The Growing Sport of Western Dressage

Chances are you've heard that no matter what discipline you ride, schooling your horse in basic dressage can improve his performance in your chosen discipline. The emerging sport of western dressage builds on that idea, only western dressage takes it one step further by allowing western horses and riders to compete using western tack.

What we think of as today's Western riding has been in practice since the 1700s, originating on ranches and in the practices of the Spanish vaqueros. As horsemanship has evolved, so has our understanding of the mechanics of how horses move, and we've learned that training horses to be soft, light, and move correctly can both help prevent injuries and lengthen a horse's career.

The goal of western dressage is to create an American western horse who is supple, responsive, and balanced in his movements, as is demanded by dressage. Horses schooled in western dressage are expected to travel with lighter bit and rein contact than is used in traditional dressage; western dressage horses remain true to the western disciplines, but the dressage training increases the communication between horse and rider, and helps the horse better perform in the western disciplines.

Training & Clinics

Frances offers both individual training and group lessons for those wishing to learn the basics of western dressage.

Schedule of Clinics
Jan. 31, 2015 How to get the most out of your training time Horseless Clinic Castle Rock, CO - Douglas County Fairgrounds
Click HERE for details and registration

Train the Trainers

Frances Carbonnel and Cliff Swanson teamed up to offer TTT clinics in 2014 in Canada, Texas, North Carolina, and Southern California. 2015 TTT clinics booked so far will include Oklahoma and Massachusetts and an Advanced TTT in Colorado.

In 2014, Frances conducted WD clinics at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Colorado, two clinics in Northern California, and in Tennessee. She will be returning to California several times in 2015, and is now accepting reservations for 2015 to "Train the Trainers" in the basics of western dressage.

Frances also gives Western Dressage clinics across North America for the general public to support the growth of this exciting new sport.

Please contact her for more information, or to arrange a clinic for Classical Dressage and/or Western dressage in your area. She switches hats easily!