PDA

View Full Version : Dressage Riders' opinions on other disciplines?



sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:34 PM
So, in a thread in the off-topic forum, me and a few other folks were conversing about the types of bits (or bitless setups, in my case) with our horses. One person mentioned she uses a kimberwick with what I think is called a segunda mouth (I could be wrong on that word.. :o ), and I personally use a mech hack for a lot of my time in the saddle. Then we joked that if we took that thread over here to Dressage forum, we'd get our heads chopped off and served on a platter. :lol:

That kinda makes me wonder though, what do you Dressage folks think of other disciplines? What about the barrel racers, tearing it up with wild eyes around the barrels. Or the endurance riders, with their little dished Arab mount's heads up in the air as they go along? Or the WP riders, whose horses don't get ridden with basically ANY rein contact whatsoever, and travel :insert gasp here: on the forehand? :lol:

So Dressage folks. What say you about the outside world? ;):D

Equibrit
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:38 PM
Are you under the impression that dressage riders don't take part in any other equine discipline? If so, you're quite wrong.

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:39 PM
Are you under the impression that dressage riders don't take part in any other equine discipline. If so, you're quite wrong.

Where in my post did I say that? ;)

rabicon
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:39 PM
well I've rode all types of disciplines. I started off trail riding for fun then took hunter/jumper classes in college and rode that for a while then I went back to trail riding then to barrel racing (which is loadssss of fun) then back to hunters and then jumpers and now to dressage and we are trying out a little eventing as well this year. ;) So I have no problem with other disciplines because I rode many types and they are all different in many ways it just depends on what you want to do. I think dressage is a good basic on ANY horse no matter WP, or Barrel racing, or even show jumeprs. I think each discipline is specfic to that discipline and really can't be compared to each other that includes rider and horse. I'm having a really hard time now to sit and relax in dressage because of all the forward riding I've done in the past. Whatever floats your boat is what I say. BUT I DO HATE the WP horses that 4 beat (i think thats what its called) Thats just horrible with the broken leg canter. :mad: Can't stand that.

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:40 PM
well I've rode all types of disciplines. I started off trail riding for fun then took hunter/jumper classes in college and rode that for a while then I went back to trail riding then to barrel racing (which is loadssss of fun) then back to hunters and then jumpers and now to dressage and we are trying out a little eventing as well this year. ;) So I have no problem with other disciplines because I rode many types and they are all different in many ways it just depends on what you want to do. I think dressage is a good basic on ANY horse no matter WP, or Barrel racing, or even show jumeprs. I think each discipline is specfic to that discipline and really can't be compared to each other that includes rider and horse. I'm having a really hard time now to sit and relax in dressage because of all the forward riding I've done in the past. Whatever floats your boat is what I say. BUT I DO HATE the WP horses that 4 beat (i think thats what its called) Thats just horrible with the broken leg canter. :mad: Can't stand that.

I think I agree with you, that some basic foundation in Dressage can help with a lot of disciplines, western and english alike. Good point! :)

Equibrit
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:41 PM
Where in my post did I say that? ;)

Where in my post did it say that you said that?
In case you have a comprehension problem; it was a question that I asked you.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:43 PM
Dressage is The Only True Way. Surely you know that.

Terrie
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:46 PM
I have an appreciation for all disciplines, but there are certain methods/trainers/riders that ruin it for me. I started riding dressage with Helmut (he wouldn't let me jump until we had the basics down) and then moved to H/J and now back to dressage. Although now I find myself owning a dressage mount, a H/J prospect, and a WP trained (shown in halter) Paint. My main boy can be quite the handful and I chose to purchase my Paint over a 2nd level school horse because it is such a relaxing ride (a nice break). Of course I also got him so hubby could start riding. I even boarded at a primarily NSH barn for a couple of years. Although some of the training methods left a lot to be desired I did grow an appreciation for saddle seat and some breeds I hadn't previously been exposed to. Oh, and I've also trail ridden a bunch with the OTTBs I had previously. My paint has now also made his debut in his first homecoming parade with a friend's niece aboard.

vestito
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:47 PM
I respect most of the other disciplines. All disciplines have their good and bad horses and trainers.
BTW some of you really need to go and see a REAL western pleasure horse. Like maybe one I have trained.
A real pleasure horse is honest in the bridle and always comes from behind, ISN'T heavy on the forehand and can also do lead changes every 2-3 strides. Clean changes, unlike so many hunters I see at the shows who go half way around the ring, cross cantering

I am so sick of seeing everyone bashing the wp horse. Not sure where you all are going or what your watching but there are GOOD ones out there, they don't all four beat and travel heavy infront

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 04:50 PM
Where in my post did it say that you said that?
In case you have a comprehension problem; it was a question that I asked you.

Why do you have to be so nasty? Sheesh, lighten up or don't post. It's real simple. It's supposed to be fun posting around here. :lol:

DressageGeek; I KNEW IT! :lol::lol::lol:

vestito; I kind of have the same outlook you do. It's a good way to look at it, I think.

Kementari
Jan. 4, 2008, 05:05 PM
I start every horse with dressage basics. I'm working with a greenie right now who will be a trail horse and eventually child's wp mount - and I'm starting him exactly the same way I started my own event prospect. Well, except with a heavier saddle. :lol:

A good wp horse is exhibiting a great deal of collection, and is not going around dumped on the forehand.

