The Latest From Cowboy Dressage

News and Education
March 2015
News from Eitan and Debbie

We hope that 2014 was as good to you as it was to us here at Cowboy Dressage®. 2014 was a whirlwind of growth and progress. All our Cowboy Dressage® World Gathering and Show entries were over the top. Our finals show last November had 808 rides. Keep in mind that this is a standalone show and draws entries on its own. This was quite an accomplishment and one we are all very proud of.

2015 looks to be busier for Eitan and I. On the go more with clinics and expos. Cowboy Dressage® will be traveling to Germany this September for “Americana”. The largest “All Things Western” expo/event in Europe. 2016 will take us to Australia and Brazil.


AMERICANA 2015 also known as Americana Germany, will be held in Augsburg, Germany on 2nd - 6th Sep 2015 in Messe Augsburg.

Americana Germany is going to be an exotic destination where the horse lovers and world class riders are going to have a great time in this vibrant event. This will be one of the much awaited ventures in Germany. The expo will be one of a kind and will loom large the different array of likable stuff pertaining to this exclusive venue.

Americana Germany is the perfect destination for world class riders. The organizers will be one of the best event managers who will be enhancing this wonderful adventure centered expo with all vibrant colors and exuberance.
Stay tuned.

As always Eitan is all over the US doing clinics. You can find out where and when at

Two New Books for 2015

Cowboy Dressage® is on!

Cowboy Dressage: The Why's and How's of Riding, Training, and Competing Based on Rewarding Kindness
Hardcover – September 15, 2015

By Jessica Black (Author), Robert M Miller (Foreword)
Available for Pre-order at

Hardcover – September 15, 2015


The equestrian pursuit known as Cowboy Dressage was borne of a desire to meld the best of Western riding traditions and classical dressage in the pursuit of a harmonious relationship with a horse. Intended to be accessible to all, Cowboy Dressage is open to all breeds and all levels of riders; there isn’t a set frame for overall look, head carriage, or action. The singular goal is to consider the horse’s potential at all times as one strives to achieve a subtle and relaxed flow of information between horse and rider.

In this superbly written book, lifelong horsewoman Jessica Black traces the evolution of Cowboy Dressage back to its roots, sharing the story of Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy and their phenomenal Morgan horses that have served as the movement’s ambassadors. She then provides an engaging and articulate explanation of the philosophy of Cowboy Dressage; expectations of the rider; what a participant needs in terms of equipment; and how the most important element—the horse—should be prepared. A wonderful and thorough section on groundwork, as well as specific training advice for achieving engagement, regulating the gaits, smoothing transitions, and balancing bend and straightness, get the reader started with a solid foundation. Then, specific descriptions of the Cowboy Dressage tests and “court”—the training area designated for practicing the tests—are provided, with additional tools for those interested in competition, including rules, divisions, and how to execute and judge tests.

Striding the line between utterly engaging story and well-organized how-to manual, Cowboy Dressage gives readers everything they need to find a “soft feel” with their horses and then share what they’ve developed with a community of like-minded horse people. As the founders of the movement say in the book, Cowboy Dressage is more about a way of life than a rulebook. And with that as its premise, one can see how it can show the way to true partnership with a horse.

Cowboy Dressage® Handbook
Tests, Diagrams and Call Sheets all at Your Fingertips
Available Mid-March, 2015

Ordering Information to follow at:
Published by MerrieNan Melodies Publishing

This complete Cowboy Dressage® Handbook will be a must for the Cowboy Dressage® enthusiasts.  All pages are laminated and diagrams are two to a page so that they can be easily seen. This book will allow for inserts to be added along with the growth of Cowboy Dressage®

Two New Cowboy Dressage® DVD’s Now Available

A must have for the Cowboy Dressage® Enthusiast!

Order at

Eitan, Debbie, Garn Walker, and Lyn Ringrose Moe

Cowboy Dressage® World continues to “rock on.” In 2015 you will see a program, criteria and applications for Cowboy Dressage® World approved shows. Please contact for information and details.

Cowboy Dressage® World and Cowboy Dressage® will have a new licensing agreement for all organizations, groups and individuals wishing to use the name Cowboy Dressage®. This should be ready in early 2015. If you have an established Cowboy Dressage® organization/group or if you wish to start one please contact us at

Both the above are much needed as our growth has been staggering. This infrastructure is needed to continue to serve our Cowboy Dressage® community.

All Cowboy Dressage® World Gathering & Show premiums and entries will be located at These shows are the ones that we have at Murieta Equestrian Center near Sacramento, CA.
Gathering & Show Dates: March 7/8, June 19-21, July 31-“Aug 2, Sept 3 and our Finals Nov 5-8.

