Friday, April 3, 2009

Cowboys are my weakness

Well, I love dressage, but watching reining and dressage side-by-side makes me feel torn. Dressage looks a tad stuffy, doesn't it, compared to the suede-clad cowboy. Also I get kind of a David/Goliath vibe.

Cowboys are my weakness :-).

And I guess if Anky van Grunsven can appreciate it, so can I!


  1. Cowboys are a justifiable weakness. Tehe :).

    Personally, I think that Dressage, in comparison, is graceful and more fluid. To me the western horse looks stuffed up compared to the Dressage horse who is using his hind end to propel forward.

  2. That first video clip was just amazing. Loved seeing the reining and dressage side by side. Very nice. Thank you for posting them.

    Ruff Ranch
    Ruff Rider Art

  3. Love that first video, we all watched it in this house :) Very cool :)

  4. Thank you for putting these up! The first one especially was great to see; not only did it nicely highlight how the two disciplines can look so different yet have so many parallels but it did so with a sense of humor and good camaraderie between riders.

  5. Ha, ha "Equus Ink," every time I watch this video, I feel the opposite. I ride English, but I love the relaxation through the body and poll of the reining horse. That visual is something my "waterskiing" English pals and I should to aspire too

    Also, I get the impression that the cowboy rides better dressage than vice versa. The dressage rider can barely find the button for the spin and can't get his seat out of the way to let the horse go.

    [Maybe I just have a weakness for cowboys, too!]

    I totally agree with the overall consensus that it's great to see the disciplines side by side, highlighting the similarities, camaraderie and passion for riding.

  6. Good training is good training! When the horse performs well for the chosen discipline, then the training is sound. What I like is that the Western and dressage riders/trainers who "know their stuff" operate similar principles, and finally people are beginning to recognize that.

    Good hunter/jumpers and driving horses need the same basics as well. Then, it's just a matter of fine tuning the training to suit the sport.

    Love the videos.

  7. It's true, good training is good training in all disciplines. I am happy that Anky was willing to ride the old "cow pony" and maybe she was even a little bit impressed with him. I hope so.
    She was pushing him a little too much to get his relaxed, slow gaits. You don't need to ride a western horse as thoroughly as you do a dressage horse to get the same results.

  8. I just saw George Williams and Monty Roberts do a humorous demo during the Pfizer Fantasia show at Equine Affaire. They played it up as a "anything you can do I can do better". It was hilarious and very well done. It was funny to see the similarities, but also the differences in how they perform the same moves. The dressage was definitely more graceful and subtle, but the reining was more relaxed. I like the dressage better, I could appreciate both! If I ever rode western I would definitely do reining ... or maybe Craig Cameron's Extreme Cowboy Race.

  9. That was crazy cool! Reining horse scores points for doing everything on a relatively loose rein, and the tail-chasing thing (I am ignorant, dunno what they call that) is so much more fun to watch than the hindquarters turn.

    I went to see Riverdance, and this go-round, they had a scene where Irish dancers and African American tappers had a dance-off. That's what this reminded me of. (you can youtube that btw)

    Loved it, thanks for sharing.

  10. Thank you for posting this video! (Yes, I'm catching up on the blog in reverse order of dates posted.)

    I started riding at 6, and at 8 started learning dressage... from an old cowboy. He didn't call it dressage, just had a Thursday night "training" class the instructors at the stables and my mom rode in. She and I worked together to teach our one horse how to do all the things he was teaching. Things like shoulder in and out, leg yield, suppleness, rhythm.

    All those things were what I used to get my western pleasure horse to lope with a true 3-beat, using self-carriage, and keeping his poll level with his withers.

    I'm not happy with what I see in the Quarter Horse show ring for pleasure classes now, and was torn between reining and dressage. The longevity of the horses and increased levels of training as you go were what convinced me to pick dressage - but they have the same basis in sound fundamentals, even if the requested carriage differs.


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