A New Direction?

With the cold weather lately I’ve had time to sit and read a little. I’ve read about Cowboy and Western dressage for years and have heard about virtual shows but never thought much about it. Recently something sparked. I checked out the website, of the North American Western Dressage association that is. Then read up on the Western Dressage Association of America. I stalked their facebook pages. I watched every video I could find on YouTube with the judges comments. Then finally I did that thing that I so seldom do, I spent the money and joined NAWD.

They offer the virtual shows which was a necessity for me. They have classes with ground work, six feet on the ground division, that I think we are ready for now. Mostly. And we can do them at liberty! Now I will have reason to teach him to lunge. In the earliest, easiest 😉 classes the horse needs to go around handler in a circle 10 feet away. The rules say that “artificial aids are allowed such as a whip, crop, lariat, or training stick”. A treat bag is an artificial aid and shouldn’t count any differently. It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission, so we will submit video with the clicker to start with and point out that they didn’t say we couldn’t if they complain.

They offer riding classes beginning with the most absolute basics, in regular dressage, ranch, and trail divisions. We might be able to manage those before too long and it will give me a concrete goal to be working towards. I like that.

It is too cold out to work with Rusty at all right now. I’m willing to work in cold weather but when the highs are around zero with wind chill, I’m not doing it. I should have waited until it warmed up and tried the introductory levels before donating but I know I love dressage, I know I love to train, I know I have great desire to beat my personal best, so how could I not like it? It seemed like a safe bet. If we don’t end up doing anything I’m only out a few dollars. If we do compete entry fees for the “shows” aren’t neat as bad as I was used to for ranch horse stuff way back when. I always thought it would be fun to go for year end awards in something.

We are not stopping the trick training. I love it and there is so much to learn, not to mention a rather large project in the making right now. I’m very excited about it 🙂 Riding has been the main goal all along though and this is another step in that direction. If anyone knows more about this than me, which doesn’t take much, please chime in. I would love to hear what you have to say and any tips or pointers!

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