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Western Dressage ???

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  • Western Dressage ???

    Western Dressage, what are your thoughts ? It is USEF recognized and seems to be gaining popularity very quickly. It is described as training the western horse using classical dressage principles. I think it is a good thing personally, it will give some western riders more tools and a structured progression of training. USEF describes the tests as the same, and the gaits as still being forward moving.

    Thoughts ?

  • #2
    Western Dressage

    I think it's a great idea and I was just talking to a friend today about it. I really think she needs to teach her QH gelding to set his head using dressage methods and I honestly think that all horses should be trained using dressage methods. I did with my western pleasure QH mare and she moves wonderfully

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm all for it!

      Love it! Dressage is simply training...every discipline applies "dressage" principles to their training, be it western, saddleseat, hunter, driving, reining, etc. Western Riding is already an exciting "western dressage" event. If they want to have a western dressage class with tests, I say go for it. I enjoyed a series of articles last year, I believe it was in Dressage Connection, which showed all the things dressage riders can learn from other disciplines. I even approve of Gaited Dressage. There are so many things that all of us can do with our horses!

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      • #4
        "Set his head using dressage methods"?

        Kind of an oxymoron, and pretty much sums up the problems inherent in the whole "western dressage" idea.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by littlemanor View Post
          "Set his head using dressage methods"?

          Kind of an oxymoron, and pretty much sums up the problems inherent in the whole "western dressage" idea.
          Hearing that expression is kind of like nails scraping on a blackboard, is it.

          There are no "dressage methods to set head".

          Dressage, that means training, never works on "setting heads".
          Someone is missing the proper concepts there.

          You train a horse and thru good training and the horse finding his balance and learning self carriage, his head eventually ends up where it needs to be.
          Where the head ends will depend on the horse's conformation and training, thru a natural, progressive process.
          No one "sets" the head.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by littlemanor View Post
            "Set his head using dressage methods"?

            Kind of an oxymoron, and pretty much sums up the problems inherent in the whole "western dressage" idea.
            /\ That.
            ... _. ._ .._. .._

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by littlemanor View Post
              "Set his head using dressage methods"?

              Kind of an oxymoron, and pretty much sums up the problems inherent in the whole "western dressage" idea.
              took the words out of my mouth
              Esmarelda, "Ezzie" 1999 Swedish Warmblood

              "The world is best viewed through the ears of a horse."

              Comment


              • #8
                Only cause I actually have the credentials to back it up. They talk about setting the head because in western work that's exactly what's done. Only horses that don't get their head set is cattle working horses. Either they naturally drop the head and follow the cow or they don't. (I am positive someone will come post they taught a horse to do this and I will just sigh and shrug my shoulders.) It's actually an issue I have trying to learn dressage, I set the head and then wonder why my horse is hollow and strung out. Trainer then reminds me its back then front in the circle. Breaks out into the circle of life and yeah...

                I've already posted my thoughts on Western Dressage but I'll post them again. Western Dressage should be exactly the same as Dressage just in sparkles and a saddle with a horn. Anyone saying they can't perform any and all of the dressage movements in a western saddle need to relearn to ride. It can be done and I'm still waiting on a video showing it. Tests should not be changed, judges should mark it the same and keep the comments of "too much bling" to themselves.
                Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                Originally Posted by alicen:
                What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We've talked about it out here a few times. One of the funniest things we found was that they use the term "canter-lope."
                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A canter-lope is sorta flat and roundish. Doesn't amount to much if you cut into it, and doesn't have much flavor.

                    Sorta a "Yuck".
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                      A canter-lope is sorta flat and roundish. Doesn't amount to much if you cut into it, and doesn't have much flavor.

                      Sorta a "Yuck".
                      Add salt and pepper...yep....pepper. Really makes it much better.
                      Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                      www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
                      Northern NV

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by coloredcowhorse View Post
                        Add salt and pepper...yep....pepper. Really makes it much better.
                        Not salt and pepper for flavor, no.
                        Garlic will give anything all the flavor you may want.
                        Try it.

                        I can't see how the behind the bit western riding is today can be made work with maintaining the kind of contact and on the bit dressage style riding demands.
                        They seem antagonistic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If it detours them from using training gimmicks and gain a better understandind of the natural movement of the horse, I'm all for it!
                          "Success comes in cans, not in cannots!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Calm it down...

