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Western Dressage - Thoughts ?

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        11-21-2012, 09:17 PM
      #31
    Trained
    AMEN, Tigo!!!!

    I could not agree more with that statement.
    In my very honest opinion, "Western Dressage" is great for those in the community, who don't do well in standard western events, but are equally as incapable at riding true Dressage.
         
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        11-21-2012, 11:02 PM
      #32
    Started
    After watching videos, reading about it & seeing various discussions on it,This whole WD thing,Put's a sour taste in my mouth.I think it degrades the concept of true good western horses & English dressage horses.
         
        11-22-2012, 12:46 AM
      #33
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    I just wish they would change the name. Maybe..."Horned Dressage"?
    Or perhaps "Horny Dressage"? I think "Western dressage" is intriguing; what the heck! As long as you are excited about what you are doing, and the horse is working within it's capabilities and not being abused or stressed, why not? I am sure abuses will occur, but they occur in both English and Western disciplines anyway. I love dressage, but the whole rollkur thing makes me cringe...
         
        11-22-2012, 12:57 AM
      #34
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Captain Evil    
    Or perhaps "Horny Dressage"? I think "Western dressage" is intriguing; what the heck! As long as you are excited about what you are doing, and the horse is working within it's capabilities and not being abused or stressed, why not? I am sure abuses will occur, but they occur in both English and Western disciplines anyway. I love dressage, but the whole rollkur thing makes me cringe...
    *Smacks head*

    I hate Western.... those bits look like torture devices
    I hate endurance.... making those poor horses trot for days on end
    I hate black people... they're all dangerous....
    See the trend????

    I've seen rolkur used on show jumpers, eventers, heck even pony club horses.
    I ride Dressage, and I can assure you, I don't use Rolkur. In fact, I have only witnessed it being used by 2 Dressage riders in my state, though have heard whispers of a few others.
    Rolkur and Dressage does NOT go hand in hand. Don't get the two confused.
         
        11-22-2012, 01:09 AM
      #35
    Trained
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rpu...e_gdata_player

    This gentleman started something similar about 15years ago in Germany. Idea behind it is to ride with a mixture of Spanish, classical dressage, and California/vaquero style to create harmony and lightnes. He is giving clinics, wrote several books and trains certified trainers in this school.
    He doesn't require a certain saddle, as long as it is a deep seat, believes that no more than three different bits are needed and that the horse has to be worked up in the higher bit.

    He has many many hobby rider clients. Folks who just want to ride better.
    He doesn't call it "dressage". In fact, his first book is called "hobby rider academy"
    Kayty and Back2Horseback like this.
         
        11-22-2012, 01:16 AM
      #36
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    Rolkur and Dressage does NOT go hand in hand. Don't get the two confused.
    No, no, I understand that. I was using rolkur (one "L"?) as an example.

    One could point to a rider schooling a dressage horse using rolkur techniques, and say, "I would never ride dressage; look at that, it's cruel!" just as one could point to a "western dressage" rider who is riding with a tight curb, and say " I dislike Western dressage, it is cruel." I'm sure there are examples of western dressage riders who ride beautifully and don't aggravate or hurt their horses, just as there are dressage riders who can ride wonderfully without even a bridle. I'm sure western dressage, done well, could be awesome. I prefer taking lessons and schooling in a dressage saddle, but that is just my preference. I think it is easier to communicate with less leather and bulk.
         
        11-22-2012, 09:47 AM
      #37
    Foal
    It would help if people knew what dressage is. It isn't a discipline like jumping or reining. For the horse it's progressively first restoring it's ability to use it's body, especially the back, as nature intended, then building strength and suppleness so the horse can carry a rider with minimal damage to itself. There are some ideas that aren't found in other systems - like narrowing the horse's base of support as it gains strength and agility. The training is done by using the horse's own body weight and movement as the resistance that builds strength. Where the weight is carried and how movement is created and shaped is controlled and aided by changes in how the rider places his own weight, supported by the toning or relaxation of muscles in the seat, legs, body and hands.

