CDW May 2018

Thank you to our corporate sponsor Spalding Fly Predators.
“No Flies = Happy Horses” When the horses are happy we are happy!


Cowboy Dressage World Has 196 Remuda Members!

If you plan on showing this year, we recommend you sign up for our Remuda Membership.

CDWPA will now be on the main website

Find 2018 Gatherings on

  • Cowboy Dressage World Summer Gathering and Show 2018 – California
    June 22-24  |  Premium and sign up form now posted!

For more shows check out the calendar and list of events on the CDW website. There is a lot going on in KS, TX, WI, FL, WA, OR and more states across the country

2018 Judges Meeting and Continuing Education

At the 2018 Cowboy Dressage Recommended Judges Meeting, the judges worked on continuing education and sharing stories from the past year. These meetings improve consistency and communication among Judges and Handshake Members. All Handshake Members should read the Rules & Guidelines and if you have any questions about them please contact a reliable Cowboy Dressage Member.

While there, please revisit the Turn on the Haunches Definition, there has been an addition.

One to two steps forward out of a stop are allowed, without penalty, to begin the turn. Side-note: There should not be any walk steps unless the turn is out of a stop, such as in a fluid transition from a Half Turn on the Forehand to a Full Turn on the Haunches.

Protocol for Cowboy Dressage Judges When Judging Family Members, Students, and Clients

Cowboy Dressage Recommended Judges have one of the highest standards set forth in the Equine industry. We are a new and developing discipline, with a limited number of qualified judges. Often situations arise where it is important to treat all riders at a Gathering in a fair and equitable manner. For this reason, we have set some guidelines when judging family members and regular students (A regular student would be someone who rides with a judge in an ongoing training or lesson program, not someone who Is riding in a clinic one time with a judge). Family members and regular students of a presiding Recommended Judge will ride for scores only. In other words, they may not receive a placing in a class, but the score can count for Clinician status or other criteria where one is trying to achieve a qualifying score. The do not count for show high point or CDW yearend high point scores. (However, if there are 2 judges judging a show, every effort must be made to have the rider ride for the judge who is not related to or regularly coaches the rider.) It is never an ideal situation to judge students and family member, so every effort should be made to avoid it, when possible. We support the decision of our judges in these situations to make ethical choices.

The New Cowboy Dressage Liberty!

Hello everyone!  We’ve been working very hard to put together the new Cowboy Dressage Liberty Division.  It was a challenge to bring everyone’s vision together, but I believe we have a very good start.  We know of no other liberty competition.  And we know of no other liberty that requires this much accuracy.  The New CD Liberty Division is uniquely Cowboy Dressage!  I’ll share with you a few hints on the details.

The first step to entering the Liberty Division is to score a minimum of 72% or above on the Partnership on the Ground Test #2.  This score must be obtained within the calendar year.  After receiving that qualifying score, participants are then eligible to enter the Liberty Division.

The new Liberty Division is designed to help set the handler and the horse up for success.  It will be judged very similar to Partnership on the Ground.  The Division will have four tests that build upon one another.  Two tests are Walk, Walk and two are Walk, Jog.  There will also be two levels in this Division.

The first level will be with a neck rope and the second level will be at liberty.  To move from neck rope to Liberty, the participant must receive a minimum score of 72% with the neck rope.  Again, by moving through these levels, CDW believes we are setting participants and horses up for success.  Remembering that Soft Feel and Partnership is always our goal!  And then we can’t forget Liberty Freestyle!

After a horse and handler combination have achieved the required scores of a minimum of 72% in all four of the Liberty Tests, they will be given the opportunity to enter Liberty Freestyle!

We are so excited about this new Division and hope everyone starts upping their ground game! If you are new to Liberty, to reach this ultimate “soft feel” is an indescribable experience.  I know from personal experience what liberty did for my horsemanship.  It took my partnership and connection with my horse to a whole new level.  I can hardly wait to hear how liberty or even working towards liberty will grow you as horseman!

