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  1. #21
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    Dumbed Down

    Dilutions

    Rewards for doing things badly.


    Are we talking about Western Dressage? If so, how are you able to draw such conclusions about a nascent sport?


    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  2. #22
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    MBM, I know you don't show, so you don't really care, but if you get rid of Intro/Training/First, most shows would not survive.

    Scorn heaped on the aspiring dressage rider, whether traditional or Western, is counterproductive to a healthy sport. It's sort of like saying there shouldn't be 50-yard swim races for beginner swimmers, because beginner swimmers aren't "really swimming."

    I also suspect that a lot of us Smurfs out here *know* our riding faults.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    yes we do have a choice - but why should a body of knowledge/sport be dumbed down so that anyone can win a blue ribbon?

    back in the day - 2nd level was the 1st dressage test - and in other countries it still is.....

    all these dilutions are just ways for the governing bodies and under employed professionals to make money.

    there is nothing wrong with not showing, but to me there is a lot wrong with doing something badly yet wanting to be rewarded for trying.....

    riding correctly is hard work - training correctly is even harder - until you do it long enough that it becomes second nature.....

    i will say tho that there is a dire lack of good trainers available - and i have no idea how to resolve that - especially when day by day we water down and muddy the body of knowledge more.....
    mbm, I don't want to just pick on your posts, but it kind of sums up a lot of the feelings about WD...

    First of all, although there is a lot of discussion about whether dressage really starts at Training, or 2nd, or PSG, and I can't answer THAT question. I know it gets a heck of a lot harder at 2nd level, and again at PSG.

    BUT... we are not the only country with entry level dressage tests- the UK (yes, the home of Carl Hestor) starts with a Introductory walk/trot test just like we do. Their tests progress very similar to our tests. Then German and Dutch tests start with the equivalent of Training Level - working gaits, big figures, German Test E, Dutch Test B. They then progress to the equivalent of First Level. So the US is NOT the only country that is offering lower level tests - these three countries all offer similar lower level tests. In all cases, there are good and not-so-good riders in the ring. Competition is a way to get feedback from an unbiased source. For many beginning riders, it is a way to help them assess whether their trainer is on the right track or not!

    Is adding a new discipline (WD or CD) a way to help trainers make more money, federations gain more members? I'm sure it is, but it is also a way for riders to improve their riding and get feedback on their training - it is hard to complain about that goal! And I'm not sure USET will see much change in membership, since many of the riders are already competing in other disciplines (thus already members).

    Riding well IS hard work - irregardless of the tack you use and the discipline you ride in. Yes, we'll see some poor riding - but we also see it in "traditional" dressage. At least with a test, the riders get some feedback.

    Traditional dressage riders do not have exclusive rights to the terms collection, self carriage, nor are they they only ones who know how to "train" a horse. No one says you have to convert to WD if you don't like it - nor do you even have to watch it But we can co-exist peacefully...

    I don't understand the angst



  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    we are losing day by day the body of knowedge available to the masses of folks by allowing everyone to feel special and win.....

    back in the day - 2nd level was the 1st dressage test - and in other countries it still is.....

    there is nothing wrong with not showing, but to me there is a lot wrong with doing something badly yet wanting to be rewarded for trying.....
    I am a lower level rider and competitor. You are addressing why us lowly folks show. Why yes, I spend hundreds of dollars showing so I can get patted on the head and get a lovely $0.20 ribbon and ooooh, maybe even a trophy if they split my division enough so I only compete against myself. Goody goody.

    ETA: just note that the above is, of course, sarcastic. Apparently some don't understand why other folks show. That's fine, but please don't denigrate our efforts by saying it's only a way to get a pat on the back...
    I show because its FUN and a way to get FEEDBACK on our training. Plain and simple. And btw, sometimes the comments on the test are more like a kick in the teeth then a pat on the back...



  5. #25
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    I've followed this post with interest. I have seen Buck Brannaman ride a QH in a wade saddle doing a beautiful half pass in self carriage. Why not aspire to that in WD? In my very (very) humble opinion dressage is for every horse (read Jane Savoi books, please) and WD Does have a place. If nothing else to teach a beginner rider and us oldsters that we all can accomplish lightness and beauty in our (mostly) western horses.

    It's nothing new actually, true vaquero riders have been doing this for ages.
    Different tack, different methods, similar results.



