UHWEC CHRISTMAS BASH!

How delighted we were on Sunday to be granted the most perfect weather for our final horse riding meet for 2018 – the Upper Hunter Working Equitation Christmas Bash! And Oh! What a Bash it was!!

Come dressed up or come as you are – all made an effort to make the day as fun and fabulous as possible with horses and riders both donned in everything from Tinsel and Baubles sewn on caps, saddles and saddle cloths, to Deer Horns and Santa Caps and Santa Socks on furry forelegs!

Anita 9 (2)
ANITA – Best Dressed Horse & Rider Combo

Our very spectacular Secretary ran the day with great success, doing all the legwork (as always!) and guiding our girls as we mastered the Working Equitation Obstacle Course set up by all who attended under the newly finished, now fully covered (and very schmick, we must say!) Muswellbrook RDA Riding Arena.

Many thanks to the RDA once again for the use of their grounds and our heartfelt thanks to Jude for giving up her own ride to make ours happen! We would be lost without both of them!

We would also like to extend a very big thank-you to Mr Phillip Haggarty of Parkville, who volunteered his time, skills and donated the materials to mount our Working Equitation bull, which we blooded in a big way on our last gig for the year! (Not Literally!!) Such a big, ‘spooky’ obstacle, a challenge to all and very well handled by both horses and riders.

Champagne Race Anita Cindy Lesley Kelly 1 (2)
Ladies of UHWEC 2018 Champaigne Race!

Our Christmas Champagne Obstacle Course was a laugh and a half as all ladies exercised (some for the first time!!) their yet to be fully mastered (for some), one handed riding skills, making their way from one end of the arena to the other, horse in one hand, glass in the other as quickly as possible, without spilling a drop!  (Plastic glasses – and water for champaigne – but still loads of fun and lots and lots of laughter as Tilley did a series of donut burnouts in the middle of the arena (having never ridden one-handed), followed by a wild gallop to the finish line with, needless to say – a then empty glass.  Round two saw Robyn cross the finish line first, riding like the pro that she is, with barely a drop spilled, only to have her girl shudder and shake off the flies – and empty her glass at the critical moment of truth!

Robyn 9 (2)
ROBY

It was a photo finish (serious business – our girls are a highly competitive bunch!!) with Kel winning both her heat and the final by a nose – actually a drop – to take out the much coveted prize of… a Cattle Ranch, erm – empty plastic cup!

Best dressed rider, best dressed horse and best dressed combo was voted for over a smorgasboard style lunch.  Congrats to a very shocked Sandra who won best dressed rider, Anita with best dressed horse & rider combo and Cindy with best dressed horse!

 A massive spread of assorted platters and the popping of non-alcoholic sparkling fizz ensued, with prizes (lovely diffusers and scented candle!) given to our category winners as lunch was ravished by a very famished hoard of exhausted, but very satisfied ladies!   

A great day was had by all who were able to attend and those who couldn’t – we missed you ladies! 

View Gallery Here…

Our little club has gone ahead in leaps and bounds this year and we aim to continue this trend well into the future, all of us setting our sites forward to the coming year with great enthusiasm and anticipation for a productive and enjoyable year to come! 

Our final club meeting for the year will be held this Thursday at the Denman Bowling Club at 6.30 pm, where we will set our riding day dates for 2019 and iron out anything we each feel needs attending.  See you all there! 

Meanwhile, we wish you all and each other a very Happy Christmas and may the coming year be a fun and fruitful one full of fab times and new friendships! 

Happy Riding!!! 

UHWEC.

Dotty2 (2)
DOTTY

Welcome, WEDU

As all of our members are aware UHWEC commenced our maiden year as a club under the guidance and tuition of ANWE (Australian National Working Equitation) and it’s trainers/supporters with a handful of our members competing (and most successfully!) at every level from Introductory to Debutante W.  It has been a fun-filled, at times stressful, but mostly satisfying and fun year for all involved!

As those invloved with Working Equitation are aware, every club must renew it’s affiliation yearly and the vote was put to our members as to our club’s Working Equitation Affiliation selection for the 2018-2019 period at our AGM in July.  It was decided that the club will make the shift from ANWE for the coming year and give the ‘new kid on the block’ a roll!  We are tucking our wings under the newly founded umbrella of Working Equitation Down Under (WEDU) and look forward to seeing what fabulous delights they deliver, with our sights ferociously set on a fruitful year to come!

