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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
  • Does dressage conflict with western training
  • Can dressage riders ride western pleasure seat

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    08-10-2012, 07:15 PM
  #181
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
I did not say crosstraining in dressage is harmful to jumpers or reiners. But if you ride a jumper dressage style, you won't go over fences very well. Nor will you win many races.


What can be controversial about saying that there is more than one way to ride well, and that dressage doesn't define the only way to ride?
Nothing controversial about it and I agree. I have been referring cross training with dressage.

As I said I don't think that all riding is dressage.

But I do disagree that lower level dressage is not dressage.
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    08-10-2012, 07:54 PM
  #182
Trained
"Not sure why some one who does nothing of these things thinks they have some insite into it. You are bassing everything you are talking about from old pictures and books"
Yes, I bass a lot of my insite on books and seeing what happens to others. I've never driven a car into a tree at 60 mph, but instead bass my insite on what happens when others try it, plus what I know of physics and mechanics.

I don't need to be a reiner to know that reiners are not riding the same as a dressage rider. Nor are they riding warmbloods. Nor are they performing collected gaits, per the FEI. Golly. All that just from watching.

But I also have tried different styles of riding, and watched how it affected my horses and me. I've actually tried riding in the style of those old cowboys while covering desert with a spooky mare, and I know something about how it works with her and for keeping me on her when the horse hits the fan. I've tried switching between a forward seat and a western seat halfway thru a turn to see how the horse responds. I've got English, Aussie and western saddles, and use them. I sometimes swap out halfway thru a ride to see how a different saddle affects what I'm doing. That level of experimentation is a bit odd from what I've seen.
"It is not about using the same position it is about what you gain from doing other things. Yes you may work in a Dressage position when doing Dressage and a Jumper position when jumping but one is still benificial to the other."
You continue to miss the point entirely. Folks who want to adopt parts of dressage are welcome to do so - but they had better understand the differences in their goals or they may adopt something that screws them up.

I use a forward seat every time I ride, including riding in a western saddle. I also use a traditional western style very frequently. Depends on what I want to do at that moment. As a ROT, forward works better for speed & straight lines, and western works better for relaxed gaits & tight turns.

But to gain benefit, one needs to understand the differences between the goals. Much of dressage is geared toward collected gaits in an arena. For that, a heel / hip / shoulder straight line is very good - yet I can point to popular books and online resources saying that is THE way to ride, not A way to ride. Heck, I've had a lot of folks on HF tell me the same thing. An experienced western rider on this thread cited a website that explained collected riding reduces wear and tear on the horse, which certainly leaves open the question of why one needs to spend years building a horse up to handling collected gaits.

How many times have you heard someone complain about western riders 'riding on their pockets' without ever considering the differences between a western saddle tree and an English one? I've heard it quite a few times, and I'm in an area where there aren't a lot of English saddles.

As a relatively new rider, one of the things I've noticed is that many riders and many riding instructors repeat what they heard without ever thinking it through. I've paid instructors who told me I need to have my toes forward, but who got real vague when asked WHY. I didn't pay them long, but I have had lessons where toes front seemed to be the goal of riding. The amount of bunk that gets parroted in the riding world is disturbing.

And as a guy who largely took up riding at 50, I figured out real quick that a lot of riding advice works well for a 14 year old girl, but not a guy with a sore, tight back and very tight hips and legs. A lot of what I heard when I started riding was simply physically impossible for a typical beginning older rider, and there were darn few people who could discuss the tradeoffs involved.

Dressage is the basis for good dressage. It takes good riding basics and goes in one direction. It is a specialized sport - a subsection of riding. Hence my conflict with this in post #1: "Dressage is the base of all riding". However, good riding is best described in my signature ("...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?"). Good riding is much more flexible than a lot of trainers & books suggest.
"Again while that may not be dressage that does not mean that that horse and rider could not go home clean up and then do dressage."
They could have, if anyone in Texas in 1906 knew anything about dressage. However, they would need to UNDERSTAND the differences between dressage and cutting to make sure they didn't create bad habits in one, affecting the other.
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    08-10-2012, 08:20 PM
  #183
Started
I don't see what all the hype is about. I usually show WP, but I train with dressage. (Just started to show dressage, but got derailed with an accident.) In fact, I only use the curb bit at the WP shows. The rest of the time my gelding goes in a French link.
     
