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Western Dressage - Arabian Horse Assoc

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  • Western dressage riding

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    07-21-2013, 09:59 PM
  #71
Started
So, all I'm getting for why anyone doesn't like WD is because some riders who use curb bits ride improperly with them. Right?

Okay, so take out those people. What's so horribly wrong with WD? If/When they do a rule change to disallow curbs at lower levels, then what will anyone have to complain about?

This is what I'm trying to get to. Let's get beyond the curbs being incorrectly used - that happens everywhere that curbs are used. Assume they're all in snaffles with their western horses. What else is there that's so awful with WD?
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    07-21-2013, 11:38 PM
  #72
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAmom    
...What else is there that's so awful with WD?
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.

Western riding should be oriented to ranch work, or imitating the needs of ranch work. If western dressage was a two event program, one with speed and agility (barrel racing comes to mind) and the second was dressage dressage, with a combined score...I could relate to that.

It is kind of like Western Show Jumping, where you do show jumping but in a western saddle using quarter horses. Haven't heard of it? That is because it is a pretty dumb idea. It may or may not be fun, but it would not be related to western riding.

When someone says "Western", I think of this:



"Emory H. Sager, of the Shoe Bar, on "Old Blue" his favorite cutting horse, working the herd out on roundup grounds. Shoe Bar Ranch, Texas, 1912"

Erwin E. Smith Collection Guide | Collection Guide

Notice there is no riding the horse in a frame, no putting him on the bit, his forehead isn't vertical, he isn't using a collected gait per FEI...it just isn't dressage. That doesn't make dressage wrong in any way, but dressage and western riding are not like peanut butter & chocolate - just because things sound odd together doesn't mean they really DO go together!

If they wanted to call it "Beginner Dressage" to allow folks to explore dressage without all the tack, etc...fine. But there isn't much about it that is western...
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    07-22-2013, 12:27 AM
  #73
Foal
Dressage is mostly "just good riding". It's about balance and lightness and rhythm. It's about making the horse more comfortable to ride and about teaching the rider to ride better. It's about teaching your horse to respond in a quick but relaxed manner to whatever you ask of him. It's about teaching him to stop without throwing himself on his forehand or jerking his head up in the air. I think all those things and more, apply to western riding as well as English Dressage. If you can manipulate your western horse easily through a gate, you're probably doing more dressage than you realize. Same with riding off your seat and neck reining - both are very, very much like dressage. As I see it, competing in Western Dressage is just another way to enjoy your horse and to improve your riding skills and your connection with your horse.

I also think it should be mentioned that the Western horse (the Quarter horse) has it's roots in the Spanish Barbs brought to the Americas by the Spaniards. Guess what those horses were originally bred and trained to do? Bingo: Dressage. Okay, it probably wasn't called "Dressage" then, (actually it probably was, since "dressage" simply means "training"), and the saddles looked different, but the Spanish horse was (and still is today) built for collection and for use as a good riding horse for war, and working cattle, and just about every other purpose a horse might be used for.

Is collection foreign to Western horses? I don't think so. A western horse doing a sliding stop is collected. A western horse can not to a proper roll-back or spin without being collected. I'm sure any horse in any western show class would be penalized if he went along leaning on his forehand, or with a hollowed back and his nose up in the air. Why? Because western judges are looking for "collection" too. Not to mention that English dressage classes all include the "free walk" which is virtually identical to low headed, stretching down, Western walk.

So, so many similarities. I'm surprised no one thought of this before.
     
    07-22-2013, 08:39 AM
  #74
Foal






Dressage, as has been mentioned, isn't about riding around in a ring. That is just a test - not the thing. If you took math test, you would never then say that math is not practical.

Western riding is a many faceted thing. The oldest tradition, from which our modern saddle and cattle working practices come, did and still does use sustained collection. That doesn't mean the horse isn't allowed to stretch out and use it's head and neck or that every vaquero rider will show a horse that looks like it could do 2nd level, but the carriage that was standard for working western horses in the California tradition up until the late 1960s was that of a 2nd level dressage horse. It doesn't matter that the training is done in the open, using natural features to build and encourage collection and bend.
     
