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Western dressage??? Really???

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  • Originally posted by monstrpony View Post
    That's it, in a nutshell.

    And then you can add the idea that one hand is (hopefully not ...) tied up handling a rope that you must keep between your horse and the cow, not wrapped around your horse or your partner or whatever, so you have to keep your horse facing the cow, no matter what direction it caterwals in. And instead of just one creature-with-its-own-mind, suddenly you're dealing with two, and one of them is pretty unhappy about the deal. Suddenly, the idea of a signal bit that can operate on weight-of-the-rein starts to look like an interesting concept; the idea of a substantial saddle that is firmly attached to your horse's back looks like a bright idea. And that solid post horn? Glad you're not trying to hang onto that rope without it to dally around.

    Puts all of that stuff in a real different, but terribly practical, perspective. The real, working, based-on-a-long-tradition, but with modern development, western riders have *nothing* to apologize to the dressage riders for. Including the fact that they're condescending to use that fancy foreign term "dressage" to describe their riding . (*just kidding!!!)

    The problem in this discussion is that both sides are looking at the worst in the other side in order to fuel their insecurity. If they'd open their eyes and look at the best--in the horse-friendly sense--of their would-be opposition, both sides would see that there is plenty of mutual ground, things to learn from each other (whether those things are applied, or not), and opportunities to add variety, and thus perhaps some spice, to the lives of their horses. Which is what should be the point of the discussion.
    Very nicely said, all of it.

    Comment


    • I guess what it boils down to for me is if you want to do dressage, do dressage. Why would you want to do "western dressage" instead of good old dressage? Too hard? Of course it's hard. Most things are hard to do well, but well worth the effort. Your horse's gaits won't cut it in the show ring? Why are you doing it -- for a piece of taffeta? Or are you doing it to improve your horse and its gaits? How will a western saddle and a curb it accomplish that better than (oreven as well as) conventional dressage tack?
      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

      Comment


      • SillyHorse, I highly doubt that people who do western dressage aren't doing real dressage because it's "too hard."

        I've never shown dressage, but I have ridden plenty of dressage tests for practice and some good flatwork exercises... using a bit that is traditionally for Paso Finos. It has a huge shank (straight rubber bit). I also use a combination hackamore for the same thing. These are the same bits that I do the jumpers with - because that's what she is used to and trained for.

        I don't get all the bashing of the western dressage that I'm reading in this thread. It's a division in its infancy, from what I can tell? I'm sure there will be changes to it as time goes on. Regardless, how does it affect everyone griping about it whether the class is offered or not? You don't have to go in it...
        Similarly, I do the upper level jumpers and think that the tiny jumpers (2'6 downward) encourage bad riding because you can get away with going like a bat out of hell and win. But that doesn't mean that I hate on it and on the people who do it, I just don't do those classes.

        I've ridden a couple of roping horses and let me tell you... I think there are things that western riders could learn from dressage riders, sure, but there are also a lot of things that dressage riders can learn from western riders. Why does it have to be "us against them" again?
        http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
        Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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        • Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
          SillyHorse, I highly doubt that people who do western dressage aren't doing real dressage because it's "too hard."
          Well, you don't really know, do you?

          Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
          Similarly, I do the upper level jumpers and think that the tiny jumpers (2'6 downward) encourage bad riding because you can get away with going like a bat out of hell and win. But that doesn't mean that I hate on it and on the people who do it, I just don't do those classes.

          I've ridden a couple of roping horses and let me tell you... I think there are things that western riders could learn from dressage riders, sure, but there are also a lot of things that dressage riders can learn from western riders. Why does it have to be "us against them" again?
          Do you do the upper level jumoers in a western or cutback or even a dressage saddle? How about the roping horses? Dressage or cutback saddle for them? Or do you use the tack that has been developed for the disciplne?

          Please don't put words in my mouth or assume you know what's in my heart. Just because I disagree with it doesn't mean I'm "hating on it." I'm not against anyone. I'm against dumbing down dressage.
          Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

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          • Originally posted by headsupheelsdown View Post
            Huh. Western dressage in BlueMoon's video shows horses traveling almost in the way that WP horses used to before they started having those strange gaits and rolling peanuts. You know, with their heads up and with natural gaits..... It was really, really nice to see. Thanks for posting that video!!
            just looking at the video..... i think one thing that will need to be addressed is the diversity of gear folks are using...... it doesn't seem quite fair for one to be using a 3.5" spade bit and another a bosal and yet another a snaffle. the person with the snaffle is at a distinct disadvantage!

            also is this the same as western dressage or is cowboy dressage different?

            also will western dressagers need to wear helmets and some sort of universal uniform? here it looks quite diverse too.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
              Well, you don't really know, do you?


              Do you do the upper level jumoers in a western or cutback or even a dressage saddle? How about the roping horses? Dressage or cutback saddle for them? Or do you use the tack that has been developed for the disciplne?