  6. #26
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    MysticOak - i agree with a lot of what you are saying....

    my point, even if expressed badly - is that it is not good for our sport to dumb it down so any and all can win a blue ribbon.

    as for WD - like i said - i dont care if folks want to ride dressage in western tack - but they should at least ride using the correct rules..... (except for using a western saddle).. if they want to start a new sport - by all means do so! but call it something else....

    and no, of course "we" dont have the exclusive use of collection etc. any good rider/trainer from any discipline will train their horse to use its body correctly....

    but ....... i dont see the benefit to the sport/art i love to dumb it down to the degree that it is unrecognizable....

    also, once it is dumbed down, then you have folks who think they actually know what they are talking about - but in fact they do not... they go out as trainers or post on BBs etc and then muddy the waters even more....

    i think we should strive to clarify and teach the correct way to train so that folks know how to ride/train the lower levels correctly -

    anyway, a video was posted of WD where a guy got 80% for a test that i thought should of gotten low 60s (viewing it from the WD perspective - from a pure dressage perspective it should of been dq'd for the use of one hand and the curb bit ) .... that is the kind of thing i think is BAD. it promotes incorrect and wrong training.

    if the above make me sound elitist then so be it!



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    Dumbed Down

    Dilutions

    Rewards for doing things badly.


    Are we talking about Western Dressage? If so, how are you able to draw such conclusions about a nascent sport?


    Paula
    from the comments/video and rules posted?



    Quote Originally Posted by quietann View Post
    MBM, I know you don't show, so you don't really care, but if you get rid of Intro/Training/First, most shows would not survive.

    Scorn heaped on the aspiring dressage rider, whether traditional or Western, is counterproductive to a healthy sport. It's sort of like saying there shouldn't be 50-yard swim races for beginner swimmers, because beginner swimmers aren't "really swimming."

    I also suspect that a lot of us Smurfs out here *know* our riding faults.
    eta: i never said get rid of the lower levels...... i just commented that it used to be dressage started at 2nd level.....

    and you can say "you dont show" but the truth is i only show when i feel i have something to show off (and i have a ride to the show! ) .... that means for the past few years i didn't show.... i does look like i will be showing more in the next few years but we shall see if my hard work pays off or not...

    as for schooling shows - around here our shows are full and turn riders away. i do understand that other places may not be similar... but is that a good reason to muddy the waters more?

    and i do NOT scorn people trying to learn! what i do do is disagree that those folks should be able to go out and do a mediocre job at a show and earn 80% and a blue ribbon!

    yes, people need to have the place to go out and learn to show.... but they should get judged accordingly to what they show..... not just get a blue ribbon for showing up! and yes you will need to be encouraging to those learning etc... but its possible to do so and not dumb stuff down!

    *that* is what ruins a sport - not having high standards!



  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    Dumbed Down
    Dilutions
    Rewards for doing things badly.

    Are we talking about Western Dressage? Paula
    Sounds like we're talking about American education.

    What I don't get about WD: why wouldn't they prefer to show at a Western show?



  9. #29
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    I'm missing something here - where have you read they don't show at Western shows? According to the WDAA FAQs if you're looking for a place to compete any of the Morgan shows now have WD judges. Or am I misunderstanding your question? Are you asking why would a WD rider want to compete at a TD show? Because it's dressage.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  10. #30
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    I have never felt so conflicted reading a thread before. Half the time I am in absolute agreement, the rest in absolute disagreement!

    I think the goal of dressage as a discipline is to achieve the best way of going and freedom of movement that an individual horse is capable of. Depending on the horse, that could be training level or it could be Grand Prix. Even if you have a horse that will never be Grand Prix, you still look to that as inspiration. I don't read Tolstoy, realize I could never match him no matter how hard I tried and then never bother to pick up a pen! Grand Prix helps you see what all the building blocks of the lower levels are capable of building when taken to their logical conclusion. That helps you appreciate those building blocks and why they're so important.

    Telling people not to give dressage a real try unless they have a horse bred for it is ridiculous. Personally I think there are plenty of horses and riders riding at GP that I DO NOT aspire to because I do not agree with the way those results were obtained. I do not think results justify the means if they are not kind or sympathetic to the horse. I am not saying their methods are cruel, just that I'd never let one of my horses be ridden that way.

