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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    I wonder if the worry here is less about the purity of dressage than it is that people will find WD more interesting and rewarding to pursue? It seems to have fewer hang ups, require more skills (in the sense of what tools are not allowed in the ring), and seems to be more accessible in terms of costs.
    Most people don't pursue "regular" dressage very far -- competitively or otherwise -- because it's hard. That, I think, is what's at the root of those who object to "western" dressage. You know ... I did it the hard way, so everyone should have to do it that way, too.

    I'll give you that "western" dressage would seem to have a lower cost of entry (as long as one already has the gear and the horse ).

    But the part about "western" dressage requiring more skill ... uh no. I've seen the current tests ridden in competition. They're Intro level.
    __________________________
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  2. #82
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    So a quiet mouth in a WD test when they should not be riding in connection means they are doing it correctly?

    What about the warm up with the bump bump bump bump to get the head down? You can FRAME a horse this way to go through the test without disobedience. This is what everyone is crying about with RK prepping the horse. You have added to the pile.

    It is more of the same here on this board as it is on the western board. Even HERE people are confused enough to think it is okay to just ride around with the horse behind the bridle and it is "self carriage" and doing "self carriage" at the lowest level is a good thing. Its not. The back and length of stride comes first.

    The very lowest level introduces contact and then connection so you CAN mold the horse correctly by using the movments with your aids to create self carriage and the idea behind it is to have a horse learning to use it self to whole new degree.

    You use an approachable bit so that the horse will let you help him/her.

    When riding in a spade bit you are not guiding but rather zapping the horse for being to/on/in connection with your hand aids. You are saying to stay stay stay stay stay with every touch. There is no flexibility with this. There is no conversation. Just stay. No bend. Stay. No flexion. Stay.

    How is any of that dressage?

    A sucked back sitting horse is NOTHING like a forward sitting horse that is through the aids properly.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
    No - my identity is pretty wide open - I have a link to my website
    Just kidding. DressageArt used to mention the "with distinction" thing about every other post. I don't think you've ever mentioned you did the L program before.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    BTW can you post your jog in WD?

    Paula
    Yes
    This I have a problem with. You shouldn't have to post a true jog trot.
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."



  4. #84
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    At the lower levels horses, be it western, cowboy or "regular" dressage, horse, if you read the directives, merely accepts the bit and goes forward in straight lines and an accurate (key word) 20 meter circle. When I say lower levels, I mean just Intro for the time being...just walk and trot. As many know the USDF tests introduce contact and then connection etc as one moves up the levels. (sorry I kinda quoted from a poster).

    Traditional dressage starts with a snaffle bit...which for the sake of definition is an O ring, D ring or eggbutt--all three with either one or two joints. The western/cowboy definition of a snaffle is different. Their snaffle is jointed, has shanks and a curb chain. A curb bit has no joint (think mullen mouth) and frequently has a port (high or low) and a curb chain. My curb bit, for me is a Pelham...has a joint, a super short shank (think Tom Thumb) and a curb chain. And I use 2 reins.

    Traditional riding...meaning those first few months of riding...in both disciplines are usually done with an O ring, D ring or eggbutt snaffle. Then as horse moves along in trng, the western folk will switch to their shanked version of a snaffle and then a curb. I do not go there. I stay with what I started with. The western version of a snaffle is ridden with two hands because bit has a joint; the curb western bit has no joint and is traditionally ridden with one hand.

    For any rider to understand connection, the rider has to understand that the haunches/hind end is the engine that propels the horse forward...the hind legs start first and front end follows. Man, what an oxymoron! ;-) On a quarterhorse, which has its knees lower than its hocks, it will stop on its front legs first and it will start any gait with its front end first just because of its conformation. So, if someone is used to what quarterhorses feel like (and I am just using this as an example--how I love a good quarterhorse!) and someone has always ridden with a horse on the forehand, they don't know the feel. They gotta know the feel.

