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Crossing over to Western Dressage

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  • #61
    Originally posted by mp View Post
    ).

    And, yes, I've seen people who ride in the California vaqueros tradition. They are about .001% of western riders. When the other 99.999% of western riders/reiners/reined cowhorse folks talk about "collecting up their horses" the horses do not, in any way shape or form, resemble a dressage horse in collection. .
    thank you....we could always call it "mexican saddle seat"
    or is that just too... well you know "hispanic" ????

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
      When did 'dressage' become "so good for the horse?"

      Yeah, they all adore having every ear flick and eye blink analyzed, tweaked, controlled and nitpicked. And changing the way they evolved to move.
      Dressage shows off the training...the training is difficult because *nobody* can agree what's correct.
      You don't ride dressage do you! It's pretty agreed upon what is correct. Subjective? yes, not less subjective than any ring or hunter classes. Go watch classes or better yet scribe! You'll get the judging and if you don't you can ask the judge.

      Comment


      • #63
        Butlerfamilyzoo,

        Do you just want to win? Or ride dressage well? Well ridden and well trained horses score well all the time no matter what the breed. Do they always win? No. A better mover but well ridden horse will beat the average mover. But the average mover ridden and trained well scores well. That's the point of showing dressage. The score not the placing. Look at all the threads on this board.

        Reining horses don't do what dressage horses do and they never did. If they did Anky van Grunsven would be automatically world champion reiner from her experience as world champion dressage rider. But she's not. She's not close. Why? Dressage and reining are two different things. Dressage and western riding are two different things.

        I'm with the person who said that western dressage is like QH hunter undersaddle. Painful to watch.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by mp View Post
          Or whether a western saddle is more restrictive than a dressage saddle (IMO, depends on what kind of saddle you have -- some dressage saddles have such big thigh blocks they lock you in position more than some western saddles).

          You spoke too soon! They are now designing western saddles similarly to dressage saddles. To help the Western Dressage riders be able to ride dressage, Pam Fowler Grace partnered with Circle Y to create western saddles with strategically placed thigh blocks for proper positioning. They have also used a flex tree for freedom of movement in the horse so they can perform precise dressage maneuvers.

          http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr...8.0.0.0?pp=12&


          "Pam Grace, professional dressage exhibitor, horse trainer, clinician, and “L” dressage judge, has collaborated with Circle Y to create The Dance - a saddle specifically designed for western dressage. The strategically placed thigh blocks, seat design, and stirrup leather position allow the rider to maintain perfect dressage position and alignment. A Flex2® tree allows freedom of movement for the horse, an important factor in performing precise dressage maneuvers. The saddle is lightweight, with several performance and comfort features for both horse and rider. “This saddle is cutting edge-a fabulous one of a kind design which is unparalleled. It takes balance, freedom of movement and comfort to new heights. You cannot sit incorrectly in this saddle,” said Pam Grace.




          So to those who said the saddle type doesn't matter for Western Dressage, apparently it does, because they saw the need for them to be more dressage-like.


          It also weighs only 24 lbs (most other saddles on this site range from 23 to 43 lbs).





          .

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          • #65
            It speaks volumes to me that many who defend WDressage say negative things about actual Dressage.
            ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
            http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
              You spoke too soon! They are now designing western saddles similarly to dressage saddles. To help the Western Dressage riders be able to ride dressage, Pam Fowler Grace partnered with Circle Y to create western saddles with strategically placed thigh blocks for proper positioning. They have also used a flex tree for freedom of movement in the horse so they can perform precise dressage maneuvers.

              http://www.shopatron.com/products/pr...8.0.0.0?pp=12&

              "Pam Grace, professional dressage exhibitor, horse trainer, clinician, and “L” dressage judge, has collaborated with Circle Y to create The Dance - a saddle specifically designed for western dressage. The strategically placed thigh blocks, seat design, and stirrup leather position allow the rider to maintain perfect dressage position and alignment. A Flex2® tree allows freedom of movement for the horse, an important factor in performing precise dressage maneuvers. The saddle is lightweight, with several performance and comfort features for both horse and rider. “This saddle is cutting edge-a fabulous one of a kind design which is unparalleled. It takes balance, freedom of movement and comfort to new heights. You cannot sit incorrectly in this saddle,” said Pam Grace.

