Western Dressage Debut

Never thought I’d write that title.

Far from a Western rider.  But when the opportunity came to show a little green BLM Mustang gelding, I jumped on it.  He is a very cool horse to try this on.

Meet Antonio
Meet Antonio

He was nervous, and very forward.

Antonios first show

But he is SO fun, and a very smart guy.

chair seat in the cutting saddle

Want to reconnect with your inner chair seat – then a Cutting Saddle is for you.

Unlike some Western horses I’ve seen, Antonio really likes to move out.  Posting the trot the whole time, to help him stay very forward.  Not an easy time in this saddle.

Western Introductory Test
With these gaits there’s definitely no slow jogging around.

Getting into the ring, down to X, halting, and trotting off was a huge challenge for him.  We were extremely lucky it was a schooling show and didn’t get blown out by the whistle after all the stuff he pulled in the beginning.

Final score was 60 and change.  Felt generous given he looked like this, second time going down centerline:

Antonio going El Scorcho down the center line
Antonio going El Scorcho down the center line

In all, a super fun experience to try some Western!  I’ve ridden him only 4 times before this, and he’ll only get better with more exposure.  He’s completely out of shape, but tries so very hard and has so much forward it’s a joy to ride him.

Here we are, with his owner Cass – she’s a riot!  Thank you for letting me ride him Cass!

There you go, the hat is on.
There you go, the hat is on.

Go BLM Mustangs!

12 thoughts on “Western Dressage Debut

    1. There is a rather large movement of it here. I know for sure it’s not just a California thing, it’s spreading across the states, and at large, I think it’s a great way encourage Western horses to move in a different, more complimentary and beneficial, way.
      For me, trying anything new is always a great experience! But I’m going to stick with more traditional dressage with my own mare 🙂


    1. I’ll have to check him out! Thank you! I’ve seen some really sweet Mustangs working at upper levels of dressage, but never at the top, and they’re very rare in dressage.
      While there are tons of Mustangs around here, they’re not really the first choice for most riders looking into dressage. Some of them can really move though!

      I also especially like a young Mustang mare trained by a young trainer who’s taken her into eventing, stadium jumping, dressage, and even a bit of trick training.

      They’re both doing exeptionally well and are such an inspiration.
      If I get to ride this little particular gelding some more, I’d LOVE to feel him out in a dressage saddle 🙂

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  1. Some day I am going to design a western saddle that doesn’t give you permanent chair seat, just for this. Some day when I’m rich and famous, obviously.


  2. A few years ago, my daughters did a western hunter competition at the club level. Attire, all western. Saddle and tack, western (plus no tie down). The jump-off would be a flat out, full-speed barrel race. Tara walked away with the blue ribbon (she has the barrel racing background). Deborah and Elizabeth tied for fifth. The fun part of the competition was the riders scored the judges on how well they scored. It was one of the few times when you’ll see a hunter judge laughing.


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