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Western Dressage - Thoughts ?

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  • Western dressage thoughts
  • Western dressage australia

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    11-21-2012, 02:29 PM
  #21
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
That video is a good example of why the WD movement grates on my nerves. There was nothing western about what the horse was doing or how it was being ridden. I have no objection to folks riding dressage. It isn't my cup of tea, but so what? But calling that "Western" seems dishonest to me.
I think calling that "dressage" is also dishonest. I completely agree with that grating on nerves...

--

As a dressage rider, that just makes me cringe. If that is "dressage" that is all wrong. Right off the bat, is that supposed to be half-pass at the trot?? A leg-yield?? Sorry, last time I checked, half pass doesn't lead with the haunches, and neither does leg yield. Whipping the haunches around and moving sideways is so not correct. For either of those movements. In the canter, is that a canter pirouette? Pulling your horse into a tiny circle isn't a pirouette. The changes are all late. The "contact" is just bit leverage. Pulling on your horse's face to shorten it's neck and make it upright is not collection, or correct contact. That horse is not anywhere near tracking up either (because of the "contact" or "collection"...). I could go on and on.

Take the western tack off that horse, put in in english tack, throw it in a 3rd/4th level test (because those are the movements she is kind of showing here) and it would get absolutely ripped apart by the judges.

I hope this post doesn't come off as incredibly rude, as that is not my objective. I'm simply incredibly surprised that this is "Grand National Western Dressage". To me, that implies that she is a more advanced rider of this new discipline. This rider does not do either of these disciplines justice, imo. As many people have mentioned, there are already disciplines in western that are like dressage. Incorporating dressage principles to your western training can't hurt, if that is what you choose to do. But to make a new discipline? I feel you're losing what distinguishes each discipline by mashing it together into something new.

Sorry for the novel, I hope I haven't offended anyone

ETA: I would be interested in seeing some better examples for western dressage. It certainly could be interesting to learn about, and I do think that it could open avenues for riders who aren't looking to go FEI in dressage, but would like a feel for it at the lower levels.
     
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    11-21-2012, 02:52 PM
  #22
Trained
Cowboy Dressage "I Will Survive" - YouTube!

It might be fun, or not, depending on one's taste, but if this is western dressage, then I submit it is neither.
     
    11-21-2012, 03:09 PM
  #23
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Cowboy Dressage "I Will Survive" - YouTube!

It might be fun, or not, depending on one's taste, but if this is western dressage, then I submit it is neither.
WTH? Haha! I saw him spinning that horse.......reining move? Over bridled and disjointed......I don't want to be a hater, it's just what I see.....no fluidity and soo much contact on that bit.....I'm not perfect for sure, but that grates on me....
     
    11-21-2012, 03:09 PM
  #24
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
The clip of the Morgan horse was 2 years ago and I think this is not going to be the direction the sport moves in as they want to promote 'light hands' horsemanship. I think that was a really bad example myself
From what I see and read its not going to evolve into conventional dressage in western tack either and so far the popular horses for it seem to be the Morgan, Quarter horses and Gypsy cobs
There are videos on the Cowboy Dressage youtube channel and cowboydressage.com (Eitan Beth-Halachmy) that have a lot of information - including saddles which to me look pretty much like western saddles
I think people are using too many assumptions on what its going to be about rather than do some extensive searches - more than one place
No one has to do it any more than we all have to compete in barrel racing or eventing
Each to their own please, the world needs more tolerance!!!
Agree! Something to keep in mind, it was a Morgan show, so Morgan stallion was used. To me he worked like he had learned only certain maneuvers, was not built up properly. It was a demo for the discipline. The rider still has a lot to learn, IMO, especially what to do and where to keep her hands. Horrible.
The first video I liked. And reading a bit on the website, doesn't sound bad at all. But......and that's not bad, mind you......it reminds me a lot of the way a bridle horse is worked. So, nothing new after all........
     
    11-21-2012, 05:10 PM
  #25
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigo    
I think calling that "dressage" is also dishonest. I completely agree with that grating on nerves...

--

As a dressage rider, that just makes me cringe. If that is "dressage" that is all wrong. Right off the bat, is that supposed to be half-pass at the trot?? A leg-yield?? Sorry, last time I checked, half pass doesn't lead with the haunches, and neither does leg yield. Whipping the haunches around and moving sideways is so not correct. For either of those movements. In the canter, is that a canter pirouette? Pulling your horse into a tiny circle isn't a pirouette. The changes are all late. The "contact" is just bit leverage. Pulling on your horse's face to shorten it's neck and make it upright is not collection, or correct contact. That horse is not anywhere near tracking up either (because of the "contact" or "collection"...). I could go on and on.

Take the western tack off that horse, put in in english tack, throw it in a 3rd/4th level test (because those are the movements she is kind of showing here) and it would get absolutely ripped apart by the judges.

I hope this post doesn't come off as incredibly rude, as that is not my objective. I'm simply incredibly surprised that this is "Grand National Western Dressage". To me, that implies that she is a more advanced rider of this new discipline. This rider does not do either of these disciplines justice, imo. As many people have mentioned, there are already disciplines in western that are like dressage. Incorporating dressage principles to your western training can't hurt, if that is what you choose to do. But to make a new discipline? I feel you're losing what distinguishes each discipline by mashing it together into something new.

