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Western dressage

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  • #21
    Cowboy Dressage has a fundamentally different definition of the jog than WDAA and I assume NAWD. In their descriptions of the working jog it states there is NO suspension. Eitan then defines a Free Jog as covering more ground and having suspension. WDAA clearly states there is suspension in all jogs and repeats over and over that pure gaits are a requirement.

    This makes the whole thing even more confusing, but at least Eitan has now made clear how Western Dressage is more "dressage oriented" than Cowboy Dressage. Cowboy Dressage has thrown out suspension, all that nit picky stuff about correctness, and put the stuff like straightness, impulsion and correct execution behind light contact and lack of resistance in the scoring. This makes me feel that Cowboy Dressage tests ARE "pattern" classes. Judging for WDAA and NAWD remains based on traditional dressage. The exercises must be performed correctly in order for them to achieve their purpose in training or demonstrate that the goals of straightness and balance have been accomplished in a test.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by lorilu View Post
      IMO, the only way USDF will change its mind is if WD is truly dressage in western tack - with the only real difference being, perhaps, the gaits (traditional western horses vs. traditional dressage horse gaits). Get rid of the curb at lower levels, get off the forehand, require (and really stick to ) real contact and pure gaits.
      Some of these goals seem great, relevant to any horseman, but one doesn't.

      So I dig pure gaits. You could ask both the Western- and USEF Dressage sides to improve on this point. Though the Western side has the larger/more important burden because of the distorted WP-mover in its past.

      No curb at the lower levels. Then again, the Californio way of starting horses follows this, too.

      Get off the forehand. Duh. And relevant for both sides. But well trained Western horses don't pull themselves around.

      The "must have 'real contact'" thing you mention I don't get. Why? In Dressage World and it's theoretical universe (especially the German one), I understand why this is important. In Western World, not so much. But if all good horsemen actually care what's happening from the shoulders back to the hind end, what difference does it make if young horse is pushing into a snaffle or not? Many good Western trainers want their babies to "carry the bit". The quickly choose thinner, loose ring snaffles and ask their horses to go around in a way that would strike us as "behind the bit." But darn tootin', they want the hind end engaged.

      My point is that anyone designing these tests should scrap the peculiar commitments of Dressage or Western and go back to a question about what the broke horse should do.... regardless of the tack he's wearing or what he's doing with is head.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

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      • #23
        Any dressage, at any level, should focus on free, forward, rhythm, and relaxation. It should appear as though the rider is along for the ride.

        I haven't viewed much WD, but what I do see is that,as said before, they have taken the same "frame" and are riding a pattern. The type, and feel of contact at any level are important to the "freeness" and relaxation desired always. At Intro, and Training levels and above riders are aiming for this, and are scored accordingly despite what some spectators may see.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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        • #24
          Our GMO offers a year end award in WD but we require them to ride the USEF/USDF tests. The judges are traditional dressage judges and we also require a snaffle bit up to Third level. The WD horses are in their own class so they are not directly competing with "English" horses - even though most of those horses are of stock horse breeding anyway. So far we haven't had any complaints from either side - knock, knock!

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          • #25
            Originally posted by mvp View Post
            Some of these goals seem great, relevant to any horseman, but one doesn't.

            So I dig pure gaits. You could ask both the Western- and USEF Dressage sides to improve on this point. Though the Western side has the larger/more important burden because of the distorted WP-mover in its past.

            No curb at the lower levels. Then again, the Californio way of starting horses follows this, too.

            Get off the forehand. Duh. And relevant for both sides. But well trained Western horses don't pull themselves around.

            The "must have 'real contact'" thing you mention I don't get. Why? In Dressage World and it's theoretical universe (especially the German one), I understand why this is important. In Western World, not so much. But if all good horsemen actually care what's happening from the shoulders back to the hind end, what difference does it make if young horse is pushing into a snaffle or not? Many good Western trainers want their babies to "carry the bit". The quickly choose thinner, loose ring snaffles and ask their horses to go around in a way that would strike us as "behind the bit." But darn tootin', they want the hind end engaged.

            My point is that anyone designing these tests should scrap the peculiar commitments of Dressage or Western and go back to a question about what the broke horse should do.... regardless of the tack he's wearing or what he's doing with is head.
            THIS!!!!!!!

