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Western Dressage - Thoughts ?

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  • Why the bias against western dressage
  • Protests against western dressage

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    11-23-2012, 03:42 PM
  #61
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by core    
Thanks for calling me a closed minded, snobby prick, DA. That was really rude.

..................


I'm creating a subset of reining today. It's called English Reining. It will not follow the same rules as reiners do, nor will we use the same definitions and terminology, and we're not going to use the same tack, or be judged by the same criteria. But we are Reiners and we will show at your shows and earn the same type of scores you do, but using a different criteria set. And gosh darn it, if you don't like it, then you're a snobbish pricks.

I just gave you your own words back. And if you think that was rude, try coming at me with that attitude in person and see what happens.

People have become so self-righteous, snarky and nasty that new people run for the hills. Lots of people want to learn dressage and few do because of the "snobby prick" attitudes of a lot of DQs. It's kind of funny, I rarely find that in upper level, FEI, riders.

As a kid I rode hunt seat and then moved up to jumpers. I learned a little dressage to help my horse on handy courses. I discovered that a good dressage base will help any rider and horse to improve and work together better.

I wanted to learn more, but when I did my research on barns......OMG, I absolutely wasn't going to expose myself to the nasty attitudes of the DQs who were in training at those barns. Mind you, I lived in purely western territory, so even buying a pair of breeches required a 2 hr drive into Burbank, there was absolutely NOTHING in my area. For dressage, I'd have had to drive into Los Angeles to the equestrian center and pay a fortune for lessons. I didn't do it then because I was put off by the people and I'm still put off.

I'm now a lot older and riding western now, but would still like to learn. I have the money, the horses and the desire but I do not have the patience to deal with a bunch of snot nosed wannabe's who are going to look down on me because I'm not riding a WB, dressage saddle and because I'm not worried about moving up to the FEI levels.

Most of you who are being so nasty right now will never progress much past levels 2 or 3 yourselves, you'll never have the skill nor the need to properly manage those WBs you all think are so necessary and you'll never be Olympic or WEG riders. Lighten up and ride for the ride and enjoy the journey. Life is too short for all this pseudo intensity and it's really offensive.

Whether dressage is done in a classic dressage saddle or in a western pleasure saddle is really irrelevant, it's about the training and the ride and the partnership with your horse. I really admire Eitan Beth-Halachmy and he's not the least bit of a snob. He's a beautiful rider and he's trained some awesome horses, I'd love it if I could take some instruction from him. I think he'd change my whole style of riding and I know he'd improve me.
     
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    11-23-2012, 03:46 PM
  #62
Started
It will be interesting to see how all this develops a couple years from now with breed associations either now including WD classes and those contemplating them.
But one thing is clear...nobody has to compete in any class or any discipline they are not interested in.
This subject certainly has gotten lots of attention and conflicting views.
     
    11-23-2012, 04:12 PM
  #63
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
I just gave you your own words back. And if you think that was rude, try coming at me with that attitude in person and see what happens.
I paraphrased what WD tells dressage people.
     
    11-23-2012, 06:30 PM
  #64
Trained
So interesting to follow this thread.
I grew up riding dressage, AS A BASE FOR WHATEVER DIRECTION I WANTED TO TAKE LATER ON. In warmblood country, HANNOVER, OLDENBURG, HOLSTEIN. Long before western riding ever was popular. And I can assure you, dressage in that part of the world is nothing special, especially in the lower levels. It is the base for good, horse friendly riding, at least it was back then. Rollkur, even drawreins were looked down at, see-sawing sent the instructor through the roof.
What I see nowadays, makes me want to vomit, seriously. Nothing to be proud of. And back then, any horse exposed to that would have thrown the passenger. Period. Now they're being bred to have less brain and be more tolerant. When associations and breeders recognized that there are only so many high class riders.