                            When did this go from a nice discussion on variety to cracking jokes at western lopes, head-sets, and such? The ideals of classical riding are perfect for all disciplines; and let's face it, there are dressage riders and trainers who don't follow the training scale and cut corners, who use tools to "set heads", rollkur issues, questionable dressage shoeing practices are being debated in online forums today, etc, etc. Dressage means training, period. Classical horsemanship is universal. Anyone can ride a dressage test. Can't we please have a nice discussion and resist the temptation to be sarcastic?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DianneEJ View Post
                              When did this go from a nice discussion on variety to cracking jokes at western lopes, head-sets, and such? The ideals of classical riding are perfect for all disciplines; and let's face it, there are dressage riders and trainers who don't follow the training scale and cut corners, who use tools to "set heads", rollkur issues, questionable dressage shoeing practices are being debated in online forums today, etc, etc. Dressage means training, period. Classical horsemanship is universal. Anyone can ride a dressage test. Can't we please have a nice discussion and resist the temptation to be sarcastic?
                              Could you explain what you mean better?

                              All here agree that any horse will do fine if trained in traditional dressage.

                              That is not what we are talking about here, but somehow to form a kind of cross over class, where a horse is ridden in some kind of mix of dressage principles of training and western ones, that are many, each very different from each other, almost as different as dressage itself is from any of the western ones.

                              I think we need way more clarifications, before anyone can say much about how this is supposed to work, as English and western riding, in all their sub forms, tend to be antagonistic to each other in how horses are trained and perform.

                              Not that a horse can't be cross trained, but each one demands a different type of training and riding.

                              Will be interesting to see how both may be combined, without losing what is good in each of them.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                I think we need way more clarifications, before anyone can say much about how this is supposed to work, as English and western riding, in all their sub forms, tend to be antagonistic to each other in how horses are trained and perform.
                                Western dressage has been clarified by USEF and the descriptions contained in the rules of dressage must be met by the western dressage horse.
                                www.hartetoharte.org
                                Ask and allow, do not demand and force.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by DianneEJ View Post
                                  When did this go from a nice discussion on variety to cracking jokes at western lopes, head-sets, and such? The ideals of classical riding are perfect for all disciplines; and let's face it, there are dressage riders and trainers who don't follow the training scale and cut corners, who use tools to "set heads", rollkur issues, questionable dressage shoeing practices are being debated in online forums today, etc, etc. Dressage means training, period. Classical horsemanship is universal. Anyone can ride a dressage test. Can't we please have a nice discussion and resist the temptation to be sarcastic?
                                  Dear! You're preaching to the choir!

                                  It's just that now and again, not often, mind you, we try to take ourselves not too seriously.
                                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Since this discussion has already hit the 'Western is too different" wall I thought I'd throw this out.

                                    This weekend Rod Miller posted the video of rides from a virtual Western Dressage show using the USEF tests. It was judged by an event rider. Rod is an NHRA judge. For kicks he and I also scored the tests independently. (I am not a licensed dressage judge but I have attended quite a few symposiums and clinics for learner judges, scribed, etc.) We then compared our scores.

                                    The scores and comments were almost exactly the same. The reining judge gave a wider range of scores, and really hit lack of straightness on the circles harder than I did. The event judge, whose comments would actually be seen by the competitors, gave very positive constructive comments, middle range scores, but the same placings.

                                    The reining judge was not looking for head set, but lack of resistance, steadiness on the bit and a relaxed poll. He really wanted to see what he calls softness - I think it translates best as losgelassenheit. This judge has NO training in classical dressage and has formed his expectations based on what he's seen in barrel horses and reining.

                                    Saturday we both sat down and watched the NRCB Reining Horse Championships. We've spent a couple of weeks tossing terminology around comparing how we use words, and this time we were looking at horses in motion. Again we discovered much more grounds for agreement than difference.

                                    I've even started a blog comparing how people use different terms and how this is going to cause confusion when reading judges' comments. (http://www.dressageforwesternriders.blogspot.com). It's a fascinating study and I plan to continue it.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by longride1 View Post
                                      dressageforwesternriders
                                      is a term that seems to best (for me) express the focus of this work.

                                      I'm not surprised that people educated in different PERFORMANCE disciplines found more common ground than differences.

                                      I think this investigation is really interesting and definitely has its merits.

                                      Where are these classes being included? Are any dressage show managers listing them in their sanctioned shows?
                                      *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I don't have the list right now, but several GMOs including Washington state,a couple in the midwest and one inTexas have said they would include the USEF western dressage tests in competitions. NC is actively providing outreach to riders from other disciplines and is open to having the tests if the demand is there.

                                        Comment

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