REGISTER HERE, TODAY! To download a Registration Form CLICKHERE. The form will guide you through the registration process. Please note that, if you live in the UK or Ireland, the Programme is only available to members of the Western Equestrian Society. If you are not currently a member and wish to join please click hereto download a membership application form.
If you live outside of the UK and Ireland you do NOT need to be a member of the Western Equestrian Society. Click here to contact us via the guest book and we'll be very happy to guide you through the registration process.
A brief introduction to the Western Rider Development Programme
The Western Rider Development Programme (WRDP) provides on-line access to a progressive training system for you and your horse. It offers regular assessments and detailed feedback from a Western Equestrian Society (WES)Approved Instructor and Judge. The Programme is comprehensive and comprises seven levels in all, from foundation through novice and intermediate to advanced. Designed principally for western riders with access to the internet, members are able to maintain contact with their instructor by e-mail. One of the key benefits of this initiative is that wherever you live you can now have access to affordable, regular and consistent training from highly experienced and fully qualified professionals. The added bonus is complete flexibility. Your online training can be supplemented by face to face tuition from your local instructor if that suits you, and there are no time limits!
Addressing technical and psychological aspects of rider performance
An additional, and perhaps unique, feature of the WRDP is the support provided at all levels by a Certified Practitioner of NLP specialising in Equestrian Sport. This means that the training provided addresses both technical and psychological aspects of rider performance.
How does it work?
The concept is very simple. Once you register you're provided with a welcome pack that gives you all the resources you need to get started. The pack includes:
the complete syllabus and guidance notes for Levels 1 to 7
information about how to contact your 'virtual' trainer for periodic advice
a suggested pattern and notes to help you plan your Level 1 assessment video
weblinks to videos, illustrating the twelve Level 1 assessment manoeuvres
information about accessing the WRDP Facebook group (exclusive to members)
a recommended reading/viewing list
a representational system preference test to identify your preferred learning system.
Then it's over to you to get on with it! In addition to being able to access all of the publicly available information on this website and practise your skills at home, you can submit an interim video for assessment prior to requesting your final assessment. You'll receive comprehensive written feedback and guidance on how to improve your performance or progress to the next level. Successful candidates are awarded an official certificate and the achievement is reported in the Society's national magazine, 'WES News' as well as being recorded on this website on our Roll of Honour.
How much does it cost?
Members registering before 31st December 2011 are able to register for a fee of £35. This equates roughly to the cost of a lesson with a properly qualified western trainer - and covers your initial registration and includes your online support and assessment at Level 1 - so we hope you'll agree that it offers great value for money! As you progress through the Programme there will be an additional fee of £35 payable at the commencement of each Level. You can work at your own pace, without any pressure. You'll also have control over how much you spend and when you spend it!
Is it worth it?
You don't need to take our word for it! Kate Eldridge (WES, AQHA and AQHA-UK member - as well as the British Horse Society) was one of the first to register on the Programme. Kate is pictured below with her 9 year old American Quarter Horse mare Tardy Conclus Honey. These are Kate's own words....
"I recently signed up for the WRDP and Honey & I are working towards our Level 1 assessment at the moment. There are some very helpful and interesting articles on the website, but when you sign up (which is no more than the price of a lesson!) you also get access to a collection of marvellous video tutorials on the WRDP YouTube Channel. They really help you with the various exercises - all aimed at building a solid training foundation for a responsive, supple, soft, versatile riding horse... something I am sure we all dream of having! I was very impressed with the information contained in the Welcome Pack and supporting literature for Level 1. There is no pressure or time frame but I feel well supported, and motivated, to continue training at my own pace. Highly recommended!!"
The response from further afield...
Since we launched this website in March 2011 we've been overwhelmed by the support we've received, not just from the UK but from around the world. Within two or three months we started to get feedback that was very encouraging, and none more so than this message we received in June:
"I am very impressed with the content on the site and found it timely in dealing with the most important aspect of riding - creating a psychological partnership between horse and rider. It is imperative for those who educate today's equestrians to effectively manage the changing currents of interest and conflicts. To that end, teaching riders proper methods that facilitate success for both horse and rider should always be the goal and a paramount tenet of any program."
Then we saw who'd left the feedback and realised that it was none other than Michell Anne Kimball - owner of the 2010 NRHA Level 4 OPEN Futurity Champion Spooks Gotta Whiz. "Baby Spooks" as he is known is pictured right being ridden by Jordan Larson, who partnered him to victory at the 2010 NRHA Futurity.We need hardly say that we've fallen a little in love with this very beautiful and immensely talented stallion, and have definitely joined his international fan club. If you want to find out more about his and Michell's story just click here to visit his website. Baby Spooks also has his own Facebook page,click here to check it out.
Join us on Facebook
In addition to visiting this website for our regular updates, you can also take a look at our Facebook page. It provides the opportunity to interact with fellow western enthusiasts, check out the discussion board and enjoy various photos and videos. It's a great way of keeping in touch with everyone and making new friends! Just click on the picture to the right.