            Doesn't anybody "get" that "cowboy" or "western" dressage horses have been around for centuries? Only they called them working ranch horses, and the pinnacle of their training was when they became finished "bridle horses".

            No, they didn't ride patterns, but all the movements you see in lower level dressage you will see a horse do when he is working cattle or just doing basic ranch "stuff." The horse will be ridden one handed, stay light in the mouth, and work off the hindquarters. They will side pass, spin, back, leg yield and transition in all gaits with the most subtle of cues.

            So how is this different from European Dressage? It is different only because one is a method of training with an end-goal of just basically showing off, "see what my horse can do" sort of stuff for 1hr or less. The other had an end-goal of doing an actual job in an efficient and safe manner on the roughest terrain for many hours a day.

            So-called "Western Dressage" prepared a horse to do a job. Like this:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSsT_9rh7-0

            Or, if you are born a breed that was raised to work bulls, your job would look like this:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCOR-RBx17M

            That horse is definitely working off the hindquarter and he's doing everything in hyper-speed.

            Why not celebrate THAT tradition (minus the bull of course) instead of this new, made up mix of nonsense? Makes no sense to me...

            The reason they are doing this WD stuff is simply because almost no one out there can or will train a horse to this level, so they are just finding a new place to show their failed WP horses...

            If they TRULY want to follow a training scale for western horses, it's already out there...just research the Californio tradition...THOSE horses and the people who trained them are very special in my eyes.

            These new guys...not so much.
            Last edited by Kyzteke; Apr. 29, 2013, 07:17 PM.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by mvp View Post
              Some of these goals seem great, relevant to any horseman, but one doesn't.

              So I dig pure gaits. You could ask both the Western- and USEF Dressage sides to improve on this point. Though the Western side has the larger/more important burden because of the distorted WP-mover in its past.

              No curb at the lower levels. Then again, the Californio way of starting horses follows this, too.

              Get off the forehand. Duh. And relevant for both sides. But well trained Western horses don't pull themselves around.

              The "must have 'real contact'" thing you mention I don't get. Why? In Dressage World and it's theoretical universe (especially the German one), I understand why this is important. In Western World, not so much. But if all good horsemen actually care what's happening from the shoulders back to the hind end, what difference does it make if young horse is pushing into a snaffle or not? Many good Western trainers want their babies to "carry the bit". The quickly choose thinner, loose ring snaffles and ask their horses to go around in a way that would strike us as "behind the bit." But darn tootin', they want the hind end engaged.

              My point is that anyone designing these tests should scrap the peculiar commitments of Dressage or Western and go back to a question about what the broke horse should do.... regardless of the tack he's wearing or what he's doing with is head.
              My comments were directed at the idea of USDF "accepting" WD. If WD folks don't care about USDF (it appears they do, as they are seeking approval..., why then write any tests you want. But, IMO, contact is necessary for you to recycle the energy, and it is necessary for traditional dressage - so, it seems to follow that USDF would require contact. In fact, it IS a requirement in the Morgan tests.

              Comment


              • #27
                If they don't want contact, fine. But no contact = no dressage. You really can't have it both ways.
                Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by lorilu View Post
                  My comments were directed at the idea of USDF "accepting" WD. If WD folks don't care about USDF (it appears they do, as they are seeking approval..., why then write any tests you want. But, IMO, contact is necessary for you to recycle the energy, and it is necessary for traditional dressage - so, it seems to follow that USDF would require contact. In fact, it IS a requirement in the Morgan tests.
                  Insofar as the USDF looks to the Olympic sports and German dressage theory is so dominant, I think you are right: They aren't going to let go of the requirements built in already.

                  But the "recycling" thing is just a metaphor, right? And certainly the horse compressed between an active hind end and a signal bit up front is doing that. It just looks different.

                  But the USDF would be well-advised to enlarge it's program, if only for economic reasons. Witness the enormous growth that the AQHA has enjoyed because it did that. Oh, and bet yer butt Europeans interested in reining are coming to the US for their horses, trainers and ideas.

                  No one ever said that the flow of all that is Good And Right went from God to German horsemen to the lesser rest of us. Or maybe they did and I just didn't get the memo.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                    No, they didn't ride patterns, but all the movements you see in lower level dressage you will see a horse do when he is working cattle or just doing basic ranch "stuff." The horse will be ridden one handed, stay light in the mouth, and work off the hindquarters.


