From Endurance to Dressage
Etian Beth-Halachmy at Horse Expo 2012, Pomona, CA Event
Yes. I know. The purists are probably freaking out. Me? I don't really care one way or the other. Given where I come from, the endurance world, I can't really turn my nose up at anyone. Endurance riders are kind of viewed as the step-children of the equine world. We/they don't really fit into any clear cut category. It's not English, it's not western, it's ... see? So if western riders want to give dressage a try, I say go for it!
The USDF Connection had an informative article in last month's issue. In fact, Etian Beth-Halachmy (who I think is one of the founders of the western dressage movement), was on the cover. I suspect western dressage will continue to grow, and I think the USDF feels so as well. They've welcomed, or so it seems, the western dressage riders and are quickly making room for them. Good for USDF. I am finding that Dressage is not an overwhelmingly popular sport amongst the masses. Being more inclusive might help change that. It's funny that I seem to choose disciplines that are less than mainstream.
With that said, the Tehachapi Mountain Chapter of CDS is offering a range of Western Dressage classes at all four of their 2012 CDS-rated summer shows. The first show is June 24, 2012. Here are PDFs of the show premium and the western dressage entry form for that show. You can also find them here.
Did you know that there is already a Western Dressage Association? There's even a California Affiliate. I know. These people are serious and want to participate in dressage. Even if you're not jumping onto their train, take a minute and check out their site(s). It's pretty interesting stuff, especially the "What is Western Dressage?"
Just a quick P.S. I saw Etian Beth-Halachmy at the Pomona Horse Expo this winter and was quite impressed with his riding. He's obviously very accomplished at what he does, and using dressage to improve a western horse seems to really work. If you missed that blog post, you can catch it here.
6/5/2012 03:58:35 am
I don't have a problem with the concept. I can't fault any sport that encourages people to ride and train conscientiously, with particular consideration to gait quality and balance. Most people that DO to mind, however, seem to hate that the word "dressage" is being used for something with western tack.
6/5/2012 08:09:07 am
NTAT! - I think you're right. It's more the tack than anything else and given your recent "saddle" modification, the purists are no doubt blacklisting your name as we speak. :0) I like the "varied" background and KNOW that it helps with a sense of open-mindedness.
"It's funny that I seem to choose disciplines that are less than mainstream." HA! I grew up riding saddleseat here in southern California. Most people (even horse people) say "saddle-what?" Anyway, I feel you on that point.
6/6/2012 06:17:27 am
Sarah ... sometimes we cut off our nose to spite our face, don't we? Hopefully the WDA will soften it's fee structure (or whatever the hod up is) so that more people can get on board. And like what Now THAT'S a Trot! said, any sport that encourages good training and riding is good for the equine world.
Comments are closed.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: