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Spin-off: Western dressage

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  • #41
    Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
    I was with you until the last paragraph that was so condescending and full of assumption.

    Have you read the rules for WD at the WDAA site? Where does it say you have to buy a special saddle? Did you see where the rules and tests were prepared under the auspices of a number of trainers of various disciplines, including Anita Owen, FEI Olympic dressage judge? Or do you feel there is something you know that she missed? Do you realize that the very premise of WD is, as you wish, "If you want to ride dressage on your QH just do it"?

    If you are going to judge the entire nascent movement by beginners trying it out for the first time, then I imagine you'll have the same issues with beginners in Intro and Training in TD (some people do so you wouldn't be alone).

    Paula
    I'm sure it doesn't say you are required to use a special saddle, just like natural horsemanship doesn't require a carrot stick! That doesn't mean that there aren't people trying to make a quick buck off western dressage by convincing people that it's the latest and greatest. That is what I'm referring to. Western dressage is taking dressage, dropping some inconvenient rules and adding some western flare.

    To be clear, when I say dressage, I'm not referring to what saddle you're using, what clothes you're wearing, the horse you're riding or having a trainer with a German accent.

    I have attempted dressage in a western saddle. THAT was an exercise in futility. I felt like my normal, concise aid of "please bend around my inside leg" turned into "ghhmghfffff!" by the time it got through the damn saddle. Maybe that was just my lack of skill as a rider. The mare did kind of understand but it took a lot more effort on my part. If someone else wants the added challenge of using a western saddle while doing dressage, they are more than welcome to it. We use the tack we use because it helps us be more effective, not because of what it looks like or because that's the only thing that can possibly work.

    I've done a few really low level jumps in a dressage saddle. But if I wanted to really begin jumping, I'd at least borrow a jumping saddle.

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
      Why are you being such a condescending snob?



      Paula
      dude, what is your issue? i stated my opinion - which last i heard i was entitled too.... and you are choosing to take everything very personally....

      no dressage person i know would care one way or another what you do..... we don't even care what saddle you ride in (oh the horrors!) but we do care about dumbing down the sport /art we love (but it is happening all over the world in all sorts of places so i guess this is just a sign of the times)

      i just happen to think that while we are being inclusive , we are also losing out on educating folks and we are watering down teh already watered down sport we have....

      but who cares? we just want to be able to show <stomp!> and get a ribbon! <double stomp!!>

      Comment


      • #43
        "You go Uruguay and I'll go mine" Groucho Marx

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by TequilaMockingbird View Post
          I'm sure it doesn't say you are required to use a special saddle, just like natural horsemanship doesn't require a carrot stick! That doesn't mean that there aren't people trying to make a quick buck off western dressage by convincing people that it's the latest and greatest. That is what I'm referring to. Western dressage is taking dressage, dropping some inconvenient rules and adding some western flare.

          To be clear, when I say dressage, I'm not referring to what saddle you're using, what clothes you're wearing, the horse you're riding or having a trainer with a German accent.

          I have attempted dressage in a western saddle. THAT was an exercise in futility. I felt like my normal, concise aid of "please bend around my inside leg" turned into "ghhmghfffff!" by the time it got through the damn saddle. Maybe that was just my lack of skill as a rider. The mare did kind of understand but it took a lot more effort on my part. If someone else wants the added challenge of using a western saddle while doing dressage, they are more than welcome to it. We use the tack we use because it helps us be more effective, not because of what it looks like or because that's the only thing that can possibly work.

          I've done a few really low level jumps in a dressage saddle. But if I wanted to really begin jumping, I'd at least borrow a jumping saddle.
          Indeed, I'd have to learn how to use my legs all over again in a Western saddle I think. I bought an Aussie a year or so ago, sat in it once and sold it. There was so much saddle between me and my horse I didn't know how to talk to him with my legs. The endurance treeless I ride is quite close contact -no tree. So it's like a long close contact saddle with a higher cantle and pommel. I don't have any problem speaking to Fella with my leg and seat on it. Actually I've never been that comfortable in a saddle ever (it's a rigid treeless not a soft treeless). And the stirrups have been adjusted to the long dressage leg (as opposed to forward or chair) so my position hasn't been affected.

          ETA I was thinking about the buck making. I'm sure someone is interested in making a buck here, but gosh they could have generated so much more income if they made the clinics expensive, made the tests expensive, and insisted on very specific types of horses, gear and attire that most of the people they targeted didn't already have. So I'm sure some people's motives will be less than pure (there is one company who has made a WD dressage saddle -eyuch IMO), but that is neither here nor there as far as I see it. It makes them no different from any other endeavor equestrian or otherwise.

