WDAA Affiliate News
As we look to the future of the Western Dressage movement and the growth of the Western Dressage Association™ of America, the members of both the Founding Board and Advisory Board of WDAA recognize and honor the vital role that will be played by our state affiliates throughout the country. It has been humbling to realize the numbers of horse owners, breeders, and trainers who have responded to the mission of our organization. The concept of honoring the horse and advocating and practicing Western Dressage techniques have resonated in places and with groups of horsemen and horsewomen that even we had not imagined. Here are the stories of the dedicated people who will grow this discipline as we move forward. As you read these words, we hope you will find inspiration to start your own state affiliate or to help the affiliate in your own state. We begin with our first state affiliate, the Western Dressage Association™ of Colorado.
Western Dressage Association® of Colorado
“This year we have participated in an Expo, held multiple skill set clinics, a schooling show and a specialized clinic with Jec Ballou, author of 101 Dressage Exercises and Equine Fitness. For the remainder of 2011 our plans are to hold a summer potluck social, an obstacle course clinic to demonstrate how Western Dressage can help train a trail horse, additional skill set clinics and schooling shows. The organization holds monthly planning meetings and we will be voting on new board members in December.
We currently have 172 individuals on our email list, 58 Facebook followers and 33 registered members. Our club will continue to advertise with direct mail, flyers in feed and tack stores and inclusion on equine websites. We are always looking for interested individuals to serve on the board and/or assist with equine functions. For more information visit our website at www.wdaco.org, email us at email@example.com or call 303-944-9510.”
Western Dressage Association® of Minnesota
“Despite the few challenges we have encountered along the way, Minnesota filed our paperwork with the Secretary of State on August 4, 2011. We are “stamped” and “official” now! We plan to move forward with spreading awareness, gaining members and seeking sponsors. We have put together a “mini media kit” filled with information about the WDAA and our Minnesota affiliate. These packets will go out to the larger dollar type sponsors and breed organizations. Our hope is to capture the interest of the breed clubs as a passionate group could really help us to spread the message and movement of Western Dressage. Right now there are three of us who are the wheels for the Minnesota affiliate. We have a few other helpers and board members, but would love to secure more people to help especially with plans for clinics and events in the not so distant future. Moving forward our goals include, getting our website going, hosting a series of “good horse-keeping” type clinics (i.e. saddle fitting, bitting, farrier work, etc), and then having one or two riding clinics with Western Dressage headliners for spring. For more information on our plans, our media kit, or if you’d like to help; please contact: AnnMarie at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
News from Texas
Hello from Jack and Sarah Lieser,
We have had a great spring and summer promoting Western Dressage. Jack has done two Western Dressage clinics here in Texas at Watts Way Arena and he did two WD clinics in Minnesota this June and July. He is teaching what he has always taught but the great thing about the association is it gives us a focus and a place for people to come together and work towards the same goals. We are so appreciative to Eitan, Jack Brainard and the board of the WDAA for allowing us to participate in this effort to unite classically minded equestrians with western traditions. We are also grateful for the contacts and connections it has brought to us and are looking forward to the future with this growing organization.
We have filed our articles of incorporation and are working on getting the Texas affiliate going so we can get members signed up as soon as possible.
The board members for the Texas Affiliate are Jack Lieser President, Sarah Lieser Vice President, Terri Watts Secretary, and Sally Gaines Treasurer.
Jack was asked to do a demonstration and give an introductory talk about Western Dressage for two local riding clubs the Gulf Coast Woman’s Club and the Bit and Bridle club. He will do the first demonstration August 9th from 10-11:30 and the next will be Sept.17th from 10-11:30. Both demos will be held at Watts Way Arena here in Washington County, Texas. For those that wish to stay for lunch afterwards that are not club members please RSVP to email@example.com one week in advance of the demo date. All are welcome and directions to the facility and more information is on our website calendar www.jacklieser.com
Jack is also going to conduct a series of clinics for those interested in learning more about Western Dressage. The dates are October 8-9, December 10-11, February 11-12th, and April 14-15. They will be held at Watts Way Arena and are from 9-5 each day. More information on the clinic content and format is on our website along with price and contact information.
The goal right now is to keep spreading the word and to get members for the Texas affiliate so we can set up our website and plan a show for this fall or early winter.
News from North Carolina
“Western Dressage is being welcomed in NC. We started with a group of three people at Star’s Peal Valley Ranch who saw the demonstration by Eitan at WEG. We decided to put on a clinic to introduce it to more people. The rides were filled from the day it was planned and we’ve had interest in auditing from people as far away as Kentucky. The next step was to set up a Facebook page to monitor interest. We set up Western Dressage NC, which will be changed to Western Dressage Association™ of North Carolina when we have the formal organizational meeting this fall. I also started a group from my FB page with the same name. We are averaging 1-2 new likes or requests to join the group a day. This gives us a running start for a membership drive.
The clinic was held Saturday, August 6th. It was taught by dressage instructor Barbara Long, who has been the instructor for the group at Star’s Peak Valley Ranch. Designed as an introduction to dressage principles, the format began in the morning with group work. Trent Benton demonstrated basic concepts with his Hancock bred mare, Hannah, then everyone got to try each exercise. This was followed by an unmounted session with the entire group participating in exercises demonstrating contact, seat and unconscious reaction patterns. This was also a time for questions and the exchange of ideas. To finish with a plan for each rider there were short private sessions with each horse/rider combination in the afternoon. It was a great success. Around 25 auditors spent at least part of the day, and at least 15 the entire day watching and asking questions in the breaks. Even the weather cooperated. By the time the skies opened and it was really pouring, everyone had moved inside for the unmounted work and private lessons.
The next step is the organizational meeting. The clinic has given us a small bank account and additional contacts. We have enough volunteers to have pro-temp officers and start writing the by-laws. This is the sixth time through this process for at least one of the organizers and we have legal advice, so this process isn’t quite as daunting as it might be for other groups.
All in all it’s been an exciting three months.”
Please contact Barbara Long at firstname.lastname@example.org
News from Oklahoma
“We have our web addresses and our incorporation from our state. But we are still in need of people who want to be part of the founding board. If any of you are interested please come to the meeting we have scheduled for this Sunday Aug, 7th. It will be held at the Tulsa Summer Classic Morgan show at the Tulsa Expo square. They are having Western Dressage 7-9 am and the rest of the day is an open Dressage show. Please let me know if you can make it and even if you can’t send me an e-mail to let me know if you are interested in helping getting the ball rolling in this state.”