Western/Cowboy Dressage

I am excited to announce that along with my Fundamentals Program, I am introducing the art of Western Dressage. The word Dressage simply means to train in French. Done correctly this type of training produces a horse and rider that is balanced and harmonious, resulting in a willing and obedient attitude. Like the fundamentals, dressage is a systematic development of the horse and rider.

Here are the things that dressage will do for you and your horse: Harmony between the horse and rider; development of a horse’s natural gaits; development of a balanced and independent seat of the rider; development of balance, strength, flexibility, and mental accuracy of the horse.

maggie migo n railsI do not know of any great trainer that does not use some form of classical dressage in their training programs. They may use different terms but every great horseman wants to develop this harmony between themselves and a horse.

For years there has been a misunderstanding between the classical and western ways of riding. Having done both, I’ve always been aware of the western trainers that use some of the techniques implemented by dressage masters. Western Dressage is not a fast action oriented discipline but a methodical way of building an equine athlete and a feeling, thinking rider.

Cowboy Dressage was founded though the organized efforts of Jack Brainard and Etan Beth-Halachmy. These two men wanted to marry the principles of classical dressage and the legacy of the American West.

enter trottingIn 2010 The Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) was founded. I am proud to say that I am one of a small group of instructors in the nation to have completed the WDAA Train the Trainers program. I want to share my knowledge of this new discipline with horse owners of all kinds. Many breed associations have embraced and implemented the tests into their shows and training programs.

Any rider and horse can do this. That is why I want to introduce this program to anyone who wants to quietly build the ultimate partnership with their horse. You do not have to have a breed specific horse to participate, or tack or attire of one kind to participate. The rules are made to be inviting to anyone who wants to honor the horse by learning to ride with lightness, balance and understanding.

Participating in one clinic will convince you that you can obtain so much more from your horse than you ever imagined. Check the Lessons/Clinics page for the schedule and descriptions of Western Dressage activities.