A good barrel run is just dressage at speed. You can't get those turns - which is where it's won or lost - without engagement, suppleness, and a very responsive horse.

A good endurance horse isn't moving like a GP horse, but they are balanced and using their butts. The endurance riders I've known all schooled dressage extensively at home, because it builds the right muscles. (Granted, that's a small sample size... ;))

Of course, the key word here is "good." You have good and bad in every discipline, though. And in pretty much every discipline you have bad that makes it to the top once in awhile, too, for whatever reason - but that doesn't change the actual definition of "good," though it may lead to some unfortunate fads.

So I guess my answer to your question is that I don't look down on other disciplines because I think it's ALL dressage - just with different end goals. I may look down on certain practitioners of those disciplines, sure, but I look down on certain practitioners of dressage, too. ;)

Equibrit
Jan. 4, 2008, 05:05 PM
It's supposed to be fun posting around here. :lol:


"we'd get our heads chopped off and served on a platter. :lol:"


Great fun!

rabicon
Jan. 4, 2008, 05:07 PM
I respect most of the other disciplines. All disciplines have their good and bad horses and trainers.
BTW some of you really need to go and see a REAL western pleasure horse. Like maybe one I have trained.
A real pleasure horse is honest in the bridle and always comes from behind, ISN'T heavy on the forehand and can also do lead changes every 2-3 strides. Clean changes, unlike so many hunters I see at the shows who go half way around the ring, cross cantering

I am so sick of seeing everyone bashing the wp horse. Not sure where you all are going or what your watching but there are GOOD ones out there, they don't all four beat and travel heavy infront


I AM NOT BASHING THEM!! My friends that show WP have the most beautiful sane horses!! THey round so nicely and use their HQ, I wish I had a photo or video to post of one of theirs. The do not broke leg lope and they are not peanut rolled. Actually my friends that board with me just sent their 4 yr old off and he just got back from these folks. They trained him and he is amazing in 2 months. NO DRAW REINS, NO SIDE REINS, NO MECHANICAL DEVICES OF ANY KIND and this horse is already perfect for the hunter ring and uses his Hindend beautifully. You do have to admit though that some WP horses are trained really really badly and look horrible.

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 05:13 PM
I start every horse with dressage basics. I'm working with a greenie right now who will be a trail horse and eventually child's wp mount - and I'm starting him exactly the same way I started my own event prospect. Well, except with a heavier saddle. :lol:

A good wp horse is exhibiting a great deal of collection, and is not going around dumped on the forehand.

A good barrel run is just dressage at speed. You can't get those turns - which is where it's won or lost - without engagement, suppleness, and a very responsive horse.

A good endurance horse isn't moving like a GP horse, but they are balanced and using their butts. The endurance riders I've known all schooled dressage extensively at home, because it builds the right muscles. (Granted, that's a small sample size... ;))

Of course, the key word here is "good." You have good and bad in every discipline, though. And in pretty much every discipline you have bad that makes it to the top once in awhile, too, for whatever reason - but that doesn't change the actual definition of "good," though it may lead to some unfortunate fads.

So I guess my answer to your question is that I don't look down on other disciplines because I think it's ALL dressage - just with different end goals. [b] I may look down on certain practitioners of those disciplines, sure, but I look down on certain practitioners of dressage, too. ;) [b]

Hahahaha, good point. :lol:

Equibrit; That was a joke.. it kinda goes hand and hand with the 'fun' concept. Cmon now. :lol:

Sithly
Jan. 4, 2008, 05:27 PM
Of course, the key word here is "good." You have good and bad in every discipline, though. And in pretty much every discipline you have bad that makes it to the top once in awhile, too, for whatever reason - but that doesn't change the actual definition of "good," though it may lead to some unfortunate fads.

Very well said. WP was not always like that, and hopefully it won't be forever (*v. optimistic*).

Our horse sports have become so specialized that there is room for exaggeration and abuse in any discipline. Someone always has to take things one step further to win. Kinda makes you wonder where dressage is going to go in the next 20 or 50 years. Will we be riding 22hh horses with 32 ft. trot strides? :lol: They'll have to make bigger arenas.


"we'd get our heads chopped off and served on a platter. :lol:"


Great fun!

Way to prove her wrong by being so down-to-earth and friendly!

class
Jan. 4, 2008, 05:45 PM
honestly, i don't care for any of the western/gaming events that i've seen. i don't care for any of the natural horsemanship that i've seen. (is that a discipline?) i don't care for any of the big lick or saddle seat stuff that i have seen. doesn't mean that there aren't excellent riders and horses in these areas, i just haven't been fortunate enough to come across them. i guess i also don't care for racing, while i'm at it..

other than that, i've never had a problem with endurance, eventing, hunters, trail riding, vaulting or driving.

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 05:51 PM
honestly, i don't care for any of the western/gaming events that i've seen. i don't care for any of the natural horsemanship that i've seen. (is that a discipline?) i don't care for any of the big lick or saddle seat stuff that i have seen. doesn't mean that there aren't excellent riders and horses in these areas, i just haven't been fortunate enough to come across them.

other than that, i've never had a problem with endurance, eventing, hunters, trail riding, vaulting or driving.

