View Full Version : Am i asking for too much?
10-27-2009, 07:37 AM
Im curently training Fee for Dressage and Western pleasure. Is this asking too much? Every other ride ill ride her western. She does very well riding her western, She keeps a nice carriage she just needs to slow her gait and ride on a looser rein. But everything im doing is dressaged based but with one hand and a diffrent bit and bridle. I was wondering if i could be conflusing her too much? She dosn't respond to it bad, she acutally rides better western then dressage. And it's not like im riding her totally diffrently, everything is still the basic dressage stuff just aplied with one hand and a larger saddle and a looser rein.
Sorry if i bugg you guys posting about my non saddlebred, but you guys on this fourm are acutally nice compared to the other ones out there and have lots great information and imput!
10-27-2009, 07:48 AM
I don't think that every other ride is really the way to go. I'd do two or three days in a row at minimum. Horse's thrive on routine. Other than that, I don't know why you would have a big problem. The contact expected is totally opposite, so you probably won't see great progress...
Does she already neck rein? If not, that would be my first step. I generally ride towards home on a loose rein working on neck reining.
10-27-2009, 07:56 AM
Well it depends on what you mean by that. She rides of my legs like she should, so to go left i use the pressure of my right leg to *push* her and she turns and goes the way i want. But i can't lay my rein across her neck and have her turn that way. Im not going to seriously show her western but just for fun at small shows. I had a dressage lesson last night and my trainer had me doing 3 loop S, with no reins....THAT was intense. lol.
10-27-2009, 09:26 AM
Hmm, I think you might be asking too much, actually. As SmartAlex pointed out, horses thrive on routine. Plus, whereas a seasoned dressage horse might be able to transition to western pleasure, I doubt a western pleasure horse could easily swap to dressage. The basis of dressage is collection, and collection takes a lot of work and learning for a horse to grasp. Yes, there is a lightness, but the lightness is still maintained through contact. There is little contact associated with western pleasure, and by nature it doesn't encourage true collection.
I'd personally stick with the dressage. Every horse and rider will benefit from a good basis in dressage.
Congratulations though on learning your seat and leg! Whereas your reins are the point of contact with a horse, your seat and leg aids are your "steering wheel" and "accelerator/break".
10-27-2009, 09:41 AM
I hope your not under the impression she's a "western horse" lol. Shes just broke WTC, she isn't finished in any dicipline. I wish she wasn't 7 so i could show her in a snaffle and be done with it, but she's over 5 and rules are rules.
10-27-2009, 10:36 AM
No, not at all! I'm just saying that the respective goals of the two disciplines are different enough that it would be difficult to succeed in either realm at the same time. I think it would be more easy for a horse to learn less contact, after understanding contact and collection, than it would be for a horse to learn contact and collection after being encouraged to go on no contact.
10-27-2009, 10:44 AM
Take it from someone who has shown an english horse western for fun... the leg aids tend to disappear in a rail class atmosphere! :blink: Then you end up circling the judge at a lope because you can't leg all the way back over to the rail... and the circle gets smaller and you get dizzier until you give up and two hand to rescue yourself. :oops: We did get 2nd out of 4 tho!
If you really want to show her occassionally western just for fun, I wouldn't spend too much time training her on no contact in a different bit. I would teach her to really neck rein in a snaffle as a fun afterwards activity in your regular dressage routine. Then, when you get closer to an actual show, buff her up on the western bit for a week before the show.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with switching around just for fun now and then as long as you keep in mind that the horse might not really take you seriously about whether riding involves contact and collection or not, since you seem keep changing your mind. :)
10-27-2009, 10:54 AM
As a green horse, I'd stick with one discipline for now. Once she masters that, start asking for new concepts one at a time- ie jog trot. Asking for too many different speeds/different things can confuse a green horse who is still learning the basics. If you ask her to bend, move out, collect, and use contact on the reins one day, then ask her to go slow, light in the bridle, go straight, and neck rein the next day, you'll be sure to end up with a confused and probably unhappy horse if she doesn't already know how these things differ and how they are similar. I know when I tried to ask my 3 y/o to jog trot a few times, that was a small disaster- I broke him english, so he knows when I ask him to trot, he's supposed to trot out- now asking him to slow down to a sitting jog trot is way too frustrating for him this early on- both going slow and having me sit the trot is confusing for him, so it will be something that I will have to teach him gradually, when he shows me he is ready to go slow. With more time, we'll eventually get to that, but not yet. Too much to ask of a young/green horse early on in the game. these things take time, so give her time to get really good at one discipline, then slowly ask for more variety, one concept at a time.
The saddle probably doesn't play much of a role in confusing her, but riding her in a curb (if that's what you're using for western) would be something I'd avoid until she's been taught the basics of western pleasure (how to go slow on a loose rein) in a snaffle.
I hope that wasn't a confusing jumble of words for you to interpret, I wrote it in about 10 different sittings lol. Good luck with her!
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