Yes, for those
who do western performance, rodeo, jumping, hunters, dressage, ect.
One thing that you have
to always remember :
DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU RIDE IN A ENGLISH OR WESTERN SADDLE. A HORSE IS
NOT CONCERNED ABOUT BEING A FASHION STATEMENT.
WHAT HE/SHE CARES ABOUT IS THAT YOU THE
HANDLER / RIDER NOT PUT TACK ON
THEM THAT DOES NOT FIT, OR HURT, OR GET THEM IN A FRAME THAT MAKES
THEM UNBALANCED OR CONSTRICTED PREMATURELY. THAT YOU THE RIDER NOT BE A
FUMBLE JUMBLE ON HIS/HER BACK AND MOUTH, AND THAT YOU ARE NOT
UNFAIR IN THE TEACHING.
I started out calling this the "Dressage
Insights" section, but that would mean that riders from
other disciplines such as rodeo, western performance, jumper, hunters,
ect. would not want to look at this section. But that is far
from the case. I do not consider
dressage to be a what the mainstream horse world considers
"Dressage" comes from the French word meaning
"training". All disciplines require a horse to be
trained or in other words, dressage to be installed upon the horse.
How many western riders
consider their training to be of dressage origin? Is not dressage viewed
from all disciplines for the most part as snotty, rich / wanna be rich
people who ride in expensive English saddles on expensive warmblood - thoroughbred
boring zzzzzzz. flat stuff.
For the western appetite
the word is changed from "Dressage" to
"Horsemanship". If I said "Horsemanship" to
the dressage rider they would think of someone in a cowboy hat. Both of
the words have the same meaning. Just one word appeals to one
group and the other word appeals to the other group.
If I take a technique
of training of the horse, but arrange the wording to appeal to
each discipline then it would appear that the English training and the
Western training are different. "Lope" in western is the
same as "Canter" in English. If I said "lope"
to a English rider they would think what kind of hillbilly am I . And if
I said "canter" or "dressage" to the western
rider, especially say a rodeoer they would think I came from hob knob
and don't belong..
Western rider you will be very familiar with one of the methods of horse
training, the French School, but don't know that the
forefathers of American and English horsemanship stems from the French School.
You thought it started in the American West. And for the English
rider you will have heard more on the two different schools of training
(French and German), but have seen more on the German school. But
that doesn't mean that both are not being used in all disciplines.
The method I consider
personally to be worthy is a method which allows the horse to go from
one discipline to another just from the foundation of training. A
horse that is considered a "jack of all trades". A
horse that could do a dressage test one day will the next do reining. From jumping to
barrels. A method that is not
bias on breed or discipline. Some methods have an excuse
that their training technique works better on a certain breed and the
other methods will work better on other certain breeds. That being
stated, that means there is a huge flaw in their training
I do not care for the competition
of the horse, but rather what I can learn from the horse as I teach the
horse. Horses are encouraged to have an individual personality and
express it in a respectful manor which also goes for me being respectful
to the horse. Show success does not mean a wise horseman.
Only what is vogue to the judge or society. Showing success is based on a human judge liking your riding technique
not a horse making the judgments of your riding.
Gadgets such as draw
reins, martingales and the such are not progressive manors in which the
horse can learn and discover on their own. These items are unbalancing
and keep the horse constricted for the "look". My "Gadgets
section" can be found in the "Riding and Training Index"
on this site.
With the ever increasing
statements by certain popular and higher-up dressage horseman
saying there are no differences in schools, I have to comment
that if one states there is only one method or school then they are trying to
those to believe that their method / technique or school is the only one and
there is no need to further look for anything else. If this was
true then there would be no uproar and head butting about the French
School and the German School differences. This is very
close minded and lacks the freedom to explore. Every horseman
should study each method of training. Doing so will educate the
horseman to weigh what method is the best for the horse. It gives the
horseman perhaps a "light bulb" for something that was missing
before, in the teaching.