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So I'm thinking of trying western dressage with my OTTB...

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  • #21
    Originally posted by mbm View Post
    Wylde Sage - if you have experienced harsh trainers - first i am sorry for that - second - that has nothing to do with the discipline and everything to do with the person... there are dressage trainers who are for the horse and who are easy to ride with and kind.
    There are western trainers that are rough also, ignorant also.
    No discipline is without it's good and bad.

    OP, go have fun with your horse, wherever that takes you.
    Forget what others may think.
    That in a way is the beauty of dressage in all it's forms.
    You really can ride and train as you wish.
    If you show, listen to the judge, you are paying for that opinion, but don't let it mean any more than that, one more, if for that setting, educated opinion.

    By the way, no need to acquire a defensive chip on your shoulder about it and feel everyone is against what you do, whatever it may be.
    Tends to make having fun harder and that is a shame.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #22
      Thanks Katarine, yes this horse goes nicely in a snaffle and has started to listen to seat and leg cues quite well. I doubt he will ever see a shanked bit. Seems like we have some classes here in southern Colorado (not exactly the mecca of dressage, unless you go further north) so well shall see!

      Comment


      • #23
        Just ask the GMO if they'll consider offering them if they don't. Forward them the various rule books if needed, so they can choose one, and maybe consider drafting an email with examples of the various tests/gaits. I did that for my gaited stuff, not featuring my own horses of course, but others so the judges had some point of reference. I would send it to the GMO or the organizer if it was a show without a GMO...It seems to help.

        Comment


        • #24
          We have been working with a trainer for about a year and she's the first trainer (out of several) that has ever actually made us "ride" our horses - back to front, asking them to lift through the back, to come "on the bit", demonstrate collecting and lengthening, lateral work, and bending...and her discipline is team penning, and most of the horses she trains are cutting horses.

          I guess this is why I don't understand the issue with "western" dressage being dressage. Obviously, it's a new discipline so it will have the good and the bad...and the issue of bits will complicate things because of the type of "contact" used with different types of bits (or the way the contact *looks* depending on the bit being used)....But in general, I don't really see why it is "different"...except perhaps if the judging doesn't end up rewarding the riders/horses that demonstrate purity of their gaits as opposed to just riding the correct "pattern"?

          I have never seen a WD show, and don't know whether they would be offered alongside or as part of traditional dressage shows, or if they would instead be offered at other shows that include western classes. We have a local club that attracts big western entries, and to me, this would be a better to offer western dressage.

          In reading the long thread on the dressage board (or, in attempting to read it, because I only got through page five or six), it was suggested that western pleasure riders don't have the same skills as dressage riders. And I think that this might be true of many WP riders (especially at the local levels), but there probably are a lot of riders who do have more skill but don't have a class to enter that demonstrates this. (And, in my opinion, the local western riders probably do not also show at traditional dressage shows...I'm just guessing, but they would seem to be two groups of people that don't really cross paths).

          Anyway, I think in theory it's a great idea, and gives "those of us with no where to go" some options. My paint mare was bought as a children's hunter but she does not like to jump. We could get her there, I am sure, but it wouldn't be much fun. However, something like WD would suit her and me - I am not interested in learning to neck rein, getting blinged up and entering WP classes with 20+ riders and loping around together for 2 minutes and then lining up. We could do that, but it doesn't sound very fun to me.

          Comment


          • #25
            WS, check the Morgan shows that are close to you. Some of them might offer wd classes. They may be open to all breeds.

            I think you should give it a try....it sounds like you haven't found the right niche for the two of you. It took me a long time to find a Morgan instructor that I liked. One who appreciates the AOTS(amateur owned, trained and shown) and is willing to let me trailer in, ride for her, ask questions and try new things. It's not a typical lesson by any means! I took 2 lessons from her last year. Who knows...maybe next year I'll take THREE!!! lol Mostly I work in the back yard and figure things out for myself.
            Ride like you mean it.

            Comment


            • #26
              I've been watching all this Western Dressage "gnashing" with tongue firmly in cheek....I "DO" have a question....since "dressage" means "training", would those opposed to "Western Dressage" be ok with us calling it "Western Training"?