A Cowboy Dressage® World Retreat is scheduled for September and will be at the Sliding J Ranch in Acampo, CA. By popular request the COWS will be returning for the total Lifestyle experience. Details to follow.

In 2014 we introduced the Walk/Jog/Lope #5 and #6. New tests for 2015 will debut this year as well.  We have added a Walk/Jog/Lope Challenge #2. This is a good one and a step up from the popular Walk/Jog/Lope Challenge #1. We are also adding a “Liberty” test that promises to be very popular. The On the Ground and Under Saddle Youth and amateur tests will now have an Open division too! These are now referred to as Partnership Tests.

Expect to see the new 2015 tests to be up and ready for our June Show.

For those of you who are still confused about the difference between Cowboy Dressage® and Cowboy Dressage® World………… Cowboy Dressage is owned and trademarked by Eitan and Debbie. It is a separate business from Cowboy Dressage® World.  Cowboy Dressage® World is a partnership that manages the infrastructure of Cowboy Dressage®. They are the ones who as a group write the rules, tests and general criteria. They manage the judging school and horse shows. Their job is huge and daunting. This is tight knit group who are dedicated to each otherand all who support Cowboy Dressage®. Cowboy Dressage® World makes Cowboy Dressage® happen!

You all know Lyn, and Garn our partners in Cowboy Dressage® World.  It takes far more than the four of us to run and manage our events. We would like to mention our hard working staff; Ron Smith, Kelly Rose, Wyatt & Nadine Paxton,  Jacqui Dieter, Kelsey Morris, Teri Personeni, Cody Pendent and Krista Koenig. “It takes a village” and without these good folks we could not do what we do as well as we do it.

After a lot of work and a huge contribution Cowboy Dressage® World founding partner Sarah Dickinson is leaving. The demands of her "real job" need more of her time and talents. I am sure you will still see Sarah at shows and events so she is still part of our lives.

Take the Cowboy Dressage® World Hand Shake & Become a Member Today. It Is Free!!

Click Here to Sign Up with Cowboy Dressage World!
Be sure to reply to your email to complete the membership.

PLEASE NOTE** If you added a CowboyDressageWorld clinic or show before February 1st, and you no longer see your event listed, please re-submit your event by going to our website and clicking on the "Submit an Event" link located under the Events dropdown menu. It will then be reviewed and approved by our Event Manager.

Light Hands Horsemanship

Light Hands Horsemanship is taking 2015 off. Please check back later in the year for any news on dates and location for 2016.

Cowboy Dressage® is coming to Mule Days.  May 21, 22 and 23 in Bishop, CA

Clinics with Eitan and Lyn Ringrose Moe May 21-23 from 5 pm – 6 pm in arena two. Come see what all the excitement is about. Cowboy Dressage® loves the “long ears” and welcomes them at all their shows.



Cowboy Dressage® will be at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo March 13-15 in Brighton, CO.

Eitan has lots in store for all of Colorado horse enthusiasts. Missy Hood and Sheryl Stratham of Kansas will be assisting Eitan in his presentations. Come visit them during his seminars, clinics and at his booth.
See schedule at:

Gotta Love Texas

If you too wish to see more Cowboy Dressage in Texas, please contact Bonnie Glasgow at Bonnie is looking for help in organizing and administration. She is also looking for leaders within the horse industry to aid her in the promotion of Cowboy Dressage through shows, play days and clinics.

COWBOY DRESSAGE OF TEXAS Cowboy Dressage Clinic February 7-8, 2015 in Whitesboro, TX with Eitan Beth-Halachmy. Portions of this clinic will also be filmed for a future show called Long Live The Mustang.

For more details contact Bonnie Glasgow at 214 707-1873 or

Garn Walker is now in TX in the San Antonio area. He too is an excellent source for Cowboy Dressage.

Custom Cowboy Dressage® Saddles and Tack

The Compadre The Cheyenne The Compadre Dark The Santa Fe
Belt Buckle Alpaca Mecate Chinks & Chaps Loping Hackamore

Find these Items at our Clinics & Expos. Myler Bits, Posters, T-shirts, Caps, Jewelry, Mugs, Mouse Pads, CD Vinyl Letters & More


Cowboy Dressage® on Facebook
If you wish to keep up on the latest Cowboy Dressage visit our Facebook page daily. Eitan works hard to keep it updated. He has many educational posts and most clinics across the country and abroad are listed there. Eitan posts are entertaining as well…he loves Photoshop and the creativity it allows him. Trust me, his knowledge, creativity and humor thrives on Facebook.

If you wish to know more about Cowboy Dressage® in your state visit the Cowboy Dressage® Facebook page for a list of additional state Facebook pages with information and contacts.


