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Why Western dressage?

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  • #21
    The rules prohibit cavessons and hackamores. The equipment you mention us english equipment. I doubt the usef rule book for Dressage prohibits bosals or tapaderos lol.

    Comment


    • #22
      Well, at some point I'm glad because I'm sure people would have tried to use a flash with a curb bit at intro level...

      Anyway, there is no point in a spade bit at Intro level.

      That's it.
      ~ 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

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      • #23
        Originally posted by katarine View Post
        The rules prohibit cavessons and hackamores. The equipment you mention us english equipment. I doubt the usef rule book for Dressage prohibits bosals or tapaderos lol.
        It's in there exactly as listed. I couldn't cut/paste because it's a PDF, so I just hyperlinked the rules and the exact section. I guess they use English terms for sake of people crossing over.

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

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
          I don't want this to be a debate on the merits (or lack of) Western dressage, there are already a few threads that go in that direction.

          I just want to know, for those of you that participate in Western dressage, why do you do it/what got you interested in it? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to understand the motivation. I just don't get it. At all. For what it's worth, I would be just as confused if an "English reining" thread popped up in the Western forum.
          Reining got me interested in dressage, so western dressage just seemed natural. I kept hearing reining trainers say, "...well a lot of what I do is based on dressage..."

          Originally posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
          I started out riding Western, but my focus now is on dressage. If I want to ride Western, I do (and use skills I've learned in my dressage lessons), but I feel like the tack is very restrictive. It dulls my ability to feel my horse and I feel like I don't get as quick of a response.
          I agree about the saddles. But now I do like bosals!

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          • #25
            Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
            It's in there exactly as listed. I couldn't cut/paste because it's a PDF, so I just hyperlinked the rules and the exact section. I guess they use English terms for sake of people crossing over.

            Paula
            We posted at the same time. I was addressing the other poster's assertion they were not specifically prohibited... to which I said what I said.

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            • #26
              Well that's cleared up then. So without the nose band would poor use of a lever bit be very obvious -gaping and such?

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

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              • #27
                Originally posted by katarine View Post
                Two competitors were at our Fall Show and they both are interested in more forward-moving Western horses than you'd find in any WP class. One rides a paint, the other, an Appaloosa. The appy owner also shows a good bit in the Stock Horse Association shows, where more 'naturally/normally' moving Western horse are shown on the rail, in ranch trail, ranch reining, ranch roping, etc...so they are using Western Dressage as another venue to show their horses, get detailed score sheets on their corners, straightness, rhythm, etc, and both ride well, on very crisp-moving, obedient, nice horses.

                https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater


                https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater


                I show in Gaited Dressage and have found the local schooling shows a nice venue to show and get scored.

                When Stock Horse shows are only held 3-4 times a year, the opportunity to hit a Western Dressage class at a schooling show is another way to work on your nerves and get out there and have fun.
                I have shown in the Southeast Region ASHA Stock Horse Shows too. The stock horse pleasure classes require walk, ext walk, sitting trot, 'ext' trot, lope, and ext lope, one stop & turn around, back up. now extended trot doesn't mean the same thing as in dressage, obviously. But it has made a lot of people appreciate real dressage and want to learn to apply basic dressage principles to improve the riders themselves and their horses.

                This is the basis for my interest in 'western dressage'. I want to learn and try to improve my riding and my horse. I have no interest whatsoever in formalities, politics, competition, and such.

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                • #28
                  I can't wait to do western dressage, personally. I like the idea because its something I can do with my APHA gelding (who also does regular dressage, hunt seat in the field and show ring, western ring events, western cow events, all halter events, ummmm.....lets say everything except saddle seat). Number one, it's another event to do, something to keep my horse and I fresh. Number two, I own a paint--not a warmblood. It lets us stock breed owners have more competitive test scores, while still having the benefits of some dressage training (can't wait for stock breed classes for traditional dressage....someday!). Western dressage patterns/tests are a simplified version of western horsemanship (equitation) patterns at breed shows, also letting people with stock bred horses who can't or don't want to show in horsemanship compete in something.
                  IMHO, asking a stock breed owner why we want to do western dressage as opposed to "English dressage" (or both) is like asking us why we do western horsemanship, hunt seat equitation, and all around competitions at breed shows....why would we do just one event when our horses are made to do ALL the events? Seeing all the controversy here about WD I guess "one horse to do it all" isn't the goal of a lot of riders, but us all arounders won't muddy the discipline, and true western training has quite a bit in common with dressage training (there is common ground!!).
                  A word on curbs....the western curb is not used like or really even similar to the double bridle on an upper level horse. We don't use even half the contact on those bits that an English rider would on the double, even when we have contact (yes, I have ridden with a double before). Our horses are not steered by the bit, they are turned/bended/half halted with our seats and legs entirely. We pick up a little finger and our horses know to rock back and collect. Wiggle the drape in the reins an inch? The western horse slows each foot step. My horse loves his 8 inch shank with 1 inch port far more than my copper mouth loose ring, because he knows that when its in, his face won't ever be touched. That is why it's appropriate for a "lower level" western horse to wear the curb--as long as the horse has been finished properly, he will be much happier in the curb than the snaffle. Snaffles are our training bits, when they have to work more, frame up, move their feet in all directions, etc etc etc--the curb is a vacation.

