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Western Dressage - Arabian Horse Assoc

This is a discussion on Western Dressage - Arabian Horse Assoc within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
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    06-11-2013, 01:39 AM
  #21
Weanling
Bsms, I hate to break it to you... but with a clipper, a little baby oil and some work on-the-bit Mia could be just as "repulsive" as the rest of those horses you posted. ;)
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    06-11-2013, 01:52 AM
  #22
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by existentialpony    
bsms, I hate to break it to you... but with a clipper, a little baby oil and some work on-the-bit Mia could be just as "repulsive" as the rest of those horses you posted. ;)
Yup, she sure is a pretty girl.....
     
    06-20-2013, 11:52 PM
  #23
Foal
Quote:
While bsms suggests that WD is mostly "silliness," IMHO I think that comes from someone who doesn't appreciate the good that basic dressage principles can do for a horse and rider. The beauty of dressage is that you aren't only competing with other riders-- you're competing against your last test score to become better, more athletic and more harmonious. This is what inspires better practices and better riding.
Totally agree. I don't understand those who are scoffing at western dressage. Dressage is just good riding and it's good for ANY horse, and greatly improves the rider's abilities as well.

I've only been to one Western Dressage show but I was pleased with what I saw. The horses were more relaxed than what you usually see at modern (English) dressage shows and had better halts. Their heads were not overbent downwards and all the horses were in snaffles, not curbs. They needed to work on bending (around the circles) and balancing a bit more, but that was the biggest fault I noticed.

Why learn dressage (western or otherwise)? Because is helps your horse and it's FAR, FAR, more fun than Western Pleasure.

BTW, I've been told by several very qualified Dressage trainers that Western "seat" is more like true "Classical Dressage" than what is often seen in the modern dressage ring. Although I ride English Dressage, my instructor often tells me to "western it up". My first horse was an AQHA gelding that I rode western so I know exactly what she means. Now I'm teaching my dressage horse to neck-rein, which I now realize is basically the same as "being on the outside rein" (dressage terminology), LOL! Anyway, I have no clue why anyone would scoff at the idea of Western Dressage. I think it's a great idea, and yes, it allows those with breeds other than European Warmbloods to show in Dressage.
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    07-06-2013, 08:11 AM
  #24
Started
I don't mind a SLIGHT dished/Refined head. I think my mare's is jut a lil too dished. And can't stand the flat backs (at least my mare dose not have that. I like the Babson Arabians because they are not Sea horse head or flat backed and yet the are the ORIGINAL Egyptian type horses.

Babson Stallion HR Hasims Legacy






And here is a vid of western dressage XD


     
    07-06-2013, 08:27 AM
  #25
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by existentialpony    
Now, I am no blind fan of AHA and am often seen mumbling about show practices, but rage at the Magnum Psyche hate! My boy is out of a Padron's Psyche mare and he is not only athletic, but he is the most intelligent versatile horse I have ever ridden. Trails, gymkhana, hunter, western pleasure, dressage... he does it all. And he's **** pretty doing it. I adore his little seahorse face as much as I admire his ability to think about what I'm asking and execute it with athleticism.

Let me wander back on to topic and say... I have hope for Western Dressage in AHA! I think that executed properly, it could inject a little bit of education and proper movement into other aspects of AHA (such as Western Pleasure...). While bsms suggests that WD is mostly "silliness," IMHO I think that comes from someone who doesn't appreciate the good that basic dressage principles can do for a horse and rider. The beauty of dressage is that you aren't only competing with other riders-- you're competing against your last test score to become better, more athletic and more harmonious. This is what inspires better practices and better riding.
You are kidding, right??

Anytime we try to do anything FUNCTIONAL with Arabians, we get kicked out. THAT"s why we have Sport Horse Nationals, and WD ain't going to fly there!!!!

Nancy
     
    07-06-2013, 11:29 AM
  #26
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by existentialpony    
...While bsms suggests that WD is mostly "silliness," IMHO I think that comes from someone who doesn't appreciate the good that basic dressage principles can do for a horse and rider. The beauty of dressage is that you aren't only competing with other riders-- you're competing against your last test score to become better, more athletic and more harmonious. This is what inspires better practices and better riding.
You are partially correct. While I think dressage is an admirable sport, I do not think it is essential for developing an athletic horse or to "become better, more athletic and more harmonious". My only objection to dressage is when someone pushes it as THE way to ride a horse, when it is A way to ride, and A way to enjoy horses.

But if someone wants to ride dressage, then it makes sense to me to do dressage in tack designed for it. Shanked bits in the hands of someone who wants a horse in highly collected gaits seems wrong. I don't jog in hiking boots, but to each their own...except the horse is the one who is being made to jog in hiking boots...
     