              So to those who said the saddle type doesn't matter for Western Dressage, apparently it does, because they saw the need for them to be more dressage-like.
              It also weighs only 24 lbs (most other saddles on this site range from 23 to 43 lbs).
              .
              This was mentioned on page 1 of this thread. You didn't see it? The ads feature Pam riding with this saddle on her European trained GP horse, that she went on to ride GP in the US. This horse wasn't trained in a western saddle EVER yet is featured in this saddle. It's a nice marketing tool for Pam and her retired horse and speaks to her TX roots. Pah-lease.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Kaluna View Post
                This was mentioned on page 1 of this thread. You didn't see it? The ads feature Pam riding with this saddle on her European trained GP horse, that she went on to ride GP in the US. This horse wasn't trained in a western saddle EVER yet is featured in this saddle. It's a nice marketing tool for Pam and her retired horse and speaks to her TX roots. Pah-lease.

                Yeah I saw that but no actual details were given. I just happened to be reading my May Dressage Today this afternoon, and saw the advertisement, so I checked out the website.

                I have always said that I love love LOVE my western saddle because it puts me in a totally straight position, just like my dressage saddles do. And it doesn't even have thigh blocks to achieve my natural dressage seat. If you took the horse out from under me while riding in one of my dressage saddles or my western saddle, I'd land completely standing tall and flat on my feet.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider View Post
                  Yeah I saw that but no actual details were given. I just happened to be reading my May Dressage Today this afternoon, and saw the advertisement, so I checked out the website.

                  I have always said that I love love LOVE my western saddle because it puts me in a totally straight position, just like my dressage saddles do. And it doesn't even have thigh blocks to achieve my natural dressage seat. If you took the horse out from under me while riding in one of my dressage saddles or my western saddle, I'd land completely standing tall and flat on my feet.
                  Cool! I don't doubt you!

                  I can tell you that Star in Stripes wasn't ridden in a western saddle until this sponsorship came along. I never trust quotes from riders getting sponsorship money. That's me.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Kaluna View Post
                    I can tell you that Star in Stripes wasn't ridden in a western saddle until this sponsorship came along. I never trust quotes from riders getting sponsorship money. That's me.

                    Interesting. Trying to figure out why they think need thigh blocks for Intro and TL anyway when western saddles put the rider in an aligned position anyway (unless you hike up the stirrups).

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Kaluna View Post
                      You don't ride dressage do you! It's pretty agreed upon what is correct. Subjective? yes, not less subjective than any ring or hunter classes. Go watch classes or better yet scribe! You'll get the judging and if you don't you can ask the judge.
                      Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                      It speaks volumes to me that many who defend WDressage say negative things about actual Dressage.
                      Quoted for truth.
                      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
                        FWIW, I disagree about the trees. THey are very different.

                        Reining tests of course require a full compliment of aids from the rider, and invisible aids. But dressage tests require VERY refined use of seat aids. Reining does large pattern and requires alot of room. Reining horses don't change what their doing every few strides. Dressage tests might have 2-4 movements along one 60 m line of travel, and frequently call for changes within the gaits. All dressage riders know that the seat is critical to dressage riding, hence the saddles are *designed* for this. Western saddles are not. Sorry.

                        Dressage doesn't require flamboyant movement, it requires a correctly trained horse (i.e. one that is developing the topline). Anyone can score well on any kind of horse if they train/ride the horse correctly. To say that "Western Dressage" is for dressage -leaning riders who can't compete in the dressage ring suggests to me that they aren't really riding dressage in the first place.

                        Similarly, I can place a dressage saddle on a cutting horse or barrel horse. Is this really the best saddle for the sport? No. I would be riding barrels in a dressage saddle, not doing "Barrel Dressage".

                        Dressage 20 years ago still had different aids than western riding, even when people competed in forward-seat saddles. The training is very different.

                        I don't think anyone here is saying to the OP "don't ride in a western saddle" or "if you can't ride in a dressage saddle, don't bring your mare back into work". The problem is with the concept of "Western Dressage" as a discipline. To me, it's like watching the "hunter under saddle" classes at the quarter horse shows. These horses are ridden like western pleasure but in English tack. it's not the same as "hunter under saddle" in the english world.
                        I really really like this post. Thank you! You summed up my thoughts nicely.

                        I would have no issues with WD if it was simply Dressage for western type horses in W saddles. But its not.. any more than HUS is the same. I remember an articles ages ago in some big horse mag. There was a discussion about A circuit HUS and the world champion breed HUS types. There were people pinning on the A with their AQHA horses but when they tried the breed ring always got the gate. And vice versa. And that isn't with huge rule differences.

