Samantha Jepson

Published: July 29, 2020

Working Equitation

Working Equitation


The discipline of Working Equitation (WE) was created with the objective of enhancing the equestrian techniques developed in countries whose riders use horses in different aspects of ranch and fieldwork. the aim is not only to preserve and perpetuate each country’s type of equitation, but also their various traditions, with the dress and tack comprising each nation’s unique cultural equestrian heritage. Working Equitation, therefore, provides an opportunity for the simultaneous comparison of sporting and cultural considerations.
Working Equitation was pioneered by four countries: Portugal, Spain, France and Italy, with the first International competition being held in 1996.
In 2004, the World Association for Working Equitation (WAWE) was established to govern the sport. Since that time, the sport has continued to grow and is now well established in Europe and is gaining popularity in the Americas. WAWE rules are used for all international competitions, but each individual country has its own rules for domestic competitions.


There are four trials, or tests, that make up a Working Equitation competition.
The first three, Dressage, Ease of Handling, and Speed, are required for both individual and team competitions. a fourth trial, Cattle Handling, is included for team competitions. It is mandatory at national championship competitions and encouraged at all other competitions, when facilities allow.

Working Equitation is a perfect cross training experience for both horse and rider, beginner to Advanced.

Published: July 29, 2020

Skill Level

Beginner - Advanced

Phase 1

Dressage: Much as the name implies, the Working Equitation dressage phase constitutes a series of patterns executed in a dressage arena, with the choreographed patterns and movements showcasing the expectations of skills used in the obstacle phases.

Phase 2

Ease of Handling (EOH): The EOH phase consists of between 8 and 15 obstacles. How it is executed (walk/trot/canter, single or two handed) is based on the test level. The goal of this phase is to complete the course with smooth gaits and transitions, showcasing the bond between horse and rider.

Phase 3

Speed Phase: This phase is just as one would expect....FAST. Judging is less about correct execution and more about getting through the course as quickly as possible, with all left in one piece!