Cowboy Dressage World

A professional association dedicated to the education of Judges and Training in the discipline of Cowboy Dressage.

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Invitation to the Retreat & Super Clinic

Dave & Jody would like to extend an inviation to you to join the 2020 Retreat & Super Clinic. This will be an event not to miss!

17th-19th April, Ellis Ranch Porterville CA

Featuring: Eitan Beth-Halachmy, Lyn Ringrose-Moe & Dave Ellis.

For details please go to

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Eitan Beth-Halachmy & Lyn Ringrose-Moe would like to invite you to the
“Retreat & Super Clinic”
April 17th-19th 2020 at
David Ellis’s Ranch
in Porterville, California.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with the best clinicians in Cowboy Dressage.
Meet some amazing people and learn so much about the fundamentals of the sport.

For event details please go to

Cowboy Dressage World Retreat & Super Clinic.

Saddle up for what promises to be a much-anticipated event. Ride and learn from some of the best in the equine industry all in one beautiful location.

Featuring CDW Clinicians Eitan Beth-Halachmy, Lyn Ringrose-Moe and Dave David Ellis.

Expect quality education, a warm and welcoming atmosphere, a real ranch experience, entertainment, and many “Ah ha” moments.
Sample of Topics:�Transitions, The Lope, The Hackamore, La Garrocha, CDW Tests & More!!! Oh, and COWS!!


Date: Fri – Sun, April 17-19, 2020�Location: Jody Grimm and Dave Ellis’s LS Ranch�31315 Hot Springs Road, Porterville, CA 93257
For more information - Information and Registration: —

Happy 2020 and many more!

From all of us at Cowboy Dressage.

Happy 2020 and many more!

From all of us at Cowboy Dressage.

A truly magnificent and life changing horse.
Holiday Compadre’s legacy will continue to shape our sport.

#onceinalifetime #cowboydressageworld

Holiday Compadre 1987 - 2019. Rest In Peace.
"Save the Last Dance For Me"!

"Compadre has earned worldwide recognition and exceeded his notable ancestors in so far as the numbers of humans that have seen him perform and know his name. His name means 'friend' in Spanish, and there is no better friend in promotional terms as it pertains to the Morgan breed than ‘Holiday Compadre'. Compadre was without equal in this regard - past present or future. Journeys that lead to greatness often begin quietly and in humble circumstances. Compadre’s story is about ordinary people leading extraordinary lives. It is the recipe all great stories are made of…ordinary folks doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

It is important to remember that royal lineage gifts one with greatness at birth. All other greatness comes by way of effort, also known as plain old hard work or 'sweat equity.

Every famous horse begins their journey toward their destiny like every other foal - wet, wobbly, and knowing absolutely nothing aside from what instinct compels them to do. 'Proving Ground' lay far ahead. A chestnut colt born in 1987, to a mare named Holiday Temptress (owned by Debbie), was no doubt seen as precious but who could know that crowds would one day rise to their feet and applaud the gangly little red haired colt? Who could see that he and his partner would one day be pioneers in the fullest sense of the word? Not only would they capture victory after victory in ‘Morgandom’, together they would explore and conquer uncharted territory in the horse business at large. They would first learn and then teach a better way and then gain admiration far beyond home turf.

But, hold on now...I'm cheating and skipping ahead. Lets return to ground zero, where it all began ... where the now successful 'Cowboy Dressage’ venture found it's beginning. The artistic medium of Dressage combined with a love for the American Cowboy would take a Morgan Horse to the top of the game - first within his own breed as a World Champion, and then on to
becoming one of the most famous equine celebrities of our time.

In the Spring of 2002, Debbie, Eitan and I became acquainted by way of an email that I sent to them. As a result of that simple letter, they accepted an invitation to visit us, specifically during the week of our branding. We live and ranch in northeast Wyoming…’The Cowboy State’.

While the Cowboy Dressage trio (Debbie, Eitan and Compadre) were in Wyoming for our branding, Eitan rode Compadre and then gave a dancing demo and mini introduction Cowboy Dressage to our friends. It was a beautiful sight to watch Compadre dance while the crew gathered cattle. Debbie was busy shooting video when it didn’t interfere with the work at hand. A full-fledged clinic was to happen the next day at a ranch owned by friends of ours, followed by a performance that would end the day's activities. Eitan was watching Compadre closely because the horse just didn’t seem quite right on the evening after we branded. Shortly after the clinic began the next morning Eitan candidly mentioned there was a problem and Compadre was not asked to do any more. Everyone understood and Eitan borrowed horse to finish the clinic. Never did his obvious concern for his horse impact the quality of the clinic. Eitan was a hit even though we were all deeply disappointed that we would not get to see Compadre and 8 do what they are famous for.