                        Though I want to do Dressage barrels that sound knid of fun! Can we have barrel tests? Ie collect canter around the first, extend trot to the next.... Best score minus time wins?

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          FYI- As a younger working student i was a confirmed 3rd level rider, schooling higher on schoolmasters every chance i got. Oh to have that life back. A kid later, screw it... lol

                          Therefore, i'm not out to win anything personally, no ribbons, no scores. However, if everyone were just out to see what they score to show how far they've come or what they need to work on, why offer ribbons and year end awards? Obviously there are many out there that like to hang ribbons on their wall. I sure see a lot of pictures of people proudly displaying their ribbons and awards on FB... Is that a bad thing? It is a good feeling to win is it not? I mean, if i'm gonna spend $500 to show my horse, at least i got a $2 ribbon to show for it. I am one that has framed tests and hung those on my walls though too, good and bad...

                          I like to scribe and watch and listen, i still love the sport, i just dont have the desire to work that hard anymore, and no, that doesnt mean i'm running over to western dressage, frankly, i'll likely never show there either. I MUCH prefer driving now days, so i'm commenting more from an open minded and hopeful view point that WD will improve life for a lot of western pleasure horses that might otherwise get the crank and spank method. It will never be DRESSAGE as we know it, so i'm not sure why people are getting so worked up about it either.

                          However, i will stick to my guns that if you start really watching that 2-3rd level rides and above, it gets different, maybe more political (nothing is worse as a scribe to see a big wig place over someone else for a ride that wasnt as stellar simply because the judge knows them or some other such nonsense, and yes, i do hear what judges mutter under their breath that they shouldnt), but really i just see the bigger, flashier moving horses scoring higher than a ride that i thought was equally if not better on a lovely but not so exuberant mover. I know i'm not alone because i read the other threads here, i know several competitors showing at those levels, . Think this was mentioned in a why arent dressage shows fun or something similar to that recently. Since this "trend" if you will, there is a steady flood of more exuberant movers hitting the ring, even in the lower levels. And maybe this is just because these horses are now ready to hit the ring, breeders have been breeding more sport specific and now they are of an age to be showing so we are seeing them more and more. And like i said before, i love a wild moving freak of nature, so i'm not knocking it. I only knock the politics/preference of big moving over better ridden. I'm no authority on the subject, i only know what i've seen in my little bubble of the world and get to watch online of bigger competitions.

                          What i have seen of the Western Dressage, i've been happy with. It's not reining, i didnt say it was, i only compared that signals/aids of training dressage and western horses once upon a time were the same if not very similar, as well as the steps to get them to the top in their sport. Money, bad trainers, everyone wanting a ribbon = corruption of the good. Even in dressage, hunters, etc... Good training gets thrown out the window often for the quicker result demanded by the high paying client. I love watching morgan and arab western pleasure, the trend has not changed in those breeds, just the clothes and amount of silver on their tack. Stock horse western pleasure, i dont know what the heck happened there and why they thought they needed to kill the old style ranch horse to create the crippled looking things they have... I think it's for those horses i hope Western Dressage really makes a difference. I doubt it will. It's just a personal hope.

                          I really did not mean to attack anyone's personal beliefs here. But i do hope to see good things from WD, no, it will never be DRESSAGE. Stupid that they are creating a new saddle for it. I so hope one day to see the really lovely western horses that once used to exist out there showing in something and doing well. I think that's the whole point for me.
                          Your Horse's Home On The Road!
                          www.KaydanFarmsEquineTransport.com

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                          • #73
                            There seems to be confusion out there and on several forums about what Western Dressage is and should be. Jeff Wilson, from Black Willow Morgans and heads the State of New York WD states this,..
                            "Western Dressage is not meant to be that world, (English Dressage) we established that at the Convention. Ours is a western world, and western horsemanship using dressage principles. That means not stadium riding, but “able to navigate circumstances encountered in the real (our) world, maybe a trail ride at whatever level you are at, so YOU become successful with YOUR horse, period."

                            If I have a person come up with a barrel racer, we use dressage to make that horse get around the barrels better! I've done it for years. I'm not going to shove a training scale down a person's throat and call it Western Dressage! There is so much more to it than that. How about Relaxation and Balance which is heavily emphasized from the French school? Communication is key. Understanding the why's and how's are key. Help them with dressage concepts yes, but not trying to make a Grand Prix horse out of a pleasure/trail horse. Jeff Wilson is absolutely correct. This is what we do. I don't care what tack a person comes up to me and rides with. It's how to make that person and horse better in what they do. Dressage IS the French word for training.
                            Elaine Ward

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                              Western Dressage is getting a lot of attention in Morgan shows. There were many very nice entries last year at the Grand National/World show. I was watching because I was very curious.

