North American Western Dressage
The benefits of groundwork are becoming more and more apparent as horse owners—professionals and amateurs alike—discover that developing this partnership on the ground helps their horse become safer and more attentive. Many of us have developed a “quick-check” routine that we run through before we mount which allows us to quickly evaluate our horse’s temperament that day.
Some of us enjoy natural horsemanship techniques and “playing” with our horses on-line or at liberty, and a few of us participate in formal showmanship classes. But many of us don’t have any goals beyond that, so we easily become bored.
North American Western Dressage has taken groundwork to a new level. They have developed a progressive system of “tests” that include tasks that many of us are already doing – leading, halting, backing, walking in a circle, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, and more. Each test is judged according to the willingness, harmony, and balance that your horse shows. As a “handler,” you can also earn points how well you apply your aids.
You will not need any special equipment, a simple halter and lead rope at least 10-feet long will work fine. All breeds of equines are welcome, including miniatures and donkeys, as are all ages of horse and human! We’ve had participants from foals to pasture retirees and handlers ranging from children to senior citizens.
Perhaps the best part of NAWD’s Six Feet on the Ground program is the opportunity to show from home. With NAWD’s virtual shows you can video a test, upload it to you-tube, and receive a detailed scoresheet with the chance to win ribbons and year end awards.
NAWD offers virtual shows each month from March–October, learn more and sign up at www.nawdhorse.org.
About North American Western Dressage
North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating horse enthusiasts about the universal benefits of Western dressage and providing fun, affordable ways to participate in this popular new sport. NAWD offers a variety of programs as well as virtual coaching and showing opportunities, achievement awards and more. Learn more about NAWD at nawdhorse.org and at facebook.com/WesternDressageNAWD.