Little did any of us know at the time that Compadre's last dance had occurred the day before during the branding. As it turned out, the music and stage for his last performance was all cowboy in it's purest form ... the voices of bellering cattle, men working, the roar of the branding stove, dust and smoke hanging in the air. When that realization struck me later, my throat tightened and tears streamed down my cheeks. Seeing Compadre dance for the first time was also to be my last. I had watched he and Eitan on video many times but had never seem them dance in the flesh. When it came time to write this account, the old-time song 'Save the Last Dance for Me' came to mind. I cannot put into words what I felt when writing about the last time Eitan would ride Compadre…on our place. Debbie, Eitan and their famous stallion visiting us in Wyoming was to be a delight, a first meeting of people looking forward to meeting one another. I dreamed about it for months prior. I cried every time I sat down to write this story and to this day I cannot watch Dances With Cows without tears near the end.

It was theorized that an auto/trailer accident that occurred years ago finally took its toll on Compadre. Injury was not evident at the time of the accident but with the passage of time and some kind of trauma to the shoulder that went undetected, sudden and acute arthritis came on June 18, 2002. After returning home to California, some of the mystery was solved by top veterinarians at UC Davis. It was then decided that Compadre would be retired from show business and lead a comfortable life involving stallion duties only.

The happenings in our lives are in part by design (in my opinion) even when the meaning of certain events defies our understanding. In the weaving of grand story, we are sometimes cast as characters in a play completely unaware that we are a part of something so extraordinary that human effort could in no way accomplish it - either in its planning or the completion of the thing. Eitan brought his horse to a Wyoming branding - something he’d dreamed of doing…riding amongst and mixing with working cowboys at an event that has been an annual rite of Spring on ranches since they began And so the stage was set.

Some cowboys are born into the life while others are not and they must make
the journey following a call to destiny. Eitan and Compadre traveled to Wyoming for one reason I believe and like all exquisite mysteries which escape human maneuvering and manipulation, Compadre came to the Cowboy State for his final performance. It was a date with fate which none of us were aware of. The orchestra prepared for him was made up of lowing cattle, the meadowlarks and the breeze softly singing across the sage brush. The final act was not a groomed arena made by men. He danced to the music that Nature
provided on a piece of untamed, virgin earth where millions of buffalo used to roam. The The morning sun, an azure sky and newly sprouted prairie grass provided a perfect backdrop for his dark, gleaming coat. He was like a bronze statue come to life. Those who watched him were his rider's brethren and they took leave of the branding chores at hand to watch a spectacular horse dance among the cattle. These are men not easily impressed. How strange but fitting that no one knew that Compadre’s retirement ceremony involved no fanfare. The branding crew politely watched and then simply went on with their work afterward.

True greatness exits with dignity. The most spectacular sunset is silent as are many of God's finest works of art in Nature…a peacock feather, a stand of autumn Aspen, the Grand Tetons, a perfect rose. A charismatic Champion whose life had been a series of spectacular achievements would take his leave with subtlety and grace. In spite of significant pain that he hid deep within his huge heart, Compadre granted his master one last wish and then they literally loped off into the sunset together for the last time. I was there, I saw it and thought nothing of it…but in looking back on it, knowing what I know now…I can’t watch the video without my throat tightening and tears welling. It still grieves me that this part of Compadre’s story happened at our place but I realize that it was part of the plan.

In the historic accounts of horse heroes, tragedy is often part of the beauty of a truly great horse story. Real triumph and pain are the ingredients legends are made of. That I witnessed such a horse story played out where I live, ride and work, and that the Good Lord saw fit to allow me to be the storyteller is a wonderful gift albeit bittersweet. To have the opportunity to share this story in a ‘first hand’ way…well, I liken it to being the announcer who told the rest of the world what he saw when Secretariat ran away from every other horse on the track as if they were standing still. The event as it happened was thrilling but only afterward did the reality sink in.

I didn`t see a story here until I saw the photo that Debbie took of Compadre dancing among our cows. It was only after I knew that Compadre’s old injury put an end to him being ridden…and that his time in Wyoming was The last ride that the significance of the image took my breath away. The sudden realization of it quite literally made me draw a deep breath and I wept out loud. A rush of visions filled my mind…other famous horse's retirement ceremonies including a misty silhouette of Alexander’s old war horse, Bucephaelus…with scars marking his coat.

