Western Dressage “On Fire” in Michigan!!

By Joanne Coy

I just wanted to let you know that western dressage is “on fire” here in southwest Michigan! My USDF GMO (Glass-Ed) just put on a western dressage clinic (I was the clinician) and we had around 45 people in attendance on a cold, snowy/rainy day, who stayed until the very end of the day!

The format was that we started with a 50-minute discussion, general information about WD, the rules, equipment, clothes, difference between English dressage and western dressage, etc. Then we had demo riders (two riders per level) ride while I narrated, describing the purpose and directives for each level. Questions were discussed after each demo. Then, after a short break, riders who signed up online in advance, rode a test of their choice, judged by one of our local four L graduate judges. After each test, the judge stood up and discussed (for auditors and riders to hear) what she saw that went well, and one or two things that could be “developed”, keeping it positive. Each rider was given 15 minutes of our time, for the test and discussion. The test was scored and the rider left with a copy of their test.

For many, it was their first time experiencing riding a real test. The four judges volunteered their time (myself included), to “give back” to this GMO (and we are all on the board). During our half hour lunch break, we also were available for anyone to ask questions. Then at the very end, we entertained more questions.

When we first posted that we were putting this on, our website crashed twice because of the many responses. We were totally blown away by how many people showed up–and stayed! We had lots of great questions, so many “nods of approval”. We had several people interested in signing up with Western Dressage Association® of Michigan and Western Dressage Association® of America.
One comment that I thought that was particularly cool was from a husband of a rider. He said that he had been following his wife around from horse show to horse show for years but never really knew what he was watching, and now he feels like he knows what he’s looking for! He said it’s going to make his life so much more interesting now!

So, my thanks to you all, for your support and helping me prepare for this venture, I feel it’s going to help fan the flames of desire for riding western dressage in this area. We have so many who are interested! If you’d like to see more pictures from the clinic, and a copy of the schedule, you can find it on our Glass-Ed Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Glass-Ed-372998232778953/

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