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Spin-off: Western dressage

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Core6430 View Post
    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.




    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
    i agree with all of this 100%

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    • #62
      Core - I understand that logic about dressage. Athletic development is a core reason for dressage being in eventing and why jumpers use dressage too. And I see the problem w/ WD with that aspect.

      I guess one would ask the question then, of what the objectives are for WD? To make the horse and rider more harmonious and develop more correct gaits for western - or to athletically develop the horse for english horse sports.

      I do not know the answer nor would I wish to project my equestrian goals onto someone else or their discipline of choice.

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      • #63
        That's an interesting question. I don't know what significance the difference would make. In either Western or English the dressage goals of balance, impulsion, softness, and energy are the same. One thing I do know, WD does not include the 4 beat canter (whose name escapes me right now).

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

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        • #64
          Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
          One thing I do know, WD does not include the 4 beat canter (whose name escapes me right now).

          Paula
          The trope? I don't think it actually has a name, other than being incorrect...
          My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

          "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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          • #65
            Originally posted by millerra View Post
            Core - I understand that logic about dressage. Athletic development is a core reason for dressage being in eventing and why jumpers use dressage too. And I see the problem w/ WD with that aspect.
            The western world claims that the western horse has to be more of an athlete than any english horse, athleticism being defined as quickness in turns and stops. Athletic development would be a core reason for dressage for western horses too. And like dressage for eventers and jumpers most horses will probably never compete above 2nd level. Upper levels will be available for those who get the bug and wish to continue.

            I know it's hard, but get the picture of western pleasure horses out of the discussion. Instead go look at videos of ranch horses. It's hard because they don't trot much or for very long when working cows, but occasionally you can see the trot they use.

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            • #66
              I hope you didn't take offense. Athletic development in the english sport horse includes the ability to sit down and push up (jumping), which is a different use/type of athleticism than the spins and stops. Ergo, dressage for the sport horse's athletic development may indeed be different from that of a working western horse. I do not have any idea how to develop that. But it would be interesting to see if that type of work would be incorporated into the WD tests, no? And perhaps that input is what is needed for the continued development of WD?

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              • #67
                Would love to delve into this myself. Finding western trainers who can explain the bio-mechanics and theeffect on the whole horse of things like cutting is difficult. Gerd Heuschmann was totally amazed at the muscling on the cutting horse in the Symposium this month. From what he found, dressage work would have been beneficial in preventing back and shoulder problems. The horse couldn't bend at all because he was muscle bound in the neck and shoulders. That would shorten his career as a top cutting horse, I think. Someone who knows more could speak up here.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Core6430 View Post
                  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.
                  http://www.usdf.org/press/news/view-news.asp?news=628
                  And here is part of the problem with WD right now... The scoring in my experiences has been WAAAAAAY inflated.... Mid to upper 70's, sometimes even 80's for tests that should have been in the 50's, maaaaaybe low 60's at best. So the competitors think they know what they're doing and they don't see any reason to seek out a good instructor. I'm not a huge fan of WD but if you want to do it, you should be judged to the same standard that dressage riders are as many have said previously. If you are a proponent and want WD to develop then the scores need to accurately reflect the test that was ridden, otherwise there is no incentive to get better/do it correctly. A part of me suspects if the tests were scored reasonably and given the mid-50's they earned there would be more backlash about snobby dressage riders being exclusionary though.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by mbm View Post
                    paula you dont get it. it isn't dressage by the fact that they are changing the rules to suit what they want to do. i dont think anyone cares what people do... ride whatever you want/create a new discipline - great!

                    just dont take something that already has rules/regulations etc - change them to suit you and then try to say its dressage!

                    just call it something else!

                    b
                    I'm 100% with this. Do what you want, develop your own rules/consensus for this new discipline, but don't call it dressage. To me, it is the corollary to the hideous HUS classes at breed shows. I have always said, "Just call it Hunt Seat PLEASURE" and no "regular" H/J people will criticize. Call it Hunter Under Saddle and show as you do in breed shows and you invite critical remarks."

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by millerra View Post
                      I hope you didn't take offense. Athletic development in the english sport horse includes the ability to sit down and push up (jumping), which is a different use/type of athleticism than the spins and stops. Ergo, dressage for the sport horse's athletic development may indeed be different from that of a working western horse. I do not have any idea how to develop that. But it would be interesting to see if that type of work would be incorporated into the WD tests, no? And perhaps that input is what is needed for the continued development of WD?
                      I think that would be brilliant, and really make the use of the term dressage appropriate to me. A working western horse doesn't need to do a canter pirouette, but does need to do a rollback. Is there a difference in the lateral work needed to fully build the muscle to do that? Suppleness is an advantage for all sport activities - what helps with the suppleness needed for western?

                      I agree that work through second level applies as-is for western sports. Heck, even for western pleasure, much as everyone here hates it, if we can get them back to wanting the pole level with the withers. I showed western pleasure in the period where they were stressing any horse whose tips of his/her ears dropped below the withers was to place last. Gaits were better because the horses weren't in a crippling position with their bodies, and a four beat was severely penalized. My horse loped slowly, but with energy - very similar to the pirouette canter shown in tests before you start performing an actual pirouette. You could see his abs working and his back lifting, and he built muscle across his haunches from his work. He could also do reining work, two-tempis, and since he had a naturally lower head position than a dressage horse if I wanted his head lower in a western pleasure class I asked for shoulder fore and he'd drop it. We played with cattle and he was great at chasing them down and turning them back, and was far more powerful than any other horse I've ever ridden, including plenty of nice warmbloods. He was better at English than western, though - jumping 4'+, showing change in gaits, etc.
                      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.

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