Western Dressage Gaining Momentum in BC By Cathy Glover
eah Gray is taking over as president of the Lower Mainland Western Style Dressage Association now that Adiva Murphy has pulled up stakes and moved from Delta to a new training facility near Brooks Alberta. Adiva first gained notoriety as a natural horsemanship coach on the South Coast, then was instrumental in introducing horse agility to her stable of clients before becoming a charter member and president of the LMWSDA, a regional chapter of the national organization. The goal of Western Dressage, according to a story in a 2012 edition of USDF Connection, is to “create better Western horses and riders through the use and principles of dressage.” Anyone who has ridden a good horsemanship, reining or western riding pattern certainly understands how the principles of dressage cross discipline boundaries. Western Dressage “tests” (not patterns) have been developed by several organizations – Horse Council BC has their own tests, while Western Style Dressage Association of Canada (WSDAC) uses tests created by the Western Dressage Association of America. The emphasis is more about the horse’s movement and training through a series of medium, collected and extended gaits, and less on the rider’s equitation. Riders in the Lower Mainland aren’t the only ones to organize. There is a Central Vancouver Island chapter led by coach Trish Hyatt, and a Facebook group (Western Dressage Okanagan) is trying to recruit interest in the Okanagan. Within weeks that group has already attracted 30 members and identified at least five (if not certified) Western Dressage-friendly judges and coaches in the Interior, including as far north as Prince George.
Green Mountain Equestrian Centre will be hosting a Percent Day, September 19, in Penticton with Kat Heines. In late September, Remuda Ranch in Chase will be offering a two day clinic that will blend Western Dressage with some trail obstacles under the direction of Trish Hyatt.
Adiva Murphy puts riders to the test at a Western Dressage clinic in Enderby held this past Spring. Photo courtesy of Sweet Iron Photography. Gaylene Ridley at Briarwood Farm in Kelowna and Cathy Glover in Enderby are both hoping to schedule some drop-ins for Okanagan riders to practice Western Dressage tests this fall. Leah is hopeful the Lower Mainland group will have some fall dates to announce at the beginning of September. Delta Riding Club has been welcoming Western Dressage riders for several years now. Their last Percent Day is on September 27. For more information, go to www.westerndressagebc.com or search Western Dressage Okanagan on Facebook.
Sept. 12-13: Kelowna BC, Friday, 11th demo 7pm, TFC Center Sept. 19-20: Spruce View, AB, Friday 18th demo 7pm Sept. 26-27: Saskatoon SK, Friday 25th demo 7pm, Willow Ridge Stables Oct. 3-4: Saskatoon SK, Willow Ridge Stables Oct. 10-11: St. Andrews MB, Second Chance Ranch Oct. 17-18: Cochrane AB, Cochrane & District Arena Oct. 23-25: Strathmore AB, Wheatland Equestrian (Visit website for contact and more info/dates) Wonderful TFC Sales Horses suitable for Cowboy Dressage/Classical Dressage, Working Equitation, any kind of Pleasure riding.
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