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

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by mbm View Post
            dude, what is your issue? i stated my opinion - which last i heard i was entitled too.... and you are choosing to take everything very personally....

            no dressage person i know would care one way or another what you do..... we don't even care what saddle you ride in (oh the horrors!) but we do care about dumbing down the sport /art we love (but it is happening all over the world in all sorts of places so i guess this is just a sign of the times)

            i just happen to think that while we are being inclusive , we are also losing out on educating folks and we are watering down teh already watered down sport we have....

            but who cares? we just want to be able to show <stomp!> and get a ribbon! <double stomp!!>
            Fair enough then. Let's agree that you're not being a condescending snob, you're just sharing your opinion, and I'm not being defensive, I'm just sharing my opinion.

            For the record; I don't think WD is dumbing down TD, just sharing the good news with more people.

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

            Comment


            • #46
              TROLL alarm!!
              "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

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              • #47
                I'm not sure who the troll is...

                but anyhow, I still don't get the angst about dumbing down the sport. If people want to show in western gear, and ride tests and see how smooth and engaged they can get their horse, etc. great, more power to them.

                But please explain how W/T tests and western dressage dumbs down dressage. I do not comprehend. To me, it's like saying kids entering a math contest at 2nd grade dumbs down college level calculus or diff eq. Grand prix is still grand prix and from what I can gather, the top level dressage is only getting more and more competitive. (let's leave whether it's correct or not out of the argument, please). Letting people get out and show in dressage, have fun with their horses and friends, and watch the big dogs show - should only inspire them and grow the sport.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Indeed. I share your point of view.

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

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    and remember, western dressage is not cowboy dressage, those are separate methods. the thing is, those who are dressage riders are being trained (ok, not every dressage rider) with traditional methods that have been in place for centuries and are tweaked to fit the horse. and now there is a new form of dressage being marketed. their tests are quite simple for now. but this new phenomonon could act as a bridge between western and dressage riding thus perhaps eliminating the western pleasure peanut rollers over time. we can learn something new from everyone. :-)
                    Bethe Mounce
                    Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
                    Brentwood CA

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I agree with the basic premise that many have expressed here that, if the addition to the sport is to be called Western Dressage, it should be judged as dressage is judged - BY judges who are qualified to judge dressage, recognize the very basic levels, and give constructive remarks so the newbies to the world of dressage are given a fair, accurate assessment of where they are and what they need to improve to move forward.

                      Equine competition in general has gone the way of education and other sports. Everyone has to succeed, make the team - regardless of skill or effort. To have otherwise might damage their little psyche.

                      Back in the day, dressage may have started at PSG; hunters started over 3'6"; HS eq came up through the ranks depending on the number of blue ribbons ('A's?) earned. Gaited horses showed in 'performance' classes (3- or 5-Gaited or Fine Harness); not sure how their equitation classes progressed. Now, all of these working/performance classes have a hard time filling at many of the regional shows. Are the horses less able, less athletic?

                      The divisions have been 'dumbed down' to accommodate more people, to make more money for more trainers and more shows. Is this a good thing? Not to argue that, here. But the standards of the classes ARE specified and generally adhered to.

                      The lack of adherence to DISCIPLINE STANDARDS is what I see most here having difficulty accepting. Yes, the horses may move differently - the same as the Baroque breeds move differently than warmbloods which move differently than TBs. And if the judge is not able to recognize quality of gait/movement - taking into consideration these differences - then perhaps that JUDGE needs further education.

                      How to address trainers who are attempting to train in a discipline they are not familiar with...well, look around. There's a lot of that going on.

                      I'm hoping that WD matures into an integral part of the dressage world. It's fun to watch people dip their toes into different pools and realize that there's a lot of similarity - and stuff to be learned from people who dress differently than you do!
                      www.ayliprod.com
                      Equine Photography in the Northeast

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Bethe Mounce View Post
                        and remember, western dressage is not cowboy dressage, those are separate methods. the thing is, those who are dressage riders are being trained (ok, not every dressage rider) with traditional methods that have been in place for centuries and are tweaked to fit the horse. and now there is a new form of dressage being marketed. their tests are quite simple for now. but this new phenomonon could act as a bridge between western and dressage riding thus perhaps eliminating the western pleasure peanut rollers over time. we can learn something new from everyone. :-)
                        Alas, I don't think we'll ever get rid of the peanut rollers. They're not motivated by an interest in learning better horsemanship, but rather by the almighty dollar. Which is why they're best left out of this discussion.

                        Agree with the bridge idea, though; that IS the point of having the discussion.
                        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                        Spay and neuter. Please.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by millerra View Post
                          I'm not sure who the troll is...

