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

Cowboy Dressage is about the horsemanship journey no matter how you choose to live it. With education and understanding your journey can be inspiring and rewarding on multiple levels. We at Cowboy Dressage are dedicated to helping you achieve your dreams whether you ride the trails, compete or just like to train and bond with your horse. We share with you the best of our knowledge and wisdom and then it is up to you to “try.” I rode on the trails today and I gave myself and my horse a very high score.

Cowboy Dressage can take you about anywhere if you have a little bit of grit and whole lot of heart. Saddle up and head for the horizon.

Honorary CD Educators Inductees 2017

CDW wishes to welcome Honorary Cowboy Dressage World Inductees. These fine horsemen and horsewoman made a huge contribution to Cowboy Dressage in its early days. They offered their support and were active in supporting it before it was the “in thing.” They helped blaze trails and in roads for us. We thank them an honor them with this induction.

Jack Brainard, TX

Dr Robert Miller, CA

Richard Winters, CA

Craig Johnson, TX

Charles Wilhelm, CA

Richard Shrake, OR

Dianne Olds Rossi, PA

Sheila Varian-CA Forever In Our Hearts

Larry Whitesell, TN

New Finals 2018 Dates

It took enormous work, soul searching and it has been decided that the 2018 Gathering and Finals will be held at the same location but during new cooler dates!! They will be Oct 9-14.

On a side note the Jan/Feb show has been moved to April 20-22, 2018 and the June show is the 22-24, 2018. We continue to negotiate for better dates and as you can see we are getting them.

Fox Village Update

For those of you attending the Cowboy Dressage World Finals and Gathering in September 2017, we are making some positive changes to our scheduling procedures. Our office staff will be using Fox Village software ( for scheduling ride times. We expect this to be our largest show to date, therefore we are trying to streamline our procedures by using this software. You will be able to look up ride times and the schedule by logging onto Fox Village once ride times are posted. We hope to be able to run classes from start to finish, which will enable our staff to get class placings posted much sooner. We hope you will enjoy the added benefits of the use of this software by Cowboy Dressage World. We are looking forward to the best Finals and Gathering to date.

New Program Update

Under the guidance of Roberta Robertson our June Summer Show was the test grounds for our new award computing program. Wow!!! It works and it is so much faster and accurate. Kudos to the office team for making this show an “office celebration.” Roberta will be joining us again in Sept for the Gathering and Finals.

New and Improved CDWPA Website

Another long project has been the revamping of the CDWPA website. It was our desire to make it more user friendly and easy to join. Donna Muniz has done a great job accomplishing this. Thank you to Lyn Ringrose Moe and Sheryl Strathman for their tireless work with the CDWPA members and site. Visit the new site at: CDW Professionals

Know of Someone Teaching Cowboy Dressage who is not a Member of the Cowboy Dressage World Professional Association? Here is how to report it.

In order to keep Cowboy Dressage in its intended state with integrity, clarity and practiced in its original vision anyone using the name Cowboy Dressage must be a member of the CDWPA. (CDW Professionals) Cowboy Dressage is a trademarked name and can be used by permission only.

If you find someone using the name without having done their due diligence that is required please send a message to Sheryl Strathman at:

Judging Cowboy Dressage

Please read this eloquent letter written by Dee Myers, regarding judging. There has been some criticism of judging recently and this should keep it in perspective. We are striving to improve, including judges.

Remember the Handshake. A Judge usually makes over 1200 marks in a day, most of them accurate. I never hear complaints about judges who score too high. (it does happen) only the ones who score lower. Cowboy Dressage judges are working very hard to become the very best. The spend many hours of their own time and expense to keep learning and improving. Just as riders continue to improve so do judges.

Lyn Ringrose-Moe and CDW Partners.

About Judging: We, as CD Judges, and the CD Judging Program, as well, are evolving and growing. With each added layer of knowledge and insight we become more specific in our ability to see the basic elements that make up our mental “10”. The mental “10” has usually not changed, but we are more able to articulate the specifics of what is lacking in each maneuver that prevents it from being a “10”. For example, two years ago, I might not have noticed that the horse’s nose was slightly tipped to the inside, but I did notice he lacked balance. I think this happens to all progressive judges, riders, teachers and trainers. It’s a good thing. It helps us as judges make more specific comments as to what we are seeing.