    The skill of the dressage trainer is knowing how to place the horse's weight in each exercise so that maximum benefit is achieved and how to combine exercises and progress from one to another so the horse is never overfaced but is continuously challenged. Because this has been studied for centuries certain progressions are "set" - everyone knows them and they are taught in text books. True masters don't need or follow the text books. They ride the moment and the needs of the individual horse.

    Why can't this be done with a western horse?

    Since it takes yeas of correct training to make a bridle horse or dressage horse it's not surprising that the videos out there are pretty awful. So are the majority of riding videos of any endeavor. There's been a noticeable improvement over the past 12 months.
         
        11-22-2012, 10:11 AM
      #38
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rpu...e_gdata_player

    This gentleman started something similar about 15years ago in Germany. Idea behind it is to ride with a mixture of Spanish, classical dressage, and California/vaquero style to create harmony and lightnes. He is giving clinics, wrote several books and trains certified trainers in this school.
    He doesn't require a certain saddle, as long as it is a deep seat, believes that no more than three different bits are needed and that the horse has to be worked up in the higher bit.

    He has many many hobby rider clients. Folks who just want to ride better.
    He doesn't call it "dressage". In fact, his first book is called "hobby rider academy"
    I just watched it! Too bad I don't speak German, however I got the message! Neat!
         
        11-22-2012, 10:15 AM
      #39
    Weanling
    I agree with you, Longride. "Dressage" translates roughly as "Training" so in a sense you can't really even say "I ride dressage," any more than you can say "I ride training." But it works as sort of a shorthand way to describe an approach or a broad philosophy toward riding; gives you a quick mental image of what someone is talking about. You can use the principles and methodologies of dressage with any tack, or no even tack at all. But it is easier, I think, to school a horse using traditional dressage tack than other tack, like a western saddle or a jumping saddle.
         
        11-22-2012, 12:22 PM
      #40
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by longride    
    It would help if people knew what dressage is. It isn't a discipline like jumping or reining. For the horse it's progressively first restoring it's ability to use it's body, especially the back, as nature intended, then building strength and suppleness so the horse can carry a rider with minimal damage to itself. There are some ideas that aren't found in other systems - like narrowing the horse's base of support as it gains strength and agility...

    Why can't this be done with a western horse?...
    Because the goal of dressage differs from the goals of western riding. The goal of dressage is for the horse to move in collected gaits, which can be defined as the horse doing the most work while covering the least ground. And that is contrary to western riding, "western pleasure" not withstanding.

    Western riding reasonably should be the style of riding used on the ranches of the west. And a ranch horse doesn't need collected gaits. A big, bouncy sitting trot is NOT a western approach to a sitting trot. It is spectacular and appropriate for dressage, but not for western riding.

    Western saddles do not encourage lots of motion of the horse's back, because the long bars of the saddle tree are contrary to how you would design a saddle for maximum use of the horse's back. They do work well for roping, or working cattle, or for someone who may spend 12 hours or more in the saddle.

    In dressage, the horse is supposed to be heavily cued, with the rider making all the decisions. In most western riding, the horse is encouraged to make some of the decision, since a human cannot respond to a cow's movement and then direct the horse what to do - not if they are going to work cattle together.

    None of this implies a western rider couldn't dabble in dressage as cross training or a way to have fun or a way to work on their horse's general physical conditioning. And frankly, that is what some of these videos look like - someone dabbling in dressage. I don't barrel race, but I've gotten some good advice from ex-barrel racers on how to get my horses to move better. But borrowing ideas on training from a barrel racer doesn't mean I'm a barrel racer.

    That is part of the problem with "western dressage". It mixes two different ways of riding without appreciating either. If dressage wanted to introduce a category where someone could compete at the lower levels using western tack, I wouldn't object. It would be clear the person is learning some fundamentals of a different sport without buying new tack, while also making it obvious that if the person wants to get serious about dressage....well, then they will need to get serious.

    If the WD people would change the name, I wouldn't object. But as it is, I think they insult both western riders and dressage riders by trivializing the traditions and training of both.
    boots and Tigo like this.
         

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