Originally Posted by core
I don't agree with the your statement.
It'd be easier to find a qualified dressage instructor than find a western trainer that actually understood straightness, engagement, relaxation.
Intro to dressage and training level are "basic training". Anyone should be able to complete these levels with some ease. There are eight additional levels in dressage after training level. I get pretty tired of people saying its basic training.... Sure, at training level it's "basic training". Past that, anyone who's trained higher can tell you that it's not "basic" training. That's the beauty with dressage.... It builds from the basics into a whole new level of advanced riding. Well beyond anything related to just sitting up straight, or being able to w/t/c on cue. If you've ever ridden a more advanced dressage horse, you'll know there's nothing basic about it. Even training level, when trained correctly, is far more advanced than any western riding I've ever seen in real life. There are exceptional western trainers out there, but the chances of the regular joe Schmoe getting lessons with that person are slim to none. However, you can find good dressage instructors quite frequently, and USDF lists qualified instructors in your area.
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I have trained higher, and higher training is not basic training. However, the basic, lower level dressage should be applied and taught to anyone who wants to learn correct equitation. That involves the western disciplines.
I know many reiners who started out in a dressage flat class and took reining manouvers as a second class. Some of them are competing in the NRHA, some of them are traveling and doing clinics, some of them are training their own reining horses for sales. A correct reiner knows engagement, straightness, rythm and relaxation, contact...all that is involved in the propper higher training of a competitive horse.
These people can also teach propper dressage lessons. A woman I know is running a school/show barn for english riders. She is one who took classical dressage basics in a western saddle and topped it off with reining manouvers. Her students do very well in the english disciplines.
That's the marvel of an all-around instructor. If they have the correct start, they can teach just about anything.
You're right. Theres nothing basic about advanced dressage. No one said that there was.
I don't need schooled in the discipline of dressage. I have ridden and trained tempi's and halfpasses. I ride western as a choice, but I have schooled classical dressage and jumped for years before the western saddle. I use dressage theory, concepts and training methods in all the horses I get on, regardless of their saddle. I believe all students should have this taught to them in order to gain the proper aids for correct equitation.
Basic dressage should be taught to every beginner, regardless of saddle choice, before the students continues on into the chosen sport of their liking. If they want to continue to the higher levels, that's great. If not, at least they have the education to ride better than Joe Shmoe down the road.