Bend your horse into 20M bend and follow the "Rainbow".
Your outside leg always over the travel line (pink) of the circle or the rail.
Take the mystery out of the classic dressage court and see how the Cowboy Dressage court layout allows you to focus on the "how" of riding instead of the of the "where" of riding.

Turn on the Hanches and Turn on the Forehand


Cowboy Dressage Tests are design to elevate the horse and rider in increments with the ultimate achievement of "SOFT FEEL", self-carriage and collection as the long term goal.

“I think for a lot of folks, collection means head set. Collection goes from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose. The rider, too. There's so much to this, no wonder you see it so rarely. So glad cowboy dressage is educating and encouraging a better way to ride. Something old is new again." ~ Deborah Johnson - Cowboy Dressage of Kansas

If you like the above diagrams and educational content vist our facebook page for much more.

Some Thoughts on the Two Handed Bit

One of the very appealing things about Cowboy Dressage for many riders is the ability to ride with two hands on the reins.  While many English riders may wonder what the big deal is, for Western riders, this is a revolutionary concept.

Traditionally in most Western disciplines, only the very green horses that are being ridden in either the snaffle or the hackamore may be ridden with two hands.  The reasons for this are many including the need for the Western rider to be one handed and able to rope or open gates or swat belligerent cattle.  For the most part, the bits that were used in the majority of western disciplines once the horse was out of the snaffle were solid mouth pieces in various configurations and the horse was expected to neck rein, moving off of light pressure on the neck with minimal pressure on the bit.

With a solid mouth piece, no matter the configuration, isolation of cues to the individual sides of the horse's mouth are minimal at best.  Add any length of shank to that solid mouth piece and isolation of cues to a single side become even less.  Solid bars with long shanks are bits designed to be used with one hand on the reins and are most effective used in that fashion.

In order to effectively ride with two hands and give independent signals to the horse's lips, bars or tongue for independent control of the head, neck and shoulders, a broken mouth piece is required.  In the past, the most common option for riding in a shanked bit with a broken independent mouth piece was the Tom Thumb snafffle.  This is basically a regular snaffle bit with long shanks allowing for some action as a leverage bit as well.  The problem with this bit is that it really works best if the hands are used completely independently.  Any dual pressure on the reins caused a nut cracker effect on the bars and lower jaw of the mouth often resulting in a resentful and uncomfortable horse that would soon brace or root against the bit.

Today we have many more effective bits to choose from.  There are several different styles of bits with western shanks and broken mouth pieces that have barrel attachments changing the nature of the bending of the center piece of the bit.  These bits are very movable and allow for isolated cues to the lips, tongue, bar, and because they are shanked leverage bits to the chin and poll as well.

With one of these bits a horseman is better able to give subtle, yet easily determined signal to the horse effecting change in the head, neck, jaw, shoulders and front legs of the horse.

Here is one example of such a bit.  This is a low port 3 piece barrel bit with cavalry cheek pieces made by Myler Bits.

Because this bit is hinged and moves in three independent places, lifting on just one rein can send a signal to the lips and bars of just one side of the horse's mouth as seen in the picture below. 

When applying pressure to both reins simultaneously the bit will function similar to a standard leverage bit without collapsing like a Tom Thumb shanked snaffle.  The three pieces and barrel in the middle of the bit prevent it from collapsing on the horse.  This bit functions quite well with both two hands and one making it an effective transition bit for a horse and allowing the rider to give precise cues for advanced maneuvers. 

Cowboy Dressage calls for both lightness and precision in communication with your horse. Using tack that aids in that communication while remaining true to the Western traditions is important.  In order to attain higher levels of horsemanship it is necessary to move to higher functioning equipment.

While all of the maneuvers in Cowboy Dressage can and should be taught to a horse in the snaffle bit or other simple two handed piece of tack, as the horse progresses and improves in his understanding he can move into a bit that allows for more subtle cues.  
Deciding which of these bits is best for your horse takes a certain amount of trial and error.  Because these bits have much more independent moving pieces than a regular snaffle they can offer a lot of cues to a horse.  A horse unprepared for that much movement in his bit may interpret those cues as noise.   Always make transitions to new bits slowly allowing the horse some time to wear the bit without interference before offering soft cues.  If you are in the habit of always offering cues with the softest feel you will quickly feel the response in your horse before making too much movement in the bit and intimidating a horse that is new to the sensation. 

Intimate control of the body parts, including head, neck and shoulders, rib cage and back and hind quarters requires the use of all of the independent aids.  Two hands on the bit aid in isolation and signal for better control of those body parts. The difference between a broken mouth piece and solid mouth piece is immense when isolating those signals.  by Jenni Grimmett DVM

Click Here to read more about Cowboy Dressage training, philosophy, principals
and the latest news by Jenni Grimmett DVM.

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