Saddle Seat Versus Dressage, In A Nutshell

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Recently, I was asked how I would explain the difference between saddle seat and dressage to a dressage rider. Never ask me these things in person. I talk way too much. I finally came home, sat down, and consolidated my thoughts.

Both disciplines want the horse elevated through the shoulder & pushing from behind. Saddle seat horses go with more autonomy and are always collected, instead of extending & collecting.
My dressage related comments & ponderments over the years.


When a horse objects, I had been taught to turn the head to the inside & push past the Scary Thing with my inside leg. Unfortunately, Saddlebreds go off the outside rein and leg.
Show Report: Winter Tournament 2, Hartselle AL

Obedience Epiphany
Back To The Bigtime

… keep a steady hand and give sharp, jabby picks with the reins. This feels wrong at a cellular level. On the other hand, I have never truly grasped the idea of contact in any discipline. It could be this is the take-and-give that dressage instructors have been yapping on about.
Show Report & Tweets: Georgia Fall Classic 2014

Overall, the guest instructor’s method had more dressage stirred into the mix: bending, leg yield, changes of direction.
Clinic Report: Saddle Seat with Christy Parker


Saddle Seat Vs. Dressage: Patterns
Dueling Disciplines What I say about H/J would be true of Dressage.
The Ups and Downs Transitions

Riding Loose
Show Report: ASAC 2016 Two years later, I’m still confused about the concept of contact.


Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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