Western dressage

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by JinxedDream, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    Looking for some good resources on western dressage. I'm recovering from an accident and have to switch gears for a while. My ultimate goal was always to make it to an endurance event. At this point in time, that's not something I can do. I'm physically not able to and my horse has had a year off (more or less). I was searching for something else to do beyond just mindlessly wandering around my property. I liked the looks of western dressage, I got one of those 100 exercise books for western dressage. Just looking for some YouTube videos or something else to look at.

    Also, what are the thoughts on Warwick Schiller's videos? Would it be worthwhile getting a subscription? Please refrain from suggesting I find a trainer, that is not an expense I can afford. I have been paying a very experienced rider to school my horses for me while I recovered, she's also been great at pointing out things so that's the best I can do (she is an eventer). I am hoping to attend a few clinics in the future. Zero intentions of showing, I'm just looking for something to keep me from getting bored in the arena and help my horse fine-tune.
     
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  2. lucky_pine

    lucky_pine Senior Member

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    @mooselady would be the person I would talk to!
     
  3. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Lol, only Moose would say ‘get a trainer!’ :rofl:

    Well only because that’s how I learn best, and I have a great one...

    Start here Western Dressage and also look on You Tube for stuff from Cliff Swanson, I took a couple of clinics from him and found it very useful. There are lots of videos on there from the worlds, they show you what good looks like, not so helpful in finding out the how.

    It is a great thing to have a go at, lots of good learning in there.
     
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  4. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    Thank you! Any walk-trot patterns to work at? I can't canter, fitness isn't there. My poor gelding is getting rather annoyed with me, he likes to go zoom. Eventing season is in top gear so my rider can't come out to let him stretch his legs (I lunge him but he wants more). Going to try trotting tonight, got my painkillers all lined up and ready. I'm using the patterns as goals, I figure if I can do all 101 exercises, we'll be good to go long-distance again.
     
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  5. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    The best walk excersises we have done recently, and we do them often when my knee is complaining at going faster, is doing 10 and 20 metre squares and circles, working inside leg to outside hand, and really concentrating on the difference between being bent and being straight with corners...harder than it sounds. Then the real killer, practice square halts on the flat sides of your squares, now try and halt maintaining the bend on a circle....maybe it’s me, but that was HARD.

    Also always useful to practice changing from free walk, to working walk, to a march. WD calls for forward, not fast but moving with energy, and it is good to vary the speed of the walk.....
     
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  6. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    I’m going to guess the 101 western dressage exercises are like all the other similar names books, which means there are exercises from basic all the way up to the top. So I wouldn’t be planning to be able to do them all!

    Dressage in any form is a tedious thing. If the horse likes to “go zoom” then he may not appreciate the distinctive change to slow and methodical work.......Just something to consider prior to attempting to putting a square pegged horse & rider into a round hole. And that’s not a dig at you or your horse at all. It’s simply something to consider given your past posts about your own riding style & your horse, whom you purchased b/c you like him.
     
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  7. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    Knowing me, I'll be lucky if I get through the first 50 or so (25 of them are on the ground, we've done a few). I know I get bored in arenas, I know my gelding gets bored. This is not a discipline change, it's more of a temporary solution to provide me with useful goals and a guide. I fully get what you are saying. This horse likes varied work as much as I do. But until my fitness improves, we're stuck in the arena and this was about the most interesting thing I could come up with. I've always ridden with some kind of goal, everything from "today we will ride through the water puddle" to cantering a complete circle to working up to trotting in 10km intervals. I'm using the book as a guide, it had the most relatable patterns (WP bores me too slow, don't own any trail obstacles). I figured it wouldn't hurt either of us to work on riding more correctly. I'm open to all other suggestions too, which is why I asked about Warwick Schiller. I'm at that point where I need a plan, something simple but buildable to do in my arena because I can not do what I love, which is cruise around on trails and back roads. And for the first time in my riding career, I have an arena.
     
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  8. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    For those wondering about the horse(s) involved in this...
    [​IMG]

    My personal horse, Cairo:
    16.2hh, approx 7/8 years old, grade TB. Failed showjumper, 60+ days pro training last year, most athletic horse I've ever owned. Major vice... can not be tied. Purchased for endurance/long distance trail riding. Had a significant near-death accident in 2016.

    My project/BF's future "beer cruiser", Ralph (white on legs)
    16.3hh approx 5 years old (under 10 for sure), Percheron/who knows what cross. Ex-camp horse, I've never seen him under saddle but he knows every dirty spoiled kids horse trick so we're pretty sure he was broke at some point (was sold to me as broke). Major vice... so herd-bound it's extremely challenging to deal with. We can now work with him in the arena without Cairo but if I take Cairo for a hike, Ralph will panic. Cairo does not care in any significant way.

    Figured it might help for those not familiar with me or my horses. I am not riding Ralph and have no intention to, the other rider is being paid to restart him. If he turns out to be a decent ride, we'll keep him, if not, he'll be sold. Cairo is never leaving this farm, he's my forever horse despite his vice.
     
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  9. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    That's awesome...

    Other things to try, ground pole work, lots of exercises on line or in books for that....fun and useful for horses and people, make yourself some trail obstacles, and work at those...buy a big ball, and teach them to play football, Fergie loves that for her down time...
     
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  10. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

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    Where do you get those big balls? I have been working mostly on the ground, its getting boring.
     
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