    07-06-2013, 07:09 PM
  #27
Foal
Well, still not understanding your resentment against dressage here.

Dressage is certainly not the only way to enjoy one's horse. Of course "technically" the word "dressage" means "training" and most consider that a positive aspiration - to train one's horse, but still, there are many, many people who have no desire to train their horse, just to ride it. It think that's perfectly fine as long as their horse has been adequately trained by others to the point of safety at least, and has a cooperative disposition as well.

So I agree with you, that there is no reason to push dressage on everyone.

For those who enjoy the "training" aspect of horsemanship, to them I would only seek to explain what dressage should be and can be, that is, a way to improve one's horse, no matter what other discipline you enjoy participating in.

For example, I used to own a barrel racer. He had been encouraged and trained to lean in on the corners. He had also been encouraged to go fast and stop only upon insistence. This put some limits on the ways in which I could enjoy him. I could not, for example, ride him in a western pleasure class. He had no idea how to stop without a discussion about it, and contact with the reins was required at all times to keep him from accelerating. I know now, that with the principles I've learned from dressage, how I could have taught/trained him to become a better all around mount, while enhancing his barrel racing abilities, not destroying them. Of course, I very much enjoyed him just as he was, so I'm not on a campaign to insist that all horses learn "dressage".

And BTW, I'm puzzled at your apparent belief that dressage horses are forced to collect via use of a "long-shanked" bit. I ride my dressage horse in a double link O-ring snaffle. I ask him to collect with virtually no help from the reins. The "double bridle" seen on top level dressage horses is not even allowed in the ring on lower level dressage horses and most dressage horses are not trained in anything but a snaffle until the most advanced levels where a soft touch on the curb is used to indicate certain specific movements like the piaffe.
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    07-06-2013, 09:08 PM
  #28
Trained
I have NO resentment of dressage. I have said repeatedly that I consider it an admirable sport. It just is not the foundation of all good riding.

Nor did I say dressage is ridden using shanked bits, although I have seen it used with folks promoting western dressage. And as I pointed out, that seems an odd tack combination for someone trying to ride with the horse 'on the bit'.

If someone likes dressage and wants to use it in their riding, great! If someone wants to do it with western tack, then...OK. But I think they really need to consider the differences between western and dressage, and adjust accordingly. I can ride traditional western cowboy style in an English close contact saddle, and my horse doesn't even complain - but that was NOT how the saddle was designed to be used. I can also ride with a forward seat while using a shanked western curb, and it will work fine - if I don't try to use the bit the way I would use a snaffle.

In addition, I think Western Dressage is oriented to people who haven't had much experience in dressage almost like a shortcut to dressage. Like jumping, I think dressage is a sport that should be taken seriously. And I'm not sure Western Dressage takes dressage seriously. The marketing I've seen seems like "Dressage without the work". If I'm wrong, that will be a good thing. If I'm right, then WD needs to die. Time will tell.
     
    07-06-2013, 11:20 PM
  #29
Foal
The more dressage I learn, the less I see it as a sport, and the more as learning to improve both myself and my horse. I don't think I've gotten to the point where we, together, are very "artistic" yet, but perhaps someday, lol!

My only question about the tack used for western dressage is it seems to me that most western saddles encourage a somewhat "chair seat" (correct me if I'm wrong) and that is a no-no in classical dressage. Of course, that said, I have several dressage saddles and of my two favorites, one definitely puts me in a "chair seat" position, while the other does not. Should I ever decide to get serious about Western Dressage, I will be on the lookout for a western saddle that puts me in the best position for the discipline.

BTW, what are the rules for bits in Western Dressage? I'd be surprised if some version of a snaffle was not required.

And perhaps we should start a whole new discussion about what "on the bit" means to whom.
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    07-07-2013, 12:10 AM
  #30
Trained
Some western saddles encourage a chair seat and others do not. There are plenty of both out there. The Circle Y I own puts me in a terrible, knee-killing chair seat. I hate it. The Abetta we own puts my heel under my hip, even though I don't want it that far back - but at least it doesn't hurt my knees!

The rules I just looked up allow snaffles and western bits. The videos I just looked at on their website had both being used. (Video Gallery | Western Dressage Association of America)

I've discussed on the bit with a variety of people. This probably isn't the time or place to discuss it at length.

Traditional western riding has different goals than traditional dressage, and it leaves the subject open to a great deal of misunderstanding. Traditional western riding has valued things like speed, acceleration, and trusting the horse to make some of the decisions. I'm not sure how those values integrate into doing collected gaits in an arena. And if those values are left behind, is it still worth calling it 'western'? What if someone started "Western Jumping", doing steeplechases using western saddles and bits. Would it make sense?

I view riding as a diamond with many facets. I'm not sure the diamond is improved by blurring the distinctions between the facets...
     

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