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Interesting, USDF on Western Dressage

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  • I do also ride my circles and practice my transitions and have a trainer -an eventer trainer. Can I stay? And for the record the bareback riding is doing wonders to separate my aids and straighten my body, pole bending helps me ride with my seat and my legs, and barrels are awesome for inside leg to outside rein.

    Can I stay?

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

    Comment


    • Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
      I misspoke when I said *gaited*...referring to 3 gaited horses who are not stock types. It's the vocabulary around here.

      And yes, you're right about progression. I did mean 'not competitive' when I said they can't progress up the levels. However, I'd love to see a stock type doing Grand Prix!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5r7Cz4N-f0

      Not a test, but GP work... Also not perfect, but better than I can do on my TB who would do well at a WB inspection for both gaits and conformation.

      To me, it's about development of the horse and its body. A dressage horse should develop more elasticity, more power, more uphill carriage, more cadence. I don't give a flying flip if someone is showing or what saddle they're in if that development is what's happening, based off standard dressage principles.

      When I started riding, it was western - because that's what EVERYONE rode. The two beat gait was called a jog and three beat gait was called a lope because that's what the names of those gaits are in a western saddle. However, his lateral work he taught and transition work was all to develop more impulsion, lateral flexibility, adjustability, collection, all the same goals you have in a dressage saddle. With that adjustability you could slow tempo if you wanted, lengthen and shorten strides, oh, and you were to do it in a snaffle with two hands.

      I have no problem with western dressage as a concept, particularly if it's done as I mentioned above. The horse's gaits should be improving and it should show proper development, and if there isn't no "but this isn't that type of horse!" excuses are good enough to me. I see a WD horse as one who doesn't have the overall air time of a fancy WB. One who doesn't have the same freedom of shoulders. But you know what? I suspect even so nearly any decently trained WD horse would develop cadence and suspension with work, and it would show the same kind of progression and development as a fancy WB who had good training, just not at the same kind of expressive level. If that's what WD eventually aims for, I'm ALL for it. That's just good riding and good development of a horse - and would improve speed horses, reiners, etc., just like dressage improves jumpers. I can see a western 3-day event which involved WD, some sort of roundup type event and cattle handling test. It would be pretty fun and require good horsemanship.

      I see plenty of dressage-bred horses who are ridden in draw reins at home and go to shows with a steady headset and their inborn impulsion and suspension and they win. They just don't develop their bodies and at some time are sold because "they just can't do any more" and they're replaced by horses someone else has trained up a couple levels higher than the rider's current level so the rider can progress to that point before again insisting they hit the limit of the horse's ability. To me that's not really dressage so much, either... Dressage is the draft cross whose owner adopted her from a rescue and decided what she could do who is developing extensions simply because all the correct work she is doing is developing that ability in her. This previously earth-bound horse now suddenly has suspension. Dressage is the rider who buys an extremely talented horse and takes the time to develop its body and flies up the levels in comparison, but does correct work to get that horse learning to use its body even better than nature said.

      Originally posted by HeyItsCharnae View Post
      Doesn't dressage require riding on the bit? Every western horse I've ever ridden, at least in stock shows that have horsemanship/wp/western riding/trail, are all on a draped rein.
      I did say above that I think all lower level WD should be in a snaffle with two hands as a requirement. But wanted to point out "on the bit" is a slight mis-translation from what was possibly "on the aids" or not translateable according to the sources from which I've read about it. Therefore it's at times taken incorrectly...

      Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
      Driving dressage is not exactly a splinter group, as it is part of every combined driving competition. It also involves a rigorous set of standards.

      Seriously though, any time you allow a lower level competitor (Training, First) to ride in a curb, you are defeating the major principles of dressage. These horses inevitably are in a "false frame".

      From a teaching stand point, where do we begin?
      I agree about no curb. I think WD *should* follow all the same principles, and think the way the USDF worded their opinion on it was great.
      If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
      -meupatdoes

      Comment


      • I liked that video Netg!

        I truly believe that you can find horses gifted in the stock horse world and otherwise, its a pain to have to weed through those born to lope out of the womb but older more foundational lines seem to still have some shoulder and hind end

        Its not as easy as buying big gaits but is dressage really "easy" either way lol
        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
        http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
          Yay for mustangs in dressage!

          I suppose another benefit to riding one-handed is that you could hold a beer in the other! I don't think there's a specific rule against that, is there?
          I'll drink to that!

          Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
          No rule against reins in one hand, beer in the other except can't change reins when the beer hand gets cold. Also can be expensive: one for the judge, the learner judges, ringmaster, photographer, tractor guy, announcer...etc. lol
          that's why gloves are required

          Comment


          • Loved the video. I consider that horse to be a "dressage" horse, altho it's a 'western' or stock breed. I would love to see it "go" western in a frame and with the gaits typical for that breed. I'll bet it can't.
            Ride like you mean it.

            Comment


            • I'll bet it can. I mean it's a appy -it's got all those features that some said precluded any ability to go "dressage".

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

              Comment


              • Look, I'm not really good at this sort of thing. But here goes, one last time: a western horse is a western horse...not to be confused, necessarily, with a western breed.

                A dressage horse is a dressage horse...not to be confused with any particular breed. Maybe that makes my thinking a bit clearer.

                Therefore, a western horse CAN'T be a dressage horse. But a dressage horse COULD be a western breed.

                Time to go feed my western horse, my dressage horse and daughter's hunter (on the flat) horse. ttyl
                Ride like you mean it.

                Comment


                • Oh I see. You're saying that Western training -gaits such as jog and lope-make it difficult, if not impossible, for a horse to learn dressage gaits such as trot and canter extensions?

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

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
                    Look, I'm not really good at this sort of thing. But here goes, one last time: a western horse is a western horse...not to be confused, necessarily, with a western breed.

                    A dressage horse is a dressage horse...not to be confused with any particular breed. Maybe that makes my thinking a bit clearer.

                    Therefore, a western horse CAN'T be a dressage horse. But a dressage horse COULD be a western breed.

                    Time to go feed my western horse, my dressage horse and daughter's hunter (on the flat) horse. ttyl
                    Yup. My horse is double-registered Appaloosa (ApHC) and Half-Arabian. He was bred SPECIFICALLY to be a dressage horse (he has an older full sibling - the test cross, as it were). The sire was one of the three Trakhener-approved Arabian stallions in the U.S. His dam was mostly Foundation Appaloosa breeding and 17.1 h.h. An Appaloosa breed show judge wouldn't give him the time of day, and with his big trot with suspension, I sure wouldn't want to try to make him be a "western" horse. My horse is 16.2 h.h., his full brother is 17 hands. They may be Appies, but they ain't "western" horses.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
                      Loved the video. I consider that horse to be a "dressage" horse, altho it's a 'western' or stock breed. I would love to see it "go" western in a frame and with the gaits typical for that breed. I'll bet it can't.
                      Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                      I'll bet it can. I mean it's a appy -it's got all those features that some said precluded any ability to go "dressage".

                      Paula
                      Paula,
                      What's with the chip on the shoulder?
                      That horse in the video is very well trained (obviously) and has developed the muscling and capacity for those gaits. Stock horses aren't all born with the go-nowhere trot and wait-for-it lope. Those are trained gaits. Just like in dressage, there are lines bred for the low and slow gaits, but training enhances them to be ring worthy.

                      I gotta say, Paula, I don't really see why you are getting all up in arms because not everyone is embracing this new trend. If you like it, then sign up and show. Those of us who won't go out and get stock horses and new tack will simply continue on as we were before. No harm no foul to anyone.

                      Comment


                      • No, I'm not saying anything about training. I'm talking about a WESTERN horse...the conformation, the mindset, the natural way of going. The Appy in the video is not a WESTERN horse even tho it is a western breed. In fact, it may be a cross-breed...TB, WB, SB. There may be something else in the mix. I sincerely doubt that it can also do a long and low jog and a relaxed, albeit collected, lope.

                        You'll have to figure it out from here...I really need to go feed and clean...they've been in all day...nasty weather here!
                        Ride like you mean it.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post

                          However, and this isn't meant to belittle you in any way, your questions are often at a very beginner level. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is no such thing as a silly or stupid question. But can you see how it might rankle some riders who have spent decades riding dressage to have someone who didn't know if a bareback pad was legal tack in a show make a pronouncement on what is or isn't "real dressage"?

                          Dressage tack has been developed over hundreds of years to put the horse and the rider in the best position possible to do the movements. A shoulder in is a shoulder in, you're totally right about that. But riding a "correct" shoulder in is made easier by doing it in tack that was made for riding a shoulder in correctly.

