The Wonders of Western Dressage

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You may be familiar with traditional dressage, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) , internationally recognized sport.   But there’s a new emerging discipline called western dressage that is significantly piquing the equestrian world’s curiosity, especially as it is being incorporated into today’s horse shows.

This emerging discipline was showcased by Ocala local, Lynn Palm at the FEI World Cup Finals in the USA in April.  Western dressage is a discipline that is being designed for riders of all ages and levels of experience, as well as horses of any breed, size or age. Think more cowboy and less military horsemanship with an extreme partnership between riders and horses. It integrates the principles of dressage, such as discipline or structured focus training and partnership basics with the best of western stock horse tradition.

With the goal of enjoying a safe, versatile and useful working horse, western dressage paves the way for the development of a balanced and athletic horse with a skilled and light rider. Like traditional dressage, the western dressage evaluates the progress of horses and riders through feedback and good horsemanship. However, these test elements mirror the western discipline, with handy, willing and safe qualities coupled with pure gaits and lightness.

So, as an equestrian enthusiast, what is the appropriate tack and clothing for this innovative type of ride, you may ask? Well, western, of course! You should approach the trail or show ring in conservative attire and a helmet or western hat plus a Western tack.

If you are interested in learning more about Western Dressage in Ocala, contact Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club for more details.  Ocala is home to top professionals of many disciplines and breeds of horses.  There’s something for everyone from amateur to professional.

Below is a video of Lynn Palm at the FEI World Cup Finals:

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