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Dressage VS. Western Pleasure

This is a discussion on Dressage VS. Western Pleasure within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category

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        08-09-2012, 02:44 PM
      #151
    Super Moderator
    What is dressage

    Here are two quite different examples but both called dressage and both very different to what we see as conventional dressage. Contact can be anything from the lightest on a a loose rein to the extremes of Rollkur. What is more important is the balance and energy created by the rider/horse relationship


         
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        08-09-2012, 03:05 PM
      #152
    Trained
    How about this.

         
        08-09-2012, 03:15 PM
      #153
    Super Moderator
    dressage

    I nearly used that one so
    THANK YOU!!!!!!

    I have to say that I'm very taken with the cowboy dressage, my new horse (now over a year) was probably too much of a compromise and will likely never do that job but I don't think I'd like to let her go now - she has enough issues to make me think she'd end up in a bad place and she doesn't deserve that. The older mare (the one wrapped in a tarp) who is semi-retired would have been perfect. I just looked at so many horses - funny thing is after I bought this one I had a 'ride' on a barrel racer at a sale and I tell you she would have been ideal for cowboy dressage. I need another stable!!!!
    Hows the carpentry going????!!!!!!
         
        08-09-2012, 03:27 PM
      #154
    Trained
    My vet has talked me into doing a WD class or 2 at the next Dressage show. Not over sure how I feel about all that. I like to use the Dressage stuff like I said as a tool. However not sure about actually trying to combine the 2 into one discipline. It should be interesting. I am willing to give it a try. I am also looking at doing some mounted shooting. It is getting big in this area b/c of Stacy. Plus I like to shoot I have a horse who I use to hunt off of. Just need to see about finding guns that are not $3K.

    The carpentry will depend on which one you are talking about. Seems I am always building something. Just finished a new walk over bridge for the horses.
         
        08-09-2012, 03:36 PM
      #155
    Green Broke
    I've been browsing this thread for a while now just watching how it went along.. and I have to say that this really made me MAD!

    Anyway, continue..
         
        08-09-2012, 05:08 PM
      #156
    Trained
    I would argue that the leg yield, shoulder in, haunches in, etc... are not dressage maneuvers and are not restricted to use by dressage folk. I remember as a wee one taking riding lessons doing shoulders in, haunches in, turn on the forehand, etc.. without a mention of the word dressage.

    Dressage actually has very little to do with WHAT you are doing and has a lot to do with HOW you are doing it. The goal of dressage is not to train the horse to do tricks - any fool could have a horse in a dropped back, disengaged trunk, out behind piaffe in a matter of 5 minutes. In dressage it takes at least 5 years of riding before you train the first step of piaffe. Because it's not about the piaffe. It's about cadence, impulsion, connection, contact, straightness, schwung and most importantly collection to a very high degree.
    So IMO you can't just do a leg yield an proclaim it dressage - because dressage is not about doing a leg yield, even though it's included in a first level test. Dressage is about horsey strength training, and as the horses get stronger and more and more collected, we "show it off" by doing half pass and pirouettes and passage and piaffe, but that is not what we train every day.


    I hope I am making some sense. But the most important thing is that dressage is not about WHAT it is about HOW.
         
        08-09-2012, 08:24 PM
      #157
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
    I would argue that the leg yield, shoulder in, haunches in, etc... are not dressage maneuvers and are not restricted to use by dressage folk. <snipped>

    Dressage actually has very little to do with WHAT you are doing and has a lot to do with HOW you are doing it. The goal of dressage is not to train the horse to do tricks <snipped>

    In dressage it takes at least 5 years of riding before you train the first step of piaffe. Because it's not about the piaffe. It's about cadence, impulsion, connection, contact, straightness, schwung and most importantly collection to a very high degree.

    So IMO you can't just do a leg yield an proclaim it dressage - because dressage is not about doing a leg yield, even though it's included in a first level test. Dressage is about horsey strength training, and as the horses get stronger and more and more collected, we "show it off" by doing half pass and pirouettes and passage and piaffe, but that is not what we train every day.*

    I hope I am making some sense. But the most important thing is that dressage is not about WHAT it is about HOW.
    I agree, Anebel. *The how is vital.*
    [edit: sorry for the asterics. IPhone fail. ]

    I've spent a year and a half trying to learn how to correctly perform a half-pass, and I still suck at it. I cringe every time the word half-pass is plopped next to leg yield. I'm no slouch at dressage, and yet apparently western riders can master that exercise very quickly and train their horses with it. I'm still having balance and engagement issues. By western rider standards I'm a flaming ****** to not be able to use such a basic tool succesfully.*

    I have to add... This thread (especially anebels posts) have really made me take a step back and redefine dressage. I think it's actually helped me understand my goals better, and why I need thousands of exercises in my arsenal to become a good dressage rider. Because its not about the excerise, but how to convince the horse to use his body as gymnastically and powerfully as possible with the least amount of convincing from me.*