    Dressage is about improving gait quality, conservation and preservation of joints and limbs, and about obedience/submission (ya know, a horse that does what you ask when you ask it and not 10 strides later kinda horse). To me, dressage is common sense, not a particular discipline or sport. I would think every horse goes thru these fundamental basics of straight lines, forward etc....then again, maybe not. ;-) Dressage is about refinement of the basic aids the rider gives horse, refine, refine, refine; rinse, wash, repeat---those are the mantras. It is not about "drilling," it is just about having a nice responsive horse to the lightest of aid thereby making the horse a pleasure to ride. Right? And it's about maintaining the fabulous gait quality horse was born with.

    At the early stages of beginning connection, it will feel like horse is "leaning" on the bit, it will feel like a pull because you are closing the front door, closing the front end a teeny tiny bit; the horse will look and seek and find the bit as he takes the reins, not as you give the reins; he will lower his neck and head forward, not sucked back to his knees...but this all comes about when the hind end is propelling horse forward like the pedals of a bicycle...when the hind legs articulate and push off as close to the girth as possible. Some horses are born with this already there based on conformation, some you have to work with longer and harder. Teaching horse to balance is not easy--rider has to sit still for Petes sake and not stiff--don't bang in that saddle please!

    Dressage has been around since Christ was a child. The western folk will spin it and "do" it the way that works best for them and the quarterhorses they have. I am pretty sure their concept of dressage and ours is very very different. Then again, we're all horse owners...doesn't it stand to reason that all of us will have a different opinion on the same subject? LOL! At any rate, I have all this time this morning because my truck decided not to start and once my friend with the jumper cables gets here it will be off to the mechanic....oh how my day has changed! That's ok....if I think of Rosanna Rosanna Danna I laugh...humor takes care of all the stress! ;-)


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  5. #85
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    Nomiomi1, I don't think either discipline encourages upside down, strung out gaits, so I feel like your post is a bit of a straw man and is setting up some kind of false dichotomy wherein the options are Dressage-good, Western Dressage-travesty.

    MP, I'm still learning. I just wondered. I've never actually jogged a horse, only trotted, so I don't know the difference in feel or expectations.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


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  6. #86
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    Wow, what people don't know about curb or spade bits is a lot.

    Western horses are started bitless. They move to snaffles and keep moving on up as they become more finished. By the time they're in a spade, they're finished. Which means that the spade is used because the few cues given through the reins are very very slight. The horse would not feel them otherwise. They're ridden from the seat and legs. Yes, through all that "gobs of tack."

    Western Pleasure is not the only discipline ridden in western saddles. There's *tons* of disciplines...very few are actually slow and bastardized like AQHA's version of western or english pleasure. Some are quick enough to make a DQ tinkle in her full seats.

    It's not yahooing and a finished bridle horse is an astounding ride. And just as talented as a higher level dressage horse.

    Get over yourselves, or at least learn a little something outside of some of your very limited spheres.

    And FWIW, I'm not an actual western rider either.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  7. #87
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    I jog is very smooth and very very easy to sit
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  8. #88
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    I think folks should watch the movie "Buck" and observe the fluid, responsive, graceful, up in the bridle work he does in the open field with his horse in western tack (including a shanked bit). He spends years training his horses to get them to this level and puts a good number of 'dressage' folks to shame with his abilities. The horse is 'tasty' (as G.M. would say) to watch as well and seems very relaxed in his work. The vast majority of folks in this country ride in western tack, to turn them away from trying to improve their riding and their horse's way of going is foolish.
    Appy Trails,
    Kathy & Cadet
    member TROT www.trot-md.org, Mt Airy Saddle Pals https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mount...70438446334624 & Free State Appaloosa Horse Club freestateaphc.org



  9. #89
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    Remember, we are ALL a product of our experience. Individually we're not very wise, collectively we're all very smart! ;-)

    So, western horses are started bitless.......in my experience, western horses are started with a bosal with bridle underneath and reins attached to the bosal. Not quite bitless but close to it. And for what it's worth, that's how I start my youngsters...bosal with bridle underneath....they learn to accept a bit much much easier if it is done with lots of patience and consistent correct work.

    Yes...the bits change frequently as the western folk "finish" their horses. Again, a matter of semantics....no horse is ever finished per se, there is always some weakness to work on just like riders always have a weakness to work on.