That's a good point. I try and have equal respect for all disciplines.. but I'm sorry, NH is just a big thumbs-down in my book. Maybe I've just had too many bad experiences with it (and more specifically, the people who follow it :lol: ).

BunnyWabbit
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:13 PM
Our horse sports have become so specialized that there is room for exaggeration and abuse in any discipline. Someone always has to take things one step further to win. Kinda makes you wonder where dressage is going to go in the next 20 or 50 years. Will we be riding 22hh horses with 32 ft. trot strides? :lol: They'll have to make bigger arenas.





yes! exactly what I was thinking. disciplines are not only specialized, but overly stylized, maybe in an attempt to set themselves apart from others. but I think thats where I get annoyed. I haven't enjoyed watching any saddle seat I've seen, and I've only enjoyed some of the WP - but it was at a local show, so it sounds like the low level may have had something to do with it.

Wild Oaks Farm
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:23 PM
So, in a thread in the off-topic forum, me and a few other folks were conversing about the types of bits (or bitless setups, in my case) with our horses. One person mentioned she uses a kimberwick with what I think is called a segunda mouth (I could be wrong on that word.. :o ), and I personally use a mech hack for a lot of my time in the saddle. Then we joked that if we took that thread over here to Dressage forum, we'd get our heads chopped off and served on a platter. :lol:



I must admit that I had a question about what kind of bit to put on my strong/tends to pull and lean horse, and I took it to the eventing forum for just that reason! :lol:

Huntertwo
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:23 PM
Quote: Or the WP riders, whose horses don't get ridden with basically ANY rein contact whatsoever, and travel :insert gasp here: on the forehand? :lol:

----------------------------------------------------------------
Why do you assume that WP horses travel on the forehand? It sounds to me like you are assuming ALL do it? If that is the case, you need to go watch a *real* show. :no:

4 beating is also "out" for a real WP horse also. Yes, that was the case a few years back, but you won't place now in any rated shows.

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:29 PM
I must admit that I had a question about what kind of bit to put on my strong/tends to pull and lean horse, and I took it to the eventing forum for just that reason! :lol:

What, you didn't want a million responses of "french link loose ring snaffle" or "ride better"? :lol::lol::lol:

Just kiddin guys. ;)

Huntertwo; Actually, I was watching some WP horses from the National Congress thing on youtube the other night, and quite a few of them looked on the forehand to me. I'm a fan of WP though when done right (I loooove to see a good WP go), and call me uninformed, but I don't think being on the forehand is the most horrible thing in the world. Better than the 4-beat lope I guess.

cuatx55
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:35 PM
I don't mind visiting the outside world but I wouldn't want to live there.


(dressage riders own western saddles too...)

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:38 PM
I don't mind visiting the outside world but I wouldn't want to live there.


(dressage riders own western saddles too...)

:gasp: Blasphemy! :lol:

kypeep
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:43 PM
Love many!

Stared out riding western pleasure horses as a very young kid. Moved on to eventing and a bit of hunter stuff, then I rode solely dressage for many years. However, as I moved up towards PSG work, I realized I wanted to experience other disciplines and decided to try cutting horses. I became hooked on riding cutters the very first time I sat on one. I still do train/sell a dressage horse now and then, but my main focus is now showing the cutters. Needless to say, my cutting horses have a strong dressage education :-)

I've also done a little fox-hunting within the last decade and dabbled with training reining horses too, but I've never shown the reiners. One of these days, I hope to add barrel racing to this list!

Grintle Sunshine
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:55 PM
Can't stand saddleseat riding - it is just such the antichrist!:D I don't care if someone else wants to do it, but I don't understand it! Chair seat, high necked tense horses with whites of eyes showing, wacky gaits...ugh.

sublimequine
Jan. 4, 2008, 06:57 PM
Can't stand saddleseat riding - it is just such the antichrist!:D I don't care if someone else wants to do it, but I don't understand it! Chair seat, high necked tense horses with whites of eyes showing, wacky gaits...ugh.

Seems like that's the most popular disliked discipline so far. :lol:

I actually don't mind Saddleseat, took a few lessons myself. It is so much fun to ride. How the horses are treated a lot of the time, though... not so good.

lindac
Jan. 5, 2008, 12:02 AM
Can't stand saddleseat riding - it is just such the antichrist!:D I don't care if someone else wants to do it, but I don't understand it! Chair seat, high necked tense horses with whites of eyes showing, wacky gaits...ugh.

Since you have mentioned it, there is a thread on another board about the marketing of Saddle Seat riding. You have mentioned a few specifics, but if you or others would care to elaborate what you specifically like or dislike about Saddle Seat, it might prove insightful.

ride-n-tx
Jan. 5, 2008, 12:35 AM
personally, i can't stand the thought of steeplechasing anymore (if that is a discipline?). I used to work the track as a "safety" patrol and i saw way too many gruesome sights. still turns my stomach...

besides that, as long as the horse is health and happy it's all good! :cool:

Sabine
Jan. 5, 2008, 01:31 AM
I started in dressage- did heavy eventing in Germany (scary) came to the US- had babies- started back with a little hunters (didn't like it ) moved on to equitation (loved it) and did a bit of Jumpers...(pooped at 4ft...didn't see my distances anymore and gave up after a bad accident.)

