I have a fun new mare - just got her 2 months ago from a rescue. She's 16.1hh, 12yo, TB X DWB. We've been through some initial maintance and "getting to know you" phases, and I'm really very pleased with her. We're just pleasure riding, though I still like to be working on something for improvement (for both of us). I've been doing dressage work with her, but she loves getting out of the arena. I've been thinking about buying some western tack to use for trail riding and relaxing.
I know people have horses that go both ways, but does anyone think this sort of cross training will hurt our progress in dressage. Will she learn, "When I wear this, I do this, and when I wear that, I do that?" I don't really know anything about riding western; I just thought it would be a fun change of pace for us. The barn owner and several borders ride western, so I know I'd have some good resources to help me learn a new discipline.