Sorry for the novel, I hope I haven't offended anyone

ETA: I would be interested in seeing some better examples for western dressage. It certainly could be interesting to learn about, and I do think that it could open avenues for riders who aren't looking to go FEI in dressage, but would like a feel for it at the lower levels.
Now I did get accused of being pretentious when I said this in another WD thread but the 'dressage' from the french word 'dresser' actually means
The guiding of a horse through a series of complex maneuvers by slight movements of the rider's hands, legs, and weight.
the training of horses in obedience and the execution of precise movements.
the method of training a horse to perform manoeuvres in response to the rider's body signals
We've come to see it as the conventional dressage we're familiar with but its not incorrect to apply it to any form of training
You can't compare it to the sort of dressage we understand because it isnt the same thing
If it continues to gain popularity as something for people who want to use western tack and do a form of dressage that is easier and more suited to the western style of riding and horse then why not let them enjoy it?
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    11-21-2012, 05:30 PM
  #26
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
...We've come to see it as the conventional dressage we're familiar with but its not incorrect to apply it to any form of training...
Actually, since we aren't French, it is incorrect. Or if not incorrect, at least confusing. If we want to convey the idea of "training", we have a word for that - training.

I have no objection to folks doing these sorts of things. It is the name that grates on me, because what they are doing isn't really western OR dressage. When my horse starts prancing down a wash with her nose against her chest, I don't look at my saddle and claim I'm doing "Australian Dressage"...
     
    11-21-2012, 05:59 PM
  #27
Foal
It's basically just dressage with different tack. In other words, it's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
     
    11-21-2012, 06:22 PM
  #28
Super Moderator
One of the main supporters for it evolved his idea for Cowboy dressage from Freestyle reining - which his horse Holiday Compadre was a champion in in the 1990's and not from conventional dressage

Bsms - sorry if the habit of borrowing words from other languages confuses you - unfortunately the English language is a total mish mosh of european languages down to the annoying habit they had of invading Britain and leaving a reminder of themselves behind!!!
Dressage is only using the horses natural movements and harnessing them so when your mare does her sideways shimmy then she is sort of doing dressage au natural
bsms likes this.
     
    11-21-2012, 06:49 PM
  #29
Started
If you want to do dressage buy a REAL dressage saddle, and do dressage the traditional way.

Just my honest opinion.
Poseidon and Muppetgirl like this.
     
    11-21-2012, 07:49 PM
  #30
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
Now I did get accused of being pretentious when I said this in another WD thread but the 'dressage' from the french word 'dresser' actually means
The guiding of a horse through a series of complex maneuvers by slight movements of the rider's hands, legs, and weight.
the training of horses in obedience and the execution of precise movements.
the method of training a horse to perform manoeuvres in response to the rider's body signals
We've come to see it as the conventional dressage we're familiar with but its not incorrect to apply it to any form of training
You can't compare it to the sort of dressage we understand because it isnt the same thing
If it continues to gain popularity as something for people who want to use western tack and do a form of dressage that is easier and more suited to the western style of riding and horse then why not let them enjoy it?
I understand where you're coming from, completely. I would also agree with how it's been defined there. I never said that it shouldn't be allowed, if you (using you as a general term in this entire paragraph) want to slap a western saddle on your horse and call it dressage be my guest as that is your choice, I just might not agree. The upside I see to western dressage is if someone wants to dabble in another discipline but doesn't have the tack for it, then it gives them a chance to experience something new that could end up helping them along in their riding. Of course its not incorrect to apply aspects of another discipline...it can be helpful in fact! I've jumped my dressage horses before as cross training, albeit not very often. But, you wouldn't (for example) put a western saddle on a hunter horse, put it over jumps and call it western hunter, would you? Same as you're not going to do a reining pattern on your horse in a dressage saddle and call it dressage reining (I would hope).

Sure, the term dressage is derived from the idea of basic training (essentially). Tell an FEI dressage rider that what they're doing is the same as that guy in the western saddle training dressage tricks, and I'm sure they wouldn't take it so well. I know I wouldn't. If we can't compare conventional dressage, like we all know, to western 'dressage' then don't call it western 'dressage' and find another term for it! I work hard at my discipline of dressage, as do most dressage riders, and I'm proud to call it dressage. Start calling what that morgan rider was doing in that video 'dressage' and that's going to bother me. She was simply doing the 'tricks' (poorly, I might add) which is so SO not what dressage is about. I would hope that was just a poor example of western dressage because if that is how it is normally ridden, I feel it's going to give the uneducated (for lack of a better term) of horse world a pretty dim view on what dressage truly is.

Also, the point of my first post was that the 'dressage' movements she was doing were completely incorrect and ill-ridden. If you're going to call what you're doing dressage, at least try to do it justice by learning to do the movements correctly (or at least giving it a wholehearted effort). Not that people shouldn't be allowed to do it, or enjoy it.

I digress. I'm also off to find some more information on western dressage.
     

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