“When dressage suits your needs but a Stetson suits your lifestyle.” ~ Eitan Beth-Halachmy
Cowboy Dressage is a fast-growing discipline that combines the elegance of classical dressage and the age-old fashion of Western riding and lifestyle. The philosophy behind the discipline is to acknowledge “try” of both horse and rider, encouraging the use of soft feel and understanding. Cowboy Dressage promotes a new way to be with your horse, with kindness as your guide.
As founder Eitan Beth-Halachmy’s motto indicates, Cowboy Dressage is for “When dressage suits your needs but a Stetson suits your lifestyle.”
Cowboy Dressage and Western Dressage are often confused, but Cowboy Dressage emphasizes a unique style that caters to the specific way of going of a Western horse, whereas Western Dressage focuses on a horse who can multitask, accommodating the bigger gaits and specific movements of traditional dressage to Western tack.
Cowboy Dressage furthers a fun atmosphere of belonging to a group of like-minded horsemen, and of taking you and your horse to greater accomplishments. Cowboy Dressage World offers a free way to become part of the Cowboy Dressage family—a simple (virtual) handshake. The organization invites people to harken back to when a person’s word meant something. The Cowboy Dressage Handshake is their Code of the West. By agreeing to the Handshake principles of try, kindness, trust and being the very best you can be, each member becomes part of the Cowboy Dressage World. (Pledge for free at www.CowboyDressageWorld.com)
This year, Cowboy Dressage World has moved its Summer Show to the cool location of Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville, California. This new location is also a vacation destination for the whole family. Exhibitors can escape the hot summer temps and enjoy cooler coastal weather. The fairgrounds host 30 equine shows a year so they know what they’re doing, and the bonus is that camping is available. Premiums and entries for the show can soon be found at www.CowboyDressageWorld.com (keep checking). The show will take place on Saturday, June 20th and Sunday, June 21st.
Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds is a pivotal location for a variety of wonderful places to visit like sunny beaches, world-acclaimed Monterey Bay Museum, the quaint hamlet of Carmel (bring your credit cards!), Santa Cruz’s boardwalk with rides and salt water taffy, Monterey’s Cannery Row (the subject of John Steinbeck’s book) and many other places the family will enjoy. So pack up the horse, the spouse and all the kids.
For those who want to watch and learn about Cowboy Dressage, auditors are welcome to come to a free mini clinic on Friday, June 19th in the afternoon. Your questions are welcome!