    Here's my example of why I cringe every time a person who's not serious about dressage tells me they do dressage (or bits of dressage) ... I'm a programmer. When I first started I knew the absolute bare bones about programming. *I knew I knew nothing compared to the vast amount I needed to know in order to be any good. *I've been a programmer for 5 years now, and even though I have learned tons, everyday I realize I have so much to learn. I look at the cocky kids fresh out of college that brag about their skills, and get irritated because it takes decades to be any good in this field. They know so little that they don't even realize how much they don't know.*

    Same concept with dressage.... The person with some lessons under their belt, a few clinics... And they brag about how they use dressage exercises to improve their horse for whatever. I'm glad they have the desire to improve their skills. But with all of the concepts, ideas, and theories involved in training a dressage horse correctly - you know absolutely nothing. (you in the general sense.) We have 30 page threads about the correct use of the leg yield and arguments as to its benefits. We take this $h1t very seriously. And I never hear a dressage rider claim to use other disciplines exercises. They are just exercises, not discipline specific. And I think it's because for the most part we use whatever works best to achieve the real goal (all of the things Anebel listed), and partly because we're just snobby.(joking, sort of).

    I'm training second/third right now, and everyday it hits me that I have decades of learning to do before I could even come close to feeling competent at dressage. I spend every day riding, researching, reading, and learning how to become a better dressage rider. I still suck at training the half-pass.*
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        08-09-2012, 10:58 PM
      #158
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by core    
    ...I've spent a year and a half trying to learn how to correctly perform a half-pass, and I still suck at it. I cringe every time the word half-pass is plopped next to leg yield. I'm no slouch at dressage, and yet apparently western riders can master that exercise very quickly and train their horses with it...
    This is an advantage to riding with an Aussie-style saddle. If someone sees me and says, "BSMS, your half-pass sucks!", I can stare down my nose at them, apply my best Paul Hogan accent and reply, "Half-pass? Half-pass! Are you an idiot? Mia & I are performing a "Scootch-Over", and doing it **** well!"
    core likes this.
         
        08-10-2012, 01:50 PM
      #159
    Weanling
    Alright I am going to put my flame suit on here because I'm sure there are plenty of people who just want this thread to die but for anyone still interested -

    Since the leg yield keeps coming up I'll look at that. Who gets tested on the leg yield? Do any western riders get tested on it at any point? An honest question because I don't know. I do know that the leg yield makes an appearance in level 1 dressage tests in the US. Since reiners are not tested on it and dressage riders are, then how can we not "own" this exercise? I don't see why, as a dressage rider, I need to take offense to someone finding a leg yield (or shoulder in or anything else) helpful to their non-dressage discipline. If you can find a use for it in your pattern, more power to you! I don't think FNB thinks that she can do a level 1 dressage test better than anyone else because she casually uses the leg yield and occasionally clinics with dressage trainers to broaden her general knowledge.

    Core - I don't know you and have never seen you ride, but I can't imagine anyone's half pass being crappier than mine! =) I would bet on it and raise you a nice, crappy pirouette to boot. Alas, these challenges are very, very slowly getting easier for me. I accepted a long time ago that nothing I do in dressage will ever be admired or recognized by anyone (except *maybe* another dressage rider). Watching low-level dressage for someone who doesn't know what is going on is like watching paint dry (and sometimes even for those of us who DO know what we are looking at!) I do it for myself and for my horse because we are the only ones who feel it.

    Side note: Between this thread and the "Breastfeeding in Public" thread I have been pretty entertained at work for the last three days, so thank you HF!!
         
        08-10-2012, 02:17 PM
      #160
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shasta1981    
    ... I do know that the leg yield makes an appearance in level 1 dressage tests in the US. Since reiners are not tested on it and dressage riders are, then how can we not "own" this exercise?...
    Level 1 dressage tests aren't exactly about dressage. They are about making sure the basics exist. But folks were doing leg yields in Roman days, and those cowboys in the 1800s did them as well, and did them without taking French lessons or studying anyone in Europe.

    Nor do most riders care about doing them 'dressage style'. I was joking earlier, but for most working riders, a 'scootch-over' is good enough. Just as a trot is good enough for most to use, or maybe a slow, medium & fast trot. A collected trot, however, describes something almost never found outside of dressage, so using the FEI definition seems reasonable to me. If it makes some folks feel better, a collected trot is different than a trot with some collection...

    I suspect most riders are functional riders. By that I mean they are interested in 'point A to point B at a given speed' rather than 'the quality of the gait demonstrated while the horse is moving from point A to B'. They are riders for whom my signature is correct..."...there are only two criteria of your position; a) are you in fluid balance and rhythm with your horse or not? B) does your seat enable you to control your horse efficiently?"
         

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