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by hank View Post
                I've been watching all this Western Dressage "gnashing" with tongue firmly in cheek....I "DO" have a question....since "dressage" means "training", would those opposed to "Western Dressage" be ok with us calling it "Western Training"?
                I would love that Hank! It should be because it's its own sport with limited goals. I can definitely see "western training test 1". In my mind it would give a lot more credibility to it to stand on it's own merits and would be a great jumping off place for other western disciplines. And it would require the same equitation to ride the test well as classical dressage.

                Great Idea! never happen, but GREAT IDEA!
                Ride like you mean it.

                Comment


                • #28
                  A while ago I made a post saying I wish there had been something like this when I was a teenager. My mother had some strange aversion to english saddles, probably the whole "elitist" image in her mind, but I wanted something more than barrel racing and western pleasure. I am no longer interested in showing, but if I were, I'd jump on this so fast the friction would burn off my ponytail!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    You should give it a try sometime. Think of it as a trail class without obstacles. ;-)
                    Ride like you mean it.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by hank View Post
                      I've been watching all this Western Dressage "gnashing" with tongue firmly in cheek....I "DO" have a question....since "dressage" means "training", would those opposed to "Western Dressage" be ok with us calling it "Western Training"?
                      I assume they thought about that, but stuck with western dressage for the image they wanted to bring, the brand name dressage evokes.

                      A bit like Linda Parelli and her dressage training, that is not real dressage either as we understand what dressage is.

                      I would not consider the comments about this teeth gnashing, I think some of you are too defensive, want to be considered creditable dressage riders and you may be that, but when you don't follow all the basic dressage principles as they are already out there in dressage as a discipline, well, comments there will be.

                      Those wanting dressage validation, well, would you consider team penning cutting, just because they too cut cattle out of a herd and some times even get down and move one out like a cutting horse?
                      Would you object that some will say, "hey, wait a minute, that is not really what cutting is all about!"

                      No one bringing questions of what is dressage as a discipline and what is not is doing any other than pointing where what some other that is called xyz dressage may not quite be the same and who can deny that?

                      No need to change the name, let those that like to talk theory do so and keep doing what is already established, with whatever name you have..
                      Listen and learn with interest to the similarities and differences, don't become combative about it, life is too short, go enjoy your horses, whatever you want to call it.
                      As someone mentioned, in a few years there probably will be more western dressage shows and participants that traditional dressage ever had, just as team penning overtook old, traditional cutting.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        When I first did "real" dressage, it was 23 years ago with my QH in a hunt seat saddle. Before then he was HUS, Eq, and over fences at QH shows. We managed to do quite well our first year, even won high point in our small part of the world.

                        I think WD would be fun with my much-more-western conformed current QH.

                        I do not think the intention is to dilute "real" show dressage, just expand the participant base and provide options. I guess we'll see.
                        Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I don't understand all the fussing over Western Dressage on the threads in the Dressage Forum. I've stopped reading the WD threads there. There seems to be a tremendous amount of angst because WD folks have had the unmitigated gall to use the term "dressage" to describe something that "isn't dressage." Seems like a lot of wasted emotion over something that is rather insignificant.

                          I think WD is a great idea. I'm all for anything that has the potential to improve the quality of horsemanship and horse training - and I think this does. I'd be interested in showing WD in the future.

                          However, I do agree with those who say WD isn't "traditional dressage." It's not traditional dressage, it's *western* dressage. And, I think it ought to be kept separate from traditional dressage competitions. I don't want to see it labeled as, or be, just "dressage in a western saddle." I would like to see WD as an activity that has it's own character and atmosphere distinct from that of a traditional dressage competition.
                          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                          that's even remotely true."

                          Homer Simpson

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I guess I need to go over there to read what that discussion is about.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              A lot of the gnashing must be rooted in two things:

                              1. Strange (even to me who grew up in Western riding: WP, barrels, starting western horses)gait descriptions
                              2. The bits allowed


                              It must be, because the hue and cry over gaited dressage was not/is not nearly so ....noisy...as it is over western. I would know, I'm pretty much the only person on COTH's Dressage forum who does it, I started the conversation, and chime in when someone asks about it. If you search on 'gaited' in the Dressage forum, you will find there was some head scratching, and a lot of gnawing on Big D vs little d, and that's fine....if western dressage has taken a greater beating than has gaited dressage...