I also remember well when the first western stables and trainers popped up. Nobody was stuck up, just because they had an exotic horse or riding style. That changed over time, but I was lucky that I had an instructor who came from Eventing, and had no bias against my crazy OTTB. She was the first European female Working Cowhorse champion, had several stallions who competed truly all-around, and won.
She always emphasized a solid base. And it was heavily leaning towards what I know as dressage.
Then the trainer I posted the video of. He also was European champion all-around with the dark bay he rides in the video, an Anglo Arab. He saw the possibilities for giving that solid dressage base to any horse, show horse, trail horse, or backyard horse. No matter what breed. And, IMHO, he puts a lot of modern dressage riders to shame with his little Lusitano stallion.
He has many many clients who, as I said in my previous post, just want to ride better. Who don't care about a label. Who want the lightness and precision, through proper training, tons of work and lots of love and understanding for the horse.

Seeing the new trend with WD now is just like that. People who don't want to do reining, pleasure or dressage. People who just want the solid, happy horse. No matter what tack they use.

There is no need to look down at them, no matter what camp others are coming from. Period. Everybody has started somewhere. Nobody was born an Olympic champion. Some had to work on where they are, others were lucky and had parents who could afford upper level horses.
So why not let people who don't want to change horses go towards another discipline, and who are comfortable in their current tack, have a try and better their horses in the process. When these people reach the upper levels with that horse, my deepest respect. But the ones who think they're something special because they practice an exotic riding style, I can definitely do without.
Keeping an open mind is the key word here.
     
    11-23-2012, 09:29 PM
  #65
Foal
I just had to pipe in for another moment. I'm getting the impression that those of us who have talented warmbloods are being labelled as people who don't support those who don't, that we look down on them. Not to toot my own horn, but I have an 18 hand warmblood made of pure talent who will be FEI within 3 years and will go all the way eventually, without a doubt. I got him by chance. Of the girls at my barn, a few of them have warmbloods, some more talented than others, and the other girls have OTTB, appyX of some sort etc... We are a team through and through, doesn't matter who has what horse, or what level they are at.

I didn't start out on that powerhouse warmblood. I started my dressage on an Appaloosa who was started western. He won many of his dressage classes, and we were second level western regional champions one year. He was training third level before he went lame, which he never came back from. When he went lame, all I had was my pony. My pony every coach always told me was useless, would never amount to anything (except for my current trainer). That pony is incredible and in 3 years went from very basic dressage, to 4th level, under me as I was learning with him. My trainer said that she had never seen a horse train up as fast as he did. That pony was western regional reserve champion at 4th level, western regional champion at FEI Junior (might I add, against professionally trained and proven I-1, I-2 FANCY warmbloods), and won other various championships.

So, some of us out there on those fancy warmbloods earned that. I support those people starting out in dressage and those who don't have those fancy horses, as I was supported on my less than spectacular horses. I applaud those doing the very best with what they have and especially those who hold their own against those big fancy warmbloods. I do dislike that dressage judging favours those fancy legged warmbloods, whether they were trained correctly or not. It's unfair that people on average horses can't get the scores that those on nicer horses can, I experienced that bias, I know that it sucks. But, quite frankly, I find the dressage community to be warm and supportive where I am. When I jumped, I found the community around here very cliquey and cold, I never fit in and I was judged for having a pony (Especially seeing as I'm nearly 6' tall!) (I'm also sure that this isn't a rule, but that's what I experienced).

I guess it just doesn't sit well we me that when people use examples of snobby dressage riders they stick in the warmblood label. Remember that not all of us dressage riders are snobby and not all of us that have warmbloods are snobby either. Although, there certainly ARE those people out there as there are in every discipline.

Sorry about going off on a tangent and rant, but I just wanted to point out that we shouldn't all get painted with the same brush because of some peoples experiences with a few bad apples.
SouthernTrails and Kayty like this.
     
    11-23-2012, 10:05 PM
  #66
Trained
I'd like to remind folks that those of us who don't think highly of WD are NOT out carrying protest signs in front of competitions, or posting videos with made-up abuse a la PETA to drive people away from WD. We are not blocking anyone from doing it, although I wouldn't blame dressage if they didn't want it done during a regular dressage competition.