Don't have the background in the other disciplines since we don't have those in Europe where I grew up.

I do like good Western working cow horse work and some Really excellent reining work...I hate barrels...seems just a bit too rough and tough...seen some saddleseat work and mostly dislike it ---except for one lady who I met in person and saw her gorgeous Morgan ride...and it seemed like art- rather than a painful experience for the horse...but I honestly don't know what went into training that horse and if that is a brutal experience or a kind progression...??

my SO always says: horses don't choose to be dressage horses, jumpers, saddleseat experts- they just like to be in a green pasture and eat grass...so I guess- it's up to us to 'sell the discipline' so it doesn't seem like a pure tour the force....

Kementari
Jan. 5, 2008, 02:51 AM
A good saddle seat horse (there's that adjective again... ;)) is trained like a 3rd or 4th level dressage horse. They trot high because they are rocked so much onto their hind end that their front end elevates (sorta like in dressage, no? ;)). Actually SEEING this in the show ring may be more exception than rule, but that's the idea. (And, for the record, saddle seat is pretty much the only discipline that I DON'T ride - but I really appreciate it when it's done well!)

As for gymkhana, well, here's some push from behind (http://s39.photobucket.com/albums/e185/MoonriseStables/Misc%20Jude%202/?action=view&current=judestart.jpg) for ya... (Don't I wish he would use his butt like that in the dressage ring - well, not QUITE like that...a bit slower would probably go over better with the judge... :lol:)

stolensilver
Jan. 5, 2008, 06:16 AM
I'm used to the English disciplines of showjumping, eventing and dressage. Have done a bit of all of them, showjumped to 4 feet and dressage to Advanced (and still progressing). I don't have any first hand experience of the American disciplines of Western Pleasure, hunter under saddle, saddleseat, halter, reining or cutting.

As an outside I admire the athleticism and skill that goes into reining and cutting. I'd love to have a go at those some day. Western pleasure and hunter under saddle just leave me cold. What is the point of training a horse to patsy along at no miles an hour with their nose below their knees? Yuk!!! I just don't see why you'd ever want a horse to go like that. I wouldn't even want to trail ride one of those horses. Firstly I'd die of old age before I got anywhere and secondly I'd be worried they'd trip and fall on their face.

Halter or at least QH halter is a disgrace. The horses are being bred to be cripples. I think it is cruel and wrong. In hand classes should be something you do with a horse before they are old enough to be ridden. It should be a judgement of whether that young horse is going to become an athlete when they are mature. It should not be an end in itself otherwise you end up with beef cow look alikes with legs like stilts.

Saddle seat looks odd to me too. The horses look artifically jacked up in front and I cringe to see the riders sitting on their horse's loins, the weakest part of their back. Their way of going does not appear to go hand in hand with long term soundness although I'm happy to be proved wrong on this. And as for big lick TWH, that should be banned as animal cruelty.

Something that strikes me is that the speciality US riding classes such as WP and saddleseat seem to have horses who are bred to do that speciality and cannot do any other which somehow seems wrong. I'd prefer for a horse to be bred to be athletic and then trained to do a speciality and be able to cross from one to the other and do well in both of them. There are many horses in English disciplines who have reached the top levels in dressage and jumping (Roemer KWPN did this, Grand Prix at both) or eventing and jumping (Dexter IV is grade A showjumper and an advanced eventer for example). Has a WP or HUS horse ever excelled at anything other than WP or HUS? If they have I'll have more respect for them. Somehow with the conformation that is being bred into those horses (downhill, downhill, downhill) I am doubtful they are suitable for doing anything else.

slc2
Jan. 5, 2008, 09:12 AM
There is nothing similar about how a saddle seat horse and a dressage horse collect. There couldn't be two things that are MORE different.

I've done western, saddle seat, dressage, hunters, and dabbled in reining, cutting and just about everything else. One thing I never do is try to pretend these styles of riding are the same, because they aren't - not by any stretch of the imagination.

I feel the only way someone could think they are similar, is by not understanding them very well.

Sometimes eventing and dressage and show jumping can have some commonality, depending on the trainer, but there are often more differences than similarities, even between these three at least somewhat related disciplines.

Each to his own. I will never convince anyone who believes there is so much commonality, that there isn't. People believe what they want to believe. I do not, however believe it.

RodeoQueen
Jan. 5, 2008, 09:20 AM
Ok, I have to throw in my 2 cents worth here...

Stolen Silver, apparently you haven't been exposed to the quarter horse - the most versatile horse in the world. Rugged Lark showed Grand Prix Dressage, won multiple titles over fences, HUS, Hunt Seat Equitation, Western Pleasure, and Horsemanship and had Halter points. The Lark Ascending, the same. Artful Investment, WP, HUS, everything over fences, WP, equitation, horsemanship, showmanship, driving, halter and Western Riding (4th level Dressage with tempi changes on the 4'2, 3's and 2's). This year, he qualified for the World Show in 9 different classes as a 13 year old. Not to mention, these horses have disposition to die for are a cadillac rides - it just doesn't get much better that that.

