History of Working Equitation

20181028_144006Working Equitation was founded in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy but quickly expanded to Sweden, Germany, the UK and Brazil. The discipline of Working Equitation was created to promote the different types of equitation techniques developed in countries that used the riding horse to work on farms, ranches and with livestock.

Working Equitation came to Australia in 2007 when Gill Kennerley began training people in the discipline (after 6 years training in the U.K.). It is now a fast-growing sport here in Australia!

Horse riders of all disciplines are embracing the new sport of Working Equitation. The European sport which has been an International Competition since 1996 is now taking hold Worldwide. Riders of every breed of and discipline are trying their hand at the precision and unity of horse and rider needed to excel at Working Equitation.

Working Equitation is comprised of four phases, including working dressage, ease of handling with obstacles, speed obstacles and cattle handling. It is a great sport steeped in history as the goal is to preserve and carry on the cultural traditions of each country and their horses. At the International level, the advanced riders must ride with the reins only in one hand but the lower levels may ride with both hands. This discipline is based on horses working on the ranch and in the fields. At the International level each country denotes the rider’s outfit and horse’s tack which should be based on their typical “working dress”. Lower levels may ride in the tack and attire of their choice.

No matter what your riding discipline or breed of horse, we hope you join us in Working Equitation!

Competition Phases

1. Dressage test.

Click here to see a WE Dressage test

2. Maneability phase.

Horse and rider negotiates a variety of obstacles. They are judged on agility, submission, working attitude, ease of movement and of handling. This test includes the following obstacles;

the gate,


the bridge,


garrocha pole,


slalom (single or parrallel poles),


figure eight barrels and three barrels triangle,


livestock pen,


side pass (over a pole),


spear the bull (a cut out bull!),


cup on pole,


ring a bell, and a


Brookleigh training comp Aug18a

Here is an example of a full test: CLICK HERE

3. Speed phase

Similar to the prior ease of handling phase but completed as fast as possible.

Here is an example – CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE

4. Cattle phase.

The cattle phase requires rider and horse to separate a previously defined group of cattle from a larger group of cattle.

Here is an example – CLICK HERE