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Latest News & Comment

What is Western Dressage?


HalfPassHarasWe just came back from our 10th show this year. This was our first time riding at Las Colinas in Irvine,TX. Nice facility!. I would like to give a big Thank You! to Dallas Dressage Club (DDC), I was  impressed with Leslie Heltzen and Doreen Simonsen Cutts for managing the show office, Alecia Box Daniel for coordinating the volunteers, and last but not least Clare Morrow for judging Carbon and I. Great job ladies! I am so happy that these folks were so hospitable and made available Western classes. This was a fairly large show with just under 70 tests ridden in two arenas.

Carbon was in good form as always. Carbon took home 3 more blues making it a grand total of 23 for the year. Carbon also took home a Grand Champion ribbon (Show high point), that was not his first nor hopefully will it be his last. That is now 4 Grand Champions for this show season. I love my boy toy.. what a big heart he has!

Commentary:
What is Western Dressage? This question has been asked a million times. Simply put! It is right before your eyes "It is what Carbon & I are doing!!!" Testing is part of the process of Western Dressage! Bottom line!

Over the last year, I have read a lot of postings on the Internet about what people think WD should be. Right now there are two groups of folks that are involved with WD. Those that take tests to validate their knowledge and improve their horsemanship through a systematic step-by-step, linear tracking system, and the ones that do not take tests. Do you need to take a test to have good horsemanship? Absolutely not! But testing is part of the learning process.

"Where do you go to find a qualified Western Dressage coach, instructor, or trainer? The answer is simple! You need to look for two things:"

Let me ask you this question. Would you take your child to a school or a doctors office that had teachers or doctors that were "NOT" board certified and educated?
I am sure some of you would to save money, but these educators or doctors that have not been tested and passed tests are not qualified to practice in their field. Anyone can go to a Junior College and hang a certificate of completion and call themselves a professional. Right now there is a system in place to test if a Western Dressage educator is qualified to teach Western Dressage. Look for these two basic qualifications.

First, As of today's date, there are schooling shows all across the USA. Many of these shows have qualified judges that are trained and certified to understand what to look for in a horse. These trained judges validate the coach, instructor, or trainers set of skills through their horse by testing. There are simply no excuses why a good coach, instructor or trainer that is accomplished would not be tested. Before you turn your horse over to anyone, look at their test scores if they have any.

Second, Look at their horse. Do they have a demo horse that you can look at or ride? How can you ever know if you are on the right track if you can't see or feel what you need to achieve success? Has that horse been tested? The truth is always in the horse's eyes and movement. Is that a horse you want to ride? Do they have any educational material like: books, DVDs, Smart phone apps, or any type of training information that you can take home and look at on off times? Do they have a syllabus to follow? Can they explain the step-by-step process of your development? Do they have a road map laid out for you?

My goal has always been to educate horsemen and bridge the gap between Western and English. To be an inspiration to all horsemen alike, I needed credibility. Talk was cheap and ineffective, it was not enough to inspire people. I needed something more to win over the hearts of people. Why did I start showing?
 When I started to get criticized for talking and not putting my words in to action is when I started to take action. Now that I did not need to wear breeches and use English tack I took action. I set out on a quest, I wanted to prove to myself that a Western guy could build a competitive English Dressage horse wearing wranglers, a cowboy hat, while riding in a western saddle one handed. Purely by accident there was a secondary result. We started to win show high scores. I was just happy to prove that my beloved QH gelding could score well with Dressage Judges. As you can see, Carbon enjoys his job and I am having fun!

I think what I am doing is bigger than my ego. The English community has been a source of encouragement and an inspiration to me. I just hope that one day I can return the favor. I would like to think that I am inspiring Western folks to come out of hiding and show that you too can build a competitive Dressage horse with Western tack. I know that a  Western horse can go as well as any of the English horses. 


I urge you English and Western folks to put down your pride and ego to let me inspire you to succeed. If you are not getting scores in the 70s, ask yourself what am I doing different than you? I not only receive scores in the 70s, but why am I scoring the highest score of the show?

Carbon and I hope to see you down Center-line.

Comments   

 
0 #3 http://www.161989up. 2014-10-19 20:22
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and
the rest of the site is extremely good.

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Quote
 
 
0 #2 http://www.161997up. 2014-10-18 04:27
Aw, this was a really good post. Taking the time and actual effort
to make a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never seem to get anything done.


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Quote
 
 
0 #1 Diane Taylor 2012-10-22 11:51
I always love hearing how you and Carbon are doing. Obviously you are both doing great!: Congratulations to both of you! Do you know anyone in Ontario or Quebec (near Ottawa) that teaches Western Dressage?
Quote
 

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