    The only time I would tell someone that they shouldn't bother is if they have a lofty goal that takes precedent over all other aspects. Like someone saying they want to to win the Kentucky Derby with a quarter horse. Some things are just not possible and trying it is an exercise in futility. But for those who do dressage for the journey and are realistic about the abilities of their horse? I say GO FOR IT.

    I am so happy I am surrounded by down to earth "dressage queens." My trainer just bought a Donnerhall line yearling filly to take as far as she can. The same trainer has me riding an ex barrel horse (well a quarter horse built like a brick **** house but her body is attached to some stumpy pony legs). She is a conformational nightmare for competition dressage and she has been taught nothing other than to run fast with her back hollowed, head up, neck reined around barrels with her head counter bent. But we have been having a blast teaching this pony how to move correctly. Her personality more than makes up for all the things we're having to unteach her and her horrible conformation. I even ride her in my County Perfection with a plain snaffle. She is good for me to ride since she is more challenging to stay in the right place on her. She is a wiggle worm and constantly changes tempo in her gaits. Neither I nor my trainer will get any concrete return on training her since she doesn't belong to either of us. But she will have more opportunities (ie increase the likelihood that she will always have a home) when she learns to use herself and I am having a great time teaching her. So what if she never makes it to Grand Prix.

    Having said all that, I think, at this point in time, Western Dressage has not really found itself yet as a true discipline. Right now I think it's just a way for people to make some money off people buying "western dressage" saddles. Until it finds itself and becomes more clear cut, I think it's in danger of just being a fad with no real basis in dressage fundamentals. I simultaneously have no problem with people attempting to do "western dressage" (it's your money and time, not mine!) while at the same time thinking the whole premise is a tad silly. If you want to ride dressage on your quarter horse, just do it! It's no longer real dressage when you have to change the rules. Those fundamental building blocks are there for a reason and without them it's not dressage. Don't call it dressage if it's not dressage. Call it something else.

    Personally, if I really wanted to do something like dressage with a western flair, I'd just do reining.



  11. #31
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    I was with you until the last paragraph that was so condescending and full of assumption.

    Have you read the rules for WD at the WDAA site? Where does it say you have to buy a special saddle? Did you see where the rules and tests were prepared under the auspices of a number of trainers of various disciplines, including Anita Owen, FEI Olympic dressage judge? Or do you feel there is something you know that she missed? Do you realize that the very premise of WD is, as you wish, "If you want to ride dressage on your QH just do it"?

    If you are going to judge the entire nascent movement by beginners trying it out for the first time, then I imagine you'll have the same issues with beginners in Intro and Training in TD (some people do so you wouldn't be alone).

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  12. #32
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    Today's storm related drinking game is to pound a shot of vodka every time you read the word ....

    nascent.

    Let the Games Begin!



  13. #33
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    paula you dont get it. it isn't dressage by the fact that they are changing the rules to suit what they want to do. i dont think anyone cares what people do... ride whatever you want/create a new discipline - great!

    just dont take something that already has rules/regulations etc - change them to suit you and then try to say its dressage!

    just call it something else!

    btw i am editing this to add this: i ride a pony for gods sake! a short legged 15h Connemara pony! many people might say he isnt bred for dressage - thats cool with me my extremely educated trainer gives me the exact same treatment as when i was riding my WB.... i dont expect special treatment or special rules just because i am riding mr pony pants.....

    so i am not trying to be a DQ or saying you need to ride a certain type of horse.....



  14. #34
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    Nascent.

    Mbm, give Anita Owen a call and share your expertise. She doesn't get it either. And if you know your dressage at all you'd realize that the tests we ride today do not resemble the tests that were designed decades ago in its nascence (does that one count, Katarine?).

    Mbm, YOU don't get it. Its already called Western DRESSAGE. That quarter horse has bolted.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  15. #35
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    You get to have a shot of Tequila for nascence, everybody knows that!? LOL

    P, just wait until you get smacked for the use of the D word rather than the d word. it's Very Important that we honor the big D and I don't mean Dallas



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    Nascent.

    Mbm, give Anita Owen a call and share your expertise. She doesn't get it either. And if you know your dressage at all you'd realize that the tests we ride today do not resemble the tests that were designed decades ago in its nascence (does that one count, Katarine?).

    Mbm, YOU don't get it. Its already called Western DRESSAGE. That quarter horse has bolted.

    Paula
    why are you so defensive?



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    why are you so defensive?
    Why are you being such a condescending snob?

