Two of the trials of Working Equitation–Ease of Handling and Speed–require horses and riders to navigate a course of obstacles. Though Working Equitation competitions typically take place in an arena, these obstacles are designed to simulate the types of obstacles a horse and rider may encounter while working in the field.
At the Children, Introductory, Novice, and Intermediate levels, riders may navigate the obstacles using two hands on the reins. At the Advanced and Masters levels, riders must navigate the courses using only one hand on the reins.
Currently, there are 23 Working Equitation obstacles that may be used in competition in the USA. Not all of the obstacles will be used on every course, and the length of the course will vary depending on the performance level. Most of these obstacles are modeled after the requirements laid out by the Working Equitation World Association (WAWE), which governs international competitions.
The Working Equitation obstacles used in the United States and also used by WAWE are as follows:
- Backing up in an “L”
- Bell at End of Corridor
- Earthenware Jug
- Figure 8 between Drums
- Jumping over Bales of Straw
- Place Pole in a Drum
- Remove Pole from a Drum
- Riding through a Water-filled Ditch
- Rounding Several Posts or Obstacles
- Side-stepping over a Log(s)
- Skewering of a Ring with a Pole
- Slalom between Parallel Posts
- Slalom between Posts
- Switching a Glass from a Pole to Another
- Wooden Bridge
Additional non-WAWE obstacles include:
Complete descriptions, requirements, and scoring considerations for each obstacle are available in the United States Working Equitation Rules, here.
Last updated January 14, 2017