This was a question and answer session during the first MWWD Western Dressage clinic in Minnesota at the University of Minnesota in April of 2011.

Views: 126


You need to be a member of Barnmice Equestrian Social Community to add comments!

Join Barnmice Equestrian Social Community

Comment by Randy Byers Horsemanship on June 22, 2012 at 11:56am


I totally agree with you. Eitan said one time "few people can ride a horse bridleless, but even fewer people can ride with a bridle." Personally, I think the top level Western Dressage horse should be ridden one-handed in the a curb bit of some kind. I find myself alone in these expectations. I value and respect of USEF, WDAA, and Eitan, but I am sad that they support this rule of two handed bridle riding.  I am totally against two handed bridle riding. Western Dressage is not Dressage with western tack. WD is a marriage of the two, and the one-handed bridle horse is the prize of this new sport. 

With that said, let me see if I can add clarification to this video. "This video is out of context."  5 minutes before this segment, I rode a musical free style demo that this video does not show..Here is the link to the musical demo that the question was making reference to in this video:

I never ride a bridle horse two handed. In the musical free style demo, I rode him primarily one-handed with some small adjustments or corrections with the free hand when I need to make corrects for straightness. That is what the person was referring to.  One of the things Carbon had a problem with in this video was he locked up and went backwards in the turn on the haunches, he does not do that in the snaffle. 

This video was taken over a year ago when I was introducing Carbon to the curbed bit. At the time of this video, I was confident in his ability to give me a good performance one-handed in the bridle. I was slowly transitioning him from the snaffle to the curb. Carbon had only been in a bridle for two or three months off and on before this performance. As you know, it takes time to transition a horse from a snaffle to a curb and you do it in small amounts (I do not use a hackamore). At the time of the video, he was ready for the bridle at lower levels, but not at the top level that he is schooled at. What I should have said was that he was not yet a bridle horse.

I am very familiar with the "Calif Vaquero style" I have great respect for the Vaquero, but when I build bridle horses, I do not use the old (Vaquero tradition way) quite frankly, there are much, much better ways to build a bridle horse!! When a horse is ready to transition to the bridle, at first, I ride him 75% in the snaffle and 25% in the curb. Now a year later, I ride Carbon 25% in the snaffle and 75% in the bridle. Right now the only time I ride him in a snaffle is when I am schooling him on new movements like the Piaffe.

In the last 4 months I have very active at the Western Dressage shows to test where Carbon is in his training. I think if you go and watch his latest videos, you will see a much more refined horse than you saw in this video.  Here is Carbon's current level of training in the bridle, as you can see in most of his videos, he is getting solid 70s-80s one-handed in the bridle at dressage shows.

Thank you for your interest. 


Comment by wildehex on June 22, 2012 at 10:32am

IF the horse is not ready for a spade/curb WHY show in it??  And certainly WHY with two hands?  I showed (in calif. in a Vaquero tradition) from hackamore to snaffle to spade.  But ONLY a snaffle allowed two hands.  IF this is to be 'western' dressage why not follow the traditional of how (a ported bit) should be held.  AND realize that dressage traditional allowed for 4:1 (all reins in one hand with the trained horse).  As a top rider in both traditional, I find the two hands/curb very problematic.  Especially because almost all riders keep using the bit to create a shorter/broken posture and have no idea about totally different uses of each bit in dressage (up/open vs down/closed) and of tact and lightness (for western).

The Rider Marketplace

International Horse News

Click Here for Barnmice Horse News

© 2024   Created by Barnmice Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service