Sunday, February 20, 2011

A weekend full of horses

What to say about this past weekend? It was a whirlwind that's for sure. The DH and I were up and out the door early on Friday to head out to the OHSET meet where Sarah and Baythoven were doing their dressage ride. It was cold so I layered up with silk long underwear, a black mock turtleneck, a fleece vest, blue jeans, and a down jacket. Sitting in a cold barn all day long in previous years has taught me to be prepared. You can always remove clothing if need be. I took a blanket along too. Unfortunately, while I went prepared with the correct clothing to keep myself as toasty as you can be just sitting around in the cold all day...I forgot the one thing that would have made this particular blog entry infinitely more camera. So, I'm going to have to tell the story without photos and see if I can't track down a few for a later date. Bay and Sarah did trail on Thursday, and I missed that. Sarah said they did alright, but came in closer to the bottom of the pack than the top. Their dressage test, however, went well. I've seen them do better, but it was good overall. They ended up in 3rd place out of 30 rides. The top score was a 178, the 2nd place score was a 176, and Sarah and Bay received a 172. There was a 20 point drop between 3rd place and 4th place. Since I know they can do better than they did this time around, I think it bodes well for future meets. They did hunt seat later in the day and came in about the middle of the pack. All in all it was a very good meet for them. Since Bay was finished on Friday afternoon, the DH and I loaded him up and took him home. I think he was happy to be there with the rest of his buddies.

Saturday morning we got up early again (although not quite as early as Friday) and headed out for the Clark County Fairgrounds to spend the day at the Washington Horse Expo. We got there in time to see most of the extreme trail competition. I forget the official name. It was a lot of fun to watch, and the DH is interested in doing something like that sometime in the future with Baythoven. They have quite a lot of work to do if they are going to be successful considering Bay's trail scores in OHSET. The DH loves a challenge though, and he set up some cones today to practice cantering a pattern. Both the DH and I surprised ourselves by doing that exercise quite well. We watched a few more clinics. The DH went western and I went dressage. Jessica Wisdom was there to do a dressage clinic, and I picked up a new exercise from her to help Boo get back on his butt and working from behind. I tried that one today and it went well too. We both watched Randy Byers do a presentation on western dressage. I didn't quite get where he was coming from because in my mind dressage is dressage, and it doesn't matter what breed of horse you are riding or what equipment you are using, dressage principles are still dressage principles. Maybe he was saying that as well, but it didn't seem like it to me.

I liked the vendors that were there, but I wished there would have been more of them. We ended up with a great knife sharpening from Benchmark, and two Scentsy pots for my two daughters. I didn't really need any tack. I did find a jacket I really liked, but I didn't NEED it, so I didn't buy it. I'm looking forward to the horse expo in Albany next month. So far I've seen more consistency with that one. I hope it doesn't disappoint me for the first time. I know the economy isn't so great.

My ride on Boo this afternoon was good. He was cooperative, and we get better and better all the time. The perfect horse for me.


  1. Your description was fine! Almost felt I was there! Its a pain when you forget the one thing that you really need, the camera. Done it myself.Went all the way up north to ride for a few days, and yep! Forgot the camera.

  2. I understand what you mean about dressage. I did take a "western dressage" class and maybe it was just a mental thing, but it helped me to see how to apply those basic principles to my trail riding. I think there is a gap in western rider's thinking--like they do dressage--I ride western--and they are two totally different things. I was surprised at how much they overlap. I didn't take many lessons, but the few I did have helped me sit more balanced (which I'm sure makes my horse happy) and communicate better with my aids.

  3. I know Jessica. She's not too far from me here. I didn't realize she was going to be there. For that matter Randy Byer is not far from me either, but I don't know him personally. don't know about his philosophy either.

  4. How nice to hear that you had a good ride on Boo.....and that you had the self control to not buy anything at the show. I wish I had that sort of dicipline.

  5. The point that Randy Byers was driving home was that generally speaking western horses have been excluded from Dressage principles and need guidance if they are to benefit their western horses with classical training.

    Randy Byers wants those western riders that want more advances training to understand classical training without wearing the breeches.

    Now that USEF has built 6 test that are built just for competing in WD, we need a trainer or instructor that will step up and help western riders reach their goals.

    That was his spill.

  6. Okay, I can give you that Mr. Byers is trying to bring something to western riders that many of them have not been exposed to before. I don't feel that they have been excluded so much has they haven't been made aware of the benefit to their horses and their own riding by someone they were inclined to listen too. I do wish he hadn't made a point of claiming it as a whole new discipline because as I said before, you can change the tack, the clothing, and even give new names to the movements, and that doesn't change the fact that the training pyramid is the same, the theory is the same, and the movements are essentially the same as in classical dressage which has been around for years.

  7. In Mr Byers opening statement Sat "What is Western Dressage?", he said "This is "NOT" Dressage with western tack." He drove this home many times. His words were "The moments will not be the same because this discipline includes all breeds and is not defined by the movement, but by the concepts of".

    WD is a hybrid of Morgan and Arab pleasure built with Classical principles. WD "IS" a new discipline because you cannot ride Dressage in a western saddle and the ultimate goal is to ride in a curb bit one handed with contact and self carriage. This is a one handed discipline not two handed with double bridle like it is in Dressage.

    Also the USEF rules are not the same with WD as they are with Dressage. Soon there will be new rules that will allow bazels in the junior classes. WD is evolving and will make clear separation from dressage.

    Your confusion is because you see WD as a water down version of Dressage.

    As you can see, I like Mr Byers approach in helping western riders become more balanced and use proper riding style to build better horses. I think many of us are tired of seeing horse thrown around and 4 beating on their forehand like stock pleasure. Many western horse just do not accept contact with the aids. Mr Byers drove this point that it is time to teach acceptance of aids.

    I got to give the Mr Byers some credit, he is putting himself out there knowing he will catch criticism from both sides.