I don’t want to start any controversies (of course, I’m probably going to) but it’s been interesting to watch how the two disciplines have evolved.
Having watched a few sample tests lately of each type, it seems like Western Dressage is going for “dressage with a western style horse” - meaning they are requiring contact on the curb, a more forward trot, etc. and Cowboy Dressage is going for “patterns with a cowboy oriented horse”.
I’m seeing a lot more of the Californio/Buckaroo style guys (just watched a pattern with Jeff Sanders) doing the CD. CD tests seem to be oriented to be handier, and WD tests seem to be more “classical dressage under western tack”.
Am I missing something big? I know the whole Eitan “thing” but I find myself disliking the idea of riding two handed with contact in a curb, and losing the jog bothers me. Yes, a western horse should be able to trot out, but a jog is still not a gait that requires posting.
My horse is in a bosal at the moment, but our eventual goal is to be able to be straight up in the bridle, whether that is a spade or a “Spanish style” curb. Just still trying to find our fit in life. He’s not ever going to be as quick as the WE superstars but we work at that as well.