    08-10-2012, 08:47 PM
  #184
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
"Not sure why some one who does nothing of these things thinks they have some insite into it. You are bassing everything you are talking about from old pictures and books"
Yes, I bass a lot of my insite on books and seeing what happens to others. I've never driven a car into a tree at 60 mph, but instead bass my insite on what happens when others try it, plus what I know of physics and mechanics.

I don't need to be a reiner to know that reiners are not riding the same as a dressage rider. Nor are they riding warmbloods. Nor are they performing collected gaits, per the FEI. Golly. All that just from watching.

While I will agree that I am not riding a WB. The rest is just not 100% true. While I may not ride my reiners in a show in the same manner as one would ride a Dressage horse. That does not mean I do not school at times at home like that. Again until you actually know what goes into training a reiner do not make assumptions. You can go watch 10 different reining trainers and they will all do things differently. Heck go to a reining show and watch the warm up pen. They are all doing the same maneuvers but they are all schooling their horses in a different way.

But I also have tried different styles of riding, and watched how it affected my horses and me.
I agree. The way you ride does affect many things. Heance why I like to ride my horses in different ways. It build in many aspects of the horse and rider. The horse gains knowlage as does the rider. It is like when you are working a cutting horse. The more cattle the horse works the more they gain insite into cows. You can not train a cutter on one cow. That horse needs to see litteraly thousends of cows before he is even clouse to cutting well.

I've actually tried riding in the style of those old cowboys while covering desert with a spooky mare, and I know something about how it works with her and for keeping me on her when the horse hits the fan.

So your experiance comes from only one horse? Well then you are most definitely an expert.

I've tried switching between a forward seat and a western seat halfway thru a turn to see how the horse responds. I've got English, Aussie and western saddles, and use them. I sometimes swap out halfway thru a ride to see how a different saddle affects what I'm doing. That level of experimentation is a bit odd from what I've seen.

While that is great and by doing so you have learned what is going on how it affects what you are doing and how the horse works. I do the same thing by doing different things with my horses. My stallion had done a lot of different things over the years. At the end of the day anyone can ride him from a little kid to an old person who has never ridden before.
"It is not about using the same position it is about what you gain from doing other things. Yes you may work in a Dressage position when doing Dressage and a Jumper position when jumping but one is still benificial to the other."
You continue to miss the point entirely. Folks who want to adopt parts of dressage are welcome to do so - but they had better understand the differences in their goals or they may adopt something that screws them up.

Then why are you agrueing the point here? If you see that people can and do these things you must also understand that it can and does work. Also why do you think that I go and use a Dressage trainer and clinics to make sure what I am doing it correct?

I use a forward seat every time I ride, including riding in a western saddle. I also use a traditional western style very frequently. Depends on what I want to do at that moment. As a ROT, forward works better for speed & straight lines, and western works better for relaxed gaits & tight turns.

Not sure why you think these 2 position are not posible to be used in the same work time or the same run. When I am running a large fast circly I have a more forward seat. When I need the speed change to the small slow circle I sit back more. When I start my run down I again change how I am sitting in the saddle. Again it is not a either or. It is more of an all of the above.

But to gain benefit, one needs to understand the differences between the goals. Much of dressage is geared toward collected gaits in an arena.
So reining and other western events do not have collection in the arena? You do not think that the horses are schooled at home with a lot more collection then what you may see at a show? Again this shows what you do not know about training a reiner or a reined cow horse or a rope horse.


For that, a heel / hip / shoulder straight line is very good - yet I can point to popular books and online resources saying that is THE way to ride, not A way to ride.
Again you are going back to books. So when where these book published? Who put them out? Heck a lot of people say PP helps them when they are working their horses. I would not let that man muck my stalls.

Heck, I've had a lot of folks on HF tell me the same thing. An experienced western rider on this thread cited a website that explained collected riding reduces wear and tear on the horse, which certainly leaves open the question of why one needs to spend years building a horse up to handling collected gaits.
Not sure why you think it takes years? Again it goes into how you get there. There are many ways to skin a cat. You seem to think there is only one way. The stringth it takes to do a collected lope is no different then the stringht it takes to perform a 35 foot sliding stop. A horse most of the time does not start out doing 35 foot sliding stops they work up to that. However it does not take years to get there. Though I am sure if you change the way you teach them and work the horse it could.


