Western Dressage - Thoughts ? - Page 44

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Western Dressage - Thoughts ?

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    02-27-2013, 02:28 PM
^I'll go back and look....
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    02-27-2013, 02:32 PM
Originally Posted by Opal    
Yeah, I totally agree with what you are saying.
Although, when I am practicing collecting, the main idea is to get my horse to step under himself and really engage his hindquarters. I can always feel when he does this, and what I always understood as collecting was that feeling where he engages his haunches and his poll becomes the highest point. I practice this when I ride, but I've (believe it or not) never gotten to see a video of my own riding, so I'm not sure if it's correct or not. After having a lovely discussion with everyone on here, I'm not sure that what I was doing previous is correct for collection.

Oh no, I don't think you're being snarky at all :) If anything, I'm just striving to further my knowledge and understanding, not prove anything to be true or false about WD. I just want to know how I can improve my own concept of things, and understand other peoples points of view and thoughts on the matter :) As long as nobody is rude or demeaning to me about what I do, then I have no problem discussing WD positively or negatively with anyone :)

"Hotblooded" breeds are always interested more in animation, but that's one of the good things I've found in WD is that the way I ride/the way my trainer teaches it and what not is trying to encourage good use of body rather than just "looking good". There's a lot of things in WD I don't particularly agree with or like either, but I try to see the good things and the potential in it, and it really is the basic ideas and concepts that I believe are the good things in WD as opposed to what I'm observing :) It's just really hard to find pictures that are a good example of what WD SHOULD be, as opposed to what it is right now.
Yes, stepping under is a big part of it...but could have a horse stepping under, poll at the highest point....but a back not lifted. The other two don't make it collection, unless you have the last one.
    02-27-2013, 03:04 PM
Super Moderator
I did point out in an earlier post that Eitan & Michael Martin have now split from WD and are concentrating on their own Cowboy Dressage that will be having its own tests and markers - not the same as used in conventional dressage. They seem to have been concerned that WD was going to be swallowed up and lose its western identity
The display did have its faults - but it was a display and not a ridden test. Morgan horses do tend to have that naturally high head carriage and this horse also has a very thick neck which is going to have some impact on it too.
I do have concerns that the traditional western long shanked bits ridden with 2 reins are going to cause some problems used in a dressage context - Eitan is a very experienced light handed rider and the horse a seasoned performer but you can see the horse backing off at times so hows it going to work with a less able rider on a more average horse?
The other thing to remember is that Eitan was a dressage rider first in his home country and adopted the western riding when he moved to the US
Compadre was originally a champion freestyle reiner
Not sure if this link will work
Cowboy Dressage World Champion Holiday Compadre and Free Style Reining - Repeat in a loop
    02-27-2013, 04:09 PM
I definitely think that might be something I'm leaving out, or at least not taking into consideration when I "collect". It's actually really helped me talking to you and the others here because it's raised my awareness about classical dressage and collection specifically. I really appreciate the replies and everything :)

(Will reply to others shortly)
GotaDunQH likes this.
    02-28-2013, 10:08 AM
Opal, you're very articulate and have a good eye.

Eitan is an exhibition rider. He chooses what to do based on what pleases a crowd, not on how correct it is by dressage standards. Full pass is a dressage movement. It isn't tested because compared to all the other lateral work it is fairly simple and not used much to supple the horse. It's handy, like turn on the forehand. For Cowboy Dressage Eitan has been very clear that correct placement of the horse's body is less important than prompt calm obedience, which is why he separated himself from the WDAA, which believes dressage exercises should be done correctly for the gymnastic benefit to be effective. For CD if two horses showed the same soft obedient test, correctness of the movements would be the tie breaker. For WD if both horses scored equally on correctness of performance, overall relaxation and freedom would be the tie breaker. In both disciplines the perfect horse would look the same.

