Western Dressage

The post about western dressage at Gold Cup caught my eye.  The video has expired.  Can someone tell me about western dressage?  I’m familiar with ‘regular’ dressage and driven dressage.   I’ll be showing Western for the first time next season.  I’d love to show Western dressage at Gold Cup!  

8 Responses to Western Dressage

  1. Mocha Mom says:

    Western Dressage is a new discipline in the Morgan show arena. Someone has even proposed a set of rules for it that are being discussed at this year’s AMHA Rules Forums. As it stands now there are no rules governing Morgan Western Dressage and each show can run these classes any way they want. What I have seen is regular dressage using western attire and tack, but there are some inconsistencies between the rules for Morgan Western Pleasure and Morgan Dressage, such as the use of curb bits. If you’re interested in persuing this discipline, get involved on the ground floor.

  2. Black Eye Beth says:

    Lucky, sorry the video is gone. I had a brain-glitch early one morning and accidentally deleted a bunch of my YouTube videos (I said a few “choice” words that morning!!).

    For more information, you may want to go to the Cowboy Dressage at Wolf Creek Ranch website.

  3. lucky says:

    Thanks. Mocha Mom, I can see where the inconsistencies would come from. I can see WD as a ‘pattern’ class which would be fun but I’m having trouble envisioning more than that because of tack and lack of gait development in the WP horse.

    I’ll checkout cowboy dressage. Thanks.

  4. helkat says:

    Hi. While there are some differences between Western Dressage and traditional Dressage, the basics are the same. It gives a place for our Western Pleasure horses to demonstrate round circles, flawless transitions and straight lines. The good Western Dressage horses also include a bit of impulsion along with cadence, just like an upper level Dressage horse. The use of the curb bit allows a more visual demonstration of horse and rider working as a partnership. In Western Dressage there is not a lot of “neck reining” there is a tun of Leg Yielding. It demonstrates suppleness and correctness of gait through the entire body. All of which our Western Pleasure horses should have to enter an arena class. One positive effect is that it gives our young or green Western Pleasure horses a bit of warm up show time under pressure.

  5. lucky says:

    I may have sounded critical or dismissive. I am not. I’m all for anything that gives our horses more chances to be supple and calm.

    In fact, part of my interest stems from my ‘problems’ learning western. After decades of riding/driving with contact, I’m having trouble ‘letting go’ and using leg together. I’ll be getting lessons so I don’t wreck my new WP guy.

    I’d like to ‘do’ WD as another way to show my horse next year.

    BTW, how would you rate the Cowboy Dressage articles? Worth the money? For an experienced (30 years +) Morgan horseWOMAN?

  6. helkat says:

    lucky…
    Let me start off by saying that my background is in Classical Dressage and it later moved over to Western Pleasure and Reining. I feel both styles of riding go hand in hand. While I do think the Cowboy Dressage articles do have a place and provide much learning, I feel anyone would get just as much if not more out of taking a few Dressage lessons. The basics of feeling the horses back, rump, shoulders and head all in line are what builds the Western / Dressage horse. You may have some if not all of that in line already and just need a little finishing on it. Another thought would to be to pick up an issue of Dressage Today.

  7. colwilrin says:

    I think the best western trainers combine some basic dressage in their program. You can tell who uses it by how the horses travel. They are TRUE joggers and lopers. Not just a slowed down ex-english horse.

    HINT…watch them pass another horse. I use my laterals all the time to move around a horse and get back up on the wall. Since I can steer by just wiggling my feet…the head remains very still.

    It is also a blessing for them to be able to hold frame and lope in place when you are boxed in and need a quick second to find a place to go!

  8. helkat says:

    Right on colwilrin! I completely agree!!

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