In the Judging Program and on our own, when we get the opportunity, we do compare our scores, in general, with each other. We will adjust our own score scale to help be in the ballpark with the other judges. We don’t usually look at specific rider scores because we would not be fairly comparing the ride (we do that in training in shadow judging), but we do look at the overall picture of the scores. For example, at the Spokane show, I did notice that I was scoring in general, about 4 points lower than Kim Moats. However, I did not adjust my scale at that time, as I would have then been inconsistent in my own scoring the following day. I did put that information on my back burner to consider for future shows. I had also done this with the half day I had judged at the CDNW show with Susan Docktor at Walla Walla.

About Scores: I’m concerned when I hear comments like tough judge, not showing under, should have scored better, etc. because they indicate to me that trainers, teachers and riders are more concerned about scores than the intention of CD competition, which is to provide an evaluation of each horse/rider’s execution of specific maneuvers, with comments that can help that specific partnership grow and develop toward its potential. If comparisons are to be made, they should be made on the comments from test to test and the overall trend in the comments, to help the rider prioritize where they need to work to develop their own partnership.

The scores on a specific score sheet are a quick reference to which areas are strongest and which need the most development. As a coach/trainer/instructor, this is invaluable—it’s like a built-in lesson plan. It’s the path. And the next show is the evaluation of what progress has been made. That comparison should not be based on the scores, but on the trends in the comments. If the coach/trainer/instructor is concerned about the scores in comparison to other’s scores or other judge’s scores, then they are doing a disservice to their students in the CD realm. If the teachers/trainers/coaches are, by example, concerned more about what they think they should have got as a score, and are making choices based on the scores rather than the comments, then they are sending the wrong message to their students.

I’m not saying the scores don’t count. They can be great to be a quick reference of day to day improvements in the same box if judged by the same judge. But remember, the score can be affected by many things–you need to look at the scores with soft eyes and a reference to the comments, even with the same judge. When comparing scores between different tests, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. If you think a judge scores lower than another judge, add 5 or 7 or 10 points to all the rider’s percentages and see if that sets better.

About Mistakes: We all make them. At C there’s a lot going on. The judge might miss a maneuver, not see it clearly due to dust or sunshine, or view. For example, traveling down C-line toward A in some advanced tests, the judge might not see behind vertical or anything else to do with the head/rein relationship that the people viewing from E or B side can see. The scribe might not hear clearly and write down the wrong score, or the wrong comment or get behind, or run out of ink. The list goes on.

If we do miss a score or knowingly make a mistake, we base our score decision to the benefit of the rider as best we can. For example, if I miss seeing the actual stop before the E-8-B line because I glanced down to check the call or see if the scribe is with me, then I would give that element of the maneuver the same score I gave to that element of the box including the stop at salute. It doesn’t happen often, but, obviously, it does happen.

Talking to Judges: Unique to Cowboy Dressage is the role of the Judge as an evaluator and each judge, to some degree, educator; rather than a judge of comparisons between competitors. It allows for a kind, supportive and involved relationship between judges and riders. It allows communication outside the score sheet between judges and riders that does not usually happen in other show situations. There are few disciplines where the judges are involved in riding in the shows to the extent of CD Judges. What a great way to keep a fresh perspective, adding insight and compassion to our treatment of horse/rider teams.

Riders and coaches should feel free to approach a judge at a show at an appropriate time to clarify the meaning of a comment or to ask a reference question (rule clarification, for example). And I, personally, am happy to articulate what I want to see in a maneuver and what might be modifiers in that maneuver. I do not, however, think it is appropriate to discuss specific scores as compared to other riders or other judges. When we go down that road, we’re on the wrong road for Cowboy Dressage.

Dee Myers, Recommended Judge


A reminder for Straight Up in the Bridle Riders

All riders riding straight up bridle horses in Cowboy Dressage please note: You are not allowed to put fingers between the reins. The fingers may be open and fanned, but may not slip down between the reins. Judges will treat it as an error for each occurrence.

New Membership Fee Options for 2018. Starting Jan 1st.

Starting Jan 1st, 2018 CDW will offer a paid membership option in addition to our free Handshake Membership. As expected the paid membership will have more “perks.” With the growth and overwhelming demands time wise and financially CDW needs to create a revenue stream that can support what we all love to do. This paid membership will help assure that Cowboy Dressage is here for your enjoyment, recreation and horsemanship for many years to come.

Paid Membership will be $50 per year and there will be a lifetime membership option as well. The membership will run from Jan 1- Jan 1. More details to follow as we develop this.

