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has anyone shown western dressage yet?

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  • has anyone shown western dressage yet?

    There's an upcoming show that is offerring it locally. I've never seen it so I looked up some youtube videos. The western dressage association website makes it sound like it's the hottest new thing going (which is sort of their job!). The tests look really simple, I'm guessing they have plans to expand on their difficulty as the numbers grow. Just curious as to how "hot" western dressage is in other necks of the woods.

    Given the economy most of the local show circuits, and even the larger breed circuits are sufferring. I know everywhere I go they are trying to draw a new crowd and I'm wondering if this might be something that could infuse some excitment in this area. I'm thinking about giving it a go since it would allow me to realize my dream of showing in western bling with a helmet and not look out of place.

    I know there had to have been some threads on this but I can't find any.

  • #2
    I live in central CA and I am seeing more western dressage. The last show I went to had a lot of entries.
    I was talking to Gil Merrick and he says that we are going to see this sport grow in the next few years. The Morgan people especially love it.

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends


    • #3
      I recently judge a dressage schooling show Massachusetts in which 20 % of the entries were for Western dressage classes !


      • #4
        Where I live in Wisconsin they are just starting to have Western dressage classes in the local schooling show.
        "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave


        • #5
          A local farm that hosts dressage schooling shows has agreed to let me show in western tack. Sadly, my horse developed lameness before the first one. Hopefully, I will go to one this fall.


          • #6
            Yes! Do it! I have shown and coached many students in Cowboy Dressage. It's a great way for beginner Western students (especially males) to get a gague on their progress wihtout the white breeches/English stigma. I think it is a great trend.

            In fact, my profile picture is me schooling airs above the ground in Cowboy Dressage, Just Kidding.
            Claire Pelton
            The Pelton Equestrian Experience
            Precision Training and Management of Horse and Rider Teams


            • #7
              I'm a charter member of WDAA but haven't done anything, so far. I like the idea and concept but it dawned on me, it's basically english dressage under western tack. Nothing really new under the sun. Actually, I was a little disappointed in it, so, have dropped back a bit. Then there is the idea that (the guy who has a lot of clinics, can't think of his name) trademarked a WD term (from what I understand) and I kind of lost interest after that. I wanted more emphasis on western and riding back to front, not only a centered ride under western tack.

              However, I do like the idea of using dressage movements in training a western horse but not such a fan of only swapping out tack and calling it WD, using the same ring and patterns. There is Western Riding for that. However, if it gets new people up on a horse's back and they spend money to help support a barn/show, I'm all for it.

              Yep, the Morgan folks are big into WD.
              Last edited by goneriding24; Aug. 5, 2012, 01:23 PM. Reason: .
              GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


              • #8
                I show Western Dressage in the DFW (Texas) area, and love it. It's hosted as part of many regular dressage shows around here. Participation isn't huge, but the interest seems to be growing. it's a blast!


                • #9
                  It's Fun!

                  I rode in a western dressage class this weekend. It was a blast! I do ride regular dressage, but grew up riding western in the 70's.

                  The show was a benefit schooling show with english, dressage, jumping and western classes. They used the NAWD tests, I rode level 1 test 1 (like intro A). There were all types in the class. I got a 63% and 4th place(horse spooked in the corner) and was happy.

                  Definately will ride in again. Oh and bling is not required nor chaps which is nice!

                  Try it!
                  Last edited by immigene; Aug. 9, 2012, 10:19 AM. Reason: Wrong WD association..
                  Matinee Idol "BeeJay" Dressagemeister Imperial Gem "Ruby" Farewell my friend, forever in my Heart.


                  • #10
                    Actually, chaps, chinks or half-chaps are required - read the rules. But at schooling shows it is up to the management


                    • #11
                      I totally would if they actually offered the classes anywhere near me and if my horse wasn't lame at the moment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
                        I totally would if they actually offered the classes anywhere near me and if my horse wasn't lame at the moment
                        Yours too


                        • #13
                          NAWD not WDAA

                          Pook your right. It was the North American Western Dressage Association tests I rode not the WDAA. NAWD doesnt require chaps. I emailed the NAWD specifically to ask if chaps are required and they said no. But then again it was a schooling show.....so confusing.
                          Matinee Idol "BeeJay" Dressagemeister Imperial Gem "Ruby" Farewell my friend, forever in my Heart.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
                            Yours too
                            Yeah At first we thought it was just thin soles because he had some bruising, but when we changed his shoes and added pads he wasn't any better. The vet came out and blocked his feet and he was still lame so whatever it is it's futher up his leg. Today we're going to block his fetlock to see if it's the problem. Thumbs crossed that we figure out the issue today and there's a viable solution to it...


                            • #15
                              Be prepared for some changes

                              The USEF tests were written by WDAA and can be found under the Morgan rules. Those are specific for Western Dressage.

                              However, be prepared that if you go to a USDF (or even USEF regular dressage show) that you will have to ride the English tests (yep, been there, was surprised).

                              Now, to further change up things, there are two associations that are officially recognized/affiliated with the USEF for WD - so they are obviously waiting for them to sort it out to see who will be the official governing body.

                              In the meantime? Eitan, who trademarked Cowboy Dressage, wasn't thrilled with the speed at which WD was progressing ... so, he has his OWN set of tests, and get this, a different sized court (which at some level makes some sense as it differentiates the sport and makes it much more than English dressage with Western tack). There is discussion of his higher level tests being adopted by the WDAA as their higher level tests, but having seen how "fast" the WDAA moves (think Western jog), not sure where that is going.

                              To put it in perspective, Eitan represents the professionals in the organization, much as Lyons and Anderson, et al represent the professionals in the "natural horsemanship" arena. So, this is a marketing tool as he will want to develop trainers (think certification) in addition to getting people to buy his product.

                              FYI, there is a show at LAEC on 8/26 offering WD - using the USDF tests.

                              Here is the link to Eitan's newest:


                              • #16
                                Is Eitan still selling the "attach the reins to the tail" training gadget? That was always my favorite
                                It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.