Western Dressage grew out of the concerns of top Western trainers in the training of horses to make suitable mounts. They had seen what the concepts of cadence, balance, and carriage from classical dressage had done for the English sports and wanted to incorporate them to help Western riders bring out the best in their horses. The Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) was formed to help codify these principles, establish an educational program and develop a method of testing.
The Northwest Chapter of the Western Dressage Association explains it best:
"When we combine Western Horsemanship principles and Classical training to ride our horses, we develop a well rounded and balanced partnership. We build a brave well broke horse."
What is really unique about Western Dressage is that it’s a blend of both dressage and western whereby you get the Western horse that can stand quietly, not get easily spooked and have superior ground work combined with a connected horse that is engaged and balanced for the optimal partnership between horse and rider.
Is this discipline only for western horses? No! This is an all inclusive discipline. Western Dressage will help ALL horses to develop and it will provide progressive, methodical training while giving valuable feedback methods for the Western Dressage Rider.
For more information, including local chapters, clinics and the actual tests, click here: http://westerndressageassociation.org/