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I was on Amazon buying a book on training a young horse when the cover of another book popped up in the suggestions. The horse was on the bit at a collected canter but the rider was in a Western saddle and Stetson with reins in one hand.

Cowboy Dressage the cover proclaimed. What?

How David Tenant reacts to the Titanic crashing through the TARDIS. What?

I stopped and had a full body reaction, feeling an armor solidify in my core. What?

It’s a melding of Western riding and dressage, the bacon and chocolate of the equestrian world. Side step to half pass I’ll give you– we’ll argue about the neck later. The test reads “lob to piaffe”? I don’t think so.

Jumping is gymnastics. Dressage is ballet. Western is what? the line dancing? That’s unfair. I’m not familiar enough with Western styles to compare them to a style of dance. When my friends barrel raced I just prayed the horses’ tendons and ligaments held.

So I’ll focus on what we have in common. We both like bling. We keep Cartier and Swarovski in the magazines. We love boots. O my goodness boots. We both love and respect our horses, the athletes, our partners in crime, and our saving graces.

Who knows? In my current identity crisis of going country, this Arnold Palmer of sports might be just what I need.

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