Just that it isn't related to western riding. Traditional western riding is not oriented to riding in an arena, with a significant degree of sustained collection.
Thank you for your response, bsms. That's the best answer I've heard to date. One that actually makes sense.
I had this great response all typed up on my phone already, but my husband called and it all went away. So frustrating!
My answer is this:
I think it's a shame that so few people can see the similarities between Western and dressage. Dressage was never established for arenas either. It was to keep war horses conditioned and battle ready. It was only brought into an arena for riders to showcase the abilities of their mounts. Same thing happened with reining, cutting, trail, WP, etc. Those are all arena work now with a basis outside of the arena.
There are many similarities between the two. All that hind end propulsion, self-Carriage, lightness in the front end, etc. is the same that Dressage riders strive toward. Sure, you won't see a cutting horse doing a levade. Think about it - leg yields, piaffes, voltes just to name a few. All dressage terms, but you see them in western disciplines in different variations.
I think part of it is the division between Western and English. Why would you want to stop someone who wants to develop correct riding skills and build a better partnership with their horse? I know my horse could do WD, but not any other western discipline or English Dressage. Why would it be so bad for us to do that? Isn't a goal of riding to build a partnership with your horse? Wouldn't it be better to see riders want to do that through correct riding and subtle communication and for horses to work correctly and balanced in tune with their riders cues? That type of riding is useful everywhere, even on the trail. Posted via Mobile Device