Western Dressage Judges Education

Western Dressage Judges Education

The WDAA Judges Education Program is open to auditors and all that are interested in earning a USEF Western Dressage judging license. This program offers training to judge applicants and provides them with the tools necessary to accurately evaluate horse and rider combinations, score the tests, and provide comments with confidence. Extra-curricular activities such as reviewing the online seminar, scribing, reading the USEF rule book, commentary development, and sideline practice judging are highly encouraged. Trends show that the more work you put into the program prior to attending, the higher the candidate success rate.  You must be an active USEF and WDAA member to begin the process.

Judge Applicants:

Although WDAA provides the training, judging licenses are issued from USEF.  PRIOR TO any seminar attendance, apprenticing, testing, and officiating, you MUST start a USEF Western Dressage checklist and complete all requirements in the order provided.  Failure to create a checklist with USEF will result in those activities not being counted towards the license.

Full instructions can be found on the USEF website: https://www.usef.org/compete/resources-forms/licensed-officials/become-licensed

Any questions should be directed to the Licensed Officials Department through the following email address: [email protected]


1) IN PERSON SEMINAR (Open to auditors)


The 2023 WDAA/USEF Western Dressage Judges Seminar is 3 full days of intensive training for new judge applicants and 2 days for licensed judges. All that hard work is balanced with great camaraderie, networking, and lively discussion. Lunch is provided plus the hotel offers Happy Hour every night! This event will complete the requirement of seminar attendance for USEF Western Dressage licensing and maintenance. Only 1 seminar is held every year. 




All new “r” judge applicants much attend the live seminar.  This training is organized by WDAA.  Topics include evaluating horse and rider combinations, scoring tests, and providing comments with additional focus on clarifying and broadening a judge’s perception of gaits, impulsion, willing cooperation, rider position and sea, the rider’s correct and effective use of aids and harmony between rider and horses of different styles. The seminar also provides an overview of judging Rail Classes, Equitation, Freestyles and Gaited Horses.




Remember, if you are a judge applicant, you MUST START and complete the USEF checklist, SafeSport & Diversity Training, background check and all other requirements found in the US Equestrian Licensed Officials Policies and Procedures.  If these are not completed prior to the start of the seminar, new judge applicants will not get credit for the seminar attendance.

The following is information on how to attend the next live seminar. 

Register and see full details by clicking the black registration box below.  2023 WDAA membership is required for registration (judges and auditors).


DATES:  Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 12, 2023



Embassy Suites Denver International Airport Hotel
7001 Yampa Street, Denver, CO 80249


  • USEF Western Dressage Judge Applicant - 8:00 AM Feb 10th - 4:30PM Feb 12th.  Note: Applicants must submit ana Licensed Officials checklist through usef.org prior to attending.  No exceptions. 

  • USEF Western Dressage Licensed Judges, small r and large R - 8:00 AM Feb 11th - 4:30 PM Feb 12th

  • Auditor Registration - For those that are interested in an intense learning experience covering Western Dressage rules, tests and USEF WD judge expectations, we are pleased to offer an opportunity to be a silent spectator and audit the seminar, all meals and judge’s manual included.
    8:00 AM Feb 10th - 4:30PM Feb 12th.

Register for the 2023 WDAA/USEF Western Dressage Judges Seminar



ONLINE JUDGES SEMINAR (open to auditors)


An online seminar is available for current USEF licensed Western Dressage judges to meet their seminar attendance requirement. It is a shortened version of the in-person seminar.  This seminar is also available to anyone who is interested in learning more about what judges are looking for in the Western Dressage partnership between horse and rider.

To access the seminar registration page, please sign into your WDAA member portal and then register for the seminar at:

Register for the WDAA/USEF Online Western Dressage Judges Seminar




GROUP APPRENTICE JUDGING (open to auditors if space allows)


This program is offered at the WDAA World Show and is geared towards additional education for judge applicants, but also provides a venue for apprentice judging & applicant evaluations.   Additional information will become available when we schedule the next event.


WDAA will administer the Judge's Video Evaluations for all applicants who are testing for their “r” or going for their “R” promotion.

  • Please email Gail Matheus at [email protected] once you are qualified to complete the final requirement for your USEF Western Dressage judge licensing application.