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Gaited Dressage?

This is a discussion on Gaited Dressage? within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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        10-27-2013, 01:39 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guilherme    
    You might be kidding but this is a real question for a lot of Dressage competitors.

    These horses tend to be high dollar and they are really "babied" and treated with "kid gloves." I was a member of our local Dressage club for several years and tried to get a trail ride up in some very benign places (like the National Military Part at Rossville, GA, a/k/a the Chicamaugua Battlefield Park). Of 50 plus members I had three takers. Several were right horrified at riding their horse outside a ring.

    Take a horse with more than a decade of this type of husbandry and training and you'll likely have an interesting time during the first trail ride. If the horse has a normal brain it can be acclimated to trail riding. Like anything else it will take some time and effort.

    G.
    The "just kidding" part was about actually saying that to riders, the way they tell others (not just gaited) that their horse/breed can't do dressage.

    People tend to think trail riding is easy compared to ring riding. It's like any other discipline, certain breeds do better than others. If you're familiar with Star Trek, I ride about 30 miles from Vasquez Rock. We do not have nice, wide, bridle paths to ride. It's nearly all hill, narrow paths, and bad footing. There are a lot of trails the larger breeds just can't do, and many of them have a hard time pushing themselves up a steep hill. The smaller breeds such as Arabs, QH's, Pasos, my Icelandic, have no problems on these trails.

    A warmblood is fine on an easy bridle path and gentle slopes, just like any breed is fine at the lower levels of dressage. But it's not a breed designed for long hours or bad footing. I guess I was trying to point out that a blanket statement like "your horse can't do dressage" is as silly as "your horse can't go on the trails".
    SarahandDallas likes this.
         
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        10-27-2013, 05:28 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Malda    
    The "just kidding" part was about actually saying that to riders, the way they tell others (not just gaited) that their horse/breed can't do dressage.

    People tend to think trail riding is easy compared to ring riding. It's like any other discipline, certain breeds do better than others. If you're familiar with Star Trek, I ride about 30 miles from Vasquez Rock. We do not have nice, wide, bridle paths to ride. It's nearly all hill, narrow paths, and bad footing. There are a lot of trails the larger breeds just can't do, and many of them have a hard time pushing themselves up a steep hill. The smaller breeds such as Arabs, QH's, Pasos, my Icelandic, have no problems on these trails.

    A warmblood is fine on an easy bridle path and gentle slopes, just like any breed is fine at the lower levels of dressage. But it's not a breed designed for long hours or bad footing. I guess I was trying to point out that a blanket statement like "your horse can't do dressage" is as silly as "your horse can't go on the trails".
    You'd be quite right for the "back yard" or "generic WB" but would be way off with something like the Trakkhener that was bred as a horse for the Prussian Cavalry. They stood up quite well on the Eastern Front (where the German Army maintained six divisions of cavalry, mostly for patrolling and supression of partisan activity). They also do quite well at Eventing. I suspect they'd do OK as a "trail horse", too!

    We are back, again, to the "horses for courses" rule. Some breeds will do better than others in some disciplines. Within any given breed there will be a range of suitability for tasks. You can speak in generalities about breeds, but can also be surprised by non-conforming examples (on both ends of the spectrum).

    G.
         
        10-27-2013, 10:11 PM
      #13
    Foal
    I honestly think Gaited Dressage is a discipline that is very over due. Dressage simply means schooling and yes, Dressage is a sport but dressage isn't reserved for only trotting horses. I firmly believe that dressage will not only help gaited horses but help gaited riders become better, more in tune riders.

    We gaited horse riders are looking for the same elements of Classical Dressage, purity of gait, impulsion, obedience, and suppleness so why not have test that challenge us and our horses?

    We ride horses, just because they have an extra gait doesn't make them pariahs of the Dressage world.
    Malda and jklitzke like this.
         
        10-28-2013, 11:15 AM
      #14
    Foal
    I thought that video was very misleading also. I think gaited dressage is a fine concept, but when I hear gaited dressage, I think of horses that are naturally gaited (ie. Walk, gait, canter) such as walking horses, Missouri Fox trotters, paso fino, etc.

    I am always confused when saddlebreds get thrown into this mix as they are not 'ideally' naturally gaited and in fact go walk/trot/canter like most other horses, the extra gaits have to be trained in. So calling them a 'gaited' horse is a misnomer...most are perfectly capable of doing regular USDF dressage....and 'some' can do it quite well. My horse has been trying his hand at dressage for exactly 2 yrs and showed fourth level at a regional show last week with scores in the mid-60's (see my avatar).

    Gaited or regular dressage is great for any horse to improve strength and balance and a whole host of things, and some examples of most any breed can be found that have a special talent for it...and though many warmbloods do excel at dressage, it is not their realm exclusively.
         