                          but anyhow, I still don't get the angst about dumbing down the sport. If people want to show in western gear, and ride tests and see how smooth and engaged they can get their horse, etc. great, more power to them.

                          But please explain how W/T tests and western dressage dumbs down dressage. I do not comprehend. To me, it's like saying kids entering a math contest at 2nd grade dumbs down college level calculus or diff eq. Grand prix is still grand prix and from what I can gather, the top level dressage is only getting more and more competitive. (let's leave whether it's correct or not out of the argument, please). Letting people get out and show in dressage, have fun with their horses and friends, and watch the big dogs show - should only inspire them and grow the sport.
                          but it is not like you suggest.... dressage is not just about grand prix - but it is a complete system of training that begins before the horse is backed and proceeds for the entire time the horse is ridden - no matter what "level" the horse gets to.

                          So what I mean by that is that a 3 & 4 yo should be ridden in a certain manner that will produce a certain way of going - (ie 1st /2nd level) this way of going is the foundation for further training - but it is also complete in and of itself.

                          What we are going to lose is the already tenuous knowledge about that foundation and how it applies to all horses....

                          instead we will have more of a hodge podge of training at the lower levels with no real understanding of how/why they are supposed to be a foundation..... And I suppose there will be a whole 'nother track for those that are doing "real" dressage?

                          To me this is silly. Correct dressage is good for ALL horses and will produce a lovely mount for any discipline - so if someone wants to show in western tack - go for it! But please do NOT change the rules to suit your version of dressage.... THAT is what I am disagreeing on... that the already muddy waters will get muddier - and why? To put $$ in the pockets of a few and so a few others can feel good about themselves.....

                          Seems kind of a shallow reason for doing it when the tools are already in place for folks to show if they so desire.... (i.e. a western horse should be able to do T level easily albeit in other tack)

                          To me this will widen the gap between correct work - and all the rest.....

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            If you're going to talk about rules to maintain the integrity of what dressage is, I'd rather see rules more based on classical dressage principles of developing the body than competitive dressage principles of fancy movers.

                            Again, I have a TB who is now an 8 mover, so it's not that I personally have problems in competitive dressage... but I'd love to see the rules focusing purely on correctness and quality of training, rather than on the big gaits. Theoretically someone going into western dressage is aiming to improve the horse's body and how it responds and performs, its soundness, etc. The examples given which match up well fit with MY early dressage training - at 8, in a western saddle, on one of the most unathletic horses I've ever known. Commonly used words were "balance" and "impulsion" and never used were "frame" and "headset."

                            While competitive dressage doesn't prevent correct riding, it sure seems many people do well without it. I'd love to see western dressage go in a way that at least correct basics are enforced.
                            Originally posted by Silverbridge
                            If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                              Are we talking about Western Dressage? (...) about a nascent sport?
                              Paula
                              It is not a nascent sport.
                              - There is no new technique involved: supposed to follow the dressage principles (well in theory)
                              -There is no new tack/gear/needs, you have to use a traditional western saddle with all the western traditional gear.

                              It is a new division of the existent sports of western and/or dressage.

                              Maybe Western Dressage should not be integrated within the USDF/dressage associations but stay in and only be regulated by the AQHA /western associations.
                              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                              Originally posted by LauraKY
                              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                              HORSING mobile training app

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                During these passionate and interesting discussions about "Western Dressage" in our competitions, instruction of, the practise of... I find it extremely interesting that there are a few practitioners of French classisism who just happen to ride in western gear. Some of the members of this species were accepted and will be attending the "Legerite" clinics for the next three years. Link: http://www.santafepk.com/
                                They, in addition to dressage enthusiasts who choose to ride in dressage saddles, were chosen amongst dozens of applicants by Mr Karl himself. Gee I guess this means he accepts that dressage can be practised correctly in a western saddle...
                                Even more interesting is when you practise "dressage" in a Portugese saddle or a Doma Vaquera saddle. These 2 types of saddle resemble a little more closely to the very old traditional saddles of the Rennaisance. You know the ones which sat you back towards the cantle and encouraged an extremely long leg.
                                Bon, bref - in this day and age Western Dressage enthusiasts will not be able to move up the levels in competition unless they decide to school in and switch to the modern dressage saddle starting around first level.

                                So what the h**l are we all worried about?

