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Western Dressage Association
of Arizona

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What is Western Dressage and how did it become the fastest growing equine Sport in America ??
Videos of Western Dressage

Elements of the two disciplines are very similar. Both wish to create a better horse and rider with the use of structured focused training and progressive physical and mental development. Both look for balance, cadence and carriage and share fundamentals. In addition, each discipline uses tests as an opportunity to evaluate the progress of horse and rider through feedback.

The disciplines differ in the execution of the fundamental elements. As the horse and rider progress through the levels of Western Dressage, the test elements becoming increasingly reflective of movements, maneuvers and duties asked of a Western horse. The Western Dressage horse will need to be handy, willing, safe, and calm while demonstrating pure gaits and lightness. The Western Dressage horse is evaluated with the conformation and movement of today’s Western horses in mind. In keeping with tradition, Western Dressage is shown in Western tack and clothing.

It is not the goal of Western Dressage to create Western horses that compete in traditional Dressage, but to develop better Western horses and offer additional rider education through the understanding and use of principles of Dressage and good Horsemanship.