Rules and Guidelines are now posted on the website and actual tests will be up soon. Liberty will be available the first of June.

Marcia Moore Harrison
MM Training & Consulting

Level 3 CDWPA Clinician

CDWPA approved Judge

Trainer Tip: Circles Galore!!

This is a fun tool to learn touchpoints for precise circles.  It’s also a great way to introduce new people to the Cowboy Dressage court and can be used effectively at fun days and group get togethers.

In preparation, you will need to cut 2 pieces of rope. One 5-meter piece and one 10-meter piece.  I like to have the arena freshly worked so the circles show up.

One person holds one end of the rope at their bellybutton and finds the center of a circle.  The other person who represents the horse and rider holds the other end of the rope at their waistline above their outside foot.

Let’s start with the 5-meter piece of rope to find that elusive, perfect circle at C.  The center of the circle person will stand on centerline between H & M, aka G.  The second person holds the other end of the rope, pulls it taut and starts walking the circle at C.  As long as you keep the rope taut you will be able to walk a perfect circle at C.  Just what the judges are looking for!!  As you walk, really focus on your touchpoints.

Here we go!

So, for a circle left at C, your first touchpoint is C!  Your outside foot should be very close to the C marker.  The second touchpoint is the intersection between H & Q on the quarter line. It might also help to use a long focus to find J, as you near the quarter line.  Look up, just like you will on your horse and really focus on seeing the touchpoints. Your outside foot will briefly touch the quarter line.

The 3rd touch point will be on centerline, between R & S.   I focus on centerline and R to find that spot.  If you keep that rope taut, you will nail it!  Keep looking up and ahead for the next touchpoint which is the intersection between Y & M, on the quarter line.  Don’t relax yet, you still have to finish that circle at C.  If you kept the rope taut, you should have a perfect circle at C!

Pay special attention to the fact that the taut rope does not allow you to go straight at any time.  What??? No straight lines in a circle! J

You can play with 10 and 20-meter circles all over the court to further build your confidence and develop your eye for touchpoints.  Notice the corner bends when you draw the 10 m circles at H & M and K & F.  These circles will also give you a clear visual path of how to turn off centerline at C and on to centerline at A.

After you get the hang of a really round circle on the ground, go get your horse and follow the lines.  Challenge yourself to keep him on the circles with your eyes up.  (Yes, we all look down from time to time!)  I recommend trying to keep your focus at an eye level point above your horse’s inside ear.  This will help to keep your seat and legs connected evenly to your horse.  An even seat connection is effective communication.

Test yourself! Check your tracks!

Hmmm… maybe that last judge wasn’t blind after all.

When you get bored with the circles you can play with precise change of bend at the points where the circles touch!  Get creative and have fun!  Enjoy.

This great tip was provided by Recommended Judge and Clinician Sheryl Strathman, find her on – CDW Professionals


Cowboy Dressage World, Sponsorship Chair
Saralyn Austin |  530-514-9779

CDW Needs Your Support!

All sponsors will be announced during awards presentation and can present awards if desired at Finals.

Friend of Cowboy Dressage $100 • Listed on CDW Website for a year • Name on CDW Honor Roll Banner at Finals

Supporter of Cowboy Dressage $200 • 1 Banner Banners at Shows: April, June, & Finals o *sponsors responsible for supplying banners, delivery & pick up • Listed on CDW Website for a year • Name on CDW Honor Roll Banner at Finals

Friendship Award $500 • Sponsorship of Honorary High Score Awards • 1 Banner Banners at Shows: April, June, & Finals o *sponsors responsible for supplying banners, delivery & pick up • Listed on CDW Website for a year • Name on CDW Honor Roll Banner at Finals • 2 Dinner Tickets

“Try” Sponsorship Package $750 • Sponsorship of Judges Try Awards • 2 Banners at Shows: April, June, & Finals o *sponsors responsible for supplying banners, delivery & pick up • Listed on CDW Website for a year • Name on CDW Honor Roll Banner at Finals • 4 Dinner Tickets