                  Hope that explains it a little!
                  "It's great that you have a favorite animal, but how about picking a cooler one like a horse? Or a miniature horse?"

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                  • #29
                    I attended a western dressage clinic at Equine Affaire. The audience was packed. The clinician (who I thought was not very good) had a difficult time explaining basic concepts to the enthusiastic audience.

                    What struck me was how involved the audience was in what a dressage person would consider basic. Contact, self carriage, through, all of these basic things were new and complicated to them. Yet they were excited to have the secrets of doing dressage revealed, it wasn't boring or snobby, it was fascinating. As I watched I realized that these people came to realize that riding figures in a sand ring with a little white fence wasn't JUST pattern riding. I think it's something that they thought was out of their reach before, and a sport that didn't really welcome them.

                    Given the opinion of many people on this BB I think that they are right, it's not fair to bash western dressage and tell people that all they have to do is change their tack and get an expensive dressage trainer. I think we should be welcoming people to dressage any way they want to get here.

                    I think that western dressage has the possibility of attracting a whole new group of people to the sport, and that maybe some of those people, still hungry after their introduction to western dressage, might want to buy that dressage saddle and come on over a bit more.
                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                    • #30
                      FWIW, when I wanted to do a trail class at my barn's show series in California more-than-several-years ago, the "western" organizer said that they were part of the "western classes" and insisted that I do them in western tack ... plus, because my mare was older than some age, I had to use a curb bit one-handed, not a snaffle.
                      *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                        You are wrong. What is important is what is allowed or not.
                        It gives the right to use all kind of bits and that goes against all dressage principles.

                        What kind of training practices is WD advocating? If those bits are allowed they will be used.
                        Who cares about one or two people? The rules applies to all. Don't complain later if your horse never wins against those who are following the rule (rules you endorse by joining) and using the high port, lever, spade bits that shouldn't be seen in proper lower level dressage.
                        Personally, I think the heinous over tightening of nosebands "goes against all dressage principals." But there ain't no real chance in hell that FEI competition riders are going to let anyone take that away from them.

                        Honestly, if you want to be true to 'real dressage principals' you have to follow one of the non competitive schools. SRS/Cadre Noir, or the folks like Bent Branderup who are marching to their own tune.

                        What kind of training is the FEI advocating when it allows the over cranked nosebands and the over cranked necks?

                        For me, I would take a well ridden horse in a spade bit WITHOUT it's mouth cranked shut over a Gold Medal winning FEI horse with a gel padded noseband and crown piece (gel padded because it is so tight.)

                        As for what is "important," well, there are enough options out there that everyone can decide for themselves what is, and is not, important. If I hit the power ball lottery tomorrow and decided to send a fancy horse out for training, I would pick Buck Brannaman over Anky ANY DAY, everyday, and forever.
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                        • #32
                          In answer to the original question: Haven't a clue!!

                          BUT, it does have me thinking more about quiet riding, thoughtful riding and communicating more clearly with my horse. So, in that regard, it's beneficial. But everyone should ride like that every time no matter what the seat or discipline. If western *dressage* promotes that, then it's good.
                          Ride like you mean it.

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                          • #33
                            IMH (no one really cares)O. Competitive western dressage is just another excuse to collect ribbons and for shows to fill classes. Good western riding should have all the same basics as good dressage riding and be judged in the western disciplines. There's a reason for western tack and a western horse's way of going. Carry on.....
                            Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                              Well that's cleared up then. So without the nose band would poor use of a lever bit be very obvious -gaping and such?

                              Paula
                              Actually, no. See the widespread use of curbs in the Hunter and Showing world (British shows being a prime example). These bits can be used to induce a certain head posture, but there is typically no gaping of the mouth or other inevitable giveaways. In reality, the flexion of the poll should be a result of a lifted back and actively engaged hindquarters. Curbs can be used to simply "get the head in", and it takes an educated rider to know the difference - probably one already schooling beyond Intro/Training level.