                          Would you want to tackle a Grand Prix jumping course riding in a western saddle? Wouldn't the horn be a little on the unpleasant side as you stretched forward as your horse took those huge jumps? Would riding a cutting horse in a forward seat English saddle make it easier or harder to stay put and go with the sudden stops and turns that a cutting horse has to make as they mirror the movements of the cow and keep it from returning to the herd?

                          Respect the traditions of each discipline you dip into. There are hundreds of years worth in just about every one. Respecting those traditions doesn't mean you have been co-opted by the ruling class. You can still be a rebel (like my instructor who competes in a shadbelly that has hot pink lining and points).
                          Sheilah

                          Meh.... there are still folks claiming riding with a safety helmet at GP does not 'respect' the traditions. If talk to CDK, he will tell you women ought not be wearing tail coats and they are cross dressing when they do!!!

                          And the modern uber deep seated dressage saddle is monstrous. Somehow, up until the 1980's, people manage high school maneuvers and everything else without massive deep seats and thigh block-ades to keep their butts in the saddle.

                          As for jump saddles, no saddle of any discipline has been free from constant 'innovation' and 'reinvention' in the past 30 years. Every 5 freakin' minutes there is a new, fabulous, uber fantastic saddling concept that hits the market. Foam panels... air panels.. no trees... partial trees...flexible trees...super forward balance... super wide 'points'... super expensive custom hooey with magical custom doo dads.......

                          And for what it's worth, you can cut cows in an english saddle just fine. These days, plenty of folks use saddles that you couldn't possible dally a rope around, because they aren't made to do that. They use the horn to hold onto... And they ride straight legged for no other good reason than that's what they either 1) are used to/skilled at doing (professional) 2) have been told to do (amateur.)


                          If somebody wants to do Western Dressage I don't get why y'all are wasting so much time hating on them for it. Who cares???

                          I bet the riders at the SRS/Portuguese School/Saumur/Cadre Noir look at most of the 'dressage' riding population (you know, the training to 2nd level folks) and shake their heads saying, "My Dears, that ain't dressage."
                          "Friend" me !

                          http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                          • TOTALLY depends upon the balance in which western is ridden. Traditionally, that would not be true. In wp de jour, yes.....but that is merely bad riding. A traditionally schooled western horse was more collected then most of second level horses de jour (who merely have shortened strides).
                            I.D.E.A. yoda

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                              Nice story Paula!

                              And it leads us to the very bottom portion.

                              You can do barrels, poles, hack out and ride bareback till the cows come home and not improve your riding from a dressage standpoint.

                              And this is STILL a dressage forum (well lately you never know) but it is labeled as such.

                              From a dressage standpoint you would have to do the same ole boring 20 meter and inside leg to outside rein lessons as the rest of us.

                              Preferably in a dressage saddle, and preferably with a good dressage instructor.

                              I dont think that is too much to ask of anyone and if they want to come show dressage or even "western" dressage I think the point we are making is they shouldnt be able to go around the training.

                              I can ALWAYS hack my dressage horses or play with barrels, but I pay good money to try and have a draped leg while I do it
                              Nah.. disagree. Riding bareback lately has improved my dressage a LOT. Made me stronger. Improved my balance. Etc.

                              Aside from that, several years of riding with a BIOMECHANICS instructor helped my dressage more than anything. And the woman never said 'ride a 20m' to me ever.

                              In fact I did many years of work with 'dressage' instructors that didn't yield diddly squat. Until I stepped outside of 'dressage' instructors and got a really good (oh GOD, oh no, close your eyes, here it comes....) 'natural horsemanship' guy who taught me how to train horses. And a rider mechanics instructor who taught me how to use my body on a horse.

                              Then, 'dressage' started to make a whole lot more sense.

                              So sorry. There are a lot of people who get a lot of what they need to learn 'dressage' from horseman who don't got nothin' to do with no silly dressudge...

