Western Dressage Training

Western Dressage Training with Karen Graves

Western Dressage honors the horse, values the partnership between horse and rider, and celebrates the legacy of the American West.

Training the Horse in Western Dressage

Western Dressage Training is particularly useful for the backyard horseman or amateur owner who would like to develop a more satisfying partnership with their horse but is a bit overwhelmed by how to start the journey. Karen has over forty years of training horses of various breeds and ages and is quite adept at introducing new concepts to a horse. She has the methods and the skills to help your horse understand whoa or slow down or to wait for you or to move forward more eagerly. Or, perhaps your horse does not steer as reliably as you’d like. Perhaps he is uncomfortable with a bit in his mouth and needs help finding a bit/bridle that is comfortable for him. Maybe you have wondered about how to sit more comfortably, more balanced, or more securely in your saddle. Perhaps your saddle rubs his hips or always falls to one side. Maybe it would be more fun on the trail if he knew how to tie or was more patient as you were saddling him. Perhaps you and your horse make a pretty pair and you’d like to begin to try your hand at some shows.

It could be that your horse and you are talented but you find that you have limited time in your life for teaching him new things. All of these are good reasons to invest in some training.

Western Dressage Skills

Many of the skills that a Western Dressage horse needs to learn in the beginning of his journey are similar to the basic skills of any dressage horse. He will need to learn to travel straight on straight lines and curved through his body on curved lines. He will need to let his body soften and his neck and jaw soften as he learns to work in tack at the walk, jog, and lope. He will need to learn to balance under the rider as he changes gaits or executes turns. Eventually he will need to learn to bring just his shoulders or just his haunches around a turn. It will be useful for him to know how to reinback in a balanced way.

All of these things CAN be taught by an owner/rider, but letting a skilled Professional develop your horse systematically pays big rewards in his attitude toward his work, his rate of progress, the proper conditioning of wind and muscle. Let KKM help you enjoy your horses more.