We would like to thank ANWE for their support in launching our little club into the industry and we welcome aboard our new overseer for 2018 – WEDU.  May the coming year of riding be a fun and fulfilling partnership for all involved!

Happy Riding!

 

Jump Training – Ashley Danks

All members of Upper Hunter Working Equitation club would like to extend our heartiest thanks to Ashley Danks for the informative, fun and fabulous Jump Training day she hosted for us this Sunday, 22nd July at the RDA Grounds.  Many thanks as always to Riding For The Disabled for the use of their excellent grounds.

Ashley’s jumping skills are second to none and the capability she showed in being able to translate that knowledge on the ground floor to turn even the most nervous and tentative of our club riders into confident, calm and enthusiastic jumpers was astounding to say the least!

View gallery here

An enjoyable and informative day was had by all who attended and we can’t wait to have Ashley back again.  We highly recommend her training and experience to anyone wishing to improve and hone their jumping skills and technique!

No only did we jump on Sunday, but we also worked together in our Working Equitation paddock, helping each other to hone up on our Working Equitation skills, focusing principally on the finer points of the sport and what is required and looked for by judges in competition with each obstacle.

We’ve come a long way as a club over the past twelve months and it was so lovely to see that we are still maintaining harmonious, happy horses and riders as we all work – and play! – together doing what we love most!

We look forward to our next gathering for more Horsey High-jinks together!

Until then, keep riding ladies & gents!

To view pics of the day, click here!

To view our gallery pages, click here!

UHWEC

 

 

UHWEC 2018 AGM

The Upper Hunter Working Equitation Club’s AGM will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday July 26th 2018, at the Denman Bowling Club.  Not the change of venue!  All Office Bearer and Committee positions for 2018 will be opened for re-election at this meeting.  With eleven positions open, all members are encouraged to attend!

Do ensure that your 2018 Club Membership is current/renewed before the AGM, particularly if you wish to stand for election, elect another member for a position and vote!

See you all there!

UHWEC

WEDU vs ANWE

Most involved with Working Equitation in Australia will be aware that the principal overseer of Working Equitation in Australia for some many years to date has been ANWE (Australian National Working Equitation).  In recent months the newly founded Working Equitation organisation, WEDU (Working Equitation Down Under) has been formed separate to and alongside of the ANWE organisation; giving an alternate option for those seeking to pursue working equitation outside of the ANWE umbrella.  WEDU has formed its own Working Equitation rules, guidelines and competition structure and aims to carry the sport forward in a positive way for all involved.

WEDU is a member-led, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the sport of Working Equitation throughout Australia.  Their stated purpose is “…to promote the sport of Working Equitation in Australia through educational initiatives and the organisation of Working Equitation competitions throughout Australia.  WEDU believe in positive inclusion and development of riders and horses at all levels, and from all backgrounds….”  and have developed their own Working Equitation Rulebook which they hope “…will help our members reach their goals by providing a clear pathway up the levels with minimal disqualifications. This is our “have a go” spirit and direction, and our pledge is to treat all members ethically and with integrity…”

With the introduction of WEDU, individual riders and Working Equitation Clubs Australia wide now face an important decision; having two choices now for Working Equitation affiliation; either WEDU or ANWE; each club will now choose which organisation they wish to have overseeing their working equitation riding into the future.  This applies also to individual hobby and competitive riders.

Each organisation, WEDU and ANWE, runs a separate agenda and carries their own set of rules and guidelines and neither is in any way involved with or affiliated with the other.

Ultimately it is up to the individual to decide which organisation they wish to be supported by and involve themselves with overall.  By extension, it is up to each Working Equitation Club as a whole to choose their own elected affiliation/overseeing organisation.

The only way for any individual or club to fairly and succinctly make this rather hefty decision is to read and research thoroughly into each organisation.  A good starting point is to read the 2018 Rule Book for each organisation.  Downloadable links to these can be found on both our Documents and Useful Links Pages.  Further reading may possibly be found on each organisation’s website;  WEDU – www.wedui.com.au & ANWE – www.anweltd.com.au .

As an individual rider, one may choose affiliation with either WEDU or ANWE; one is permitted to be affiliated with both organisations, regardless of the elected affiliation/loyalty of the Working Equitation Club/s with whom one is a member.

Many riders are of the belief that becoming (or already being) a member of a club which has affiliation with one organisation will prevent them from being involved with the other organisation.  This is not the case.  Being a member of a club which is affiliated with ANWE in no way precludes members from being able to participate in events, competitions and training days being hosted by WEDU affiliated clubs and/or members;  being affiliated with WEDU in no way precludes members from being able to participate in events, competitions and training days being hosted by ANWE affiliated clubs and/or members.

Affiliation with either organisation comes down to individual choice and the overall choice of each Working Equitation Club in Australia. Clubs as a whole will elect only one affiliation; either with WEDU or with ANWE; and it is up to each club how they choose to go about this decision making process.  Riders and competitors as individuals, may if they wish choose affiliation with either or both organisations, regardless of their own club’s chosen affiliation.

To affiliate as an individual with WEDU, simply pay your yearly WEDU fee which is also a nominal cost of approximately $10.

To affiliate as an individual with ANWE, simply pay your yearly ANWE Levy fee which is a nominal cost of approximately $10.

These fees can be paid on the Nominate website.  Click on the CLUBS link and select Join A Club on the Nominate Clubs website page.

To affiliate as an individual with both organisations, simply pay both annual fees.  Another way is to become a member of two separate working equitation clubs; one club affiliated with WEDU and one club affiliated with ANWE.

Either way, there is no doubt that the Working Equitation Industry in Australia will continue to flourish and expand as well and as rapidly as it has to date and that progression forward will be harmonious and positive; that all riders who harbour a passion for the sport will surely continue their ongoing dedication to and enjoyment of same into the future!

As for our little club, the decision for our next twelve month affiliation interval has been placed in the hands of individual members and put to a member by member vote.  The results are being tallied and our affiliation for 2018 will be announced at the next AGM on the last Thursday (26th) of July.

Happy Horsing!

UHWEC

*WEDU quotes, courtesy of Nominate.com.au/clubs and WEDUI.com.au

Working Equitation Explained

What Is Working Equitation?

Working Equitation is a sport which offers a fun and creative alternative to the more traditional equestrian disciplines; challenging and training both rider and horse in multiple riding skills and techniques. Acting as a showcase for traditional riding costumes and equipment, the sport is non-discriminative, welcoming competitors from every breed and discipline and encouraging all riding levels and ages.

The sport is a representation of the working horse; developing and advancing the training of both horse and rider. It draws on all the basic skills required to work a farm, ranch or livestock, yet still encompasses the fundamentals of traditional dressage, but done in a working style which requires riders to demonstrate their horsemanship capabilities by showing off their skills and developed riding techniques.

Founded in Europe and overseen by the world regulatory body, WAWE; World Association for Working Equitation; Working Equitation as a competitive sport has taken hold on a worldwide scale and is rapidly becoming a popular preference for riders throughout Australia.

Competition events may be individual or for teams, and are in three or four phases. All Phases are designed to test the attributes and correct training of horse and rider. At lower levels, all phases can be ridden using two hands. The long-term objective however; and a requirement at higher levels; is to ride all events one-handed and 100% accurately!

The Four Phases consist of;

Working Dressage

Ease Of Handling (with obstacles – known also as Style, Manageability or Maneability)

Speed (with obstacles)

Cattle (handling)

The Dressage Phase is a working dressage test which requires horse and rider to perform a sequence of specified movements. They must maintain regularity and correctness of movement and pace, whilst giving attention to impulsion, roundness, lightness of aids and the subtleness of relaxation of both rider and horse. This is performed in a 20 x 40 Dressage Arena.

The Ease Of Handling (EOH) trial can be compared to a gymkhana-type event in which horse & rider must tackle a course filled with obstacles similar to those which are likely to be encountered in the field, or day-to-day work on the farm; e.g. bridges, gates, barrels, variant surfaces etc. Obstacles are numbered in order of execution and markers, known as ‘transition markers’, are placed a little apart from each obstacle. These must be passed by horse & rider and indicate the start and finish of the obstacle. Each obstacle must be completed accurately and in order and no obstacle may be omitted. The obstacle course is designed to demonstrate the harmonious partnership and physical mastery of horse and rider in a working environ. This is not done ‘at pace’ and indeed it is advisable to take one’s time and maintain fluidity, whilst preparing in advance for each obstacle as you choose the smoothest lines possible.

