11-02-2013, 12:30 PM
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The main reason I show my gaited horse at schooling dressage shows is to get feedback from a dressage judge on where we are at in our training. Where we are at in balance, bending, forwardness, connection, relaxation, rhythm, impulsion, submission, riding position and use of aids, and harmony. These are universal dressage qualities whether the horse gaits or trots.
Speaking of gaited dressage tests, I know of two organizations that have developed gaited dressage tests: National Walking Horse Association (NWHA) and Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH).
For me, I have been using the National Walking Horse Association gaited dressage tests because they are the same as the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) tests (with gait in lieu of trot).
There are lots of USDF open schooling dressage shows in my area. So when I see a show I'd like to ride at, I ask the show manager ahead of time if I can ride my gaited horse at their show using the NWHA tests. So far I have not been turned down.
FOSH has developed dressage tests and a wonderful dressage manual which accommodates all naturally gaited breeds. Currently FOSH tests are being embraced by Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA). The FOSH tests would be great to introduce to gaited breed shows with IDJ judges.
Cowboy Dressage is also talking about gaited cowboy dressage tests. I am so excited that gaited dressage is a growing concept in and out of the show world.