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National Walking Horse Assoc show: Gaited Dressage

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  • National Walking Horse Assoc show: Gaited Dressage

    The NWHA National show is their year-end show. I'd never shown in that association before, and did not know what to expect. We've done a ton of schooling shows and done well, but I didn't know what they would want at a 'real' gaited show in terms of dressage. The judge was Betty Ortlieb from Kentucky. She's been their dressage judge every year they've offered it.

    I did Intro B first and scored a 73, placed third out of 11. I don't have that video yet on youtube but his gait is great in it, very noddy and relaxed, and I scored better than I did on Trn 2. We then rode Training 2 and he was a tiny bit tighter, but his canters were really great, considering how much we've struggled with the up transitions esp to the left. He was mellow, happy, and fine with the arena being underwater. I scored a 69 and some change on that one, placing third out of 8 I think? I'm equally happy with both rides. I just can't adequately express how relaxed he was, he never called to another horse, went to sleep getting braided, had good quality manure (LOL) just chill. That's all that matters. He was a Big Lick flunky from way back and the first round through DQP worried him, but by the second class he was over it.

    Jennifer Batts won both classes: I'd never seen her before and she is a reallllly lovely rider, and her rides were inspiring to me: I didn't see much of her rides for my classes but I saw her rides on a diff horse later in the day, in 1st and 2nd level, I'll post those later- really a very, very nice horse and rider: it really was dressage on a gaited horse. Connected, reaching for the bit, over the back, using himself, using his body well: it was dressage. Just lovely.

    Overall I am entirely **delighted** with my horse my trainer and my husband, not in that order Drake the DH came along and was just four star gold standard support- having those extra hands and cooler-attendee and horse holder and collar adjuster- priceless. He enjoyed himself and liked seeing so many (200+) sound, sane, TWHs in one place. Everyone was nice to a fault, it was well organized, mostly well run, and again the facility there is top notch.

    The video below is my training 2 ride, enjoy or hate it. Or have a sandwich


  • #2
    Very nice ride! I have never seen gaited dressage before, so thank you for posting this :-)


    • #3
      Well done. Chippy looks fabulous, as do you.

      I believe the transition to white breeches makes you an official WHDQ.
      Or should it be GDQ?
      "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
      the best day in ten years,


      • #4
        Love love love his canter!!


        • Original Poster

          I can't wait to get the second level video up- I need to edit out the part where my DH panned over to my gelding having dropped trou, peeing on the sidelines while grazing. Yeah, I need to take that out. Anywho, her (Jennifer Batts) ride was just gorgeous- you could forget he was doing a running walk and just insert trot in your mind- he was fantastic.

          Thanks for the compliments on the Chip: that canter has been a long time getting good- it was motorcycly cross cantery and bolty for quite some time now we're doing lovely warm up serpentines with a drop at the top to a running walk, then back up into the other lead. yum yum yum good.

          MP, I'm hopelessly converted into DQ land. If the tall boot fits, wear it


          • #6
            Very cool! I am not a dressage person and I had no idea there was such a thing as gaited dressage. Very nice horse and beautiful ride!


            • #7
              this gaited dressage sport concept is really new to me, and my gaited horse knowledge is from over 20 years ago, so please bear with me.
              why a running flat walk (essentially the same gait as walk) instead of a rack or slow-gait?
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • Original Poster

                The test itself calls for a flat walk. As you move up the levels where a test would require 'more', you add the running walk. The tests may be found on the NWHA website. If you are familiar with the tests, replace trot with flat walk and running walk. No rack, no saddle gait, etc.

                And while a flat walk is a four beat gait, and yes the footfalls are the walk footfalls...it's not as easy as it may sound, by saying it's essentially the same gait as a walk. Many gaited horses tend toward pacey or trotty, so the flat walk can be difficult for some to execute. They leave medium walk...and lots of things other than flat walk are inclined to happen. Ask me how I know


                • #9
                  Katarine, you did a great job! Lovely canter work
                  I already found Jennifer's video and watched it - very nice; her horses Flatwalk is great!
                  Watching other peoples rides and observing their horses movements always helps me a lot....
                  I am showing my Missouri Foxtrotter First Level and we still need to improve on our Flatwalk (more reach and bigger step in the lengthenings), he sometimes gets pacey in the canter-flatwalk transitions. He also wants to hide behind the bit
                  But I love the challenge and it's great to know there are more people out there riding Gaited Dressage
                  Classical Horsemanship


                  • Original Poster

                    I wish I had gotten better quality on the video of Jennifer- DH was tired and punchy by then and just be glad I nipped out the part where he cuts to Chip whizzing and farting mid test, then goes back to test

                    Thank you very much: We've come along way with much more work ahead of us but yes, that canter is amayzing to sit- fun fun fun.

                    where are you getting to show? Are you finding places to compete?


                    • #11
                      I am showing in North Central Florida; they add the Gaited Dressage Classes for me at the regular schooling shows
                      I ride my MFT Dressage Summer and Fall, and compete in Western Classes (Open Shows) in the Winter (Trail, Horsemanship, Pleasure).
                      The "mix" really works well for me and him, so we continue to learn
                      Classical Horsemanship