High Score Award $1000 • Sponsorship of Division High Score Awards • 3 Banner at Shows: April, June, & Finals o *sponsors responsible for supplying banners, delivery & pick up • Listed on CDW Website for a year • Name on CDW Honor Roll Banner at Finals • Gift Basket • CHOICE OF: 1 Reserved Table for 6 plus 6 Dinner Tickets OR 1 Stall at Finals

Soft Feel Award $2000 • Sponsorship of Soft Feel Awards • 3 Banner at Shows: April, June, & Finals o *sponsors responsible for supplying banners, delivery & pick up • Listed on CDW Website for a year • Name on CDW Honor Roll Banner at Finals • Gift Basket • CHOICE OF: 1 Reserved Table for 6, 6 Dinner Tickets, and 2 Stalls at Finals OR 3 Stalls at Finals

Overall High Point Award $3000 • Sponsorship of Overall High Point Awards • 4 Banner at Shows: April, June, & Finals o *sponsors responsible for supplying banners, delivery & pick up • Listed on CDW Website for a year • Name on CDW Honor Roll Banner at Finals • Gift Basket • CHOICE OF: 2 Reserved Table for 12, 12 Dinner Tickets, and 2 Stalls at Finals OR 4 Stalls at Finals

First Show at Murieta Equestrian Center a Big Success

Photo by Maria Marriott Photography

Great weather and enthusiastic riders gathered for the Spring CDW Gathering and Show held at Murieta Equestrian Center in Rancho Murieta, CA. Many new people joined us for their first experience in Cowboy Dressage. The show entries were up by 55 rides with a total of 245 rides.  Judges Susan Dockter and Joan McLaren were there to officiate, and both did an excellent job.  As expected they were inspiring and helpful to our riders.

Big Kudos to our new show management team. Marli Perry and Diana Pyle. The dynamic duo. The show ran like clock work. Team Marli Perry , Diana Pile, Kelsey Morris, Saralyn Austin, and Bev Meyers were spectacular to say the least.

What a great group of volunteers we had once again. They not only help us run an efficient show but they are helpful, kind, and considerate to all. This is so important to us as everyone of us can make a positive difference in someone’s life whether you are working the gate, running score sheets or working in the office. Thank you all so much.

Every rider was a winner at this show but here are the top honors.  Congrats to all.

OPEN Ginger Gallup Alana Koski
AMATEUR Linda Stanich Joann Gillespie
JUNIOR Luke Souza Seth Souza
SOFT FEEL Linda Stanich
JUDGE’S AWARD (Susan) Marciana Huarte
JUDGE’S AWARD (Joan) Alexandra Saddik
SILVER RIDER Linda Stanich

Everybody Take Note!!!

Please check the website for new rules and any changes. We have made many adjustments and changes for 2018.  Don’t be left behind the curve. Be current and up to date on the rules and guidelines (found under INFORMATION & TESTS)

There are now 3 levels of CDW Horse Shows.

  1. Play Days, coaching allowed. Scores do not count towards Clinician Qualifying scores, Remuda Year End High Point Awards. Perfect show for learner judges.
  2. Schooling Shows, must be a recognized CDW judge (non learner judge), All scores to count for Remuda Members Year End High Point and Clinician Qualifying Scores, no coaching from judges.
  3. Recognized Shows, status quo

The New “GIFT HORSE” Network,

For the Rider Who Wants to Show But Needs a Horse.

With the growth of Cowboy Dressage Nationally and World wide we are finding that there are those that wish to show at our Gathering and Finals in Oct. Because of distances this is prohibitive for riders on the East Coast, Europe, Canada and Australia.

This page contains a listing of people who may have horses available for people to ride at our Gathering and Finals Oct 9-14 at the Murieta Equestrian Center near Sacramento, CA.

All details and expenses are to be worked out between owners and riders. Cowboy Dressage World is not liable or responsible for any default in agreements, financial transactions, injuries etc.

This list and availability may be subject to change.

