Born in the American West this quickly growing discipline has been changing lives and catching the eye of the horse industry for the past few years.
Cowboy Dressage™ is the brainchild and lives’ work of Eitan Beth-Halachmy and his wife Debbie of Grass Valley, California. Together they have set the world on fire; building a competition that reflects the values we all seek; Where the good guys wear white hats and ride off into the sunset on a good and trusty horse.
Cowboy Dressage™ the Competition
Cowboy Dressage™ is the Competition that was built to celebrate the horse and rider relationship.
Times are changing, these are the years that true horsemanship skills will reveal the best in people.
“The revolution in horsemanship that occurred at the end of the twentieth century had, at its heart, a simple theme: that horses can be controlled more effectively without the use of force.” The Revolution in Horsemanship and what it means to mankind (2005) by Dr. Robert Miller a leading expert on the humane training of horses.
Cowboy Dressage™ is a competition where partnership and harmony take center stage and are rewarded in the reflection of the soft feel belief. A unique competition and revolutionary in the way it encourages the rider to let their horse settle and allows time for a friendly rub on the withers, signifying a job well done or reassure a nervous horse. While judges are trained to recognize the slightest ‘try’ in the horse and respond with helpful (encouraging) comments on the score sheet.
Cowboy Dressage™ the Competition allows the relationship to take center-stage as you navigate the test of maneuvers, allowing your training to shine with the governing philosophy of soft feel infused in your ride.
Soft feel (or Fresh Rein) a name born from Cowboy Dressage™ a mission with no end, a concept around since man began to seek the horse out as his trusty partner in the fields, across the plains and even in battle. A goal, a dream and aspiration to be one with our equine partners. It is deep and vast, a wordless dance, a lasting connection that occurs between horse and rider, who communicate in a language of lightness. Infusing harmony throughout their ride with finesse and partnership first and foremost. Soft feel is a feeling that leaves you in awe of your horse; and inspires you to saddle up and carry-on searching for ‘more’.
Soft Feel is a perfect fit for Resistance Free™Riding and Training methods. The journey is rewarding and encourages you to grow as a horseman and a good citizen of our world. Although born from a separate cloth Resistance Free™ Riding and Training is the lives’ work of Richard and Leeann Shrake of Sunriver, Oregon. Angie along with her California based teaching partner Nancy Williams both Accrediated Resistance Free™ Personal Riding Coaches & Trainers marry Soft Feel and Resistance Free™ together to use a proven system to develop quality horseman & fine horses and a revolutionary competition that allows the horse & rider relationship to shine. It’s a perfect match, creating horses who are happy and look forward to their jobs and riders who are confidence and secure in their horses.
“One plus one equals one. One horse and one rider, both resistance free, equal one working unit, a relationship unique to horse and human. No other domestic animal has served man in so complete a manner, as servant, companion, and tool. In return we owe it to the horse to achieve as complete a relationship as we can, one in which complete communication becomes possible, and thus, complete trust.”
– Resistance Free Riding (1993) Richard Shrake
I’ve ridden with, shown under, watched and been mentored by some of the greatest trainers but nothing compares to the easy systematic approach to training horses and developing riders like the Resistance Free™ way. Although my background in horses varies from the show ring riding all around horses to cutting horse and dressage and jumping in US Pony Club at the core Resistance Free™
The principles are deeply rooted in working with the horses body with an understanding of the how’s and why’s of training. Developing rider awareness to set your horse up for success both physically and mentally allowing you to streamline your learning curve and builds a lasting partnership of trust.
When Soft feel and Resistance Free™ training principles unite their is no end sight on your journey through horsemanship.
Wondering where to start? Start anywhere. Start where you are, we will help you find your way.
Lessons at Yellow Pony Arena & Hay Company outside of Leonard, Texas with Angie are scheduled for July 2nd & 16th,
How Can I get Involved?
You’ll find some friendly faces where ever you find Cowboy Dressage™
On the web:
1. Join the no-cost, Handshake Membership at CowboyDressageWorld.com and while you are there check out the test rules and judging guidelines to see the difference Cowboy Dressage™ has to offer.
Locally in Northeast Texas:
1. Join Northeast Texas Dressage Club – A grassroots club who celebrates all forms of dressage in a friendly & low-key environment. Perfect for those first timers, anyone returning to their passion or even schooling horses. For more information please visit NETXDressageClub.com.