    I believe a horse, as it progresses, is ridden more on the seat and legs than any other aid. So, you guys put a spade in their mouths which is so severe no wonder the horse responds to a light touch. I stay with a plain D ring snaffle and still ride horse off my seat and legs. You guys change the bit, I do not. I will go to a full bridle from the plain snaffle because I see no reason to change bits, but i do see a reason to change how the aids are delivered; if ya do it right, then there is no need to go to all these bits---two bits, no port on curb and ride primarily off the snaffle, when "refinement" of true collection becomes necessary. I don't know how long you guys take to bring a horse to the upper levels...I do know in my experience, it is years barring any unforeseen circumstances beyond my control. I start mine at 3 1/2 years of age, closer to 4. I don't longe until past 3 years of age, I want knees fused. I don't round pen at all. I pony ALOT and long line alot. Straight lines, controlled big huge turns. I see 18 month old quarterhorses being longed....the torque on those legs is unbelievable. Perhaps a quarterhorse can sustain that, the big huge warmbloods cannot. So perhaps dressage training should be based on breed and level of ability instead of one method fits all?

    I have had several horses come thru my hands that had been ridden in a spade bit, I hate those things. Saw some palate damage that could never be repaired. Once again, I am a product of what experience I have with those spades and I won't use them on any horse for any reason nor will I use a bit with a high port for any reason.

    I am not knocking the western folks at all! If it sounds like I am, please, no offense intended. This is what I have seen, what I have ridden, what has come to me for re-training. I know there are good western riders out there, i know some of them! I am a huge fan of the National Rodeo Final horses that stand tied to the trailer for hours, they are so broke, and then do their run and come back to that trailer as calm and quiet as they can be....just amazing!



  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sannois View Post
    Proper Dressage does not have a "Death Grip" on the horses mouth.
    I never said anything about "proper dressage."
    I merely made an observation WRT a commonly seen phenomenon at "real" dressage competitions.

    Western Pleasure horses are made to go as slow as possible, Watching a WP class with horses that look lame they are Jogging so slow. Artificial? Yes.
    No one says they cannot do there own thing in Western Shows, But do not lump it into the same catagory.
    Ever seen a fully trained bridle horse?
    It bears little resemblance to WP. Don't "lump it into the same category."


    Yes there is bad Dressage, I have nothing against people who ride Western. I resent them over simplifying it to make it sound like it is just some patterns.
    No worse than your simplification of Western horsemanship into Western pleasure.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


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  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberbay View Post
    Well, dressage, to me, is about throughness and connection, as a poster said on p. 1

    You can't have that riding in just a curb bit...
    The Old Dead Guys who are so revered hereabouts would most assuredly spin if they were to hear that statement.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethe Mounce View Post
    So, western horses are started bitless.......in my experience, western horses are started with a bosal with bridle underneath and reins attached to the bosal. Not quite bitless but close to it.
    IIRC in Buck B's series "The Making of a Bridle Horse" his horses are started in snaffles and ride that way for the first 6mo or so, then they graduate to bosal for the bulk of their foundation with a short transition period wearing both snaffle and bosal iirc, so they learn the concept of neck reining and the distinctly different cues a bosal gives. Then long transition period of bosal plus leverage bit, and then to the 'bridle' complete with bosalita.

    http://brannaman.com/bbmbhdvd.htm
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    Laugh it up fuzzball

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  13. #93
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    There is enough cranking and spanking, tight nosebands, Rollkur, (er, deep and low), tail wringing, to put a lot of people off normal dressage for ever and to seek an alternative for their non-warmblood, awesome horses. It might well be an entry into a form of dressage that relies on lightness of aids.

    It is ok not to seek the WD discipline, but for many otheres it is what they would feel comfortable trying, and as the sport evolves, it will only get better, we hope.

    May we ask, Bonita22, what level you hae ridden at in your chosen sport?
    I do think it is relevant.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


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  14. #94
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    A spade bit is no more severe than having 2 bits in the horses' mouths.