We hope this will help you all as a welcoming community that love to show Cowboy Dressage.

A special thank you to all who share and help create joy and opportunity for others.

Info to follow. Stay tuned.

Eitan and Jenni Grimmett’s new book is on its way……
by all accounts it is going to be another best seller!

The authors’ sample copies have arrived. It won’t be long now. Sign up to be notified when it is ready to ship right here:

I got the first copy in the mail today, it’s looking GREAT!!!!!!!

Dressage the Cowboy Way:
The Complete Guide to Training and Riding”
with Soft Feel and Kindness Paperback – May 8, 2018
by Eitan Beth-Halachmy, and Jenni L. Grimmett DVM

The desire to meld the best of Western riding traditions with classical dressage in the pursuit of a harmonious relationship with a horse has steadily gained traction over the past two decades, and now the movement flourishes. More and more horse people are discovering the incredible rewards of training a well–balanced mount, using a soft feel, and developing communication based on kindness and cooperation.

In this remarkable book, the founder of Cowboy Dressage® Eitan Beth–Halachmy explains the development of the Western dressage horse using his methods. Beginning with the basics of body language, use of the aids, and a discussion of the Training Pyramid, Beth–Halachmy then provides guidelines for foundational groundwork and progressive dressage schooling under saddle, such as developing cadence and consistency in the gaits, understanding and requesting correct bend, choosing and using lateral maneuvers, and advancing self–carriage and collection. Additional sections highlight the distinct benefits of the geometry of the Cowboy Dressage Court, the intrigue of training with the garrocha (a long pole or lance), and the great pleasure of riding musical freestyles. This fantastic guide is both valuable resource and inspirational touchstone, promising that in the end, horse and rider enjoy each other’s company.

FOREWORD by Jack Brainard
These were my thoughts when I first learned of Eitan’s decision to write a new book. It will surely be a good one. Who else has better qualifications? What will be the format? How will he slant it? It surely shouldn’t be for a beginner, amateur, novice, or about basic horsemanship. The horse world is full of this kind of book. I wonder if he will get down to the how and why, which he knows so well? Will he go from green to finished? What about horse psychology, which he is a master of? These along with a dozen more thoughts occupied my mind.

Now here comes a phone call, “Jack will you write a little some- thing for my new book?” Hell yes, but I’d like to see the new book. Here comes the copy and I was awestruck. It is the “how-to” dictionary of proper horse training. Since a horse learns through training exercises here they are—A to Z!

Probably the most important facts of the book are the illustrations. Eitan’s phenomenal camera knowledge gives proof of the authenticity of what he is teaching. These photos and diagrams are second to none. No other book equals this in its illustrations.

It’s about equipment, Soft Feel, cadence, footfall, conformation, anatomy, kindness, training exercises, plus hundreds more vitals that are so important to the schooling of the horse, and written by a man who has made a lifelong determined search for the ultimate in the art of true horsemanship.

In giving any kind of instruction on training the horse, whether it be oral, written, or through demonstration, the “why” is always as important as the “how.” The collaboration between Eitan and Jenni Grimmett, DVM delves deeply into the “why” and then the “how.”

I am so happy to have 8 for one of my closest friends. We have much in common. We both like to have fun, we have a sense of humor, we like good food, we agree on how the horse should be trained, we love horses and nothing gives us a greater sense of satisfaction than seeing someone ride a better horse because of our efforts.

The only downside is that we are about “used up.” Time has taken its toll, but we are determined to “hang in.” So, here it is: the best book of its kind and written by a man who could hardly speak English 30 years ago.

My hat is off to you, 8.
— Jack Brainard
Legendary Trainer and Clinician.

Order from Trafalgar Square Books – Equestrian web:
Or  |  Click Here to order from Amazon

How to create Cowboy Dressage World…. the hard way.

