Monday, January 24, 2011

Reining vs. Dressage

All too often you meet individuals who can't seem to understand the importance of a foundation and that such a foundation can only benefit in so many aspects, regardless of your discipline. Reining and dressage are very inter-related and personally I feel they are very much the same - at least, when done correctly, though the rider in each utilizes a different "style". Both disciplines should be about teaching the horse to use its body effectively and efficiently, in such a manner that benefits the horse himself physically and also allows him to carry a rider in such a way that is not harmful to his body. Mental collection translates to physical collection and vice versa, which is another important benefit within dressage or reining, that will allow specialization in another discipline down the road. Even if the horse and rider always remain within the Reining or Dressage disciplines, doing as such and specializing and building on that foundation will only have positive benefits by developing both horse and partnership between horse and rider.

Essentially, there is a reason cavalry horses were taught dressage. It initiated physical and mental discipline in the horse and strengthened the partnership between horse and rider. Such was absolutely crucial on the battlefield, where a single mistake could mean life or death. Dressage and Reining, or basically creating a strong foundation from which to build off of, enables the horse and rider to then move forward into their chosen discipline, with greater success. Foundation before specialization. A horse and rider require a strong base, a strong foundation, of discipline, physical and emotional fitness, and general development, so as to specialize. Furthering that dressage or reining base later, or specializing into say jumping, or cattle penning, or whatever may be, horse and rider are then prepared - both mentally/emotionally and physically. They are set up for success and are in the best spot possible. Skipping that foundation however, allows for holes and gaps in the horse's training and development and also in the partnership between horse and rider. Horse and rider might still be successful, however their journey will be more difficult and they have the chance to be MORE successful with a strong foundation. I cannot stress enough the importance of a strong foundation! That said, such a foundation must be accomplished in a correct manner.

Dressage and Reining are definitely two foundational disciplines that are VERY similar! Check out the video below as a decent example of such ;)


OldMorgans said...

Thank you for the fun video. Who is the reining rider? He sure knew how to get the dressage moves.

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