This thread asked for opinions. It received them. I don't do dressage, or reining, or any horse sports. Poor Mia would absolutely melt if she had to face a bunch of strange horses. Then she would probably challenge them all to a fight, and then turn and run away.

It isn't snobbery to point out flaws in the approach used by a new sport. When I complain that Western Dressage is neither, I do so from the perspective of someone who rides in an Indian-made, American-marketed Aussie saddle on a Navajo blanket of New Zealand wool with an English bit & stirrup leathers using a modified forward seat. I'm not sure I could be more *******ized.

Western Dressage is like seeing a "Ye Olde Englishe Tea Shoppe" in a mall...it is a gimmick. I don't picket stores like that, but if asked, I'll tell folks I buy PG Tips thru the Internet...
core, boots and Tigo like this.
     
    11-23-2012, 11:04 PM
  #67
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by core    
Thanks for calling me a closed minded, snobby prick, DA. That was really rude.

..................


I'm creating a subset of reining today. It's called English Reining. It will not follow the same rules as reiners do, nor will we use the same definitions and terminology, and we're not going to use the same tack, or be judged by the same criteria. But we are Reiners and we will show at your shows and earn the same type of scores you do, but using a different criteria set. And gosh darn it, if you don't like it, then you're a snobbish pricks.
Perfect.....make sure you enter the classes in your English saddle and slide long and spin real real fast......
Perfect that you'd like to show at the reining shows with that attitude, more people to compete against and beat.....
     
    11-24-2012, 02:12 AM
  #68
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigo    
I just had to pipe in for another moment. I'm getting the impression that those of us who have talented warmbloods are being labelled as people who don't support those who don't, that we look down on them. Not to toot my own horn, but I have an 18 hand warmblood made of pure talent who will be FEI within 3 years and will go all the way eventually, without a doubt. I got him by chance. Of the girls at my barn, a few of them have warmbloods, some more talented than others, and the other girls have OTTB, appyX of some sort etc... We are a team through and through, doesn't matter who has what horse, or what level they are at.

I didn't start out on that powerhouse warmblood. I started my dressage on an Appaloosa who was started western. He won many of his dressage classes, and we were second level western regional champions one year. He was training third level before he went lame, which he never came back from. When he went lame, all I had was my pony. My pony every coach always told me was useless, would never amount to anything (except for my current trainer). That pony is incredible and in 3 years went from very basic dressage, to 4th level, under me as I was learning with him. My trainer said that she had never seen a horse train up as fast as he did. That pony was western regional reserve champion at 4th level, western regional champion at FEI Junior (might I add, against professionally trained and proven I-1, I-2 FANCY warmbloods), and won other various championships.

So, some of us out there on those fancy warmbloods earned that. I support those people starting out in dressage and those who don't have those fancy horses, as I was supported on my less than spectacular horses. I applaud those doing the very best with what they have and especially those who hold their own against those big fancy warmbloods. I do dislike that dressage judging favours those fancy legged warmbloods, whether they were trained correctly or not. It's unfair that people on average horses can't get the scores that those on nicer horses can, I experienced that bias, I know that it sucks. But, quite frankly, I find the dressage community to be warm and supportive where I am. When I jumped, I found the community around here very cliquey and cold, I never fit in and I was judged for having a pony (Especially seeing as I'm nearly 6' tall!) (I'm also sure that this isn't a rule, but that's what I experienced).

I guess it just doesn't sit well we me that when people use examples of snobby dressage riders they stick in the warmblood label. Remember that not all of us dressage riders are snobby and not all of us that have warmbloods are snobby either. Although, there certainly ARE those people out there as there are in every discipline.

Sorry about going off on a tangent and rant, but I just wanted to point out that we shouldn't all get painted with the same brush because of some peoples experiences with a few bad apples.
Thank you for this post Tigo. I'm also getting tired of the warmblood label getting thrown in. It is assumed that if you have a warmblood, you must be a rich snobby type that is fed everything off a silver platter.
This is SO not the case.
I have two warmblood geldings now - I worked my backside off the buy them, I go without everything, I rarely go out with friends, I rarely buy myself any new clothes or new things for my house.
Before I purchased my boys, I was riding, training and competing on appys, QH's, OTTB's, welsh ponies etc etc etc. I worked very hard, I got bucked off a lot, I rode 6-7 days a week and took every opportunity I could.