By the way, the competitive, athletic quarter horses are not built downhill, do not travel around falling on their forhands, are not separated from their bridles and are not ridden with weapons. they're jocks - just like the fine warmbloods.

In any discipline, the horse is as good as the rider and trainer - good and bad is a possibility for any living creature.

We train everything with classical foundation, and finish the horse depending upon what the goal is for the rider/horse team at that point in time. There is value in all disciplines, but not every rider wants to jump or study dressage or ride pleasure. I've seen beautiful, brilliant Dressage horses with great riders, and I've seen some that are not nice as well - same is true of other disciplines.

My appendix quarter horse does it all and offers elasticily in his gaits that make my Dressage Diva buddies drool. He's forward, suspended, uphill, able to collect and stretch and I am his greatest limitation. His favorite gait for a reward is a western pleasure jog. I could swill a cocktail sitting on it. I believe that a true horse-person is able to respect and value the variety of skills of lots of different disciplines.

Best,
laura

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Jan. 5, 2008, 09:20 AM
My horse is a committed competitive grazer. He was literally born to that sport.

stolensilver
Jan. 5, 2008, 09:55 AM
Rodeoqueen I'm pretty sure Rugged Lark did not do Grand Prix dressage. He was a talented horse but he almost proves my point. He wasn't bred to be a WP or HUS horse. He was bred to be a horse and trained well so did well in different disciplines...20 years ago. Would he have done so well today with the fashion for giant horses with downhill conformation in these classes? I think people have got it wrong with the superspecialisation. I think people ought to be breeding for another Rugged Lark. A horse with good conformation and a great brain that can, with training, do several different jobs. Breeding a horse that is only capable of one job is, to my mind, shortsighted. A bit like the poor German Shepherds bred for the showring that have had the slope of their back so pronounced because it was winning in the showring that they now have deformed back legs. Those dogs are never used for police work or security work because they don't stay sound. I'm worried that breeding horses is taking the same crazy path.

I'd also beg to differ about quarterhorses being the most versatile. That title has to be taken by the Thoroughbred. They have been world and olympic class in every sport imaginable.

Fluffie
Jan. 5, 2008, 10:17 AM
Wasn't Rugged Lark an appendix QH (with a LOT of TB in him)? ;)

I board at an AQHA barn, and I can say that the trainers do NOT-NOT want a horse that is built downhill or that travels that way. However, maybe because they ride young horses, which are downhill until the front end grows to match the back end, that it sometimes seems that way.

As much as I respect those who do QH stuff well (and I do own an appendix who is turning about 24 this year :)), I would argue that the QH is *maybe* the most versatle BREED but the individual animals are NOT. Yes many of them cross-enter divisions, but generally they stick to all similar events (WP, western trail, showmanship, western horsemanship) which isn't that different than what open hunters do (over fences classes, flat classes, and eq.) but RARELY do they do both western and English WELL.

FriesianX
Jan. 5, 2008, 10:45 AM
I admire anyone who does another discipline WELL without abusing their horses. Personally, I think the ultimate equine athletes are seen in Eventing and Combined Driving - holy cow, those horses and riders are so in tune with each other! And, although they are rough disciplines, the horses tend to be very well cared for, and the owners tend to have a true bond and partnership with their equine partners. Which is one of the things I love about dressage too - it is really a partnership.

Something else that is really fun to watch when done well is Reining - lots of action, lots of obvious communication between horse and rider, and not just yanking on the bit communication, but real seat/leg aids.

Also agree with the majority here, the gaited stuff seems most harsh. I spent a few late evenings at Morgan shows, and the sport horse discipline horses were happily snoozing in their stalls at night, while the gaited and fancy front end types were being revved up in some pretty unsightly ways. Hot pepper in the anus, small fire crackers too, chains on legs, and lots of generally scary (and sometimes painful) treatment of horses. All apparently "borrowed" from the Saddlebred and TWH world. I'd like to hope that doesnt' occur anymore, it has been several years since I went to a breed show :cry:

As for Western Pleasure - those slow gaits are NOT collection. Pleasure riders want easy to ride gaits, so the loft and elevation needed in collection would not qualify as a pleasure gait - those gaits are harder to ride. The goal of collection is to take all the FOWARD energy and channel it up, with engagement (increased bending of the weight bearing joints). I admire the training of a good Western or Hunter pleasure horse, they should be loose and supple, relaxed and easy to ride - which means tons of training, but collected gaits are NOT easy to ride gaits.

I have to agree with the comment made, you really can't find a lot of similarities in disciplines once you move up the ranks in any of them. That is why they are different. Of course, eventing has aspects of dressage and jumping, but that is a bit of an exception - it is a combined training event.

And, I like to see ALL disciplines do a little cross training. My dressage horses do a little trail riding or jumping, they may not excel at it :D but it gives them a positive mental outlook. And many non-dressage horses can improve from a bit of dressage.

