!

Email us with any questions you may have. 

If serving on a board is not for you but you would still like to volunteer, we always have spots on our committees that need filled.  Contact us for more information or fill out our volunteer form  and we'll get in contact with you.

We are looking forward to the future! 

Nominate Now

It's hard to believe that our 4th and final Confederation judging/technical delegate seminar for 2017 is in the works.  It's still not too late to register to attend the Andalusian World Seminar in Las Vegas.  Vegas will be a full class. Silent auditors welcome.

Limited space available for participants (Judge and TD candidates). 
Register Here

Show Season is winding down but there are still opportunities to gain points towards your year end or life time achievement awards.  Check out all the things that are going on for Confederation riders. Make sure to have your horse(s) recorded to be included in year end awards. Horse recording is required on all horses participating in any Confederation Licensed show. It's a one-time fee of only $20.

If your events are not currently on the list please make sure to let us know.

Please check out our website calendar  to view details about the amazing events associated with the Confederation throughout the USA!

Working Equitation Kansas Buckle Series #4 (License pending)
September 17, 2017, Topeka, KS
Andalusian World Cup West (A-Rated) - Plus Confederation Judging Seminar
Thur, Sep 21, 2017 to  Sun, Sep 24, 2017
South Point Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV

High Country Working Equitation SCHOOLING show
Oct 14, 2017 to Oct 15, 2017
Circle Star Arena, 16191 County Road, 17 Platteville, CO 80651 Contact HCWE for more information.
KarMik Acres Shows (B-Rated)
Oct. 21 & Oct. 22, 2017, Woodstock, IL

Americas Cup & Haras Cup (Licensed Show -pending)
Oct. 24, 2017 to Oct. 29, 2017, Haras Hacienda, Magnolia, TX

WHBA Show (B-Rated)
November 11-12, 2017, Contact
Texas Rose Autumn Show (B-Rated)
December 3, 2017, Tyler TX

Cuadra San Benito Show
December 3, 2017, Contact Ashley Bowers

Heart of Texas (B-Rated)
Dec. 3 to Dec. 4, Chappell Hill, TX 

All dates and times are tentative, please check with show organizers
(organizer details found on our calendar). Please let us know if your group's event is not currently on our calendar.
All Licensed shows must have a confederation judge or obtain a guest pass for foreign judges prior to licensing.
We request that show applications are made 45 days prior to the show date.
For more information on shows and clinics, please go to our website.
An exciting benefit of Individual Memberships and Horse Recording is that you are now eligible for Year End Awards.  Find the most up-to-date rankings Here. Join as an Individual Member Here.
The Confederation needs and wants your help!
We have a fantastic volunteer program, which is making our rapid development possible. Please consider volunteering.
At the Confederation, we are here to help.  Please feel free to contact us via our leadership contacts on our website, at or give our Executive Director, Tarrin Warren a call at: (512) 269-9270.  We are always happy to hear from our members!
Continued THANK YOU for the hard work of our current volunteers, Cavalo Photography, Ernesto Photography, Carmen Franco and others for allowing the Confederation the use of their outstanding Working Equitation photos.

If you have some outstanding Working Equitation photos and would allow us to use them in future Marketing materials and social media, please forward them to
The Confederation for Working Equitation is a unified governing body for the development and further promotion of working equitation in the United States The “Confederation,” a Federal 501c3 nonprofit corporation, is the culmination of the merger process announced in early-2016 by the two founding U.S. working equitation organizations. The strengths of each organization, which include event organization, judging accreditation, individual memberships (WEIAUSA), group memberships (USFWE), horse recordings, high point and medals programs, youth programs, show sponsorship, among others, were considered in creating an alliance that will serve to better facilitate the needs of current and future members.
Copyright © 2017 Confederation For Working Equitation, All rights reserved.

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