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Western Dressage

"The Next Generation of American Horsemanship is Here"! Western Dressage is defined as using classical dressage concepts and principles to train and develop the western rider and horse. The goal, specifically, is to develop cadence, balance, relaxation and the acceptance of the aids through the tried and true methods of classical dressage. Western Dressage is not intended to build a dressage horse, or put a western saddle on a dressage horse. It is merely the means by which we improve the stock horse and develop a well-rounded, disciplined horse regardless of its breed.
Title Date Author

"Dressage Phase" ERAHC VA Classic Horse show

W.E. First Phase (Dressage)

On Labor day weekend 2013 Carbon and I had the opportunity to drive up to Lexington Virginia from North Carolina to attend the Eastern Region Andalusian Horse Club's (ERAHC) annual Classic horse breed show. You may ask why would I take a Quarter Horse to an Andalusian breed show? The answer is simple, to compete in Working Equitation.

Right now, WE is relatively a new sport here in the USA and most participants are Spanish horse breed shows. Yes, Carbon and I enjoyed riding with all those fancy Iberian horses. We are very thankful that this was an open opportunity class, meaning any type of breed was welcome to come and play WE.

As you can see in the video below, the first phase is very similar to Western Dressage. WE's first phase is judge much like dressage in the aspect that you are scored 1-10 based on the quality of movement. Because of this similarity, we were very attracted to this new sport.. Remember that this is the first of phases of three in Working Equitation; so keep an eye out for the others. In my next video will show the other two phases (EOH and Speed). This was level 4 under USFWE rules and test.
If you are unfamiliar with Working Equitation, Here is a link to a little more information about WE.

We hope you enjoy this video as an inspiration to WD and an educational opportunity for WE. Unlike some of the other Western Dressage videos that we have posted, this test is a little more advanced with a 15m working canter, walk canter depart, turn on haunches, and a whole bunch of flying changes. If you look closely you will see some mistakes, but we included Carbon's scores and the judges remarks to help you understand what is expected at this level.

On a side note, we had the opportunity meet the president of the world association of working equitation from Portugal "Joao Ralao Durarte". What a great learning opportunity and treat that was..

We would like to give a special thanks to Carol Havelka... Videographer
and let's not forget:

Bruce Harbin... Photographer
Jeane Bond... show committee
Wayne Hipsley... Judge
Joao Ralao Duarte... co-judge from Portugal
USFWE.... Rules/tests
USAWEA...Membership
ERAHC... Show Org.

2014-06-23 Randy Byers

6/02/12 Western Dressage USEF Primary Test #2. What does (80.926) looks like?

A little Northwest rain and mud puddles never stops us from riding our horses. This was Carbon's best test ever! Carbon felt amazing that day. Other than a the circles not perfect, I could not ask for a better ride. I though he would balk at the mud puddle, but he did not miss a beat. This test was taken at Donida Farms in Auburn Washington on 6/02/2012. Carbon is an 8yr PMU QH from Canada. This video is meant to be an educational and inspirational video to show what the judges are looking for in a Western Dressage horse.

2014-06-23 Randy Byers

USEF Western Dressage Basic Test #1 score (68.1)

On April 14th, 2012 Randy Byers performed a Western Dressage test at Donida Farms in Auburn Washington. He received a 68.1 on USEF Basic Western Dressage test 1

2014-06-23 Randy Byers

USEF Western Dressage Primary Test #4 score (68.34)

‎ Let's use a little logic: 2+2=4, 3+3=5. 100% of us can agree that one answer is correct and the other is not. This mutual agreement is because this statement is quantifiable and it is definitive not subjective.

Dressage is "subjective" not "definitive". The USDF has done a great job trying to standardize the meaning of correct training and a correct horse. They have made it more definitive by quantifying it through tests, but it is still subjective.

The word "correct" is "not" subjective, it is "definitive". The word "correct" is undeniable not arguable. It is black or white. If you video tape a horse in a test and send it to 5 different USDF judges, you will receive 5 different scores because it is open to argument. A correct horse would receive 100% of 100% judges that judged that particular horse 100% of the time. To my knowledge, this has never happened and probably will never happen, because there is no such thing as a correct horse. If there were a correct horse, we would have an example of how to train a correct horse.

So Western Dressage is "not" how "correct" your horse is trained or the movement of, it is the method of how well the "quality" of the training is. You are judged on the degree of "quality" , not "correctness" and judging is a validation of how well you are communicating with a non human being.

Here is an example of measurement of degree of "quality" not "correctness". It is probable 100% of the dressage world would agree that this horse and rider are not correct, because they are only 68.3% correct. Face it, the rider has terrible equitation and the horse and rider make mistakes, who cares because it's not about "ego", its about the "partnership" of the team. Right or wrong, it is what it is.

On April 14th, 2012 Randy Byers performed a Western Dressage test at Donida Farms in Auburn Washington. He received a 68.3 on USEF Primary Western Dressage test 4

2014-06-23 Randy Byers

Donida Farms B1 80.174 6-2-12

This test was taking at Donida Farms in Auburn Washington on 6/02/2012. Randy Byers was tested with Carbon an 8yr PMU QH from Canada. This video is meant to be an educational and inspirational video to show what the judges are looking for in a Western Dressage horse.

Thanks again from Randy Byers Western Dressage Team.

2014-06-23 Randy Byers

Blanche Dilleshaw's First Show (Score 70.0)

am so proud of Blanche Dilleshaw and her mare Gadget. This was not only their first Western Dressage show, but their first show ever. The sad thing was she beat Carbon and I. They took 2nd place. Blanche is a real inspiration to me; I hope she is an inspiration to you too. This team has only been riding about two years. Blanche has done a great job with Gadget, she is a multi talented mare. This test was taken at Donida Farms in Auburn Washington on 4/12/2012.This video is meant to be an educational and inspirational video to show what the judges are looking for in a Western Dressage horse.

Thanks again from Randy Byers Western Dressage Team.

2014-06-23 Randy Byers

A Trail Horse's First Western Dressage Test (67.381)

After two months of training, this12 year old Appy trail horse went and did his first Western Dressage test. If he can do it so can you!.This test was taken at Donida Farms in Auburn Washington on 6/02/2012. Cheryl Haaren was tested with Dunbar a 12yr Appaloosa gelding. This video is meant to be an educational and inspirational video to show what the judges are looking for in a Western Dressage horse.

2014-06-23 Randy Byers