Written By Jack Brainard
This question is being asked by nearly all horseman and horsewomen in America. The words Cowboy Dressage seem to be a contradiction; since Cowboy horsemanship and Classical Dressage are miles apart in style, execution, and format.
Dressage training has been practiced for 500 years, and originated in training the warhorse. We know that the Spanish Ridding School had its beginnings in the 1500’s. The American Cowboy came onto the scene after the civil war in 1865, so he is a relative newcomer in horsemanship skills. His talents were based on riding long hours on half wild horses, chasing cattle 1000 miles over rough country in all kinds of weather. Why wouldn’t there be a wide range of horsemanship styles?
Modern Dressage horses execute beautiful movements in their competitions, and we in Cowboy Dressage are going to enjoy some of them, only our horses will be more versatile. We want to ride our horses in rough country, chase a cow, wade through deep water, swing a rope, and run wide open if needed, and not in an enclosed arena. This combination will surely improve the riding quality of our horses and we will have fun doing it!
Why can’t men and women of all ages, in a Western saddle do a canter pirouette and a