Several years ago, there was a Reining guy who did what he called "cowboy dressage" - it wasn't true dressage, his horses were not generally uphill, his canter "pirohettes" were spins, his extended trot was more of a Spanish trot (all front end), his lateral work lacked bend (but he could do a full pass!), his horses were in a frame, not "on the bit", but it sure was fun to watch, and his horses were quite well trained and athletic. Watching a well trained horse in any discipline, really is a good feeling!

slc2
Jan. 5, 2008, 10:53 AM
Rugged Lark did not show grand prix. That's incorrect. How did that ever get started?

What Lynn Palm does is sort of a 'tack switch dressage' that is basically the same as western pleasure. She knew where to show to pick up quarter horse breed awards. So people not as familiar with the shows, think she did really well.

There are however many quarter horses that do well in dressage. I had a couple that did very well -b ut not by doing 'tack switch dressage', and at the lower levels. Why complain about that, since about 99% of dressage tests done in america are at training level?

There are exceptional horses in every breed that are very good at upper level dressage. But they are just that - exceptions. Any horse that wins at the top levels of dressage is an exception, regardless of breed.

Quarter horses ARE versatile, and they are nice, they're american bred, many people love theirs...ok I hope we are over that now.

canticle
Jan. 5, 2008, 10:58 AM
I love western, saddleseat, endurance/CTRs, driving, eventing. I guess the only disciplines that don't appeal to me are hunter/jumpers.

I wouldn't generalize that English horses are more versatile than western horses. Upper level horses of either discipline are going to be very specialized. I don't think Salinero could compete in a CTR or cutting! :D Horses bred for extreme specialization are always going to have suitability issues when asked to cross-train. This goes for dressage horses just as much as WP horses. That's why it's important to maintain a strong base of lower to mid-level horses who CAN do multiple things (think Morgans). I see many severely downhill QHs, but I see just as many severely uphill WBs. Why criticize one and not the other? By breeding level and balanced horses instead of uphill or downhill, we can maximize versatility! The Europeans may have the upper hand at the upper levels, but we definitely are winning when it comes to versatility. ;)

Finally, we should be careful not to say that our collection is "true" collection while another discipline's is not. If that's what they choose to call it, then that's what it is! We do not have a monopoly on the word!

stolensilver
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:10 AM
Salinero is probably the wrong example for showing lack of versatility. His full brother was competing in the showjumping at the Olympics while he was competing in the dressage. ;)

FWIW I think some of the big warmblood registries in Europe are planning to go down the wrong route too. The Hannovarians experimented with seperating their dressage and showjumping books, found that it didn't work and are now scrabbling to rebuild their jumper lines. The KWPN for some reason only known to themselves has just ruled that a stallion must be considered dressage or jumper, not both and crossing between the two books is not encouraged. Bizarre. It is widely said that dressage horses regularly need an infusion of jumping blood to keep the power in the quarters.

One of my favourite stallions was Flemmingh, Holsteiner (jumping) bred, had a career as a jumper but used as a dressage sire. Another one I really like is Chequille Z. Zangershied bred (jumping) but looking like a potential Olympic dressage horse. I would always want jumping ability in a dressage horse.

slc2
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:11 AM
We don't have a monopoly on the word, but dressage collection and saddle seat collection are not the same.

Ted the Peep 'Ho
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:27 AM
I'd also beg to differ about quarterhorses being the most versatile. That title has to be taken by the Thoroughbred. They have been world and olympic class in every sport imaginable.

You are so right.

Dazednconfused
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:32 AM
Stolen Silver, apparently you haven't been exposed to the quarter horse - the most versatile horse in the world.


Most versatile horse in the world? Nah. That would be taken by Arabians, most likely. Never heard of a quarter horse that could do saddleseat ;)

Most of those bashing saddleseat here have likely never had the privelege of watching a really good one or haven't been able to observe the training of one. There is no abuse involved, or "jacking their front ends", etc. Pretty inflammatory language from people who evidently don't know much about it.

Let me put it this way...all disciplines have their abuses and poor riding etc...judging all western pleasure or saddleseat or eventing or whatever by one or two examples of abuse is as ridiculous as saying because someone saw a Dressage horse doing rollkur that all dressage is abusive. :no:

stolensilver
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:39 AM
It's quite funny that no one is defending the big lick TWH scene isn't it?

canticle
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:50 AM
It's quite funny that no one is defending the big lick TWH scene isn't it?
Oh god, don't get me started on that!! :mad: I love the flat shod stuff though.

NoDQhere
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:55 AM
I think SLC has said it best but here is my .02 worth.

Some of us have come to Dressage from other disciplines and the most important thing that we have learned is that Dressage is DIFFERENT We don't say that other disciplines are bad. OK once in awhile we see something that stands our hair on end and we may say that is bad, but for the most part we try to be open minded :yes: We really do like to see people enjoying what they do with their horses.

What we don't like is that so many people want to say that ____________(insert chosen discipline here) is the same as Dressage. The truth is that Dressage is not slow reining or slow barrel racing or whatever. Dressage addresses issues that until you do it, you won't (can't) understand. I am talking about bringing a horse up through the levels, not just doing training/first level.

For us, Dressage has proven to be "better". We do jump quite a bit but it is the Dressage that is our "thing".

