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

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  • Original Poster

    #61
    I love all this discussion, it is what makes a good thread and I'm glad for the participation! I have dabbled in dressage, as mentioned with one terrible trainer and one decent one. I am learning more now with my western trainer (who comes from a dressage background) than I ever did beforehand. Lucky me!

    I love the idea of a horse that can do most anything, not a specialist. Frankly neither he nor I have the gumption or ability for specialization ;-0
    Just riding well, light, in balance, using seat and legs, well, that's where we're at for now (or attempt to be)

    FWIW I had a dressage person tell me years ago not to bother, I was a nobody from nowhere and had the wrong horse even back then (a pretty nice paint) boy that sure stuck with me as to how modern dressage people treat others....not much difference here unfortunately. Now I have a nice moving Tb (eh so what if he gets a little wonky with his poor neck!) who has 3 nice gaits. Why bother with that modern dressage attitude BS? Hence my pursuing WD or cowboy dressage or vaquero riding (IMHO the best trained horses there are) ;-)

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
      OP, yes an OTTB can do anything, as long as it has the desire and ability. My OTTB mare had been started in a feedlot and was well prepared for any career after the track as a result. I could open gates from the saddle, sort cattle with her -- she'd get down nose to nose with a bunch quitter -- and she loved to jump! She probably would have enjoyed WD, if it had been available at the time.

      WD is in its infancy. There are currently three organizations promoting it around the country. The principles of training are the same, in spite of what the purists say. Yes, the gaits are not as "expressive" as we're used to in the traditional Dressage world. So what? Not all horses are Olympic quality movers. Some are "working" breeds, not "Sport" breeds. Not all riders desire to ride "traditional" dressage, but appreciate the principles behind it. Starting with the rules and regs of the traditional dressage world was a logical place to start. I do NOT understand the dressage folks who are getting all wound up about that. It's the same, but different in places. Let the WD's be! They aren't harming you.

      I think WD is a wonderful outlet for riders who want to dip their toes in the dressage waters. It's an attractive option for WP riders who are bored, or for older riders who want a challenge but not the danger of cattle work or speed events. Give it a try and ignore the naysayers!

      Oh, and Paula, Bluey has forgotten more about horses than you'll likely ever know. She's done it ALL.
      Hey, no, I have done some, but not that much.
      Heck, I even learned a bit of what Parelli was doing moons ago.
      Seriously, I am still learning, big time.
      Hope I didn't give the wrong impression about that.
      That we never quit learning is what is so great about all we do with horses.

      Sorry, I disagree with the vaquero tradition being such good horses.
      Maybe they are better today, but they were some of the stiffer ones I knew and so did Don Dodge tell me, that beat them regularly and had to judge them in CA.

      They were great at what they did, but like everyone, not without faults.
      As he put it, the CA men used to say, "there come those TX cowboys, that can't ride, but their horses sure keep beating ours!"

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by wylde sage View Post

        FWIW I had a dressage person tell me years ago not to bother, I was a nobody from nowhere and had the wrong horse even back then (a pretty nice paint) boy that sure stuck with me as to how modern dressage people treat others....not much difference here unfortunately.
        What a shame that rude ignorance was all that dressage person could respond with. For what it is worth, I am a nobody who lives nowhere and I ride the wrong horse, too. I am a fluffy, middle aged, disabled re-rider with an Arabian. And I live in Idaho. You can't get more wrong than me.

        And yet my interest in dressage was meet with support and inclusion from the local/regional dressage community. So I don't think it is fair to label a whole discipline as being that rude and unwelcoming. I should also say that I have spent at least a little time with dressage people from all over (both from my region, which covers several states and from all over the world during World Cup in 2007 and the Olympic selection trials in California in 2008), and my experience has been very positive, despite not riding very well and riding an off-breed.

