History & Inspiration

Eitan Beth-Halachmy

Eitan Beth-Halachmy has long been known for his unique style. In his training program he combines Classical Dressage and traditional Western horsemanship . A native Israeli with a background in Classical Dressage he came to this country in 1967 to pursue an education in veterinary medicine at UC Davis in California. If you ask him he will tell you he really came to this country to become an American Cowboy. He did not actually become a cowboy nor did he become a DVM, but he did become a great horseman.

Eitan’s love of all things western has led him to develop and trademark his own form of Western Dressage called Cowboy Dressage. Part teacher, part entertainer, Eitan has been marching to his own drummer all his life. He is as unique as his horsemanship. Like many artists he is not one to stay within the shelter of convention. He believes in what works. His desire for knowledge and his love for horsemanship were a driving passion that led him on a remarkable journey to Cowboy Dressage.

A few years ago Cowboy Dressage classes started to show up at horse shows across the country. As consultants Eitan and his wife Debbie helped format these early Cowboy Dressage Competitions. They evolved out of need and desire from the western contingent here in the US. Eitan feels the time is right and that the western rider and horse has needed a “dressage home” for a long time. He is very proud of his work and contributions and hopes that he has inspired riders to be better, to learn more and to constantly raise the bar in their horsemanship and partnership.

Eitan has agreed to serve on the Advisory Board of the WDAA; he and his wife, Debbie, remain active and supportive within the new association. Eitan says, “it is a win/win for both horse and rider, how can one not be enthusiastic? From now on western and dressage are not like oil and water, now they are one.

Click Here to read about Jack in AQHA’s America’s Horse Magazine

Jack Brainard

The pioneering of many “firsts” in the world of horses is the personal characteristic that drew the legendary Jack Brainard to Western Dressage. As an innovator, he has established a world reputation stretching from the community where he lives in Texas to the far reaches of equine performance.

As breeder, trainer, and judge, Jack has contributed to the Paint Horse, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, Palomino, cutting and reining industries in a career spanning more than 55 years. In 1966 he helped organize the National Reining Horse Association and served as one of its original directors. In 2010, he was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame. In 1998, Jack organized the “Stock Horse of Texas” program to promote and emphasize the flexibility of the Western Stock horse.

In 2003, Jack was named “Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture” and is a board member of the Equine Program at Texas A & M University. Recognized for his many contributions for the breeding and training of horses that have won world titles in reining, cutting, roping and pleasure riding, Jack was honored by the Nixon administration when he was appointed one of 15 members of the U.S. Horse Industry Advisory Committee who met with the Secretary of Agriculture. Additionally, Jack was named Western Horseman Magazine’s Man of the Year for 2010.

So, it is no surprise that Jack Brainard was one of the first to recognize when he met Eitan Beth Halachmy in 2007, that Western Dressage was another “first” in the development of good horsemanship, benefiting both horse and rider.

Both horsemen have now joined forces and teach Western Dressage across the country. When you combine the years of earned knowledge, expertise and savvy between these two men you have a home run for both the horse and rider.

The WDAA is grateful to Eitan, his wife, Debbie and to Jack for being our inspiration. They bring several lifetimes of devotion to horses and learning to the Advisory Board of the WDAA; their experience as horsemen and their skill as teachers are extraordinary resources for the WDAA.

“It’s about the journey…”

Learn more about Eitan and Jack at their websites below.

Visit Eitan at www.cowboydressage.com

Visit Jack at www.jackbrainard.com