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  The best 'dressage' schooling I have been given came from the old cowboys on a cattle ranch in S.E. Montana.
                                  They taught me to never pull, never yank, never hold the bit and to never let the horse take the bit.
                                  Guess these guys would not have melded with the old dressage masters....I think otherwise.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    what i think has happened to create western dressage is someone within the western discipline decided to take traditional dressage principles, apply them and tweak them as necessary to fit with western training methods thereby coining the term, western dressage. it remains to be seen how their rules and definitions of rules play out.
                                    Bethe Mounce
                                    Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                                    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
                                    Brentwood CA

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by millerra View Post
                                      But please explain how W/T tests and western dressage dumbs down dressage. I do not comprehend. To me, it's like saying kids entering a math contest at 2nd grade dumbs down college level calculus or diff eq. Grand prix is still grand prix and from what I can gather, the top level dressage is only getting more and more competitive. (let's leave whether it's correct or not out of the argument, please). Letting people get out and show in dressage, have fun with their horses and friends, and watch the big dogs show - should only inspire them and grow the sport.

                                      I'm worried that with the less forward gaits in WD that beginners will get confused about how to achieve collection (collection as defined by dressage). The WD discipline is promoting a slower gait with less suspension as the base requirements of the beginner levels. From my view point, although that may help a rider to stay more balanced in the saddle, it won't gymnastically develop the horse in the way required to eventually begin capturing that energy and transferring it to back to the hindquarters. Although dressage does help to develop a better rider, the main focus is developing the horse. The rider can go get screwed, or spend their time on a lunge line if they want to gymnastically develop themselves. So when training the horse for dressage, the rider needs to focus on creating the energy and relaxation that will allow the horse to step up under itself to build the hind end up so that it can begin to carry more weight. Jog trot's do not require that the horse even track up. The horse can have a shorter stride that doesn't come close to having the hind feet fill in the place where the front hoof picked up. How can you strengthen the hind end enough to begin to ask the horse to transfer it's weight back if you never require the horse to even bring it's hind legs fully under it's body?

                                      Most of the people I meet that are new to dressage, start by practicing the tests. They don't start by going to clinics, or taking a lesson. They start by watching a few videos, reading a few websites, finding the tests and then doing them. When they get frustrated, then they go find an instructor. So what will new WD riders do if all they see are jog trots and lopes? They'll emulate that by slowing the horse, and dampening the energy of the horse to keep the pace slower.

                                      And the reason I care is because this shyt is amazing! I wish every one could learn it and ride it. That feeling when the horse is really engaged, connected, and you can feel the immense power flowing through its body.. it is just amazing. And I hate seeing people get frustrated with it and quitting without ever knowing that feeling.


                                      Originally posted by netg
                                      If you're going to talk about rules to maintain the integrity of what dressage is, I'd rather see rules more based on classical dressage principles of developing the body than competitive dressage principles of fancy movers.
                                      They did. They created the Dressage Rider Tests. It's all about the rider and how well they trained the horse, not about the horses gaits.

                                      http://www.usdf.org/press/news/view-news.asp?news=628
                                      Last edited by Core6430; Oct. 30, 2012, 06:07 PM. Reason: Added link

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        From what I've seen of the beginner WD tests they have the same issues with forward that Intro and Training TD riders have. As for training, I'd wager we'll have the same issues finding good WD training as we do finding good TD trainer. I have confidence my current trainer will be able to do it for me because she's that good.

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

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by netg View Post
                                          If you're going to talk about rules to maintain the integrity of what dressage is, I'd rather see rules more based on classical dressage principles of developing the body than competitive dressage principles of fancy movers.

                                          Again, I have a TB who is now an 8 mover, so it's not that I personally have problems in competitive dressage... but I'd love to see the rules focusing purely on correctness and quality of training, rather than on the big gaits. Theoretically someone going into western dressage is aiming to improve the horse's body and how it responds and performs, its soundness, etc. The examples given which match up well fit with MY early dressage training - at 8, in a western saddle, on one of the most unathletic horses I've ever known. Commonly used words were "balance" and "impulsion" and never used were "frame" and "headset."

                                          While competitive dressage doesn't prevent correct riding, it sure seems many people do well without it. I'd love to see western dressage go in a way that at least correct basics are enforced.

                                          well, i am going to disagree with you a bit here.... the rules are about the same as they have been for a long time with a few tweeks (including some changing of article 401)

                                          the thing is is how you look at it.... and how judges interpret it. But if you read the rules at the same time as reading oh say - podhajsky - you would not be confused.....

                                          the whole point of dressage is the athletic development of the horse to make them forward calm and keen - to allow them to carry the rider in a manner that doesn't hurt them and allows them to express the best gaits they are capable of. this has never changed. what has changed is that horses nowadays come out of the box with gaits that the masters would of died for.

                                          so we who ride lesser horses have to work hard to get the best we can out of our horses - but still! we can do it! it is all in the trainer skill!

                                          and fwiw, T level should not be turtle work...... it should be actively forward....out to the bit with energy coming from behind! (even tho my 4 yo's first time ever in the show arena he was the exact opposite ha! )

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