                    So-called "Western Dressage" prepared a horse to do a job. Like this:
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSsT_9rh7-0

                    Or, if you are born a breed that was raised to work bulls, your job would look like this:
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCOR-RBx17M
                    IMO, the emphasis on patterns is everywhere and can be misused. It happens in dressage just as much as in reining and gaming. I can live with that as a standardizing convention used to compare horses in competition. But the pattern is a means to an end.

                    The first horse is nicely broke. His stock-breed gaits don't do if for me. Sigh. I have watched loftier-moving WBs for so long that I want some of that. But me as English rider or me as Western rider almost always can't afford that horse. I do hope that the Scoring Gurus will find a way to see through the flatter-moving horse to find training that has improved him. IMO, this was what dressage was always meant to do.

                    Holy mole, the bull fighting horse! I have never seen a half-pass at the canter like that. And the horse is athletic and broke! That's about the hardest job I've ever seen a horse do. I won't ever make a horse that can do that, but the bull fighter certainly gives the Dressage Purist a run for his money.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I see dressage like that kid saw dead people -I see it everywhere. Behold Pedro Torres working equitation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5895K-Xjupk

                      BTW this; No one ever said that the flow of all that is Good And Right went from God to German horsemen to the lesser rest of us.

                      Made me laugh out loud! Somebody needs to adopt that as a signature or a bumper sticker.

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

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by mvp View Post
                        My point is that anyone designing these tests should scrap the peculiar commitments of Dressage or Western and go back to a question about what the broke horse should do.... regardless of the tack he's wearing or what he's doing with is head.
                        Yabbut why insist that this be called dressage?
                        A helmet saved my life.

                        2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                          If they don't want contact, fine. But no contact = no dressage. You really can't have it both ways.
                          A helmet saved my life.

                          2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by katarine View Post
                            Yes there is CD. which ads letters to the court. Bless your GMO for taking on that task....seems small until you have to find them to match the rest
                            The group may have moved over to CD but, looking at the show bill for the next schooling show, the Morgan WD tests will be offered.
                            Brock
                            Brock n. (Anglo-Saxon) badger as in Brockenhurst, Brocklebank etc www.area35.us

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                              If they don't want contact, fine. But no contact = no dressage. You really can't have it both ways.

                              Why?

                              Or to ask the question another way, do you think the French and German schools think about that the same way? I don't mean to start a fight. Maybe I'm ignorant, too. But I remember the many, many pounds of pressure in my hand that was considered correct for dressage. I *know* not every dressage trainer does the same.... yet they still do dressage.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post
                                Yabbut why insist that this be called dressage?
                                Like Paulaedwina, I see dressage everywhere. I think every horseman wants that-- the uphill, obedient, supple, symmetrical, light-to-the-aids horse. Like them, I don't care what it's called.

                                I'd be happy to have someone instead call this WD thing Vaquero or Californio stuff. But so few people know a lot about those niche terms. And because of the unfortunate history of the WP, Western World has to find a way to name something that's recognizable, distinctly different and better. More people appreciate the dressage term, and I'd like to think that they mean that universal, "best of" concept I mentioned above. Dressage has its bad side as we see debated here in the distinction between classical dressage and competitive dressage or sometimes, modern dressage.

                                So in choosing a term, I want something that specifies the right goals for the horse's training and which is inclusive, that's all.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally Posted by SillyHorse
                                  If they don't want contact, fine. But no contact = no dressage. You really can't have it both ways.

                                  And contact does not need to be/IMO should not be "many pounds". Just not flapping reins.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    ^^^

                                    I can't see the links you posted.

                                    But sure, in English world, flapping reins is a problem..... or is it? If the horse is uphill and using his butt, who cares what the reins look like? Finished Western horses certainly have a big ol' drape in the reins and an in-gear hiney.

                                    I do understand why direct contact is required in a discipline that has horses spending years and years in a snaffle.

                                    And onto a related topic: By the time a Proper Dressage horse is going in a double bridle, aren't you guys treating the Weymouth bit as a signal bit in the way that the western guys are? Surely no one means that the horse should tuck his chin because Yowza, the rider is pulling hard on the rein connected to it's long shank.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

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                                    • #38
                                      So, can anyone actually be helpful to the OP?
                                      http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                                      • #39
                                        Well, I think a few of us did, on the first page. As I said there, our GMO uses the Morgan tests. Someone else suggested the WDAA.

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