May 28, 2009
This is brand new and only in practice in the Morgan world, but it is super cool! I love the idea of Western Dressage and wish it would be adopted by more breed organizations and maybe more disciplines. I mean, in theory, good Western trainers should be training with a foundation of dressage, whether consciously or instinctively, so this isn't much of a stretch. And I LOVE the way the association explains the difference between this and traditional Dressage competition:
"It is not the goal of the western dressage classes to use Dressage Horses under western tack. It is the goal of the western dressage to maintain the integrity of the western horse and western traditions through the use of dressage. This is very important. A western horse moves differently; western dressage can just help it move more correctly. Western dressage is all about being the best western horse and rider you can be. Dressage is not about the outfit or the tack. It is about the horse. If the western riders want to participate, we must give them the opportunity. The rider wins, the horse wins and the show industry wins as well."
The above video was the only demonstration of this new division that I could find online, but I assume more will eventually become available. In the meantime, I hope this catches on and maybe it will allow for more dressage crossover amongst other disciplines.