It has become a pretty common question of what the heck is Western Dressage? Many people have not even heard of it until they have crossed paths with me. Well, it turns out Western Dressage is the fastest growing discipline in the country. It was founded in 2007 and had a World Championship Show by 2013... that is some growth! I attended my first Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) World Championship Show in 2017.
Western Dressage originated or stemmed from Cowboy Dressage and later became two different disciplines. Cowboy Dressage was started by an Israeli man named Eitan Beth-Halachmy. He had a background in Classical Dressage and arrived in the United States in 1967 to pursue Veterinary school... though he really wanted to become an American cowboy. He did not become a Vet, nor did he become a cowboy... but he did become a notable horseman.
With his passion for Western Riding and his extensive knowledge in Classical Dressage he formed his own design of Wester…
As most know, it is very important to warm up our horses
before starting a workout. Just as humans, they too can tear or strain cold
muscles. Warming up gives the joints time to properly lubricate and increase
circulation to warm up muscles. Although our feet are not making the steps we are still working hard and need to do our part in taking care of our bodies. In this post I will
give you some ideas of some simple stretches to do right from your horses back
while they are enjoying a free walk. These stretches should not consume more
than a lap or two of your warm up walk.
Stretch #1: Shoulder and Rib Cage
Place the reins in the left hand with a loose
contact. With your right hand, reach up your horse’s neck toward his ears and
feel the stretch through the latissimus (lats). Now raise the arm straight over
head, rotate it past your ear, rotating through the rib cage to place your hand
on your horse’s croup (top of the rump). Slowly rotate the rib cage with deep
breaths. On the exh…