Soﬅ Feel is the mission and guiding principle of Cowboy Dressage™. It is a wordless, intimate and for some a spiritual communication within the partnership between horse and rider. Soﬅ feel is not only sending messages but
having the sensitivity and awareness to feel and receive messages sent by the horse. The timing and use of the release, relaxation, preparation and execution are the fundamentals of Soﬅ Feel.
The competitive discipline of Cowboy Dressage™ uses a uniquely designed court, on which the horse and rider execute “tests” prescribed through advancing levels of diﬃculty. Judges score these tests based on the horse and rider’s quality of performance as they advance through these deﬁned levels. Judges also score the horse and rider on lightness, harmony, ﬁnesse and the partnership expected as well as balance, cadence, carriage, control, and performance.
A grassroots movement within the horse industry suggests many of us yearn for the “good ol’ days” when a handshake and a person’s word was his bond. It is a code of honor still practiced by some horsemen and horsewomen today. Yet for most folks, a contract is regarded as a necessary tool of doing business. An entire generation is missing the feeling of pride of being known as a person whose handshake and word is as reliable and ironclad as a written legal document.
Cowboy Dressage is growing nationally and internationally. We are humbled by the enthusiasm it is generating and its enormous projected inﬂuence on the equine community. Such rapid expansion, while exciting, also places our sense of being a close-knit community and our grassroots identity in jeopardy. And while no formal Cowboy Dressage organization currently exists, we believe we need a meaningful gesture that signiﬁes our commitment to our shared values, vision and to one another.
Membership With a Handshake is our answer. We feel good about it and think you will too. No annual fees or group passwords are required for Cowboy Dressage World membership, but we do have expectations of ourselves and of you: