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Welcome Western Dressage Riders!

More information about Remote Lessons and Webinars

Watch an introductory video about Western Dressage that features RRA horses and riders.

  • What is Western Dressage?

    This developing discipline is very exciting to many riders, trainers, breeders and exhibitors who choose horses of all breeds as our partners. In May of 2019, Dr Gerd Heuschmann, author, veterinarian and world renowned horseman said of the western riding at RRA "This western dressage, here, fits the classical principles." Good dressage training benefits any horse/rider combination in any discipline and western dressage will open doors for education and increased understanding of the classical training previously closed to many. An experienced dressage and western rider/trainer, Michelle westernizes dressage without minimizing the importance of the training pyramid nor sacrificing the principles that are fundamental to classical dressage. Western Dressage is distinct from dressage and differentiated from other western riding styles too. Collectively, RRA's horses have earned 8 Registers of Merit, 7 Registers of Achievement, 4 Registers of Excellence, 2 Bronze Medals as well as numerous National, Regional, State and Local awards. Western dressage requires both a classical dressage background and experience with many different breeds in both dressage and western riding. The classical development of the horse CAN be done in the stock saddle and your western horse CAN become a beautiful, balanced, classically correct riding horse.

    Visit the "Calendar" page and "Clinics and Seminars" to register for western dressage events at RRA.
    July and August feature USEF/WDAA recognized Western Dressage Shows and a clinic with renowned AQHA professional Lynn Palm!


    Schedule a Western Dressage Seminar, Clinic or Intensive

    Do you want to make your dressage horse's trot easier to sit? Are you interested in getting your western pleasure horse more balanced, soft or responsive? Do you wonder how to get your horse to stretch forward and down? Do you want to understand "equine biomechanics"? Take a lesson, come to RRA for an Intensive stay or attend a Western Dressage clinic to find out more and start learning a whole new way to ride your western horse.

    Basic Information

    This 2 day format is designed for riders to experience Western Dressage or Cowboy Dressage on the first day, then to have a "Ride-A-Test" the second day. The clinic becomes a whole experience and when I leave, riders have a good idea of how either program works, even how to work the test material.

  • Cost for 2 day Clinic: Call for cost
  • Each rider will receive 60 page "any Horse, any Rider" Manual free
  • Dates: Schedule your Seminar or Clinic for 2020 now
  • Hours: Saturday 8:00am - 5:30pm Sunday 9:00am - 4:00pm
    Saturday Morning Session: Western Dressage Geometry and Figures

    8:00 - 9:00 am Ground and education session
    9:30 - 10:30 Group A; 3-5 Riders
    10:30 - 1130 Group B; 3-5 Riders
    11:30 - 12:30 Group C; 3-5 Riders
    12:30 - 1:30 Lunch break
    Saturday Afternoon Session: Principles of Western Dressage
    1:30 - 2:30 Ground and education session
    2:30 - 3:30 Group A; 3-5 Riders
    3:30 - 4:30 Group B; 3-5 Riders
    4:30 - 5:30 Group C; 3-5 Riders

    Sunday Ride-a-Test:
    Riders will ride 1 or more tests of their choosing. The first time through, the ride will be scored with comments. Discussion with clinician will follow regarding where the test can be improved followed by a second scored ride. Rides should be videoed. Riders may ride both western and cowboy dressage tests if both Saturday sessions are ridden.

    For more information, check out the "Clinics and Seminars" link in the horizontal navigation bar at the top of this page. To schedule a clinic or seminar in your area, email Michelle at or call (509)290-4301

    Here's what riders have said about Clincs with Michelle:

    From Vancouver participant A.B.: "I was very happy to attend this clinic. I enjoyed learning new concepts and having my skills assessed."

    From Klamath Falls clinic host Maria Meister: "I learned so much this weekend, but my biggest take-away was Be Kind To Your Horse. My take on that one simple phrase is not that we should be kind to them after we injure them, my take is that we should take great care not to harm them at all."

    From Vancouver participant J.Z.: "Western dressage has opened the door for me to succeed with my equine partner. I found the clinic helped me work through balance and confidence issues with me and my mare. My confidence has never been higher."

    From Klamath Falls clinic participant Samantha Mitchell: Sam says:"Amazing Western Dressage Clinic this weekend. I learned a lot, but have a very long road ahead. Looking forward to working on all of the bits of knowledge I picked up and forming a better partnership with my horse. Thank you Michelle, our patient and gracious clinician. She is a wealth of information and an excellent teacher."

    Watch a western dressage video featuring RRA horses and riders!

    Western Dressage Movements and Gaits

    Ride with Michelle at home in Spokane too. Come for lessons or schedule an RRA Intensive for yourself or you and several friends.


    Private Lesson 60 minutes: $85.00*
    Lesson 1 hr group: $45.00*

    Beginner lesson packages: Ten 30 min. private or 60 min. group lessons $450.00 including horse rental

    2022 LESSON RATES: 10 GROUP LESSONS $450.00

    For information or to schedule lessons, contact us at 509.290.4301

    DVD's make sense if you want to school at home and Michelle Binder-Zolezzi and Relational Riding Academy are honored to bring you two professionally produced riding and training DVD's!

    Order the 3 item set and receive "any Horse, any Rider" with the 60 page print manual, and the double DVD set "Understand Riding from the ground up". Almost 3 hours of video instruction, plus a written source for definitions, dressage figures, theory and training tips!

    We are pleased to be able to offer the horse training DVD "any Horse, any Rider" and the riding DVD "Understand Riding from the Ground Up" to western dressage riders everywhere. On this page Western Dressage members can purchase these full length horse training DVD featured in 2008 "Must Have Gift Lists" in EQUUS, Horse and Rider, Practical Horseman and Dressage Today. We hope you are interested in the work you see and that you contact us about western dressage lessons, clinics and seminars.

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    Do you want to make your dressage horse's trot easier to sit? Are you interested in getting your western pleasure horse more balanced, soft or responsive? Do you wonder how to get your horse to stretch forward and down? Would you feel safer if your hunter came to his fences better? What is "equine biomechanics"? In this horse training DVD, ARIA certified instructor Michelle Binder-Zolezzi teaches real horsemanship that gives riders immediate results to training techniques, helping them develop a relationship with their horses that is based in love, trust, and respect. The unique multidisciplinary approach found in this horse training DVD make it truly useful for any rider with any kind of horse. It's visually interesting and educational format is different than any other DVD training product on the market and makes understanding equine biomechanics easy. The tips and techniques can be used by horse lovers of all disciplines from recreational riders to serious competitors in every discipline. This horse training DVD is happily endorsed by the judges, trainers and riders that watch it! Over an hour and a half of viewing length for $34.95 and that includes the bonus features "Every Horse is Worth It" and "Teaching Time," make this a great value in today's video training market!

    NEW! 60 page print manual now available to help you! Relational Riding is a unique approach to riding and horse training. Michelle combines the best western horsemanship techniques with fundamental dressage training and has created a video that will give you a more complete understanding of the horse/rider relationship. You will see the same principles applied to recreational riding, hunter, western pleasure and dressage horses. This video is designed to cross the boundaries between the disciplines and bridge the perceived gaps between the breeds. It is meant to teach and inspire riders, trainers, judges and horse lovers everywhere.

    DVD Details: 71 minute feature film plus two bonus features: 14 minute "Every Horse Is Worth It" (click the link below to watch it now!) and 18 minute "Teaching Time" full of exercises and 'how to' tips! PLAY the bonus feature
    "Every Horse is Worth it"
    Tells the inspiring true stories of the Relational Riding Academy horses who made this film possible.

    Introducing "Understand Riding from the ground up"

    This video was recently endorsed by Claus Bergener, German FEI Grand Prix Judge who says:
    "In this "Understand Riding" Michelle introduces students in a very sophisticated but plausible way into the Art of Dressage. Amazing what she shows and how she shows it!"

    Watch the commercial on YouTube!

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    Have you wondered what riding instructors mean when they say "Use your legs"?

    Do you want an easy way to develop your core strength to make you a better rider?

    Has the goal of developing quiet hands escaped you?

    Would you like to have a completely "independent seat"?

    Is beautiful equitation a struggle to you?

    If the answer to any of these questions is yes, this 2 DVD set is for you! ARIA certified instructor Michelle Binder-Zolezzi gives you insight into understanding riding through the use of simple techniques that you can use on the ground to strengthen and develop your body for riding. This work is fun, interesting and easy to do in the comfort of your home or barn. You will be surprised how fast you can learn to be balanced, straight, and connected so that riding your horse well is easier and more fun than ever!

    "Understand Riding: From the Ground Up" is now available here and at local tack stores!

    Thank you for your support of the development of western dressage! We appreciate your order.

    Refunds and Returns: Within 30 days of purchase
    To return your DVD for a full refund of the purchase price minus shipping and handling charges, or to exchange the DVD if yours does not run properly, please contact us by phone or email or simply return the one you have by mail. We will be happy accommodate your request. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

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