Category: Lynn Palm

Western Dressage: Warm-up Routine

A good warm up routine is valuable, whether you are about to school your horse for your latest test in Western Dressage, or are just heading out for a trail ride. Your horse needs a pre-exercise warm-up routine to help loosen and limber up his muscles. A warm-up also prepares the horse’s mind for the work you will be asking him to do–whether it is schooling, trail riding, pleasure riding, or showing.

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Western Dressage: Practice Tips as You Prepare to Advance to the Next Level

Now that you’ve gotten into Western Dressage, you’re eager to do well. But what are the best ways to improve your horse at his current level and move on to advance to the next level?
As you ride each day, make a plan before you get in the saddle. You are teaching your horse every time you work with him, whether you are taking an actual lesson or not. Be sure he’s learning something positive!

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Western Dressage: Test Levels

The greatest advantage of the Western Dressage discipline is that you know what you have to do with each levels and test. It is not like going to a hunter show and having to learn the day of the show the course for Equitation or Hunter over fences, or a western show and having to learn the new trail or horsemanship patterns.

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Western Dressage: Are You Ready to Show?

So, you and your horse have been training in anticipation of entering your first Western Dressage show. But how do you know when you’re actually ready to compete?

This is a question of confidence. Your instructor or coach should be realistic and give you advice on whether or not you are ready to compete. If you don’t have an instructor, a video camera is your best tool to see yourself ride. Watch for willingness and smoothness from your horse when you are riding. This will give you a better perspective to whether or not you are ready to compete.

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Daily Wellness Check for your Horse

Keep your Western Dressage horse in top health by paying close daily attention. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That old saying especially applies to your horse’s health and safety. You can head off many potential problems—or catch them early—by doing a daily wellness check. When you do a daily check, you can often catch the “little things” before they turn into serious, expensive issues.

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