Saturday, October 26, 2013

Western Dressage

Today Octopelle and I tried western dressage for the first time, and it was a blast! Tony Jackson gave a clinic at the CREC arena in Irrigon and I went to see if my horse and I would like it. (Never hurts to try something new.) I had been considering attempting a western dressage course for a few months, but hadn't found any events that were close enough to home that also offered a "beginners class" for people who just want to try it. (I damned sure didn't want to show up at an official dressage show and make a complete fool of myself - so this clinic was a PERFECT opportunity to see if we would like to do this or not.)

Octopelle seemed to take to "cowboy" dressage like a fish takes to water. He loved it, and we recieved some good lessons and instruction from Tony before attempting to do our test. After all of the group participants in the clinic got a private lesson, we each got to try an actual test depending on our horses skill levels. Ox and I did the Introductory Level Test I, which was all three gaits in a fairly simple pattern: walk, working trot, and canter. I have to admit that we need just a tiny bit more work going "deep into the corners", but everything else was great. Our collection and circles were really very good.

Tony has said that there will most likely be more of these little clinics in the future, and I'm really excited to hear that. I'd love to do more of it!
Tony Jackson instructing a rider in a class, above. Tony is an accredited dressage competitor, instructor, and judge. He has traveled the world with the Royal Lippizaner Stallions show for several years. He's a really fun guy and an excellent teacher!
Mary and her quarter horse gelding "Bugs". (Mary and Bugs were one of our main rivals at the Earn Your Spurs show series in Kennewick, along with Albert Ellis and his mare "Glory".)

It was a very fun day!

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