First Ever Western States Horse Expo Cowboy Dressage Competition

CDW was very excited to have its first ever Cowboy Dressage Competition at the Western States Horse Expo this past June.

Eleven very talented riders competed for top honors. On Friday they rode test walk, jog, lope 3. On Sat they rode Challenge walk, jog, lope 1. This was a highly competitive group and the scores were close. Judge Lyn Ringrose Moe had her work cut out for her. We were very proud of the way each competitor represented Cowboy Dressage and Soft Feel. All were winners in those categories.

A special Thank You to Wyatt Paxton who typical of Wyatt works tirelessly and endlessly at all things Cowboy Dressage. He was there making sure the competition court was perfect!

Thank you to our sponsors who helped make this competition come to life. ( put their logos with links, Spalding Labs, Dale Chavez and Buckaroo Leather.)

Friday Winner – Lesla Bong- Award Halter from Buckaroo Leather
Saturday Winner- Jenni Purcell Award Halter from Buckaroo Leather
Soft Feel Winner – Jenni Purcell Fly-Predators from Spalding Fly Predators
Over All High Score Lesla Bong- Buckle by Dale Chavez

Reserve High Score- Jessica Mosbaugh
3rd Place Joann Gillespie
4th Place Megan Gallagher
5th Place Kelley Rankin

Honorable Rides

Erin Adderly
Justin Kibbe
Bryanna Valett
Cassidy Mueller
Krista Koenig

Coming Soon: Our 5th Cowboy Dressage Gathering, Finals and Top Hand September 5th – 10th

Follow this link for details on competition and scheduled free educational events.

POWER CLINICS With the Partners September 5th – 7th

Sign up soon for this rare opportunity, before it passes you by. Expected to sell out.

Cowboy Dressage Professionals’ Lectures September 8th & 9th

During the Gathering Friday and Saturday 6:00pm – 8:00pm, CDWPA Members are providing free (30 minute) educational lectures, upstairs above Arena 1

Topics will be listed on

2017 TOP HAND COMPETITION September 9, 2017
The Cowboy Dressage Top Hand is now seeing it’s third year of competition. Premium and Registration now posted!


Contact JoAnn Gillespie (925) 699-3996

Details at


All Handshake Members, it is vital for these Gatherings to have volunteers. Please take this opportunity to promote the Handshake values by helping. Kelsey Morris is the Volunteer Manager; she will explain the positions available and time you are needed. If you require volunteer hours as a professional you must contact her early. We need you!

Additions to The Cowboy Dressage Glossary

Cowboy Dressage Simple Change: (Change of Lead through Walk)
The horse transitions from a clear, balanced 3 beat lope, with straightness, down to the walk while maintaining balance, straightness and a clear 4 beat walk rhythm for 6-8 steps (except in the box), then calmly, willingly, transitions up to the opposite lead in lope (no jog steps). The entire change should be calm, willing, balanced, and smooth with straightness.

Cowboy Dressage Change of Lead through Jog: The horse transitions from a clear, balanced 3 beat lope, with straightness, down to the jog while maintaining balance, straightness and a clear 2 beat gait for 4- 6 steps, (except in the box) then calmly, willingly transitions up to the opposite lead in lope. The entire change should be calm, willing, balanced, and smooth with straightness.

Cowboy Dressage Flying Change of Lead: The horse changes leads after the 3rd beat of the lope stride, with straightness, balance, and consistent rhythm in the lope.

The Cowboy Dressage Drill Team Freestyle Test Can Now be Offered at Gatherings!

A drill team is a musical ride made up of 2 or more members. It is performed in the open Cowboy Dressage Court to music. The time limit is 6 minutes. The criteria for judging the Drill Team is listed on the score sheet. There are no required maneuvers as there could be riders performing a beautifully choreographed ride, but riding at different levels, all within the same team. The emphasis is on “Soft Feel” and “Harmony and Partnership”, in keeping with the Mission and Vision of Cowboy Dressage.

Trainer Tip: Knowing The Footfall For a Better FREE WALK

By Sabina Sigl

Confucius says ‘If one is not patient in the small things that bring you the big projects to fail’.

To be a better Partner for your horse, it helps to know where his feet are. This is a simple and very effective exercise, but it demands time and practice in the saddle. Start at the slowest gait: the walk. You can already practice this while warming up your horse along the rail, in a quiet but energetic walk on loose reins. You will feel some degree of gentle side-to-side motion in the horse’s hips as each hind leg reaches forward. You don’t have to know where every single foot is all time, just concentrate on one foot, and slowly you will get the feel of where the other feet are automatically.