                              Fwiw, I generally think Western dressage will be good for horses and riders. I do find it troubling though that so many people seem to think that a "western horse" can't track up, and that's supposedly one of the reasons why WD is needed. My fear is that WD could encourage amateurs to give their horses a pass in this sense, and not seek to develop them to their full potential. I really hope that doesn't happen.

                              What we really need IMO is improved dressage judging that awards marks starting from each horse's potential, and in the US a points system that forces high scoring horses AND riders to move up or into Open divisions. I suspect WD is becoming popular partly because people like the idea of dressage but want to be competitive. They also want to have fun, and some of the breeds in question are genuinely difficult to train for throughness and impulsion, even for pros.
                              Proud COTH lurker since 2001.

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                              • #35
                                Could you repeat this...in bold and bigger letters?!?

                                Originally posted by CFFarm View Post
                                IMH (no one really cares)O. Competitive western dressage is just another excuse to collect ribbons and for shows to fill classes. Good western riding should have all the same basics as good dressage riding and be judged in the western disciplines. There's a reason for western tack and a western horse's way of going. Carry on.....
                                Ride like you mean it.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by AllWeatherGal View Post
                                  FWIW, when I wanted to do a trail class at my barn's show series in California more-than-several-years ago, the "western" organizer said that they were part of the "western classes" and insisted that I do them in western tack ... plus, because my mare was older than some age, I had to use a curb bit one-handed, not a snaffle.
                                  That's too bad. At the Oregon Horse Center, where I used to board, they host several very big trail shows a year. Most of the horses go in Western tack, but there are no discipline specific restrictions. I've seen horses go around the trail course bareback or with all types of English saddles and Aussie saddles. As long as the horse is being ridden in a safe (for the rider and the horse) manner they don't care about tack because it is supposed to be as close to what you would actually do on a trail as possible.
                                  It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
                                  Theodore Roosevelt

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                                    Personally, I think the heinous over tightening of nosebands "goes against all dressage principals." But there ain't no real chance in hell that FEI competition riders are going to let anyone take that away from them.

                                    Honestly, if you want to be true to 'real dressage principals' you have to follow one of the non competitive schools. SRS/Cadre Noir, or the folks like Bent Branderup who are marching to their own tune.

                                    What kind of training is the FEI advocating when it allows the over cranked nosebands and the over cranked necks?

                                    For me, I would take a well ridden horse in a spade bit WITHOUT it's mouth cranked shut over a Gold Medal winning FEI horse with a gel padded noseband and crown piece (gel padded because it is so tight.)

                                    As for what is "important," well, there are enough options out there that everyone can decide for themselves what is, and is not, important. If I hit the power ball lottery tomorrow and decided to send a fancy horse out for training, I would pick Buck Brannaman over Anky ANY DAY, everyday, and forever.

                                    Well said. Western dressage, or "Dressage without the attitude."

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Thank you to those of you who stayed on topic.

                                      I think I have a much better idea of why people are interested in it. The common denominator seems to be a correctly moving, forward horse. The typical WP horse movement is why I got OUT of showing in Western rail classes.
                                      It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
                                      Theodore Roosevelt

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
                                        That's too bad. At the Oregon Horse Center, where I used to board, they host several very big trail shows a year. Most of the horses go in Western tack, but there are no discipline specific restrictions. I've seen horses go around the trail course bareback or with all types of English saddles and Aussie saddles. As long as the horse is being ridden in a safe (for the rider and the horse) manner they don't care about tack because it is supposed to be as close to what you would actually do on a trail as possible.
                                        Welll....but...

                                        if the 'series' was a western-oriented series...all they had in their books were western-oriented rules, and the age of the horse requiring a shanked bit is absolutely a western-themed rule. Junior horses in snaffles or bosals, Senior horses in curbs.

                                        You have to go to a thing like the Oregon Horse Center 'series' in order to ride in whatever tack you want. That's just how the rules are written by the different organizations.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
                                          Thank you to those of you who stayed on topic.

                                          I think I have a much better idea of why people are interested in it. The common denominator seems to be a correctly moving, forward horse. The typical WP horse movement is why I got OUT of showing in Western rail classes.
                                          Yes. That may be so. The WP discipline has dug itself into a righteous hole (one could argue the same for 'big lick' walking horses, etc.) from which there seems to be no way out. This is one way 'out' for people interested in a certain style of riding, but NOT interested in the extremes that have developed out of the show ring.
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