How many times have you heard someone complain about western riders 'riding on their pockets' without ever considering the differences between a western saddle tree and an English one? I've heard it quite a few times, and I'm in an area where there aren't a lot of English saddles.

Again that has just as much to do with what you are asking the horse to do. Some does have to do with the saddle as each saddle will put you into a different position. A WP saddle will sit you a lot straiter like a Dressage saddle then a reining staddle will. However that does not mean that you can not change position.

As a relatively new rider, one of the things I've noticed is that many riders and many riding instructors repeat what they heard without ever thinking it through. I've paid instructors who told me I need to have my toes forward, but who got real vague when asked WHY. I didn't pay them long, but I have had lessons where toes front seemed to be the goal of riding. The amount of bunk that gets parroted in the riding world is disturbing.

And as a guy who largely took up riding at 50, I figured out real quick that a lot of riding advice works well for a 14 year old girl, but not a guy with a sore, tight back and very tight hips and legs. A lot of what I heard when I started riding was simply physically impossible for a typical beginning older rider, and there were darn few people who could discuss the tradeoffs involved.

Dressage is the basis for good dressage. It takes good riding basics and goes in one direction. It is a specialized sport - a subsection of riding. Hence my conflict with this in post #1: "Dressage is the base of all riding". However, good riding is best described in my signature ("...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?"). Good riding is much more flexible than a lot of trainers & books suggest.

Again it is not an either or. It can be all of the above. That is my point. You seem to think that one person can not use all the different tech. And pick out what works for a given situation.
"Again while that may not be dressage that does not mean that that horse and rider could not go home clean up and then do dressage."
They could have, if anyone in Texas in 1906 knew anything about dressage. However, they would need to UNDERSTAND the differences between dressage and cutting to make sure they didn't create bad habits in one, affecting the other.

Again you are assuming things not in evidence. How do you know that some of those cowboys did not know about and under stand Dressage? Have you gone back and asked them?

And agian you are assuming that a person can not do both correcly. Take a look at Reined cow horse. You have to cut a cow. You have to work a cow on the fence and you have to rein a horse. All these events are in one show one horse one rider. You ride a horse differently when you are cutting a cow then you do when you are working the cow on the fence and you ride a horse differently when you are working a cow on the fence then you do when you are doing the dry work. Why do you think they put these 2 different events together? Same reason you have eventing. While they are differnt each one adds to the other when done correctly.
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    08-10-2012, 08:51 PM
  #185
Showing
BSMS - dressage absolutely is essential to good jumping. Guess I should go tell all those GP jumpers to please start jumping 5 days a week instead of practicing dressage and other such flatwork (God forbid I call it all "dressage!") altogether...
Good lord.
I say "dressage" as in "training." I say "dressage" as in "how to properly ride and train for an overall balanced horse for almost any discipline," not "go to the Olympics."
Oh, and BSMS - you will notice that I did say "almost any discipline" in my original post here.... and I have no idea why you ride in a chair seat, maybe it's more comfortable to you, I don't know. What I do know that if you were to do anything besides trail ride, it would be ineffective most of the time. What I do know is that your horse picking where each foot goes rather than rounding up and using itself from back to front will likely prove ineffective and, to be honest, detrimental.

I really don't know why I chimed in on this conversation.... yikes.

Being nit-picky.... bass is a low note, as in music... the word you're looking for is "base" :)
     
    08-10-2012, 09:34 PM
  #186
Trained
"How do you know that some of those cowboys did not know about and under stand Dressage"
Get real. 1906 Texas?
"So your experiance comes from only one horse? Well then you are most definitely an expert."
Unlike a lot of experts here, I explain HOW & WHY I came to certain conclusions. It is called reason. For example, I have said reiners do not use collected gaits per the FEI. That is pretty obvious. If you say they do, then you need to re-read the FEI definition. Unlike some of the experts here, I've been careful to define what I'm talking about.

