07-17-2008, 06:16 PM
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Dressage is a great way to really build up the horse's back muscles, and to teach them to stretch and collect their frames. There are lots of avenues for you to compete in gaited dressage events. However, I wouldn't suggest doing traditional dressage, as you would be required to trot in the patterns. I allow my horses to trot a little bit...but you may lose some of your nice singlefoot gait, if you allow your horse to stay in the trot mode. Trotting is much easier & more effortless than gaiting, so your horse may have a hard time keeping a nice gait over time.
One myth about the Rockies is that they don't canter... I love cantering mine, although I do have a few who are on the pacey side, so instead of doing a nice 3 beat canter, they do a 4beat pace-gallop. Yuck! My mare, Nikki, competed against some nice Tennessee Walking horses in a 3 gaited class last year (walk, gait & canter), and she beat out some really nice horses to win the class! :)
My last word on this topic... many people buy horses thinking to do everything with them... However, know that the Rockies were bred to be calm, smooth trail mounts...while they can do other things, sometimes they won't excel in these tasks. Same goes for other breeds.. People should first pick a horse for the sport they want to compete in... if you want to do more, realize there will be some limitations.
Just my thoughts! Personally, I do shows, trail trials, parades & some gaited dressage with my horses.
Jennifer's Stonehedge Farms--Cedaredge, CO