Since the early 1990s, Lynn Palm has been a major proponent for showing the American Quarter Horse in the dressage discipline. After nearly 20 years, on January 1, 2010, the AQHA agreed to recognize dressage as a event in which points could be earned. That same year, nationally known trainers Eitan Beth-Halachmy and Jack Brainard spurred formation of the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA), an organization that now has seven recognized state associations and is growing at astounding speed.
Dressage is simply the french word for “training.” By building a dressage foundation, a horse can gain suppleness, flexibility, and balance, all while strengthening the rider-and-horse partnership. Through the standardized progressive training methods of dressage, a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform is maximized. Horses trained correctly are able to perform various maneuvers while remaining relaxed and giving the illusion of effortlessness.
AnnMarie Brockhouse, who serves as WDAA executive assistant and is a co-founder of the Western Dressage Association of Minnesota, explains that the nonprofit WDAA developed from knowledge of the importance of dressage “regardless of the tack it was being utilized in.” And TSB author Lynn Palm, winner of four Superhorse titles, is one of the leading proponents for good training, regardless of your tack or your outfit. Her fun, easy-to-use book THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION provides 26 dressage exercises, separated into basic, intermediate, and advanced sections. With terrific full-color photos and clear diagrams, its a terrific book for anyone looking to get a start in the new and exciting sport of Western dressage.
“Lynn understands that good training is just good training. She uses basic dressage principles as the foundation for all her work,” says US Olympic Dressage Team Alternate Jane Savoie. “Lynn’s book THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION explains the what, why, and ‘how-to’ of teaching your horse to collect. It discusses a number of factors that affect a horse’s ability to shift his weight back and lighten the forehand. And probably most importantly, Lynn explains the ingredients that go into laying the correct foundation to achieve true collection so you don’t resort to shortcuts that only create an artificial headset.”