I have to ask, though, why is everyone so into "claiming" Dressage? You will never hear us Dressage people say, "Why of course we use Western Pleasure basics in our training programs":lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Halt At X
Jan. 5, 2008, 01:23 PM
I have ridden mainly dressage but have also dabbled in hunt seat, some eventing and non-competitive trail riding.
I can't say that I have a problem with other disciplines, as long as the horses are trained correctly and the use of artificial means to acheive it (big lick, soring, rollkur etc).
I have to say that saddleseat is my least favorite and probbly the only discipline that I do not want to try.
Reining on the other hand- that looks like fun!

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Jan. 5, 2008, 02:12 PM
Just from me. I have dabbled in Western, tried my hand at polo (disaster!), done some trails, came from an h/j background.

So really, I have not formally trained in any other discipline but h/j.

However - and this has happened only with correct training, so maybe it is more broadly applicable - nothing has improved myself or my horse more than the low level dressage we do.

Kementari
Jan. 5, 2008, 04:59 PM
Dressage simply means "training" - or have we forgotten that?

The fundamentals of dressage simply teach a horse to use itself in the most efficient (and pleasant for the rider ;)) way. Driving from behind, lifting the back to keep those muscles engaged, responsiveness...these are beneficial to any equine athlete.

Dressage does address issues that you won't see addressed in other disciplines if they aren't being taught with correct fundamentals. That's the whole idea behind using dressage to build those fundamentals, regardless of discipline.

Yes, a world champ WP horse and a winning GP dressage horse look - and are "finished" - completely differently. But both [should] have the same fundamentals. That's the point.

Maybe the problem is that dressage people claim those fundamentals as their own. I mean, you'd be hard-pressed to find a dressage person (or any other knowledgeable rider) who didn't defined roundness, suppleness, throughness, etc as being "dressage principles," when honestly they are just principles of any discipline ridden (or driven ;)) well. So, tell you what: as soon as the dressage world stops defining those things as being dressage, I'll stop saying I use dressage basics when training for any discipline. Until then, if I want to give an honest, understandable explanation of my training technique, I'm going to have to say that I start every horse with dressage.

ETA: Rugged Lark's sire was a TB - so I say Ted is right! :lol:

Soldier06
Jan. 5, 2008, 05:10 PM
Clean changes, unlike so many hunters I see at the shows who go half way around the ring, cross cantering.

I laugh and appreciate the hunter "change" comment. I agree, far too many hunters cross canter and pull into thier changes. However a GOOD hunter, that jumps well, off his hindend isn't going to being crossing cantering or popping out heavy changes. I know my trainer would prefer my horse to cross canter, unbalanced, but rocked back over pulling down and falling on his forehand into a change. He was taught "bend to the inside kick with the outside" to change, but that's not a proper change. His change will never be as fabulous as his big brothers (an I1 horse) but his big brother wouldn't be half as fabulous over a fence. ;) (His big "brother" is my mom's I1 horse, thier not related by blood. :)) A good change can be done on a straight line, without all this over bending and pulling seen (more) in the lower level hunters. :)

A funny story told to me by mom's friend (a dressage trainer, who really knows her stuff, but not so much about other disciplines). We were talking about one who's needs a new home, as a hunter. However this horse doesn't have a change. It's a wobbly, pully, unbalanced attempt at a change that results in one a couple strides after asked. Her response was "well who cares, he can be a hunter!". :lol: Chances are, if his change is that bad his jumps will reflect it. ;)

canticle
Jan. 5, 2008, 10:38 PM
Some of us have come to Dressage from other disciplines and the most important thing that we have learned is that Dressage is DIFFERENT We don't say that other disciplines are bad. OK once in awhile we see something that stands our hair on end and we may say that is bad, but for the most part we try to be open minded :yes: We really do like to see people enjoying what they do with their horses.

What we don't like is that so many people want to say that ____________(insert chosen discipline here) is the same as Dressage. The truth is that Dressage is not slow reining or slow barrel racing or whatever. Dressage addresses issues that until you do it, you won't (can't) understand. I am talking about bringing a horse up through the levels, not just doing training/first level.
Dressage is different? Everything is different! Cutting is different from reining. Reining is different from barrel racing. I don't think anyone is saying that all the disciplines are the same, just that they have found it helpful to incorporate dressage principles into their work. Why is it a problem that other people should benefit from dressage, even if they are not 100% devoted to it in mind, body and spirit? Is dressage like modern art, where if an outsider tries to talk about it we just pat them on the shoulder and tell them, "There, there, you just don't understand"? :confused:

For us, Dressage has proven to be "better". We do jump quite a bit but it is the Dressage that is our "thing".
Dressage is better? I don't feel this way at all. I don't hold dressage up on a pedestal. I don't think it is a magickal way of communing with equus, and I don't think it is like dancing with faeries. But it is a damn good way of training a horse! (Sure beats Parelli... :rolleyes: ) There's no need to be resentful that dressage is so inclusive. It is a good thing! :yes:

Fluffie
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:31 PM
I laugh and appreciate the hunter "change" comment. I agree, far too many hunters cross canter and pull into thier changes. However a GOOD hunter, that jumps well, off his hindend isn't going to being crossing cantering or popping out heavy changes. However this horse doesn't have a change. It's a wobbly, pully, unbalanced attempt at a change that results in one a couple strides after asked. Her response was "well who cares, he can be a hunter!". :lol: Chances are, if his change is that bad his jumps will reflect it. ;)

Actually, a hunter with a bad lead change (or only half of one :lol:) will NOT sell well and will NOT pin except in very low levels/little competition. My older horse (who was "schooling first/second level"--I have no idea levels of what because it certainly wasn't dressage ;)) flat-out lost classes due to his lack of a clean lead change. Once that was installed (via dressage), he would hold his own in the ribbons.