    A spade is severe if you ride with contact on the reins. In western, an advanced horse is ridden with a long looped rein. Hence the slightest touch needed to communicate via the bit. All disciplines use the seat and legs. Some more than others. In a western ranch horse, working horse, bridle horse, etc...it's 98% seat and legs and 2% bridle. Give or take. Advanced western horses can almost all go bridless easily. Have yet to see that with any discipline that requires contact.

    I have 2 QHs right now. These are my first QHs I've owned. My last horse was a KWPN mare. 3rd level. And I'm basically a jumper rider...go figure, LOL!

    As an advanced rider...anyone advanced should know that bits are severe or not depending on the hands holding the reins and the training level of the horse. Whenever I see western mentioned on this BB (outside of the new western forum) it's only mentioned as Western Pleasure, Halter horses or the dregs of crappy riders/trainers. Pleasure and Halter make up a small portion of disciplines ridden in western tack. There aren't any more crappy riders/trainers in western than there is in english, gaited, driving, vaulting, etc.

    My dressage KWPN was a basketcase. That's my experience owning her. I've ridden/worked with quite a few other WBs and dressage horses that have had some issues. And yet...I don't bash dressage for it.

    I'm not even remotely considered a western rider either...yet I did learn about it. I also loathe western pleasure and AQHA Halter. But I don't equate all QHs or western disciplines on those 2 alone.

    Tolerance...and experience...and learning. Across disciplines. Sticking strictly to one does not make for a well rounded horseman, IMO.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  15. #95
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    For those of you who think Western Dressage such a horrible idea, I encourage you, if you get a chance, to come to join us at Morgan Grand National next year in Oklahoma City where many Morgans competing in Western Dressage. Bear in mind that current rule does not call for qualification so anybody with a pure bred Morgan may show at Western Dressage, and yet, you will see that in general, there are quite a bit of nice riding going on with nice happy ponies.

    Are any of them perfect? Far from it. But I have yet seen perfect English dressage at any rated Dressage shows either. 90% of those Western Dressage entries need more impulsion, just like 90% of English Dressage entries need more submissions (and impulsion - we can never have enough impulsion, right? lol).

    Be very careful when you criticize others about "this riding isn't dressage, or that riding isn't dressage". Following your logic I will tell you emphatically that, what YOU are doing isn't dressage either. A dressage horse should be so harmoniously with his rider who has such perfect balance herself that they flow through movements together like a centaur. Tell me, are you capable of that?


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  16. #96
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    Yup, the movie Buck is a must see for everyone and anyone who rides or trains or owns a horse or horses! ;-)



  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Wow, what people don't know about curb or spade bits is a lot.

    Western horses are started bitless. They move to snaffles and keep moving on up as they become more finished. By the time they're in a spade, they're finished. Which means that the spade is used because the few cues given through the reins are very very slight. The horse would not feel them otherwise. They're ridden from the seat and legs. Yes, through all that "gobs of tack."

    Western Pleasure is not the only discipline ridden in western saddles. There's *tons* of disciplines...very few are actually slow and bastardized like AQHA's version of western or english pleasure. Some are quick enough to make a DQ tinkle in her full seats.

    It's not yahooing and a finished bridle horse is an astounding ride. And just as talented as a higher level dressage horse.

    Get over yourselves, or at least learn a little something outside of some of your very limited spheres.

    And FWIW, I'm not an actual western rider either.
    We are talking about 'intro' and 'training' level tests.

    Why is the need/allowance of a spade bit for such classes?

    We use double bridle with 'our' finished horses. Will we ever see a double bridle at 'intro' level? I hope not.

    I rode western. Took lessons with a good reining trainer/judge. Never felt the need to use a spade bit on any of her horse. Ever. And I bet she would not allow a beginner rider, even on a 'finished' horse, to use one at 'intro' level.



  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    A spade bit is no more severe than having 2 bits in the horses' mouths.

    A spade is severe if you ride with contact on the reins. In western, an advanced horse is ridden with a long looped rein. Hence the slightest touch needed to communicate via the bit. All disciplines use the seat and legs. Some more than others. In a western ranch horse, working horse, bridle horse, etc...it's 98% seat and legs and 2% bridle. Give or take. Advanced western horses can almost all go bridless easily. Have yet to see that with any discipline that requires contact.
    The problem is, Dressage is about contact. No looped rein.