                              It may come down to different learning styles, but I think there are just bucket loads of 'dressage instructors' who are totally, utterly, worthless as teachers. Maybe they are good at coaching a talented person. But give them a plain old average homo sapien on a plain old horsey, and they are screwed.
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                              • Paula, it's great that you like to do many different activities/disciplins with your horse. Nothing wrong with that. People play football, baseball, and basketball at the same time too. People are having an issue with the fact that you seem to want to just combine everything into one mix-and-match sport that you can call dressage. It's like if someone signed up for a football team and showed up to practice and said "Look, I really like football and all, but I don't like throwing balls. Can I use a bat instead?" If you like using a bat, play baseball and call it baseball. You can't be playing football with a bat and still trying to call it football. If you like riding with a bareback pad, awesome. Go ride in bareback classes in kick everyone's butt with your dressage based skills. But don't expect to march into a dressage ring in a bareback pad and more than you'd show up at football practice with a bat. If you like a sport (dressage) than that suggests that you're alright with the rules and requirements of it (appropriate tack, equitation, etc.). If you can't accept those things then why play? If you can't/won't play by the rules don't try to re-invent the sport, just find a different one.

                                Comment


                                • it matters because it is NOT dressage! Call it horsemanship but don't let THAT stuff be called dressage.

                                  It makes me look bad by association. Its like why I hate to call myself christian because other people are misunderstanding the fundamentals. Maybe if they get off the curb bit I'll calm down but not impressed so far with what I have seen. Snaffles and better contact, sure that would be a different story.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by alternate_universe View Post
                                    If you can't/won't play by the rules don't try to re-invent the sport, just find a different one.
                                    yes, its like why we have a million religions. Not one thing will work for every personality type or interest. You can start a bareback dressage group and host your own events-- no I'm not being snarky. Just go out there and do it and leave us alone who chose to respect the traditions. WE are not the ones with any issues, I quite like (most) of dressage and see no reason to change.

                                    I have a pinto colored arabian, should I have a seperate class for him? No, he shows and does well alongside every other breed. I think its great to have a variety of horses. I respect SOME may not like him, but I don't prefer horses like your draft. To each their own... I just ride my horse and enjoy my journey.

                                    Comment


                                    • Unless it is JUDGED BADLY, it should be dressage. And some of the rides I have seen are quite nice, and some are #*$(&$ (just like in normal competitions). Imho much of what is done in the dressage arena should not be called training progressively either, so we had better be careful about what we rail against before looking in our own house. The point is, on the ground floor, directives CAN be held (by the dressage judges) or tossed to the wind. Really our choice.
                                      I.D.E.A. yoda

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                                        I'll bet it can. I mean it's a appy -it's got all those features that some said precluded any ability to go "dressage".

                                        Paula
                                        What's a feature of an appaloosa?

                                        Features=/= conformation.

                                        Appy Features = white sclera, mottled skin, striped hooves, spots. Maybe a sparse tail if they have enough old bloodlines.

                                        The conformation of the individual often dictates a horse's abilities, within reason. The angles work together, or against each other, as they generate actions and motions. Some of the Western Pleasure bred QHs are bred to be so upright in the shoulder, and so strongly/deeply angled behind, that they really, and truly, and wholly, cannot unroll that odd shape enough to show an extension. The gaits are only part of the equation, but those 'shaped' horses are going to struggle.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                          What's a feature of an appaloosa?

                                          Features=/= conformation.

                                          Appy Features = white sclera, mottled skin, striped hooves, spots. Maybe a sparse tail if they have enough old bloodlines.

                                          The conformation of the individual often dictates a horse's abilities, within reason. The angles work together, or against each other, as they generate actions and motions. Some of the Western Pleasure bred QHs are bred to be so upright in the shoulder, and so strongly/deeply angled behind, that they really, and truly, and wholly, cannot unroll that odd shape enough to show an extension. The gaits are only part of the equation, but those 'shaped' horses are going to struggle.
                                          I very much agree. Appy lover that I am, I acknowledge my horse is an Arab cross. Still, considering that Arabians were what the Appaloosa registry founders used to "upgrade" a nearly destroyed breed (draft crosses are where the big heads, etc. come from, not Appaloosa bloodlines), I think an Arab cross is closer to being an Appaloosa than the 31/32nds non-colored Quarterloosas the registry now favors. The horse in my profile picture is a 2nd gen TB cross Appy, also 16.2. He was a hunter-type mover, but did okay in dressage through 2nd/3rd level. He'd chase a cow if you asked it, but he'd never be as good as the true western types bred to do it. He was much happier as a H/J and then dressage horse. Appaloosas have BREED characteristics, as you list, but as a recovered breed, you can look among them for breeders that breed the TYPE you want: a dressage type, a jumper type, a western type. But I'm not going to look for a western type to do dressage. LOL

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