Cole Creek Equestrian Center hosts introduction to Western Dressage


KELSEYVILLE, CA | Cole Creek Equestrian Center (CCEC), a premier equine facility in Kelseyville, will host an introduction to Western Dressage presented on April 7 by popular clinician and author Jec Ballou. Founded in 2010, the Western Dressage Association® of America (WDAA) stands poised to soon be included as a national competition discipline according to Ballou.

“The developing sport gained early support from not only western riders who liked the challenge of progressively training a horse for dressage but also from equestrians who saw it as a way to preserve the ideals of classical dressage: softness, lightness and harmony,” Ballou said. “For those who argue that these ideals are not always seen in modern competition dressage, western dressage offers an alternative. It also gives western riders an organized way to train and compete, if they choose in skills they have practiced for decades on ranches and in their everyday lives thanks to the lasting influence of horsemen like Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt.”

According to Ballou, WDAA is forming affiliate groups in 20 states to promote the discipline through clinics and competitions. For now, western dressage tests are modified from regular United States Dressage Federation tests to suit the gaits of a western horse. In the future these tests will evolve to more specifically demonstrate the training and maneuvers of western riding.

WDAA president Ellen DiBella said the sport has numerous aspects to offer enthusiasts, the largest being a method of riding that “focuses on harmony, correct movement of the horse and proper sequential training.” Ballou said she has a foot in both worlds. A dressage trainer and rider, she serves on the national advisory board for WDAA.

For more information about the April clinic, contact CCEC at, 279-0915 or

Authored by Staff reports
Updated:   03/08/2012 02:34:45 PM PST


Comments are closed.