Compadre danced to a different drummer. Conformity wasn’t the way of his master. And saying goodbye to his career like he did was certainly was not his own invention but if he could have written the play…it would have happened just as it did. He like all of his kind, are neither blessed nor cursed with the mental processes we humans live by. Nor are the gifts he was born with his by chance. Nothing beautiful and worthy of admiration simply happens. I believe He who made Monet, Mozart and Montana also made this Morgan. The good Lord is the only one who could have orchestrated all of the elements for Compadre's very own perfect sunset and turn a tragedy into a testimony of a victorious life. His final 'victory pass' took place through a herd of cattle.

Compadre is as he was described in an ad: ‘Show Horse ~ Working Horse’. Therein is the essence of the Morgan Horse and their 'western working` ties to the past. Working for a living, earning their oats. Very few ‘western working family’ Morgans got to 'come to town` to be shown but those that did were the 'public relations' arm of the breed on western ranches. One brother from the ranching family stayed & worked on the ranch while another brother found his destiny the limelight of the show arena. Compadre worked willingly alongside his Morgan cousins used exclusively for ranch work.

This story wanders, I know, but there is a reason for the meandering path. It was impossible to force this account into a story about a horse without all of the ingredients surrounding it. When rider and horse find their groove and work as One…that was the goal of this writer…hoping the writer and reader become one. I simply followed this story with a sense of wonder and I so hope that my experience is one that you can feel as deeply.

At a glance, Compadre is a just a pretty brown horse. He hasn't the imposing stature one might expect from a 'larger than life' celebrity. Ordinary is what happens when there is no Try. Heart is what has set Compadre apart from his peers - that and a lot of wet saddle blankets. Like the founding sire of the Morgan breed, ‘Figure’ wasn't born great. He and his rider defined themselves as they made their way into the history books. Compadre is a horse that should inspire humans. His story isn't just another ‘warm fuzzy’ horse story. It’s a testimony that encourages all ordinary beings to aspire beyond themselves and their limitations. Of course, none of the story would have come to be without the human characters. 'Cowboy Dressage' is what happened when 2 ordinary people made the most of opportunities and pursued their dreams with what they had to work with. Debbie and Eitan were innovative and fearlessly creative, employing equal measures of grit and grace.

A great horse, without exception, will find a great man (or woman) at the reins. Equally true is this old cliche "Behind every great man is a great woman". Eitan, Debbie and Compadre have been a team from square one. Debbie is a person of tender compassion, dignity, determination, hard-won wisdom and a smile that tells you that you're in the company of 'good people'. While on a trail ride with Debbie and ‘8’ in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I mentioned that I wanted to collect a few wildflowers to identify. Along the way, 8 got off his horse and picked flowers for me. Cowboy charm at it’s best! I now know first hand the reason why so many people like ‘8’. Its simple…he’s real – no matter where he goes or who he shares space with. No pretense, no phony baloney. Its refreshing to see sincerity in someone whose success might have crippled that rare virtue. Little things aren't little things in my book…little things like picking wildflowers for a cowgirl. Small acts of kindness indicate a soul who lives in a place safe from the vanities that all too often accompany fame.

Compadre's story reads like the songs that the drovers sung to cattle in the night on the lonely Plains. Its a story about life’s changing weather, the scent of warm leather, the love of a pretty gal, a cowboy’s dreams…some realized and some lost to fate".

~ Shery Jespersen

CDWCO Newsletter 🐴

𝙁𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙚𝙧 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟵 𝘾𝘿𝙒𝘾𝙊 𝙉𝙚𝙬𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧:

𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗶𝗽 - 𝗟𝗲𝗴 𝗣𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗧𝘂𝗿𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗣𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀

𝗯𝘆 𝗣𝗮𝗺 𝗣𝗶𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲, 𝗖𝗼𝘄𝗯𝗼𝘆 𝗗𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗟𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝟭 𝗖𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗻

To help make it clearer for the horse to 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱, the rider can use the leg on the outside of the turn with the toe down, the heel up, and the leg slightly back. Bump the horse lightly with the heel while maintaining a steady rein on both sides to prevent forward movement. The hope would be that, eventually, the act of raising your heel without the bumping would be enough to cue the turn.

For the 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘀, the rider can use the leg on the outside of the turn with the toe up, the heel down, and the leg slightly forward. Bump the horse lightly with the toe, and maintain a steady rein on both sides with the outside rein against the neck. Again, eventually, the act of putting your toe up and forward slightly without the bumping would be enough to cue the turn.

For the 𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀, the rider can use the leg on the side away from the movement with the foot level and centered. Bump the horse lightly with the inside of the foot (the stirrup), and maintain a steady rein on both sides with the rein against the neck, "pushing" the horse in the desired direction.

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Invitation to the Retreat & Super Clinic





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