This is if you know about your horse’s footfall.

When walking, a horse’s legs follow this sequence: left hind leg, left front leg, right hind leg, right front leg, in a regular 1-2-3-4 beat. At the walk, the horse will alternate between having three or two feet on the ground. A horse moves its head and neck in a slight up and down motion that helps maintain balance. Once you get the feel, you can go back to technique. For further development of your horse’s walk, you should understand and know when to cue the horse, because this is a very important thing to create lightness. Now that you feel when the horse’s hind is reaching forward try this little exercise to develop your FREE WALK:

1.) You want to help to extend the horses walk with pushing your hip-bone forward at the same time as the horses hip is moving forward. The moment to cue would be the moment the hind leg is leaving the ground.

2.) Every time the horses forehand leaves the ground, you move your hand and rein forward at the same time. For example: With the horses left front leg coming off the ground- your left arm and rein is moving forward (with the right front- your right arm and rein is moving forward). Your horse will soon show an extended walk with forward motion; his head and neck will have nice natural forward-downward stretch.

Later in the progress, your horse will stretch out and extend only by putting your hands down and pushing almost invisibly with your hip. You have to believe me; it is really worth doing and practicing it. We know it’s little things that make the big difference, not only in Cowboy Dressage, but also in any good Horsemanship!!

Article by Sabina Sigl, Photo & Copyrights by Mell Burger

Sabina Sigl/ Horsefeel- ride with a smile!
Cowboy Dressage
Trainer Level 2 & Clinician
Tel.: (0043)0664/7623838 Austria/

Remember, When Competing….

When preparing for your competition ride in front of the judge please have your caller announce your name, number and test before starting the call. You can also ride around the arena and introduce yourself to the judge with the same information. This helps run a smoother show and will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Show Results Listings on CDW Website

You can submit any High Point award winners to for any show that is not a schooling show or playday. You can visit the Kudos page at:

It is Happening on Face Book…. Get Connected and Join In.
We Love to Hear From You

The Cowboy Dressage Handshake Members Facebook Group is the community’s base for discussion and education, now among almost 950 members.

Photo of Debbie Beth-Halachmy Photo by Lesley Deutsch – Copyright

Here is an example:

A member posted: I am looking for information talking about Cowboy Dressage is not Western Dressage. Can someone give me the link or site? Thank you.

Several members helpfully replied, including Cowboy Dressage Professional Jenni Grimmet with a link to her blog:

Please help continue these discussions by joining! You must first be a Cowboy Dressage World Handshake Member.

Then join this closed Facebook Group



For the very first “Cowboy Dressage World Gathering”!

Sabina Sigl, Martina Bone, and Barbara Wagner

About 3 years ago, “COWBOY DRESSAGE” came from California for the first time to flourish in the European Western Riding World. It was in 2015 at the Americana, Augsburg Germanys biggest Western Fair, that Eitan Beth-Halachmy and a group of European Cowboy Dressage Enthusiasts took part. Cowboy Dressage was presented for the first time to a wider European. In the late summer of 2016 the first “CDW European Educational Program Tour” with Eitan took place as a major milestone. Accompanied by Wyatt James Paxton, the principles and objectives of COWBOY DRESSAGE were explained and taught clinics in several countries. Martina Bone, one of the leading CDW clinicians CDW judges in the USA, came to teach in Germany, Austria and Italy in 2016. This year’s courses, which took place in spring in Germany, Austria, Italy and Poland, were very popular and enthusiastically completed.

Inspired by the philosophy and the principles of Cowboy Dressage, it is in the interest of some horsemanship trainers to put energy and effort into spreading this unique message of CD further along. The number of riders and those who are interested in the European Cowboy Dressage community is growing slowly but steadily.
As a result of the intensive exchange of opinions and the close cooperation between the German and Austrian CD groups, it was clear that this year the hard-working rider and students should be given the chance to show their skills publicly. It was time for a first European CDW-Gathering!

With over 30 starts from 3 countries (Germany, Austria and Italy) and seven different tests available, in both the so-called “flat court” and the “challenge court”, we were very pleased about the great demand in this new discipline of Western Riding in Europe.