    BTW just ordered fenders for my endurance saddle so I can compete in Western Dressage. How cool is that? English stirrup leathers Traditional Dressage WTC, Western fenders Western Dressage WJL! That's right -with a capital D and I don't mean Dallas neither!



    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  18. #38
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    Oh for pete's sake.... It's just a w-t or w-t-c test. It's not like our next Olympic selection will include cow ponies up against the European powerhouses.

    Throw on that western saddle, trot out your barrel/reining/trail horse and join the party.... As long as you realize that the goal of dressage is to improve the horse that you're riding, even in a saddle with fenders.

    Come out, have fun. Fill some classes so that the shows can afford to sponsor some pretty High Point awards, or have a nice competitors party (that goes for all those Intro through first level riders too!) Most of us Dressage Queens won't be paying attention to what's going on the the next ring over. We're not snubbing you in the warm up, we're concentrating on our upcoming ride (and assuming that you know the ring rules for the warm up, there shouldn't be any issues sharing the space). As long as you show up with happy, fit, sound horses ready to show (the mud crusted coat look is not acceptable), welcome. But realize that the point of a dressage GMO hosting a western dressage class is to promote dressage. We want you guys to see the upper levels (or mid levels, since there are very few FEI classes at schooling shows), and think "wow, I want to do that!". Then you'd join the GMO, find a trainer and start on your very own traditional dressage journey... And keep funding the shows.

    Of course, I am not going to chuck my Schleese and whip out my Ammerman to join the "revolution", so don't bother trying to convert me. I already attend dressage shows to show dressage. I see no point in attending Morgan shows, since I don't own a morgan and prefer to spend my gas/show money at a dressage show.

    I prefer to stick with one specialty... but that's just me.

    Legit question for Paula:
    Why order separate tack for Western Dressage when you could simply compete in Intro level at schooling shows in the saddle you already ordered? Is it the fact that it's something new and different? I honestly don't get the draw, especially for someone who professes to be "into dressage".



  19. #39
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    Throw on that western saddle, trot out your barrel/reining/trail horse and join the party.... As long as you realize that the goal of dressage is to improve the horse that you're riding, even in a saddle with fenders.

    Amen!

    Of course, I am not going to chuck my Schleese and whip out my Ammerman to join the "revolution", so don't bother trying to convert me.

    That would be wrong so don't worry, nobody is going to try to convert you.

    I already attend dressage shows to show dressage. I see no point in attending Morgan shows, since I don't own a morgan and prefer to spend my gas/show money at a dressage show.

    That was an easy fix for the accessibility issue. If you can't find a judge for a test you will find one with the Morgan people since they have colluded in the WD conspiracy.

    I prefer to stick with one specialty... but that's just me.

    More power to you!

    Legit question for Paula:
    Why order separate tack for Western Dressage when you could simply compete in Intro level at schooling shows in the saddle you already ordered? Is it the fact that it's something new and different? I honestly don't get the draw, especially for someone who professes to be "into dressage".


    Same saddle http://ezfittreelesssaddles.com/ I haven't changed that. It just has Western fenders as an option and that would be the only requirement for me to participate in WD. I intend to do both because I like trying different things, and thanks to the OP of "Western Dressage, Really" I'm adding WD to my repertoire.

    What is the draw for me? I like to do alot of things. I want to learn many skills. I am coming from dressage, but I also like Working Equitation, Competitive Trail Riding, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, and now Western Dressage. They don't seem so disconnected to me. Dressage allows my horse to be flexible enough to do all of these things. They seem naturally connected. I mean, for example, flying changes and the ability to bend and leg yield make you really good at barrels, half passes make you pretty good at pole bending, and have you any idea what them make you do in competitive trail!!?

    Just as you prefer to focus on one thing, I prefer to focus on many things.

    ETA: Classic example. I had a SPUD on Friday (a sudden precipitous unscheduled dismount) while galloping up the side of a hill in two point. Fella and I recently began conditioning with an Eventer at my barn. No jumps, just hills and lots of T and C. So now I need another piece of equipment in order to continue on this adventure -a safety vest!

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  20. #40
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    [quote=TequilaMockingbird;6634922]
    The only time I would tell someone that they shouldn't bother is if they have a lofty goal that takes precedent over all other aspects. Like someone saying they want to to win the Kentucky Derby with a quarter horse.
    [/quote

    Win? They wouldn't make it passed being a lead pony. There's a reason it's called Thoroughbred racing with a capital T.



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