Horses

Training and Showing In-Hand: NAWD’s Six Feet on the Ground Program

North American Western Dressage Six Feet on the Ground 2016 Credits: Jen Johnson

Thanks to the Internet, a new type of horse competition is growing in popularity: virtual horse shows. During these competitions, hosted by North American Western Dressage, patterns are posted online to be performed in front of a video camera stationed at “C” — the point in the arena where a traditional dressage judge sits during riders’ performances. Videos are then uploaded to YouTube and evaluated by certified judges. A few days later, placings are announced and awards are distributed.

While there are a number of riding classes in each show, some of the most popular are unmounted pattern classes called “Six Feet on the Ground.”

“In Six Feet on the Ground, we emphasize the principles in the training scale, which are applicable to every discipline and provide a working model for success even before we get in the saddle,” NAWD President and Founder Jen Johnson said. “Working with your horse on the ground is the first step in developing a partnership and we should consistently take the opportunity to evaluate this most basic foundation-building activity.”

Sign Up for E-News

Six Feet on the Ground is not showmanship or halter class. There are 10 patterns to choose from that progress and incorporate classical training principles that both horse and handler are evaluated on. Additionally, NAWD hosts in-hand trail and in-hand freestyle classes at some shows and has recently added long-reining, too.

The “Six Feet on the Ground” program from NAWD is an ideal way to keep you and your horse fit any season of the year. It does not require a dressage court or formal arena, and horses are shown in a simple halter and lead rope or cavesson. Tests 9 and 10 allow for a snaffle bit to be incorporated as the horse and handler prepare to transition to long-reining or saddle work. Chains are not allowed, and the competitor wears a neat western or English outfit, plus any protective clothing to keep horse or handler comfortable. 

“There are many different ways that people train their horses on the ground, and this program allows them freedom and flexibility to work with their horse in the way that is most effective for them,” Jen said. “One of the coolest things is that Six Feet on the Ground is very versatile. From younger horses to those who compete under saddle, to those who are retired from riding, Six Feet on the Ground is a great option.”

Equestrians report that the Six Feet on the Ground program has helped them build a solid foundation and partnership with their horses.

Learn more at northamericanwesterndressage.org/tests/six-feet-on-the-ground-program/.

Submitted by Lindsey Buhrmann

Lindsey Buhrmann is the year-end 2016 Adult Amateur Champion for the North American Western Dressage groundwork program, Six Feet on the Ground. Although a brain injury prevents her from riding, she spends her days working with her horse in-hand.

About North American Western Dressage

North American Western Dressage (NAWD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating horse enthusiasts about the universal benefits of Western dressage and providing fun, affordable ways to participate in this popular new sport. NAWD offers a variety of programs, as well as virtual coaching and showing opportunities, achievement awards and more. Learn more about NAWD at nawdhorse.org and at facebook.com/WesternDressageNAWD.

See more competitive equestrian news

https://www.tapinto.net/sections/horses/competitive-equestrian

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Chlorine Drum Rupture Shuts Down Nomahegan Swim Club in Westfield

July 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — A ruptured chlorine drum has forced closure of Nomahegan Swim Club on Springfield Avenue Friday afternoon.

According to a Westfield police officer on the scene, a 1,000-gallon drum of chlorine ruptured.

In addition to the swim club being closed, some area streets around the swim club near the border of Mountainside and Springfield were cordoned off. According ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 11, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Hispanic Theatre Festival at CDC Theatre in Cranford

July 13, 2018

Hispanic Theatre Festival Bringing Bar Manolo to CDC Theatre in Cranford Spanish-language theatre is alive and well in New Jersey. For the second straight year, the CDC Theatre in Cranford NJ will feature its Hispanic Theatre Festival, its Festival de Teatro Hispanico, for four performances July 26-28.

Despite a large and vibrant Hispanic population of 1.2 million in the state, the creators of ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Open Letter to Cranford Planning Board

July 6, 2018

Open Letter to Cranford Planning Board:

As you know, Hartz is scheduled to go before the Planning Board on July 18th.  Since last year, Hartz has postponed their meeting numerous times with no pushback that we can see whatsoever from the Planning Board.  

We are asking the Planning Board to direct the planning board attorney to send Hartz’s counsel a letter requiring that ...