For many participants, more than 70% of the possible points were recorded on their Score Sheets, judged by Martina Bone. Our Best Rider reached 80% (!) Of the points in Walk-Jog-Lope-Test # 2! The spectators were able to enter the relaxed world of a Cowboy Dressage Show and could watch some very talented riders.
And the best and most important part of the event: Soft Feel and Harmony & Partnership, as the essence of the Cowboy Dressage, was seen between riders and their horses during the entire Gathering!

Congratulations and a big thanks to all participants, for showing courage in taking part at the first ever Cowboy Dressage Gathering in Europe! Also congrats to Barbara Wagner, who qualified with her ride for the level 1 Clinician.

Many thanks to the riding facility, Frank, and the riding association for hosting us and providing beverages, coffee & cake and sandwiches, for our physical well-being.

A very warm thank you to our wonderful judge Martina Bone, who coached us to be so well prepared for riding the tests.

And last but not least, a big thank you to all who made this day an unforgettable (a horse-friendly) show day!
It was fun and we look forward to planning the next Cowboy Dressage European Gathering for 2018!
Till then, ride with a smile,

Yours Sabina Sigl
Cowboy Dressage Clinician Level 2 Austria

Congratulations to Barbara Wagner CDW Clinician Level 1 Germany





Our own Lesley Deutsch has moved to Scotland! Yes, Scotland. She is off on a new adventure and taking Cowboy Dressage with her. She already has clinics scheduled. As many of you know Lesley wore many hats. She was an outstanding horsewoman, trainer, teacher and an artist with the camera. CDW credits Lesley’s photos with bring CD to the forefront of public attention. Her photos helped stamp what CD was about. Her artistry brought “romance” to our discipline. Thank you so much Lesley and you will be greatly missed here in the US. We all wish you the very best. By the way Lesley left for Scotland with a CDW Clinician Level 3 in her suitcase! Go Leslie.

You can follow Lesley at this blog:…/2…/07/05/Observations or

Rumor Has It…

Wishing John Moe ( Pinkie) a speedy and full recovery from a partial knee replacement. May you be up and back in the saddle soon. Lyn says Nursing is Not her calling in life!

Our much loved Dr. Karl has recovered from his bi-pass surgery and is now looking towards knee replacement surgery in the near future. We look forward to a new bionic Doc!

Far West Cowboy Dressage Show 2017

The Farwest Cowboy Dressage Show at the Rim Rock Riders Arena in Powell Butt, Or is fast approaching. This is a great show, always fun and looks to be bigger than ever. 3 rings for 3 days.


WHEN: July 28-30, 2017 Ride-A-Test: July 27, 2017
WHERE: Rim Rock Riders Event Center in Powell Butte, OR
JUDGES: The Honorable Martina Bone
The Honorable Lyn Ringrose-Moe
The Honorable Joan McLaren

Cowboy Dressage World featured in Equine Monthly

4-H Gets involved in Cowboy Dressage!

Two’s a Team who’s program is Oregon Horsemanship did a wonderful display at their 4-H Horse Fair. Cassie and Rylie did a wonderful job putting this together. They are 4-H Intermediates and this was their Horse Fair Educational Display. They participate in the Clackamas County 4H program in Or. Good job Cassie and Rylie and to Alyssa Hauser, Letitea Weikel their 4-H Leaders and Chistine Simpson who helped them discover Cowboy Dressage.


Remember Your Online Resources!

When considering where to get help with Cowboy Dressage, the only way to be sure of a professional is to find them on CDW Professionals

Keep in mind Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy have a new e-mail address:

& Please use the CDW Calendar to post, share, and find events!

Welcome New Handshake Members!

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

Advertising in the Bi-monthly Newsletter is Available

If you want to advertise there is a PayPal button at Make payment there and send banner and/or ad copy to Charges and specs are available

Please have your advertising in to Donna by the 15 of the month preceding the issue month.

For the September issue that deadline would be the August 15th.


Impressive Stats

Cowboy Dressage Facebook, over 65,000 likes and up to a million views per week!

CDW Handshake Members, over 5500 and growing

CDWPA members, Judges 20. Clinicians 37. Ambassadors 37. Total 94

CD You Tube and Vimeo. Views in the 100,000 of thousands

Thank you for Reading

Your next newsletter will be available late August, 2017. I would love to receive updates on Cowboy Dressage in your area, your personal journey, or input on what you would like to see in the Newsletter.

I hope to see you in September,

Sara Uhalde

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