So please, do NOT tell me that I am a snob for having a warmblood. I have sacrificed a lot to have them - and no, I'm not rich. I was a receptionist up until recently when I lost my job due to budget cuts. I'm not in the process of trying to get into the police academy and into the prisons as a corrective officer. Not a surgeon, doctor, dentist, etc. Just a plain old normal blue collar worker.

I have NEVER looked down any any of my fellow riders for not having a warmblood - because that's how I started out. And if someone doesn't WANT a warmblood, then that's great - they're saving a lot of money!!!!
     
    11-24-2012, 09:52 AM
  #69
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
Perfect.....make sure you enter the classes in your English saddle and slide long and spin real real fast......
Perfect that you'd like to show at the reining shows with that attitude, more people to compete against and beat.....
That's my point Muppetgirl.

WD aren't tested on the basics of dressage training. They don't have the same requirements as dressage riders do. The very things that make dressage difficult are left out of WD tests. The very things that will allow you to progress past training level, are not tested for in WD. Its like a reiner being allowed to stop through the trot rather than slide because the tack is different.

My question is, would you whole heartedly accept an english reiner that isn't required to do a sliding stop as defined by western reiners? Would you be proud to call them reiners, and welcome them into your shows without hesitation? I realize this is hypothetical, but please, try to see it from a different perspective for a moment.

If WD riders want to learn dressage, I wouldn't hesitate to support them. But I want all dressage (regardless of tack or org name) to be tested by the same requirements that are necessary to prove that the horse is being gymnastically developed correctly to continue forward with dressage. Without that, they're just doing patterns, and it's not kind to them to build up a false reality of success when that same ride would've garnered them a failing score if tested on the same criteria an english dressage rider is tested on. Would you rather people lied to you and said you were doing great when you're not, or tell you when you're off base so you would have a chance to improve?

If I earn a title or score, I want to earn it because I rocked it. Not because the bar was lowered. And that's what it seems like with WD. They are given a lowered criteria of passing, and then patted on the back for being good. All that will do is block them from actually achieving the goals they set out to accomplish. The WD riders I've seen will never make it past first level the way they are going right now. Why would you set them up for that kind of failure? Once they figure out that they were being tested on a scale that wasn't honestly evaluating their horses development, then they'll either have to go back to square one and re-learn everything they thought they knew about dressage, or they'll quit feeling bitter and deceived. Should we let happen? Or are you happy to allow that because you feel that WD riders are only there to have some fun with it, and will never be serious about learning dressage?

What if they are serious about learning dressage? Is it fair to them to pay good money for a score that lies to them about where the horse and rider are in their training?
bsms likes this.
     
    11-24-2012, 11:02 AM
  #70
Super Moderator
Core - You have the most illogical way of thinking.
I feel sorry for people like Kayty and anyone else who's worked hard to get their horses and then get tarnished by the same brush as you because you create that idea of a warmblood riding dressage queen that thinks they have the god given right to dictate what other people can do under the 'umbrella' of dressage that deserves the label that's getting stuck on you right now.
These WD people don't want to do european dressage, they want to walk, jog lope and ride western style and improve themselves and be the best they can at what they do - not at what you do. There is no way WD can be compared to european dressage so why try to do that.
Regardless of what you and others feel it is going to grow and have a place in western riding because it fills an empty gap.
I also grew up in a country (UK) where basic dressage is taught as normal in riding schools, pony club etc because it is the foundation of all our showing classes - which is where Charlotte Dujardin began her career with horses. It isnt a big deal over there and 'shock horror gasp' people still compete in lower level dressage classes in tweed jackets and general purpose saddles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZzs7bLyMh8
Look at his and see how dressage has evolved
I think everyone would do well to encourage this to evolve and stop behaving like spoilt brats throwing a temper tantrum over something new
     

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