                              1. The gaited gaits are simply and plainly defined by the National Walking Horse Association (NWHA)
                              2. The NWHA bitting rules follow the USEF rules, if not to the letter, they are quite close. I have not studied them and anyone who has is welcome and encouraged to correct me.

                              If it's not those two things; then what is it that is chafing COTH's Dressage posters so much?
                              I would suggest it's the desire of some to blast Dressage wide open and then encourage/allow/permit any Tom, Dick, or Hillary to ride anything in any(tack) while wearing just any(old)thing, something I find disrespectful of Dressage, period.

                              (please note there's a PONY on the cover of this month's USDF Connection. If you're anything more than a Supporting Member, you already knew that).


                              Attention: If you want to wear a flowered garden hat on a bareback pad on a racking horse ... go trail riding and enjoy your life. That's my take on it. BUT if you want to do the Big D and I don't mean Dallas...you Have to Follow the Rules. If you don't respect the rules you should 100% expect to get in trouble. Try showing up drunk to traffic court if you'd like to really flaunt your contempt for 'rules'. I like RULES: it tells me what to shoot for, how to approach the challenge, how to excel. For me, I do gaited dressage in a snaffle on a TWH at schooling shows against the NWHA Rules- I know my role, I know where I fit, and no one in the Big D owes me a damn thing or any favors or any bent rules. And everyone that I've spoken to has been NOTHING but kind and welcoming of me and my horse.

                              If I wanted to do the Big D I'd buy a trotting horse. I already have the bit
                              Last edited by katarine; Dec. 25, 2012, 08:03 PM. Reason: formatting

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                katarine i don't normally agree with you, but in this case, i think you are pretty spot on.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  well, facts are facts and lack emotion and it doesn't matter who said it.

                                  It IS raining and expected to be very ugly weather-wise tonight here in AL: That is a fact, even if you said it, I'd have to agree it was true

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Well said, katarine.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                      If it's not those two things; then what is it that is chafing COTH's Dressage posters so much? I would suggest it's the desire of some to blast Dressage wide open and then encourage/allow/permit any Tom Dick or Hillary ride anything in any(tack) while wearing just any(old)thing, something I find disrespectful of Dressage, period.
                                      My perception is that 99.9% of the folks who have expressed an interest in WD are more than willing to follow the applicable rules. I don't think that any of those 99.9% want anyone to bend any rules to accommodate them. As I've already said, I don't even want to see WD classes held at traditional dressage competitions.

                                      Which is part of my frustration with the discussions over on the dressage forum. ONE person expresses an interest in wearing a flowered garden hat on a bareback pad on a racking horse at a dressage competition and it blows up into "those WD people are disrespectful of Dressage."
                                      "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                                      that's even remotely true."

                                      Homer Simpson

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Each discipline has their own rules.

                                        In barrel racing, I hear you have to wear a cowboy hat, long sleeve western shirt, jeans and western style boots.
                                        I think that now juniors may wear a helmet, or there is talk of that.

                                        What does that has to do with barrel racing itself?
                                        If you want to play in their sand box, you have to go by their rules.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                                          My perception is that 99.9% of the folks who have expressed an interest in WD are more than willing to follow the applicable rules. I don't think that any of those 99.9% want anyone to bend any rules to accommodate them. As I've already said, I don't even want to see WD classes held at traditional dressage competitions.

                                          Which is part of my frustration with the discussions over on the dressage forum. ONE person expresses an interest in wearing a flowered garden hat on a bareback pad on a racking horse at a dressage competition and it blows up into "those WD people are disrespectful of Dressage."
                                          Don't worry about the discussions, they don't matter. Until she pays her fees and shows up and rides, she's just running her mouth. Shut up and ride.

                                          The few peeps in my area who show at my GMO's schooling shows in western dressage are on really nice horses, are good riders,and to my knowledge they feel welcomed. I know that I feel welcomed, and I am almost always the only person doing gaited dressage. Honest to God if you show up and even attempt to know your forks, you will be welcomed. If you show up and mock the rules, well... good luck.

                                          I don't worry about the chatter. the 180 degree difference between the flowered hat and the Resistol says it all.

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