        10-28-2013, 02:11 PM
      #15
    Foal
    @CB06 I agree on Saddlebreds, they to me, fall into a grey area gaited wise. All Saddlebreds do a wonderful walk/trot/canter and a few can rack naturally but most require training. To me, a truly gaited horse is a horse who naturally has that "extra" gait without gimmicks or extensive training.

    My OTSTB does a natural rack and foxtrot and has been picking up a head nod from the TWHs we ride with :)

    I honestly think Gaited Dressage is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our wonderful breeds and make us better riders.
         
        10-28-2013, 02:36 PM
      #16
    Started
    My trainer has written tests for Gaited dressage classes. I believe she was asked to do this for the USDA (or whatever the main dressage group is called). She's also done a bunch for Western dressage. Of course, she still does a lot with regular dressage, too.
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        10-28-2013, 02:42 PM
      #17
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by disastercupcake    
    Yes I believe you have the same idea that I do; that dressage is good for any horse, but not any horse can do Dressage.
    I disagree.
    I believe that dressage is good for any horse, but not any horse can SHOW Dressage.
    Horses at liberty put 2/3 of their weight on their front legs. Without balance training, which basic dressage can teach ANY SOUND HORSE, your horse will add the riders weight to the two front legs and not carry himself AND you on all 4 legs. Yes, at liberty a horse will throw weight backwards to stop quickly and turn on a dime when playing with the herd AND rearing and displaying (again, at play), but the "on the forehand" movement becomes a bad habit, which Dressage training can fix, or, prevent in the first place. Also, it teaches bending and stretching and flexibility. For a trail horse you are training in this way to get many more years out of your pleasure horse.
    Unless their is a class for Gaited horses to show Dressage, I doubt that a gaited horse can go very far in the Dressage Show World.
    jklitzke likes this.
         
        10-28-2013, 02:47 PM
      #18
    Foal
    Smile

    It's nice to see a discussion about gaited dressage. I've been riding traditional dressage for 25 years and 7 years ago bought my first naturally gaited horse (TWH). Since dressage is all I know, that's what I used to communicate with my horse. Then I began bringing my gaited horse to open schooling dressage shows in 2010. I enjoy getting feedback from a trained pair of eyes as to where we are at in our training. Most judges have never evaluated a gaited horse performing a dressage test and comment that they don't know how to score the gait in lieu of the trot, but they see harmony, balance, bending, rhythm, engagement, forwardness, relaxation, teamwork, etc. To me this is the reason I use dressage methods of training. I think dressage brings out the best natural movement of any horse (gaited or trotting). So for those who are dabbling with the notion of using dressage methods and even showing dressage, I am so happy for you!
         
        10-29-2013, 02:25 AM
      #19
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Corporal    
    Unless their is a class for Gaited horses to show Dressage, I doubt that a gaited horse can go very far in the Dressage Show World.
    Yes that is exactly what I brought up; there are Gaited Dressage classes now. There are tests specifically made for gaited horses to show dressage.

    I don't believe that these classes will be incorporated into the USDF anytime soon (if at all), Nor do I expect my TWH to perform at high levels. Like you said, all the basic training tools that dressage utilizes can be equally applied by and benefit the gaited community.
         
        10-29-2013, 09:00 AM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by disastercupcake    
    Yes that is exactly what I brought up; there are Gaited Dressage classes now. There are tests specifically made for gaited horses to show dressage.

    I don't believe that these classes will be incorporated into the USDF anytime soon (if at all), Nor do I expect my TWH to perform at high levels. Like you said, all the basic training tools that dressage utilizes can be equally applied by and benefit the gaited community.
    About three or four years ago USDF appointed a committee to explore adding gaited horse standards to their tests. After study they decided not to do so. Their major reason appeared to be that "purity of gait" is an important part of the Dressage mileau. In the video that was posted the man talks about purity of gait in the trot; the trot is easy to analyze because a trot is a trot is a trot. The committee noted that even within any gaited breed association there can be a wide divergence of opinion on how a soft gait is correctly performed. They asked the question, "If a breed expert cannot clearly articulate the correct performance of one gait how can a Dressage judge be expected to master the purity not only of that one gait, but of the many other gaits?" In the end they felt that adding gaited horses to the Dressage mix would create insurmountable prolems in fair and professional judging. They recommended that USDF not go forward. And they didn't.

    Frankly, the problem articulated by the USDF committee still exists and is still unsolved in the world of "Gaited Horse Dressage."

    Again, this does not mean that gaited horse riders can't learn from the world of dressage and it's techiniques for traning. I've got a book with woodcuts from the 18th Century depicting the use of dressage techniques of that time in training gaited horses of that time. The idea of "gaited dressage" is not new.

    G.
    Corporal and disastercupcake like this.
         

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