Riding Right: Western Dressage by Holly McNeil

Riding Right: all about horsemanship, riding, horsecare, and topics equine

-Hollie McNeil, Owner/Trainer:Riding Right Farm, Author:40 Fundamentals of English Riding

A new client came on board this week at the farm.  Among the things she mentioned she was interested in was “Western Dressage.”   As a Classically trained dressage rider, (translation: English only), I found myself taking a pause.  I’m going to guess that many dressage trainers and riders out there would give the brush off to such a concept.  I hate to admit it, but dressage riders (certainly not all of them by any means) can be a little snooty.  Dressage and Western Riding?  Really?

This begs the question- what’s this new melding of East meets West all about?  There is actually an organization that is roping this whole concept together.  It’s called the Western Dressage Association.  It’s mission statement includes this quote, ” to honor the horse and to value the partnership it has provided us on our American journey.  Its mission is to provide a model of training and horsemanship which optimizes this partnership for the benefit of both horse and rider.  Its mission is to celebrate the American West where all these things came to pass.”

I think the whole concept is just brilliant.  They have a website http://www.westerndressageassociation.com/ if you have more interest.   There is no reason in the world that classically trained dressage riders should look down there nose at this. Embrace and include and get used seeing western saddles at the English barn.

As posted on http://ridingright.freedomblogging.com/2011/10/19/western-dressage/



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