              Please don't put words in my mouth or assume you know what's in my heart. Just because I disagree with it doesn't mean I'm "hating on it." I'm not against anyone. I'm against dumbing down dressage.
              Okay, I tried to do different colored fonts so I could reply within the quote, but apparently I'm not capable of doing that. So:

              My whole post was not directed at you, sorry for not making that clear. And I think I have a little more perspective than some of the people on here, given that my college roommate and best friend rides both English and western, and *gasp* has done western dressage.

              Nope, rode the western horses in western saddles - but everything was borrowed (including the horses). And I have ridden western horses in English tack with some interesting results, although they were mostly due to the fact that the cues were different than I was used to. With one particular horse, it seemed that there were a lot of ways to stop but only one way to go! I can say for sure that I don't use a dressage saddle when I'm doing my practice dressage tests, though.
              http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
              Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

              Comment


              • Ignore if we have talked about this already.

                IMO, the value of a horse pushing up into the bridle so that you can feel it in your hands is a side-effect of a riding style devoted to just one kind of bit.

                You dressage theoreticians must admit that the feel in your hands isn't what matters. It's a symptom of what the horse is doing with his body from the shoulders back. It happens to be a symptom that we human beings can feel since we are more dextrous in our hands than anywhere else.

                But why can't a horse go in a signal bit and be using his body just as forward or "through," uphill and engaged with his honey as in a snaffle with pounds of pressure in your hand?

                I think the value and training associated with signal bits is really undervalued by those in English World.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                  I guess what it boils down to for me is if you want to do dressage, do dressage. Why would you want to do "western dressage" instead of good old dressage? Too hard? Of course it's hard. Most things are hard to do well, but well worth the effort. Your horse's gaits won't cut it in the show ring? Why are you doing it -- for a piece of taffeta? Or are you doing it to improve your horse and its gaits? How will a western saddle and a curb it accomplish that better than (oreven as well as) conventional dressage tack?
                  I suppose it is entirely possible that some people are interested in traditional dressage, yet want to try out WD to see if they like it before they go out and spend thousands of dollars on new tack. They may have had curiosity about traditional dressage for a while and this is a way for them to test the waters. Maybe they want to check out the show atmosphere to see if people are welcoming and friendly and if the shows are fun (compared to h/j shows or events, I do think dressage shows aren't that fun).

                  Think of a h/j person switching over to dressage - nobody makes a fuss about their saddle if they show in their jumping saddle in a dressage class, yet I would argue that a western saddle is more of a balanced seat similar to a dressage saddle than a forward-seat jumping saddle. Granted, they have to conform to the bridle/bitting rules, but hunters, at least, use plain cavessons, not flashes.

                  My only argument against WD is the group of bits allowed.

                  I would say that I bet more people in WD are more appropriately mounted than people in traditional dressage where (huge generalization here) Miss Fancy Pants comes down centerline on her 17.3 hh WB that was imported from the land of floating horses and she cannot really ride it but wants to look pretty so she's got her blingy diamond earrings on and her bright red lipstick and she's decked out to the nines but can't sit the trot, let alone post it very well, because her horse has so much suspension that it throws her into the stratosphere.
                  My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

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                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
                    I suppose it is entirely possible that some people are interested in traditional dressage, yet want to try out WD to see if they like it before they go out and spend thousands of dollars on new tack. They may have had curiosity about traditional dressage for a while and this is a way for them to test the waters. Maybe they want to check out the show atmosphere to see if people are welcoming and friendly and if the shows are fun (compared to h/j shows or events, I do think dressage shows aren't that fun).
                    There were three people at my barn who ride western dressage. They do it because it's another way to work, train and show their western horses. They ride western because, well, they ride western! They mostly ride on the trail and do competitive trail rides, and the "dressage" makes their horses more ridable.

                    One lady has a reining horse and does western dressage at the shows where it is offered (the schooling shows that are pretty much name your class). It's just FUN.

                    None of them have any desire to ride "English". They have western horses and ride western.
                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                      I guess what it boils down to for me is if you want to do dressage, do dressage. Why would you want to do "western dressage" instead of good old dressage? Too hard? Of course it's hard. Most things are hard to do well, but well worth the effort.
                      I am interested in doing this with my mare because, frankly, I think it would be fun, something different to do in a show environment I'm comfortable with. She is built like a stock horse and not at all suited for "real" dressage, so I have no intention of pursuing that with her in any serious way.

                      Because I am a dressage rider at heart, I ride and train her as such, but she is happier and more comfortable in a more open frame and I think we would do well in these classes. She has nice enough gaits for lower levels but she just looks like a Western horse.

                      My other horse is schooling 4th and up, and I am aiming to show him PSG, so that's enough work for me, thank-you-very-much.


