Western Dressage ?? - Page 2

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Western Dressage ??

This is a discussion on Western Dressage ?? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    04-28-2011, 09:14 AM
I have heard that it is really taking off down south. I know for me I think western style horse can do dressage just as well as the others. No they may not be able to float like on air like the TB's and others. Honestly dressage is just a really disciplined sport. I don't like tall horses. Shoot I might be selling my yearling because I am afraid that she is going to be close to 16 hands.

I have the Dressage Exercises for horse and ride 101 and do it with Cutter. We only do the first couple of exercises. I don't ride English but I think Dressage exercises can help the western horses out quite a bit.
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    04-28-2011, 10:15 AM
Thanks for all the input, here is what I have found out so far...

"cowboy dressage" is the one that is trademarked and owned by an individual, but not western dressage

It is pretty impressive then if it takes that much to become recognised, that's pretty cool. The USEF sent me thier guidelines to judge, so that I can add Western Dressage to our dressage shows. It sounds to me like everything is getting off to a good start ? http://www.usef.org/documents/breeds...Guidelines.pdf

I agree, that the lower levels are pretty basic, but that's dressage in general, the lower levels are just good riding, using a time tested pyramid of progressive skills. Personally, I think its great. To whatever level it achieves. If it helps riders learn how to develop a communication with their horses Im all for it. The majority of dressage riders in North America are riding under first level. That doesn't mean they work any less hard, or are not striving to improve. I beleive that traditional dressage is a journey, that you have to enjoy the trip, at all the stages. I would hope western dressage is the same.
    04-28-2011, 12:24 PM
This is becoming a pet peeve of mine. Equitation shouldn't be discussed as being independent of tack.

You can ride a jump saddle like a dressage rider, but you will be fighting your gear. You can ride a dressage saddle over jumps, but you'll be fighting your gear. And the switch to a western saddle is even greater.

Ride on your seat pockets in an English saddle, and you'll hurt your horse, who will respond by hollowing his back and getting upset. Do the same in a western saddle - which distributes weight to the rear over a much larger area - and the horse will bring his hind legs under a bit in a modest form of collection.

A chair seat makes sense for cutting cattle. It isn't right for dressage. A leveraged bit can work fine with slack reins, but shouldn't be ridden with constant contact. You cannot separate the goals of a particular style from the equipment used and the style of riding itself.

Rather than running everything thru the blender, we ought to appreciate and respect the differences. The goal should be stew, not pureed mush. I don't have any desire to ride Dressage, but can appreciate and respect those who do. Western riding has its own history and traditions, and the tack is designed with that in mind.

As has been mentioned, reining takes some of the principles and approaches of dressage and reinterprets them in light of western gear and history. It is true to the spirit of both. "Western Dressage" is, IMHO, an insult to both traditions while appreciating neither.

Frankly, I think the folks pushing western dressage don't understand western riding very well. The explanation below reeks of condescension to western riders. It is as if we are all a bunch of idiots who can't even get our horses to stop and relax or to travel straight or turn well - all of which is bunk!

    04-28-2011, 12:50 PM
Why is it that these people seem to want to reinvent the wheel? What he is saying and explaining is exactly what you get with any and all of my reining horses. They learn this with in the first few months. If a horse is not collected and relaxed and can not move every inch of their body you WILL NOT get what you see in a finished reiner. Subsequently this is the first thing that any quality reining trainer will teach a horse.

If you want a good score say in a turn (spine) you have to have collection, lateral movement, along with forward movement and you also must have everything else was talking about.
    04-28-2011, 01:52 PM
What is the difference between western dressage and reining?
    04-28-2011, 01:57 PM
From what I have seen very little. Different patterns and from what I have seen and read of the rules you ride with contact in a western bit which to me is a big no no.

Thing is it is nothing new if you can take a reining horse and do this. Granted any well trained horse can do just about anything.
    04-28-2011, 02:01 PM
Here is him riding. I say drop that hand down where it should be and do it. I know I can on my reiners on a slack rein as it should be.

    04-28-2011, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nrhareiner    
It is not that easy to get USEF recognition. So I highly doubt that "western Dressage" has gained it. Took NRHA many many years to get it and work out all the details. There has also has to be enough of a following along with other requirements that must be met.
I'm a little shocked but when I googled it I found the below link (This looks like it is breed specific to MORGANS?):


They even have tests posted.

Western Dressage Tests

To be honost, I've always thought as reining as the "dressage" of western. I don't agree with the mentality that dressage is the elite of all riding/training and I never will. In my opinion western riding has always been a higher achievement, however I will admit that there are things that these dressage horses are doing that western horses just won't ever do.

Anyway... interesting...
    04-28-2011, 02:09 PM
Oh dear..I want to put his hand lower and give that horse some slack. It'd be different if it was in a saddle but that can't be fun for the horse. There is a lot of difference in contact in a snaffle and contact like that in a curb.
    04-28-2011, 02:17 PM
It is not that a western horse can not do these things it is just they have no need to do these things.

Just like most disciplines that you see at shows these days they started out from some type of working horse. Then they evolved into what you see now. As training improved feed improved vet care improved and as the breeding of these horses became more specific and improved so have the sport.

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