I've ridden more than one horse, but it only takes one inexperienced horse to teach why the folks in Texas & Arizona rode like they did at the turn of the century. And a lot of those who criticize that style have never tried it on ANY horse.
"Not sure why you think it takes years?"
Maybe because there aren't a lot of dressage horses performing FEI collected gaits in a few months? Maybe because collected gaits are at the end of the dressage training scale, not the beginning?

I've already pointed out that if all 'collection' means is a minor shift of weight to the rear, I can teach collection in 5 seconds - but that collected gaits, as defined by the international body that defines these things, is much different.
"The stringth it takes to do a collected lope is no different then the stringht it takes to perform a 35 foot sliding stop."
Guess that makes the dressage folks really stupid. They take years to do what takes you what? A month? 3 months? It is pretty stupid of dressage to set up a training program that delays accomplishing collected gaits, isn't it!
"You seem to think that one person can not use all the different tech. And pick out what works for a given situation."
If you had READ what I wrote, I pointed out that I do it all the time. My caution was that people need to understand the end goals to make sure they don't adapt a technique that will hurt instead of help.
"BSMS - dressage absolutely is essential to good jumping."
TRAINING is. Dressage, as a sport, is not. If it were, then the first step to jumping would be to pick out a good dressage horse and take dressage lessons. Balance and flexibility in a horse is essential - but balance and flexibility in a horse are pretty important to many riders in many disciplines. Dressage doesn't own the terms for that.
"I say "dressage" as in "training." I say "dressage" as in "how to properly ride and train for an overall balanced horse for almost any discipline," not "go to the Olympics."
If you define dressage as any good riding, then you are correct. But then, if dressage describes any good riding, we have no word left for dressage.

I have this odd idea - maybe because I'm such a rube - that the ruling bodies that govern dressage actually know what it is. If every discipline is dressage, then what is dressage other than another word for riding? In what sense is dressage special or distinctive as a sport, if it means any balanced riding?

If a collected gait is a gait where the horse doesn't fall over, what is special about it and why would people train for it as a GOAL?
"What I do know is that your horse picking where each foot goes rather than rounding up and using itself from back to front will likely prove ineffective and, to be honest, detrimental."
In the desert where I live - as I specified - picking where each foot goes is life-saving to a horse. There are places where a horse can canter - but darn few. Same for trotting, even. And in a lot of places, a horse that doesn't pick where each foot goes will be a lame horse quick enough.

Since I value trail riding over arena riding, I value letting the horse pick its footing IN SOME TERRAIN.

That isn't one of the goals of dressage. But when learning from other disciplines, it is important to understand what the discipline values and why. THEN you can figure out what to bring over, what needs some changing, and what to leave alone.

That doesn't mean I don't think a dressage horse can do trails. They obviously can - if ridden with an approach that understands the trail is not an arena. At that point, they are trained dressage horses being used as a trail horse -which is fine, provided the rider understands the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
...Being nit-picky.... bass is a low note, as in music... the word you're looking for is "base" :)
Here is another hint: "insite" is spelled "insight". Think about it a while...
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    08-10-2012, 09:49 PM
  #187
Trained
Well then since you know what goes into training a World class reining horse you should go and do so. You know you can earn millions of $ training and showing reiners. Same with Jumpers. Since you seem to know that too. A high level jumper sell for quite a bit if money. Heck all you would have to do is train one.

What you see in the show ring is not all that goes into the training to get there.
     
    08-10-2012, 09:50 PM
  #188
Started
How about we solve this conflict and all start doing Western Dressage.

Or continue beating the dead horse.

Doesn't matter to me.

(Note the sarcasm about Western Dressage.)
     
    08-10-2012, 09:56 PM
  #189
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by QHriderKE    
How about we solve this conflict and all start doing Western Dressage.

Or continue beating the dead horse.

Doesn't matter to me.

(Note the sarcasm about Western Dressage.)

I'm auditing a Western Dressage clinic next month! (No sarcasm there, I am serious!)
     
    08-10-2012, 09:57 PM
  #190
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by QHriderKE    
How about we solve this conflict and all start doing Western Dressage.


End of Sept. Although I am showing a relatively green horse. Was going to also show one of my finished horses but desided to just show the one.

Should be fun.
     

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