                      Your horse's gaits won't cut it in the show ring? Why are you doing it -- for a piece of taffeta? Or are you doing it to improve your horse and its gaits? How will a western saddle and a curb it accomplish that better than (oreven as well as) conventional dressage tack?
                      It won't, but showing is not essential to improve a horse's gaits. Most people show because they enjoy the competition. I do know some who do it for the feedback on their training, but I haven't heard them complain about winning ribbons.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                        I guess what it boils down to for me is if you want to do dressage, do dressage. Why would you want to do "western dressage" instead of good old dressage? Too hard? Of course it's hard. Most things are hard to do well, but well worth the effort. Your horse's gaits won't cut it in the show ring? Why are you doing it -- for a piece of taffeta? Or are you doing it to improve your horse and its gaits? How will a western saddle and a curb it accomplish that better than (oreven as well as) conventional dressage tack?
                        I do gaited dressage because I wanted to improve my horse. It worked. I didn't want a trotting horse, so I rode what I had.

                        Now I should do gaited western dressage

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by katarine View Post
                          Now I should do gaited western dressage
                          OMG please do! And let me know when so I can be there to watch all the DQs heads explode. It would be like 4th of July fireworks I imagine..
                          On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                          • Katarine rides gaited Western dressage I believe.

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

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                            • Meh, I have been well received by everyone I've met in the dressage world, PP. I have a nice horse with a beautiful liquid walk and lovely canter- and they just oggle when he gaits. More than one, plenty more...have declared 'that's what I'm going to do when I'm too old to trot/turn 70/turn ___/when I get some sense- that looks like entirely too much fun/so cool/so neat/like a cool horse!

                              If anyone's falling over clutching their stock tie and puking on their white breeches, they are doing it whilst hiding behind their rather large bay horses

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                              • Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                                Katarine rides gaited Western dressage I believe.

                                Paula
                                No, I don't. It doesn't exist. I was being silly.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                                  I guess what it boils down to for me is if you want to do dressage, do dressage. Why would you want to do "western dressage" instead of good old dressage? Too hard? Of course it's hard. Most things are hard to do well, but well worth the effort. Your horse's gaits won't cut it in the show ring? Why are you doing it -- for a piece of taffeta? Or are you doing it to improve your horse and its gaits? How will a western saddle and a curb it accomplish that better than (oreven as well as) conventional dressage tack?
                                  From Wikipedia, the definition of dressage

                                  dres·sage/drəˈsäZH/
                                  Noun:
                                  The art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance.
                                  Synonyms:
                                  training


                                  I see nothing there where it says it has to be done on a WB with a dressage saddle. Dressage basics are a great foundation for all disciplines, IMO.

                                  Comment


                                  • ! !!

                                    Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                    Meh, I have been well received by everyone I've met in the dressage world, PP. I have a nice horse with a beautiful liquid walk and lovely canter- and they just oggle when he gaits. More than one, plenty more...have declared 'that's what I'm going to do when I'm too old to trot/turn 70/turn ___/when I get some sense- that looks like entirely too much fun/so cool/so neat/like a cool horse!

                                    If anyone's falling over clutching their stock tie and puking on their white breeches, they are doing it whilst hiding behind their rather large bay horses
                                    OMG! I am 67.5. Does that mean in 2.5 years, I'm going to lose the ability to sit the trot? (And mine is a rather large chestnut and white horse, not bay - But since he's an Araloosa, I guess that doesn't fall into the general DQ territory, even if he does MOVE like a WB. It wouldn't be hard to hide behind him and clutch my pearls. LOL In his case, he was started by a western trainer and ridden in a rope halter - but I wouldn't seek to do dressage in that rig. Whatever. I think some WD people may be deluding themselves as to what, if anything, they are accomplishing in "dressage" terms, while others - most likely the reiners, will probably do well, . but it doesn't affect me, so go right ahead.)

                                    However, I STILL think they ought to disown their WD"model/ideal" until/unless he says something about disowning his "tie the head to the tail to teach them to yield to the bit" c**p.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Sandy M View Post

                                      However, I STILL think they ought to disown their WD"model/ideal" until/unless he says something about disowning his "tie the head to the tail to teach them to yield to the bit" c**p.
                                      Maybe he'll disown his cr*p when y'all disown your rollkur garbage...just a thought

                                      ....and my arab cross pony moves like a warmblood too

                                      Comment


                                      • Oh Katarine, I apologize. I saw some video of you competing on your gaited pretty and assumed it was Gaited Western Dressage. It was Gaited Traditional Dressage?

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

                                        Comment


                                        • re: spade bits - i am not sure that a horse could seek the bit in the manner of dressage if they are using a spade - could they? i would imagine it would hurt like hell...... while i am pretty ignorant about spades i am pretty sure that the roof of the horses mouth is very sensitive and that any movement of the reins equals movement of the spade into the roof of the mouth... hence the draped reins.....

                                          and fwiw, this DQ doesn't care what anyone does - i just think the muddy waters of dressage will get muddier now... altho more $$ will come in

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