    07-22-2013, 09:11 AM
  #75
Banned
I'm finding it interesting that reining is getting bashed, considering it is the one of the primary sports that emphasizes one handed draped rein curb use. SEAmom any horse can be blown up and crippled by poor horsemanship.

The problem as I see it with WD, and so far I've seen quite a bit of it is that the two handed plow reining on the curb is to me like what you'd see when people are schooling EXCEPT good riders offer release, pick up and put down, not a consistent taut rein and horses ducking behind the vertical like you see at these shows.

When I'm schooling my reining horse it moments of picking him up for a few strides and then releasing, those shanks are never consistently parallel to the ground, ever.

Anyone who thinks its ok to ride in curb like that consistently and push the horse BEHIND the bit is fooling themselves. They're using the strength of the bit to achieve a false sense of ability and achievement. Sad really.
     
    07-22-2013, 09:53 AM
  #76
Started
Quote:
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.
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    07-22-2013, 09:58 AM
  #77
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
I'm finding it interesting that reining is getting bashed, considering it is the one of the primary sports that emphasizes one handed draped rein curb use. SEAmom any horse can be blown up and crippled by poor horsemanship.

The problem as I see it with WD, and so far I've seen quite a bit of it is that the two handed plow reining on the curb is to me like what you'd see when people are schooling EXCEPT good riders offer release, pick up and put down, not a consistent taut rein and horses ducking behind the vertical like you see at these shows.

When I'm schooling my reining horse it moments of picking him up for a few strides and then releasing, those shanks are never consistently parallel to the ground, ever.

Anyone who thinks its ok to ride in curb like that consistently and push the horse BEHIND the bit is fooling themselves. They're using the strength of the bit to achieve a false sense of ability and achievement. Sad really.
I'm sorry you feel that reining is getting bashed. I'm certainly not bashing any discipline here. Again, I agree that harsh curb bit use is bad any time, every time. I completely agree with what you're saying, so I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make towards WD. Let's move beyond the curb issue, though. What other reason do you have to dislike WD, if you dislike it.
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    07-22-2013, 10:04 AM
  #78
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEAmom    
I'm sorry you feel that reining is getting bashed. I'm certainly not bashing any discipline here. Again, I agree that harsh curb bit use is bad any time, every time. I completely agree with what you're saying, so I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make towards WD. Let's move beyond the curb issue, though. What other reason do you have to dislike WD, if you dislike it.
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I don't necessarily dislike it as a 'whole' but I wouldn't endorse it BECAUSE of the lack of correct curb use. It seems to be a big thing to overlook and to blindly ride around like that makes me scratch my head.....if I was riding around like that I'd be yelled at
     
    07-22-2013, 10:52 AM
  #79
Foal
Muppetgirl, what makes you so sure heavy contact on a curb is being overlooked? Are you in on the discussions among the rule makers? Have you attended a Train the Trainers Clinic or any clinic by Lynn Palm, Barbara Long, Les Buckley, Jec Ballou or any of the other members of the Advisory Committee? Have you talked to the judges and asked them how it affects the scores? Just because you see it doesn't mean it's considered correct or is what is meant. While the rules allow two hands, the guidelines for judges stress lightness of contact.
     
    07-22-2013, 11:03 AM
  #80
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by longride    
Muppetgirl, what makes you so sure heavy contact on a curb is being overlooked? Are you in on the discussions among the rule makers? Have you attended a Train the Trainers Clinic or any clinic by Lynn Palm, Barbara Long, Les Buckley, Jec Ballou or any of the other members of the Advisory Committee? Have you talked to the judges and asked them how it affects the scores? Just because you see it doesn't mean it's considered correct or is what is meant. While the rules allow two hands, the guidelines for judges stress lightness of contact.
I could ask the same of you. Lets look at it this way, rookie reining and green Reiner classes allow two hands on a preferrably DRAPED rein, it doesn't always happen, but it's the goal. Why am I not seeing draped reins in these classes? And when I do see a draped rein I see a horse in a false frame ducking BTV?
Curbs are for neck reining and to be used accordingly, not plow reined on, I think we all agree to that. It's simple and from my knowledge and understanding from talking to plenty of others the way the curb is used in many examples of WD is not correct.
     

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