        For every stuck-up idiot there are ten riders like me, along with the trainers who work with us. They are out there, I promise. What a shame that you felt like you had the door slammed in your face.
        Sheilah

        Comment


        • #64
          ^ Three cheers for Sheilah!

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
            ^ Three cheers for Sheilah!
            Ditto.

            Also, if you don't find someone good, keep looking, there are out there.
            If you don't find someone on the discipline you want, maybe look at others also.
            At least you will have fun learning something else, until you come onto what you wanted initially.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
              ^ Three cheers for Sheilah!
              LOL! Because I ride an Arab, right?
              Sheiilah

              Comment


              • #67
                Because my previous great horse was a 14.1 Arab that I bought from my rancher cousin. Heckuva cowpony if you could survive his trot -- but he excelled at dressage. We even did (and won!) a three-phase event once!

                He was the love of my life. Equaled only by the Hanno gelding I have now. Also, I specialize in teaching middle-aged beginners, re-riders and new dressage converts. One of my hardest-working and most successful riders happens to be a Para!

                So I cheer for the middle-aged ladies who soldier on with their horses, whatever the breed, whatever the circumstances. It's the journey, not the destination that's important.

                Comment


                • #68
                  ThreeFigs, you totally get it! I sometimes think I need a bigger horse (my gelding is 15.1 and well built, but my ass keeps getting bigger and his back has stayed the same length), but in the end I always come back to how perfect he is. I have owned him for eight years+ and he has kept me safe and engaged every step of the way. It has absolutely been a shared journey.

                  I think I'll stick with my off breed. He hasn't let me down yet.
                  Sheilah

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by longride1 View Post
                    BTW, there is nothing in either western or modern competitive dressage about cranking a horse's head into a position. USEF rules wouldn't have to be modified for the OP's horse nor do WD dressage rules make it easier. They require the same carriage. More important, they both require that the horse work from back to front, using the entire circle of muscles to best advantage. The fact that horses with high set necks and uphill build are preferred for FEI levels has nothing to do with correct application of dressage principles.

                    Sorry, I'm a page or so late getting my reply up. You can ignore this if you want.
                    I may be wrong, but I think the OP was talking about her horse having some problem with neck vertebrae, was not supposed to be collected too much, or he may have problems.

                    That circle you refer to includes receiving the energy from the back into the front thru the properly conditioned neck, something this horse should not stress.

                    While there is not that much collection expected at the lower levels, there is some and more every day, for what I have been seeing and that was one more reason the OP didn't want to try to train quite that much toward's self carriage.

                    I am not sure if WD is asking for any less, but that was one of the criticism I have heard, that it was not, or not enough, so maybe that would be a good fit for that horse.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Intresting thread! Always keeping things interesting around here.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by wylde sage View Post
                        FWIW I had a dressage person tell me years ago not to bother, I was a nobody from nowhere and had the wrong horse even back then (a pretty nice paint) boy that sure stuck with me as to how modern dressage people treat others....not much difference here unfortunately. Now I have a nice moving Tb (eh so what if he gets a little wonky with his poor neck!) who has 3 nice gaits. Why bother with that modern dressage attitude BS? Hence my pursuing WD or cowboy dressage or vaquero riding (IMHO the best trained horses there are) ;-)
                        I had an engineering professor tell me that I should choose a "proper career" for a woman. I'm still an engineer. People suck.

                        As for your OP, go for it. There should be no reason that your TB cant do western dressage. Ask your local GMO about their schooling shows (didn't catch your location). Many GMOs offer western dressage classes at their schooling shows... or might if you show some interest.

                        Be aware that GMOs can set their own rules as schooling shows are, by definition, unsanctioned.
                        Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          There are always the hexperts out there to undo your hard work and ambitions. Sometimes they fail but sometimes they succeed. When I was a kid, and who knows, it may still be a position some hold, but black girls were not considered suitable for ballet because they were shaped wrong.

                          When you have influence you are challenged to be very mindful of what you tell people. Nobody's perfect of course.

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

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