Western Dressage - Thoughts ?

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Western Dressage - Thoughts ?

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    11-21-2012, 08:11 AM
Western Dressage - Thoughts ?


I have been hearing a lot in the last few months about Western Dressage and a search on the Internet is showing a lot in interest also. People are calling looking for Western Dressage Saddles, Etc.

Of course I have heard those that are insulted because of the new Discipleship.

Can we not have the beauty of English Dressage and Western Showmanship?

Leaving the Insults out, anyone have any thoughts?
Anyone ever been to a competition for it?
Anyone interested in trying it?

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    11-21-2012, 08:16 AM
Green Broke
I thinks it's great. It's getting people together and enjoying their horses who otherwise may never have crossed paths. Just another niche where someone can find like-minded folks! I think the western dressage saddles are hideous, but that's just me.
SouthernTrails and Stichy like this.
    11-21-2012, 08:17 AM
How would Western dressaqe be different to reining? TBH, it seems silly to make a 'new' discipline when one just like it already exists.
shmurmer4 and FalineDear like this.
    11-21-2012, 08:39 AM
THere are maneuvers in dressage that are not used (or at least shown) in reining. For example, jogging/trotting is minimal, and they just introduced the gait in a couple of their patterns, primarily to speed up the shows, or so I have been told by an officer in the NRHA as well as a judge. THe actual maneuvers that are used in the show patterns of a reiner may not show all of their abilities, particularly when it comes to lateral movements. Therefore, western dressage would be different, and is NOT the same as reining.
    11-21-2012, 09:34 AM
I'm not a fan. To me it seems like trying to reinvent the wheel. Western already has a class that is pretty well the same, horsemanship. Pattern with speed/tempo changes, changes of gait, lead changes, sidepass, etc. It's just done with cones instead of letters for markers.

Some equate it with reining, I disagree. It isn't reining, not by a long shot. It is however some of the basic principles put on a young horse that may be headed towards reining or any other western performance event for that matter. From what I have seen of W. Dressage I would expect any youngster with a good start on them to be able to ace the tests I've looked over.

In its essence it goes against most western teachings. 2 hands with contact in a shanked bit? No thank you. A horse that is ridden in a shanked bit shouldn't require contact to perform as asked, at that point it should be seat primarily and a bit of quiet leg. That isn't to say that western horses aren't taught with contact or schooled that way, of course they are but in a snaffle to prepare them for the next step. Some contact is required to teach many things a good western performance horse should know but not something they will always require, nor should they imo.

I guess for me it boils down to dressage is dressage. Western riding/horsemanship isn't dressage nor is dressage western. I kind of think it is a bit of a slap in the face to those who ride true dressage as well as those that ride western performance horses as it truly is neither. The only benefit I see to this new discipline is a chance to school youngsters before spending big bucks putting them in the show pen in a more advanced western performance discipline.

Opinions aside, if I were a saddle maker I would by all means jump on it. Kevin if people are willing to pay for it, take their money!
    11-21-2012, 09:56 AM
When I first heard of it, I was pretty excited!!!.......THEN I went online and viewed some videos....and one was a demonstration for a crowd of the new 'thing' called WD....I was shocked, the lady riding had the horse is a great big shank with full contact on and had the horse lifted up with it.....the bit remained horizontal to the ground throughout the whole demo......not cool....therefore unless there are some advancements in tack (ie, hate the saddle, what's wrong with my reining saddle?) and bitting rules, I will not even entertain the idea of training to enter one of those classes......
    11-21-2012, 09:58 AM
Same. I thought it was going to be something like dressage but with western carriage and aids, but its dressage in western tack. I thought it was neat until I saw how people were riding it.
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    11-21-2012, 10:32 AM
To me it seems like a silly waste of money because you have to buy all kinds of different tack to perform in something that already exists with a different name. That said, if you have money to spend, go for it. If you want to work on dressage while in western tack, that is your business. I don' t know how anyone can get "offended" by what others are doing with their horses, their money and their time. As long as it isn't something that hurts the horse (and that doesn't) then who cares? Have fun along the way.
    11-21-2012, 10:53 AM
Other than the tack, what is western about "western dressage"?

And if you stick big knee rolls onto the fender to hold the leg down (WTF,O!), then what is western about tack like that?

If someone enjoys it and it gets them out riding their horse, that is fine by me. I just wish they would change the name. Maybe..."Horned Dressage"?
    11-21-2012, 10:56 AM
Super Moderator
Personally I think if people want to do it and it gets them out there doing stuff with their horses then why not.
Anything that boosts the horse market right now and encourages people to get out and buy horses and equipment is a good thing
You don't have to use a shanked bit to do it - bitless bridles are acceptable too and you don't have to have both hands on the reins either
Someone doing the tests on a Morgan horse will have a higher head carriage because that's natural for them but if you're doing it on a quarter horse then it will have a lower outline
Its new, its going to take time to evolve and I don't think its going to go away because its something the older or more sedate western rider is wanting to do.
THis is a video I found of a low level test - not seeing the head cranked up here and its definitely not a dressage horse ridden in western tack either

Cowboy Dressage™ at Wolf Creek Ranch

I'm not even a western rider so I've got no bias here at all
There are a lot of horse sports that I wouldnt ever want to do but no way would I knock them or people who get pleasure out of doing them
SouthernTrails and Opal like this.

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