  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    A spade bit is no more severe than having 2 bits in the horses' mouths.
    A spade is severe if you ride with contact on the reins. In western, an advanced horse is ridden with a long looped rein. Hence the slightest touch needed to communicate via the bit. All disciplines use the seat and legs. Some more than others. In a western ranch horse, working horse, bridle horse, etc...it's 98% seat and legs and 2% bridle. Give or take. Advanced western horses can almost all go bridless easily. Have yet to see that with any discipline that requires contact.
    I see. Yes, I have seen the long looped reins, some of which are weighted. But that bit has got that arrow shaped port with that point on the end which hits the palate--as with any bit, in the wrong hands, that bit just destroys a mouth. With the full bridle, the curb, properly used, the rein tension is not the same as the snaffle. Two bits, properly placed, serve as refinement, but any correctly trained Grand Prix horse should be able to do the tricks in a snaffle. Some of the international grand prix dressage horses have that curb shank parallel to the ground, I am not fond of that at all.

    I have 2 QHs right now. These are my first QHs I've owned. My last horse was a KWPN mare. 3rd level. And I'm basically a jumper rider...go figure, LOL!
    I am primarily a jumper rider too! Go figure! lol! ;-) I just spent alot of time in Texas where it is a sin if you don't have a quarterhorse! ;-) I did! And he turned out to be this fabulous little jumper, bred on the King Ranch and just didn't cut the mustard! Lovely suspension too!

    As an advanced rider...anyone advanced should know that bits are severe or not depending on the hands holding the reins and the training level of the horse. Whenever I see western mentioned on this BB (outside of the new western forum) it's only mentioned as Western Pleasure, Halter horses or the dregs of crappy riders/trainers. Pleasure and Halter make up a small portion of disciplines ridden in western tack. There aren't any more crappy riders/trainers in western than there is in english, gaited, driving, vaulting, etc.
    Absolutely.

    My dressage KWPN was a basketcase. That's my experience owning her. I've ridden/worked with quite a few other WBs and dressage horses that have had some issues. And yet...I don't bash dressage for it. I'm not even remotely considered a western rider either...yet I did learn about it. I also loathe western pleasure and AQHA Halter. But I don't equate all QHs or western disciplines on those 2 alone. Tolerance...and experience...and learning. Across disciplines. Sticking strictly to one does not make for a well rounded horseman, IMO.
    I am for thinkin' we're gonna agree on alot of stuff. ;-) good horsemanship is good horsemanship..across the disciplines! Gotta be open to learning new stuff no matter where it comes from. I am not a fan of Western Pleasure or the halter stuff but nor do I think of just that when I think Western. I like the trail stuff alot...especially for the young horses. Those trail classes are hard to win. Tolerance, experience and learning....yup! The only difference between many of us regardless of how well we ride or what we know, is timing....how we deliver the aids to get horse to do as asked. Aids never change, just how much of the aid we apply changes and when we apply it. You sound like a pretty good egg! Thanks for the info you have shared! Certainly adds to my toolbox!



  20. #100
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    I am laughing now at the thought of this class because essentially what it will boil down to is all of the WD fans getting the push anyway.

    I can see it now and as soon as this begins to grow my friends from the AQ world will pack up their tweeners (between wp and hus), horses lofty enough for HUS but not 17 h's and take a few lessons with a great trainer like mine before coming over to take it over.

    The morgan people will be screaming as will the "open minded" riders who dont want to do real dressage.

    I have ridden aq tweeners with enough tb to be gorgeous movers (think small wb with a strong deep hock and an over the back look but will lope and jog too) that would cross over easily into real dressage but since they are trained to also do western riding with changes they will make the shift for WD pretty easy.

    The bigger it gets the more horses bred to pattern and move free shouldered will be put into it and voila everyone will be pissing a moaning again.

    You can buy a nice tweener reasonably now but wait until they have a niche like this LOL
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



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