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Rules for Western Dressage

  • All ECRDA rules and procedures apply to Western Dressage unless otherwise stated here..
  • Tack

            breastplate and/or crupper may be used

            any western type headstall must be used

            western cavesson is permitted

            Bosal hackamores  are permitted (no metal)

            Western Two Rein bridle is permitted

            Romal reins are only appropriate with a curb bit and are to be sued with one hand

            Snaffle (mullen, single or double jointed) or western curb bit may be used.

    •    mouth piece must be round or oval shaped, smooth and covered

    •    latex wrapping is permitted

    •    shanks can be no longer than 8 ”, fixed or loose

    •    ports no higher than 3 “ are permitted

    •    leveraged snaffle bits (such as a kimberwick) are permitted

            Snaffle Bit can be used on a horse of any age

            a western stock, national, Aussie or western side saddle may be used

            martingales (tie downs) are not permitted

            flash, figure eight or dropped nose bands are not permitted

            Boots of any kind are not permitted.  leg wraps are permitted


            protective equestrian helmet required

            long sleeved shirt,  trousers or pants, boots are required

            necktie, kerchief, bolo or pin are optional

            vest, jacket coat or sweater are optional

            chaps or split riding skirt are permitted

            Western style or English dressage spurs permitted


            bucking during the test

            use of illegal equipment

            unauthorized assistance

            three course errors

            late (45 seconds from the bell) entry into the area


            concern for the safety of the rider

            evidence of blood on the horse


            demonstrates free flowing comfortable strides that a free, regular in cadence and rhythm with consistent tempo

            walk - well marked four beat marching gait

            jog - two beat gait of alternate diagonal legs

            lope - three regular beats with a clear time of suspension after the third beat

    Other Rules

            rider may use one or two hands with a curb bit but may not switch during  a test

            rider must use two hands with a snaffle, hackamore, bitless or two rein bridle

            whips less than 47 ”  may be used

            riders are qualified as a JR/YR until end of the year that they reach 21


            Starter Walk/Jog includes introductory tests one through four

            Starter Walk/Jog/Lope -includes basic level test 1 and test 2

            Basic - include Basic tests 1 through 4

            Level 1 - includes Level 1 tests 1 through 4

            Level 2 - includes Level 2 tests 1 through 4

            Level 3 - includes Level 3 tests 1 through 4

            Level 4 - includes Level 4 tests 1 through 4

    To qualify for championship show you must earn a score of 60% in any test of the level.

    To qualify for year-end awards you must ride any test of the division in front of at least three different judges at three different shows and earn two score of 55% or better in the highest test of the division.

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