The Speed Phase, is generally a similar obstacle course to that found in Ease Of Handling, but usually shortened. This must be completed in the quickest possible time. There are no transition markers in the speed trial. This phase is judged solely on the time taken to complete the course, however it must be ridden as accurately as possible, while demonstrating the skill of horse and rider at speed. Time penalties are given for errors of course. Time bonuses are often granted for the showing of certain more difficult skills, such as the knocking of a ball or collecting rings at pace with a garrocha stick.

The Cattle Phase is designed only for team competitions. It is a timed event and consists of a team of four riders. Each is required to separate a specific numbered cow from a herd of cattle. The rider must then herd it across a marked half-way point, and may only then draw on the assistance of fellow team members as they attempt to fulfil the objective of herding only that cow into a designated pen. All other cattle must be prevented from crossing the half-way markers. The successfully penned cow is then returned to the herd and so commences the next riders turn. This is a timed event and the quickest overall team is the winner. An overall individual fastest rider score is also recognised.  A dismount by any rider, for any reason, will result in instant elimination of the team. All riders have a maximum of three minutes to pen their designated cow.

There are 8 Competition Levels in Working Equitation, ranging from Lead Line to Masters.  Each Level encompasses 4 Divisions; Child, Junior, Youth and Open.

MUDWEQ COMP SUCCESS!

Being the addictive and super fun sport that it is, Working Equitation is growing rapidly in Australia and there is no greater growth than right here in our very own Upper Hunter Working Equitation Club, which harbors over thirty members to date – and  growing!

Robin Johnson @ Gulgong MUDWEQ Comp
Robin Johnson of UHWEC competing in the Three Phase MUDWEQ Competition

This weekend saw another successful Competition held at the Gulgong Showground, hosted by the very tight and ‘über organised’ club that is the Mudgee based ‘MUDWEQ‘ clan; who always hold a fun-filled, smoothly run and high-spirited competition!

Kel Lazare
Kel Lazare conquers the ‘Barrels Event’ in the Ease Of Handling Phase @ Intro Level

Not as cold as expected, but certainly cold enough as our six excited UHWEC members came together with all good intentions to ‘kick butt!’ at the Mudweq Three Phase Competition this weekend.  And kick butt they did!

Natasha Kelaher
A beaming Natasha Kelaher exits the Preliminary Level WE Speed Course

Journeying from as far and wide as Broke, Muswellbrook, Denman, and Aberdeen, the girls set up camp ready to brave the elements and battle the other forty plus competitors representing five fellow Working Equitation Clubs.

Louise Clay
Louise Clay competing in Intro Level Dressage at MUDWEQ, following her successful win in Stroud earlier this year where she took out Introductory Champion!

Congratulations to all our girls, who kept their spirits high, focus forward and attitudes tight, as they ventured through the weekend with several hiccups, a few frustrations, lots of laughter, and even some tears!

Our UHWEC girls at the MUDWEQ Comp
Left to right: Upper Hunter Working Equitation club members: Kel Lazare, Tash Kelaher, Tilley Von Cleve-Burg, Kerry Blamer-Smith, Louise Clay, Robin Johnson

Four of the five members who competed took home home first, second and third place ribbons with at least one win in every phase!!! Our very own Kerry Balmer-Smith lapped up two first and one second place, winning overall Introductory Champion!

Kerry Balmer-Smith
Kerry Balmer-Smith – Introductory Level Champion crosses the finish line!

We cannot wait for our next competition and indeed are looking keenly ahead as we strategically set the wheels in motion to host our very own Three Phase Working Equitation Competition!  Watch this space!

Kerry & Robin
Our most experienced Working Eq. member and previous Preliminary level HOTY title holder, Robin Johnson, proudly hugs our newest Introductory Level Champion, Kerry Balmer-Smith!

Stay in touch with us on our facebook page, browse our website and do feel free to Contact Us any time about any thing!

We’re passionate about the development of our club, we love what we do and we’re here to enjoy ourselves and support each other in doing what we love.  If you’ve any queries at all & want to chat with any of us – please don’t be shy!

Click here to view more pics of the day!

Happy Riding until our next meet!

Robin & Kel
Gulgong Showground; Our UHWEC girls brave the morning cool for a pick – & quick pee stop!

 

 

Thanks Be To The Men’s Shed!!