  1. Acquire one huge pot, more like a cauldron.
  2. Something you could put a whole cow in. Add 5 bat shit crazy lifelong horsemen and women.
  3. Do not add money because they are horse people after all and horse people never have money.
  4. Add one big pie in the sky dream.
  5. Add tears, frustration, 24/7 job with no pay, frightening learning curve, mistakes, successes and a dream that becomes the tail wagging the whole dog.
  6. Add absolute dedication, fearlessness, vision, joy and determination.
  7. Boil on high for 5 years. Continually monitor to prevent frequent attempts to boil over.
  8. Stir the pot frequently, there is always lots of that going on.
  9. Year #6 there is a light at the end of the tunnel and low and behold it is not the train you felt hit by for the last 6 years… is a sunrise on the horizon.
  10. Add a big Thank You to those who supported CDW, it’s ups and downs and because they believed in it they are the spices that flavored this concoction.
  11. Sit back, grab a spoon, fill your bowl full of CDW and taste a delicious blend of ingredients that fill you with the CDW Handshake.

What an insane, rewarding journey. The CDW Partners could not have done it alone….. You all were the air beneath the ride.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank you
Oh, and hang on it isn’t over yet……..
Next time if one of the CDW Partners has an idea…… shoot them. – Deb

Top Hand 2018

Top Handers, the qualifying test for Cowboy Dressage World will be Challenge WJL #2.  We offer this test in all our shows so you have a chance to practice and build your skills.

2018 Gathering and Finals Update

We will have a new schedule for our 2018 Gathering and Finals. We are very excited about it and hope you will be too.

Here is the tentative schedule, keep in mind the word “tentative”

Monday Oct 8th arrivals (Sunday possible)

Tues Oct 9th. Clinic and Educational day

Wed Oct 10-13 Competition Days

Sun Oct 14 am Top Hand Qualifier and Top Hand Final

Sun Oct 14 after Top Hand Final Top Hand Awards

Sun Oct 14 after Top Hand Awards Overall High Point Awards Given

We anticipate Awards to be over by late afternoon. With the actual show ending on Sat pm all can attend and support the Top Hand Division without any conflicts. The office will also have time to have calculations ready to go allowing for a much faster awards ceremony.

Note from Debbie on Murieta Inn and Spa and Mureta Equestrian Center

I stayed at the new Murieta Inn and Spa….. it is fabulous.  I didn’t want to leave. First class and so welcoming and comfortable. Restaurant was great, decor Western and Cowboy theme.  Art work beyond words…. spectacular is all I can say.

It is so close you can walk to the event center.

Exhibitors get a special rate and it is worth every penny. Treat yourselves, you will be glad you did.

If you have not been to the Murieta Equestrian Center lately you will be delighted with the facility. Many improvements and gotta love that new 5th covered arena.

Western States Horse Expo 2018


Cowboy Dressage World will be at the 2018 Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, CA.  June 8-10

Building D Booth 4008. By Buckaroo Leather

Booth Volunteers Needed. Contact

New Show Photographer at MEC Shows… She is Fantastic.

Maria Marriott Photography, wow is she good. Check out the photos from the Spring show at:

Maria Marriott Photography
916.606.0349 cell

Because every picture tells a story…

Lee Folino will still come visit……. she is CDW Family so nice to have her visit us at the shows.

New Cowboy Dressage World Logo Wear Apparel

Watch for our new Cowboy Dressage Logo wear made by Wyoming Traders. Wyoming Traders has long been outfitting cowboys and cowgirls who love and wear the western lifestyle. We are excited to partnership with them and proud to have our new logo on their quality clothes.

We will have some jackets and vests at our Murieta Equestrian Center Shows and at the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento.

Soon you will be able to order directly off the CDW website using pay pal.

Ladies and Men’s Jackets and Vests available.  Cotton Duck for summer and wool on the horizon for winter.

Ball caps available too.

Smaller logo on front and large logo on back of each item.

You can catch up with Cowboy Dressage by reading past Newsletters on

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Thank you for Reading

I love to receive updates on Cowboy Dressage’s growth, personal journeys, and input on what should be included in the Newsletter.
Looking forward to our next newsletter!

Sara Uhalde