Hi all :)
More and more I'm seeing classes for gaited dressage, and I'm really thinking about doing it with my TWH. Of course, I went into regular dressage tests too with him- just for the heck of it- and he did VERY well (in the training level) He is very forward, and dressage people like that :D
Well I just wanted to bring up the issue of lateral movements. Can a horse move laterally at a gait other than trot/canter? Are there possible issues with legs/feet getting in the way?
Also, my Walker is very good at what he does- which is go straight, gait, and get that bum under himself. I'm pretty sure most gaited horses do that well. But, would introducing lateral movements create an 'off' gait, kind of hitching? Should I just leave well enough alone and do what he is really good at?
Mostly just wanted to start a discussion about gaited dressage and what it could benefit or possible harm :)
I'm starting down the Gaited Dressage road myself. My OTSTB trotter does a couple of different gaits, he can rack and do a fox trot, and I just rescued an underweight TWH mare. Once she is back up to weight will start dressage training with her. She also is really forward and that will be a huge bonus during shows.
Gaited horses can do lateral, check out some Youtube videos of some of those Walkers doing some really amazing moves.
Dressage can really help a horse no matter what discipline.
Some horses do the lateral thing without a hitch and some don't.
If you are going to go for the higher levels of Dressage the Walker is the wrong horse. The "dice" in that game are loaded in favor of the WB (and to some extent the TB and crosses). Even classical breeds such as the Lusitano and Andalusian are at a competitive disadvantage. I even heard one local DQ ("dressage queen"; not a complimentary moniker :wink: ) tell me that a Lippizaner is "really not a very good Dressage horse." I told her that she should contact the Spanish Riding School immediately and tell them that they have been wrong for the last 500 years in their style of horse. I think she may have taken offense at that! :razz:
If you want to do Gaited Dressage you'll do OK on a Walker if the Walker is right for discipline. Not every one will do. You'll just have to try yours out and see what happens.
Good luck in the program.
Well I did a basic search, found a bunch of horses doing training level really well (which we do), but by 2nd level, they tend to be able to do lateral in ONE direction well, and not the other.. lol
Also, found this guy
Dressage, with the capital "D", is a specific discipline with very specific rules. One of those is that the three gaits performed are walk, trot, and canter. If you want to do "Dressage" you can't be performing anything but a trot as you intermediate gait.
If you want to use dressage techniques to improve your horses performance and your own riding skills then that form of doing "dressage" (with the lower case "d") is perfectly OK.
The capitalization counts. It's like the difference between "Catholic" (meaning regarding the Church in Rome) and "catholic" (a word meaning "universal). Or, if you prefer, "Orthadox" and "orthadox." Or, in Canada, "Liberal" and "liberal."
Regarding gaits, he's badly mixed his metaphors. Most of what he complains about are the show ring abuses most of us disdain. In the '30s people routinely used gaited horses as general transportation and they didn't go lame. The record for a long ride is held by three Brazilians who rode the same six horse for just over two years around the circumference of Brazil (a distance of about 14,000 miles). If I could ask him, I'd see if he could explain exactly how they did that.
He reflects a set of widely held opinions. Sadly, everytime you see a horse in action devices and/or being badly ridden those opinions are confirmed.
So he's right about Dressage; wrong about dressage; and needs education on movement.
I was more miffed by the fact that he said it's impossible for a horse to lift their back and gait. That is simply untrue. I see and perform it all the time. If that were true, how could even a non-gaited horse lift and work at the walk?
He may have been referring specifically to the showy gaits that are commonly seen in the saddlebred, TWH, and morgan rings, but I think that everyone knows this is not 'normal'. He's generalizing based on a small sect of the gaited community, and it's very misleading.
It is not correct to say that "three legged support" means the horse has no "shocks" and will be lamed. If I can figure out how I'll post some Brazilian slow motion videos of the the three marchas that clearly demonstrate this.
His comments about "platform shoes" are spot on.
USDF decides what Dressage is in the U.S. Folks can try and modify the word "Dressage" with adjectives like "Western" or "Gaited" but that doesn't make any real difference. Until USDF decides to change the rules the rules stand as they are.
Wow, that video was very misleading. It seems like he only has experience with gaited show horses. The high-stepping Saddlebred is wasting energy, but so is the big warmblood. The big springy trot and impulsion they want in dressage is hard on the horse's joints, and the modern dressage horse "won't make it to the next town" either. I have friends with warmbloods, they don't last as long on the trail as a more efficient, natural gaited trail horse. (Or QH, or other trail breeds.)
(d)ressage training to improve your horse's way of moving is good, I'm actually glad to see more gaited people interested since many gaited horses are just broke to ride. It's much more pleasant to ride a horse that's responsive, moves off the leg, etc., even on the trail.
Horses bred for (D)ressage aren't really good for anything else. But those of us who want to do (d)ressage don't need to be told we can't.
I just thought of something. Since we constantly hear gaited horses can't do dressage, perhaps we should return the favor. So when someone says "I'm retiring my dressage horse, do you think he could be a trail horse?" we should answer "are you kidding? You're horse isn't bred for trails! He's going to stumble everywhere with those huge feet. And he spooks at everything, what's he going to do when a deer jumps out? He's too big to make it up the hills. No way is he lasting five hours with that big trot. And you're going to be begging for mercy after the first hour with all that posting." (I'm just kidding!!!)
These horses tend to be high dollar and they are really "babied" and treated with "kid gloves." I was a member of our local Dressage club for several years and tried to get a trail ride up in some very benign places (like the National Military Part at Rossville, GA, a/k/a the Chicamaugua Battlefield Park). Of 50 plus members I had three takers. Several were right horrified at riding their horse outside a ring.
Take a horse with more than a decade of this type of husbandry and training and you'll likely have an interesting time during the first trail ride. If the horse has a normal brain it can be acclimated to trail riding. Like anything else it will take some time and effort.
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