“…’Twas ne’er loving that emptied the heart; Nor giving that emptied the purse…”

A very old quote, yet ever still relevant today!  It is so lovely to see small community organisations supporting each other and never was it more evident than when our President, Natasha Kelaher and Vice President, Kerry Balmer-Smith put out the call for a helping hand to build us some obstacles for the UHWEC Working Equitation obstacle course!

Our cozy little club would like to give a very hearty (though somewhat belated!!) thankyou and cyber-hug to both the Upper Hunter and Denman Men’s Sheds, without whom we would not be able to be holding the great training days that we have to date!

Bridge & Gate
With thanks to the Upper Hunter Men’s Shed, diligently crafting our Gate & matching Bridge!

These undaunted souls worked tirelessly and heartily for many months to very detailed specs and requirements to build us two brilliant bridges and one superb gate for our Working Equitation ‘Ease Of Handling’ and ‘Speed’ courses!

These items are beautifully crafted, safe for our horses and look just fabulous!

Bridge by Denman Men's Shed
With thanks to the Denman Men’s Shed for our beautiful wooden Bridge!

We are well on our way now to having a complete course of obstacles (just need our website guru to get off her computer and onto a jigsaw to finish our bull!).  With just a few obstacles to go we are inching ever forwards (albeit it slowly!) to being able to hold our own club comp!

Meanwhile our ongoing club Event Days; Training days and Clinics; are chugging away nicely, with ever-increasing membership numbers and at least one club event being held per month!

Have a browse through our Galleries to see what we’ve all been up to and check out our Club Event Calendar to see what goodies we’ve got coming up.  To enter an event or join our club, jump onto TryBooking and use the forms on our Membership page.

Any probs or queries, you can contact Judy Anshaw, our club Secretary, here.

Remember, the best way to train is simply to put yourself and your horse out there and have a go!  The Nominate website constantly features an up to date and comprehensive list of upcoming WE Competitions held by fellow Working Equitation Clubs across Australia, so get your entry in and have a crack!

Warning.  This sport is highly addictive.  May contain irresistible equine eye-candy.

UHWEC

 

 

 

Jan 2018 UHWEC Training Day

It was great to see such a good turnout for our very first Club Training Day for 2018, with 12 of our 20 members in attendance.  A very warm welcome to our newest (and youngest!) members!

p1050747-1-e1519954908573.jpgWe cannot give enough thanks to both the Upper Hunter and the Denman Men’s Sheds who have slaved away on our behalf for literally months, building our fabulous Working Equitation Course Obstacles.  We have two spanking new bridges and a lovely white,  wood slat gate.  These obstacles far exceeded our expectations; the craftsmanship is superb and attention to detail and required specifications, simply phenomenal.  We highly recommend these guys to anyone looking for any equipment you may need made to order!

View Gallery Here…

P1050635 (1)It was an absolute treat to be training on real obstacles as a team!  Splitting into two teams of six, half of us trotted into the Obstacle Training Paddock to hone our Working Equitation skills, while the other half dozen hit the large, sheltered arena with well known, enthusiastic and eccentric trainer, Marcia Williamson, for a grueling 90 minute dressage training session.

We found Marcia of great benefit to the club, easily integrating all riders as a group whilst still focusing on each rider’s individual needs and adapting the application of her training methods and advice to each rider’s skill level, physical capabilities and current riding/training needs.

Skills specifically targeted in this session were trotting and cantering posture, strengthening legs and core, canter transitions and jump training for both horse and rider.

It was an exhausting, at times challenging, but definitely most satisfying and more importantly, fun day for all!  After watering and cooling both ourselves and our horses, we topped off the day with our usual delightful banquet of home made goodies, as ever in surplus to our eating capabilities; a much needed and well earned respite after the efforts of the day!

We look forward to our next meet in March!

As always, new members are most welcome.  Our next club meeting in March will be held on the last Thursday of the month at the Denman Pub.  See you there!

Happy Riding!

UHWEC.

2018 First General Meeting

The first General Meeting of UHWE for 2018 will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2018
At the Denman Hotel at 6.30pm.

This is just before our first club day and entries for this are available from our club Secretary Judy.  You can contact her via our contact form or using any of the details on our Contact page.

A very warm welcome to all our new members and we look forward to seeing you at our meetings!

UHWEC