                              As a "normal" dressage person, it's kind of sad for me to say this, but many of them are moving more correctly than many of the "English" dressage I see in regular Dressage competitions. Quite a few of them I can see were from Western Pleasure world (which is quite different from the AQHA WP by the way) and were testing the water. Those competitors were serious in this and were not fooling around. Many of them needed to have more forward, pushing powers, but most of them were happy little horses doing their jobs.
                              Gloria, I also watched and some of those horses really looked nice, and everyone there was there to the best they could. I believe that a lot of the impulse for Western Dressage comes from the Morgan world, and with good reason... Morgans are too forward to be good Western Pleasure horses by today's standards, not to mention that rail classes are boring after a while, and most Morgans like variety. So... Western dressage, as I recall, was a little slower than regular dressage, but horses mostly moved nicely off the leg, with correct bend, etc. Keeping in mind that these were the equivalent of Training Level regular dressage competitors, they were no "worse" than the TL Morgan dressage competitors...
                              You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                              1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Elatu View Post
                                There seems to be confusion out there and on several forums about what Western Dressage is and should be. Jeff Wilson, from Black Willow Morgans and heads the State of New York WD states this,..
                                "Western Dressage is not meant to be that world, (English Dressage) we established that at the Convention. Ours is a western world, and western horsemanship using dressage principles. That means not stadium riding, but “able to navigate circumstances encountered in the real (our) world, maybe a trail ride at whatever level you are at, so YOU become successful with YOUR horse, period."
                                I think there is much confusion.. 'real' dressage does the exact same thing. And competing in WD is every bit as much a stadium sport as regular dressage competitions. But that doesn't mean I don't use some of my and my horse's dressage training when out hacking or even when out hunting.. Seems like reverse snobbery to me. And how can you make a 'new' version of dressage when you seem to have little grasp of what regular dressage is?

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  "Dressage is also about contact in the mouth. Curb bits don't allow for good contact."

                                  Well, actually ...... The Spanish-influenced western, which you saw heavily on the west coast several decades ago, was absolutely about LIGHT contact with a curb. Horses were trained in bosal and graduated slowly through carrying the bit while being 'ridden' on bosal to being ridden on the bit. These were the Mona Lisa/Segunda/spade mouthpieces, which contrary to popular horror stories, were NOT used for gouging a horse's mouth out. The extremely talented, light-handed riders/trainers had barely to sit into the saddle, tighten leg muscles, and close fingers for a sliding stop. A horse well-trained in this method is the lightest, most responsive ride imaginable.

                                  Now, the western breeds no longer show in this tack. Many of the 'crossover' breeds (NOT implying disrespect - just not sure what else to call them [Arabians, Morgans, ASBs]) use the tack, seek the 'frame' of collection, but I'm not sure about the lightness.

                                  Carol
                                  www.ayliprod.com
                                  Equine Photography in the Northeast

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                                  • #77
                                    I haven't read all the replies, but for the record.... my dressage started Connemara pony came 3rd in a Trail class of 21 in his first attempt. I rode him in my dressage saddle and formal attire Lateral schooling goes the other way too Shocked the heck out of all the QH divas there LOL!!
                                    www.muskokalakesconnemaras.com
                                    Wonderful ponies for family or show!

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                                    • #78
                                      Just do what makes you happy and your horse happy.

                                      I do gaited dressage on a TWH. We have a blast. I've had plenty of peeps tell me well it's not Dressage because he doesn't trot. Ok, I'm fine with that. And we've gone to many schooling shows (can't exactly go to a recognized, that darn trot thing again), and many times, we have ended up with the high point ribbon for the day. I know, it's just a schooling show. I get it. But unpurse your sphincter(s) and think: the judge saw the test ridden, the submission, the harmony, the effectiveness, the maneuvers ridden in walk/flat walk/and running walk and canter and said hey, that's the best I've seen today. Some Ls, some small r's, some large Rs...and I always hear "that look like so much fun!"

                                      And they are correct.

                                      No one rewrote the Dressage rules for western or for gaited. They wrote rules for them both. In addition to the 'real' rule book.

                                      Breathe, everybody - it's going to be ok.

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