BTW, I mentioned snapping of the teeth as a sign of heavy hands. GotaDunQH, you're dead on on this one. While not evident in THIS video, others of Compadre show clearly that the gaping mouth and snapping teeth are habitual with him. Eitan says this is the correct use of the roller by the tongue. I find it extremely disturbing. BTW, Opal, Eitan would be deeply hurt that you felt Compadre's training was rushed. The concept of slow, progressive training is the dressage principle that Eitan feels is the foundation of Cowboy Dressage.
jaydee likes this.
    02-28-2013, 10:29 AM
I don't know much about Western Dressage, ad I haven't read this thread from one end to the other, but what little I do know about it is interesting.

Dressage is one type of riding I'd love to be able to do, but due to nerve damage and other issues in my knees, it hurts me to ride english.

Western Dressage is definitely something I'm looking into for the future. To be able to ride comfortably in a western saddle while riding in one of the styles I'd love to learn would be awesome!
jaydee, Dustbunny and Opal like this.
    02-28-2013, 10:41 AM

Thank you :) That is reassuring.

It's unfortunate that gaping and snapping seem to be a trend with Compadre. I agree with you that I find it unattractive and disturbing. Even if the bit is "working properly", gaping and snapping obviously isn't a....pleasent reaction. If you (Not speaking to you specifically, just stating something XD) had a bit in your mouth and had the impulse to chomp at it and obviously make....uncomfortable gestures, then you should have a different bit. I'm certain that with the plethora of other types of bits out there that it is possible to find an effective bit for an excitable stallion that works without him gaping and chomping at it, right?

I guess that's why I was never familiar with a full pass. Still, at the canter it just seems weird XD Certaintly not pleasing to me, personally.

I did think it just looked rushed :/ It may have been just because of nerves or due to the lack of focus on "correctness" rather than him actually having rushed Compadres training, but it just looked like there were little things about each manuver that could have been easily corrected, like how Compadre bent to the side slightly when doing tempi. Instead of a nice straight line of tempi, it was kind of a...wiggle XD Also, you'd think that Eitan would at least get the extended trot right, right? I don't think it would take that much more effort to do it correctly as opposed to just enough so that it looks good for the crowd.

I'd personally LOVE to see Eitan do a WD (or Cowboy Dressage) test. I've seen him do clinics and performances obviously (My mother actually did a clinic with him 2 years back. It was very cool.) since he is close and works closely with my trainer (Cliff Swanson, not sure if you're familiar XD) But I've never seen him do a full, serious WD test where he is being judging on everything he should be judged on. I'd LOVE to see that.
    02-28-2013, 11:36 AM
Super Moderator
Link to Eitans Cowboy Dressage website which is worth looking at as it tells a lot about his own history and that of his vision for cowboy dressage
Cowboy Dressage? At Wolf Creek Ranch
Compadre is not a young horse and Eitan has been working with him for many years - not rushed at all. Another video of him from 1993 - but you have to again differentiate between a performance for a crowd and a test that's looking for correctness
Britt - I think either CD or WD would be ideal for you - a chance to do something challenging without losing your western saddle.
The Cowboy Dressage channel on Youtube gives some different examples of other breeds doing basic tests - many ridden on a much longer rein and lower head carriage typical for their breed.
They also seem to be moving into other things - like this video here
I think there's plenty of room in the horse competition world for something new
    02-28-2013, 12:00 PM
The garrocha is moving into cowboy dressage....now lookahere... .this is Spanish riding, doma vaquera, at it's best, or should be. I've seen a Californio (bridle horse, remember) do it. Now, he would be the one who could, since that's where his kind of riding comes from....Spain.

What im seeing, more and more now, that somebody wants to re-invent the wheel and wants the credit for it. Give it a new, trendy, catchy name and make people think they're doing something special.

I can imagine what Eitan had in mind when he first started, tho.

Please, Opal, longride and others who are doing it, don't take what I said personal.
I just think there was already WD/CD, just not called that.
smrobs and GotaDunQH like this.
    02-28-2013, 12:09 PM

This is not bad, IMO....I still wouldn't want to call it dressage, but that's maybe the European in me

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