Atheta21
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:43 PM
Here is my third/fourth level dressage horse competing in LD Endurance. He is only trained in the arena and hacking on trails, not endurance trained, but he still came in 25th out of 47 starters! Says a lot about dressage, doesn't it!? :)

http://s228.photobucket.com/albums/ee203/Atheta21/

flea
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:49 PM
For versatility try a mule! Lots of fun. The shows are fun and we used to try for all around not just w. pleasure etc. Rail classes, equitation, games, put to cart., jumping..it was fun. I will say when we started dressage with our mule in preparation for eventing...she won 4H state western pleasure for several years. It improved her movement so much! DRessage is good for all disciplines!

Showbizz
Jan. 5, 2008, 11:55 PM
I should know better than to get involved in a thread like this :)

I always thought there was one correct definition for collection. Because the vast majority of the equestrian population misuses the definition to mean slow/frame/whatever doesn't mean there are several definitions.

I feel I have the right to claim my fundamentals as dressage-like :) After all, I've taken dressage lessons, watched countless videos, read books and articles and have gone to dressage shows. And I train and show - get this - western pleasure horses :0

The breed of horse I show does do saddleseat, although it's not my forte. I have worked at a ss barn and have been to all the top shows of this breed. There are very few horses that can do the discipline ideally. The horses that are not athletic enough to do it the right way are taught to "get a pretty front end" by picking them up in the bridle and hollowing their backs. Some who see a pretty front end forget the rest of the horse and ooh and aah. It's a big, well known problem in this breed, though many are trying to change it at this time. It's not typically done because a trainer doesn't know better, rather it's done to give a horse with perhaps no other career option a reason to hang in there. Stay tuned.

The discipline I don't really get, and I'm sorry, is the hack classes at the h/j shows. I've seen videos of some of the big shows and most of the horses appear to be naturally good movers, but are ridden very forward to get the "see, mine is tracking up" look without actually driving through the hocks and up over the topline. It's peculiar to me to see all of that good energy go forward and be gone!

I go to a lot of endurance rides (though can't consider myself an "endurance rider" as I've only done about a half-dozen 25s). I do it just for fun because my parents are really into it and it's fun family time (though they leave me in the dust with their 50s and 100s). I have to say the endurance crowd is a tough one! Sure, there are a few horses (usually the top ones at the big rides) who have some great basics, but most are brave, competitive horsepersons who are in it for the thrill, and the hotter and the wilder the horse, the more he may be capable of finishing "fit to continue" :)

Renae
Jan. 6, 2008, 12:10 AM
The KWPN for some reason only known to themselves has just ruled that a stallion must be considered dressage or jumper, not both and crossing between the two books is not encouraged. Bizarre. It is widely said that dressage horses regularly need an infusion of jumping blood to keep the power in the quarters.


Wrong. Specialization in the KWPN has been done because it is reckognized the dressage horses, jumpers (and hunters too, here in NA there is a hunter division as well) have different demands in their sport and different things that will make them best for that sport. Any breeder is more than welcome to cross between any of the KWPN books, including the Gelders and harness Horse book as well, and the KWPN will recommend a breeding direction based ont he foals pedigree, but that can be chnged at the keuring when the foal is presented and the jury and owners confer about it. So the reason is known and the breeder is free to cross breed between 5 different types as they please.

And for anyone who has any questions about saddle seat riding please feel free to ask. I admire all good riding, but saddle seat is my favorite seat to ride, it should be a graceful and minimalist way to ride (lower legs are off the horse, not constantly squeezing/spurring, hands should be light, its about staying out of the horses way and letting him perform).

canticle
Jan. 6, 2008, 12:13 AM
I always thought there was one correct definition for collection. Because the vast majority of the equestrian population misuses the definition to mean slow/frame/whatever doesn't mean there are several definitions.Maybe WE are the ones who are misusing the term? :winkgrin:

The breed of horse I show does do saddleseat, although it's not my forte. I have worked at a ss barn and have been to all the top shows of this breed. There are very few horses that can do the discipline ideally. The horses that are not athletic enough to do it the right way are taught to "get a pretty front end" by picking them up in the bridle and hollowing their backs. Some who see a pretty front end forget the rest of the horse and ooh and aah. It's a big, well known problem in this breed, though many are trying to change it at this time. It's not typically done because a trainer doesn't know better, rather it's done to give a horse with perhaps no other career option a reason to hang in there. Stay tuned.
Yup, top saddleseat horses are a rare find. It's relatively easy to get the front-end action, but that's only scratching the surface. The hind-end is what is really important. Trailing hocks are a huge no-no, and you're absolutely right that lesser horses will hollow their backs to compensate for their weaknesses. :yes: