Good Training is good training... no matter what discipline.
I agree whole heartedly on that.
And an athletic horse is an athletic horse. A well developed horse is a well developed one.
But lets take it down one more level. Bayfilly mentioned the stops.
BTW... I never ever stop (as in reiner stop and slide) my filly in the yard. I ask for a series of rapid transitions. The only time she stops and slides is when she does it on her own, reading a cow.
But in training the D stop (halt), you train forward movement into the stop. You prepare the horse w/ a series of half halts to transfer swinging forward motion to the hind, then you balance thru the back to shut that forward motion down into a forward halt of momentum. Balance thru the back, suppleness to the aids, listening to contact, staying framed, staying under you and collected.
As you develop that, I allow my horses to depend on me for any amount of help that they might need. Help from my hands and arms, help from my legs lifting the loin, help from my back muscles balancing the whole horse thru this. I allow them to lean on me to help them develop their own strength over time.
Training the western stop I go about it totally different.
First and foremost is softness in the bridle. I will let my horses miss a stop here and there just to keep that softness to the bridle. In the early stages, if they tuck their heads and are soft to my hands, they are allowed a screwup or two. Step two of the process is whoa means whoa, any time, any where and any place. Never ever does the horse get to miss the whoa. Obedience is first and foremost. No half halting, no preparation, no help from me whatsoever. Whoa is immediately.
In the process they sometimes forget to stay soft to the bridle, but that is also enforced immediately. Step three in the process is to always stay soft in the bridle, no matter what request is given.
As the horse learns he develops that into a soft reining stop and slide, where, yes, you have forward motion in a collected frame.
Two totally different approaches with comparable results.
If Western training was really good for dressage results, you would have similar approaches w/ similar results.
But they are not similar. Dressage is not the english idea of reining, neither is reining the western idea of dressage.
The underlying concept of either is completely different.
Frame over contact and rider balance
Frame without contact on the horse's balance.
You mix disciplines, you will find your horse will not excell in either.
In the taking of this vid, I noticed that I cannot even set Blackie up correctly for the dressage version of these western movements. Even tho he's doing really well as I ride him in my daily work.
The same way that I would find that I can't let OTB shine in a dressage test up to OTBs caliber of training.
Edited by GreyHorse, 02 June 2009 - 09:58 PM.