The WWDC has created its Club Guide lines to assist our members and other clubs in planning, sponsoring and participating in WWDC western dressage classes and to provide a guide for showing horses under a standard pattern or uniform set of rules. The Club Guidelines are meant for the use of the club, its members and other organizations or clubs, and may contain differences from other organizations. The WWDC strongly encourages all participates of any western dressage class to exercise due diligence and become familiar with the rules governing that show.
Along with the Guidelines, the WWDC has created patterns and score cards to be used as training tools for its members and guests. The purpose of using and riding patterns is for self improvement and the goal is to create a system that helps to make better horses. They are built as a progressional training method for the western performance horse and incorporate western performance horse movements (footwork for spins, rollbacks and fast stops) along with the movements from classical dressage (haunches in/out, shoulders in, leg-yields and half passes). These patterns may also be used in competitive venues by riders that wish to test their abilities against a set standard. Club patterns do not require a dressage ring or dressage judges and the patterns can be adjusted to fit a variety of arena sizes. Six markers will be needed and if set up in a dressage ring only the letters B/E, M/H and F/K are of importance.
Wisconsin Western Dressage Club levels -
Update From Heather: April 2012
Jack Brainard was in Arena, WI giving a clinic put on by S.H.O.W this March 17th and 18th. I had been talking with Mr. Brainard previously over the phone regarding our club patterns and was looking forward to getting his opinion on the progress we had made.
A lot of work and time went into putting the Guidelines together and I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about showing him our lastest patterns. The guidelines are what the WWDC feels is a true blending of Western and Dressage. The standards of judging were created by blending multiple rule books into one short, easy to use booklet. Here is the list that we used for reference: United States Equestrian Federation – Doma Vaquera and Morgan horse western dressage divisions, American Show Horse Association – Western and Dressage Divisions, American Ranch Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association and American Paint Horse Association – Western Horsemanship and Western Riding. Although it may be short and sweet, this booklet took 9 months and will always be a work in progress as we get better and more refined.
From the guidelines, maneuvers were divided into levels to start a progressional system of training that could then be put into pattern form. The purpose of using and riding patterns is for self improvement and the goal is to create a system that helps to make better horses. The biggest challenge to creating the patterns is keeping the time frames to a reasonable amount to allow them to be used in Open and 4-H horse shows. Mr. Brainard was very kind in offering his advice and certain maneuvers and variation with the gaits were removed as the patterns work their way up through the levels.
With such a short time frame open for conversation, The WWDC sent copies back with Mr. Brainard to review and share with his friend and co-founder of the Western Dressage movement, Eitan Beth-Halachmy. When the final booklets are printed and the Scorecards are finished additional copies will be sent to them for review, and who knows maybe we will see similar patterns emerging from the work done here in Wisconsin.
I am very happy to say that the WWDC has Mr. Brainard’s seal of approval on our patterns. He is excited to see Western Dressage patterns being developed that showcase the training styles of the Western Performance horse. His final advice was to keep in mind that just as a horse is always changing in its training; so too must our guidelines and patterns. I am very grateful to Mr. Brainard for taking the time to review our Guidelines and Patterns and sharing his advice.
The WWDC has a great start and I am looking forward to seeing you ride the WWDC patterns.
Heather Lekan- WWDC President
Heather and Jack talking patterns