Cowboy Dressage has long been a labor of love for Eitan and I. It started with Eitan’s work and performances with home bred Holiday Compadre in the early 1990’s. It is because of this great horse, his talent and his heart that Cowboy Dressage first came to public recognition and applause. Due to demand Eitan and Compadre soon became educators as well as performers. From Eitan’s years of contact with the general horse public the idea of Cowboy Dressage as a competition came to being. At first only a dream it is now a reality. In Eitan’s efforts to continue on with his own personal dream and to continue on the legacy that he and Holiday Compadre founded he has brought forth his personal dressage home for the western horse. It is Eitan’s vision that this be a western discipline that is enhanced by dressage, not ruled by it. The tests are very western. Like the early west the rules are simple and the freedom abundant. It is based on release, not contact. Soft Feel, founded by great horseman of the past is Cowboy Dressage’s core. It is the goal of Cowboy Dressage to promote and teach that in a competition atmosphere, bringing it to light to a public that is in great need of it.
The competition part is new and will need time to grow and develop. It is created for those of you who longed for a place to hang your hat and live and ride the western traditions. It is our hope that each of you will embrace this new division.
It is offers a place for the “partnership” to be rewarded more than the “maneuver” and the wellbeing of the horse and rider are held in the highest regard. If your ride the trials, the range, the rodeo or the dressage court you have a place to explore and grow with Cowboy Dressage.
The new court may be the most defining part of Eitan’s vision. It is user friendly and takes a lot of the “guessing” out of the rides. Eitan says the new court simply makes sense. It is not traditional but it is a concept whose time has arrived. With new tests and ideas being brought forth the time is right for change.
Everything that has been put into “Cowboy Dressage” the Competition is for the public to enjoy. It is not an association, a club or organization. There is no membership or fees. It is our gift to horse lovers all over the world. Cowboy Dressage Classes can be added or included to any non USEF show. Visit www.cowboydressage.com for more information.
Cowboy Dressage The Competition Mission and Vision Statement The Court of the West
Soft Feel (or Fresh Rein) is the guiding principle of Cowboy Dressage. It is a wordless, intimate communication within the partnership between horse and rider. Soft feel is not only sending messages but having the sensitivity and awareness to feel the message the horse sends back.
The timing and use of the Release, Relaxation, Preparation and Execution are the basic fundamentals of Soft Feel.
Since Soft Feel is the mission of Cowboy Dressage it will be scored with emphases on lightness, harmony, finesse and partnership as a priority. Balance, cadence, carriage, control, and performance are additional areas the horse and rider will be judged and scored. To find out more about the tests, judging, rules etc. visit www.cowboydressage.com/competition.html
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