Today’s Western horsemanship has honed practical working skills  to finesse.  Classical Dressage is known and respected for its sequential task pyramid and the beauty of its performance.  When two great disciplines come together, you can bet that the union will produce an irresistible entity. Eitan’s dream is now a reality – The cowboy now has his own discipline of dressage skills, with the cowboy in focus.

When I first saw Eitan ride, I was brought to tears – not sadness, but a deep longing to achieve the same with my horses. Cowboy Dressage makes this available for all riders who want more.

Take a look at the rules and court and goals of Cowboy Dressage. Logic in the court design, balanced progression of tasks in the tests. And a notable absence of detailed rules and regulations.  You can use a ring snaffle or a curb bit or even a bosal and mecate.  But the saddle must have a horn and the rider must be in western attire.  You can wear blue chaps or a riding skirt, a pink saddle blanket or a felt pad.  You can ride with one hand or two.  The mane can be braided or flowing. the reins can be mohair or leather.  The shirt can be blue checkered or pink with crystals.  How can you resist?

But, above all of these, when you read the mission statement of Cowboy Dressage, you find a goal that requires one’s heart in their hands and legs and seat and mind. It is the soft feel of the reins, the harmony and partnership visible between horse and rider.  The sport of horsemanship is driven by love for the horse.  If that love is truly present, the study of Cowboy Dressage brings that harmony and partnership to life. The tests are very eventful, with frequent transitions and tasks to complete within 5 minutes.  Actually, everyone who has done the tests say that they are fun.  Fun tests???

So, this is why I practice and teach Cowboy Dressage.  My students of all levels of ability and all ages have something of significance to work on.    All breeds of horses benefit from the goals set forth in CD. What a delight to set our horsemanship goal to be of horse and rider in visible harmony and joy.

Susan Tomasini