By: Eddie Stephens | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2006
This year’s show will benefit the “Bit by Bit Therapeutic Riding Program”
In this part of the country anything having to do with horses most often brings to mind a western theme. Truthfully there are other elements of horsemanship highlighting the grace and discipline characteristic of the animal breed.
The Green Country Dressage Horse Show is an event showcasing another aspect of horse and rider. The Dressage event is an English discipline perhaps most recognizable among equestrian events.
Paula Walker has been on the Green Country non-profit committee for five years. She’s not only a member but also a show participant having been a competitor in this discipline for several years.
She’s aware that Dressage events are not common or frequently attended in this part of the country. Noting the western influence most often associated with the horse industry she encourages others to expand their perspective.
“People see an event like this and often fall in love with what they see. Many decide to look into it further and even decide it’s something they would like to do,” Walker says.
Those familiar with the Olympic sport of equestrian will begin to identify with what you can expect from an event like the Green County Dressage show. Unlike western themed events like barrel racing or roping, the dressage sport is more focused on the disciplined movements of the horse and its rider.
According to Walker, dressage represents a schooling of the horse. “The goal is to make the horse bi-laterally symmetrical as it moves from right to left; this is difficult to do,” she notes.
Walker explains that events of this nature are considered to be somewhat “new-century”. Beyond this appeal for horse and rider the sport encourages a healthy base of discipline physically, mentally and temperamentally.
The sport hastens back historically to cavalry days when the military would prepare soldier and horse for battle. The control of horse and hand further highlights the discipline of its military roots.
In competitions such as the Dressage Horse Show from the riders attire to the horses movement and disciplined relationship with the rider it’s easy to identify the connection to history. This historic quality appeals to those who appreciate horses.
Competitively speaking the event features a variety of horse breeds such as German Warm Bloods, Quarters, Arabians and Morgans. Riders are outfitted for the competition in somewhat formal appearing attire.
Each horse and rider is judged on the quality of various maneuvers throughout a designated course in the event arena. More than a competition against fellow riders it’s more of a test before each individual judge, Walker points out.
Different levels of competition will be featured throughout the two-day event. There will be riders ranging from the Intro level upwards through those who are part of the FEI (The Federation of Equestrian International); considered to be among the top echelons of the sport.
Horses participating in these events begin when they’re four years old. Some in the FEI level of competition are 15 -17 years of age.
“The Green Country chapter sponsoring this event decided to do a show for the benefit of its members and interested spectators. A competition this close to home enables us to enjoy the sport without having to travel longer distances,” Walker says.
Awards will be provided for high scores. Three divisions will be featured at the competition – Amateur, Open and Junior.
This year’s show will benefit the “Bit by Bit Therapeutic Riding Program”. The local program is part of the Rogers State University Equestrian Program.
Paula Walker along with the Show committee invites you to the Green Country Dressage Horse Show, September 30th through October 1st at the Claremore Expo. The competition is daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there’s no charge for spectators.
Walker encourages your attendance saying, “Come watch; you’ll fall in love with it.” Those who have an appreciation for the grace and discipline of horse and rider will not be disappointed attending the Green Country Dressage Horse Show.