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Sonesta
Oct. 1, 2007, 07:01 PM
Klaus Balkenhol and Hans-Heinrich Isenbart (among others) have formed the Xenophon Society. It's stated goals are:

a) the preservation and promotion of riding culture in accordance with traditional, classical principles;
b) the education about the dangers of violating the principles of the classical doctrine for the sport of riding;
c) the application of the "Ethical Principles of Horse Lovers" to the practice of riding, in accordance with § 15 of the present Bylaws;
d) the raising of awareness about the classical riding culture;
e) the promotion of training of riders and horses, and
f) the promotion of a good reputation of equestrianism in the public eye, as well as in general;
g) the promotion of the principles of protection of animals when keeping, handling and training horses;
h) the promotion of science, research, literature, and applications in all fields of horse-related activities, as well as
i) the observance of the Association's purposes in the framework of its non-profit activities vis-à-vis other equestrian organizations.

Its website is http://www.truemner.net/xenophon/ The website is in English, German and Dutch.

You might want to check it out.

Red Barn
Oct. 1, 2007, 07:29 PM
Oh, Sonesta, THANKS!

Haven't read even a quarter of the text, and am already in love!

Bluey
Oct. 1, 2007, 07:30 PM
I am glad to see that Christine Stuckleberger is in with them.
She was one of the best upcomming olympic riders when I knew her and did so well with Granat.:yes:

She was a fine lady and would never, I don't think, have fallen for any training techniques that would have stressed a horse.
I think that such is counterproductive.

Thanks for that update.

arnika
Oct. 1, 2007, 08:03 PM
Nice site with the type of ideals I would like to pass to my daughters.

snoopy
Oct. 1, 2007, 08:09 PM
I am loving what I have read so far!!!:yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes:

slc2
Oct. 1, 2007, 08:26 PM
i had my doubts initially but it is looking good.

Red Barn
Oct. 1, 2007, 09:55 PM
Well, I've examined the whole site pretty carefully now, and couldn't be more impressed. They don't pull any punches do they?! Straight-talking and well reasoned all the way.

I'll be signing up as soon as I cash in all those beer bottles in the woodshed. (95 euro - piece of cake!)

Thanks again, Sonesta.

Sabine
Oct. 2, 2007, 01:09 AM
this is sooo yesteryear...didn't you all see this last year- it was hot in the early 2006 time I think...now it's just dying down- or one more of those that have taken a nice seat on the fence...;)

Dressage4Fun
Oct. 2, 2007, 01:19 AM
Personally I wish I cold find someone that belived and taught the Classical principals around me. I school my own horses, have my hubby video me and school my kids. There is not anyone that I can count on near me that I am aware of. I love the site and I am VERY happy to see Classical Dressage promoted from such great riders.

lstevenson
Oct. 2, 2007, 01:43 AM
Personally I wish I cold find someone that belived and taught the Classical principals around me. I school my own horses, have my hubby video me and school my kids. There is not anyone that I can count on near me that I am aware of. I love the site and I am VERY happy to see Classical Dressage promoted from such great riders.



Yes, trainers who stick to classical principles are definitely hard to find all over the US. But they are out there if you look hard enough.

The Xenophon Society site has been around for a while, and I wish more people were interested in it. And interested in preserving Classical Dressage.

Dressage4Fun
Oct. 2, 2007, 02:48 AM
Know of any around Portales NM?? LOL!!

Red Barn
Oct. 2, 2007, 07:52 AM
this is sooo yesteryear...didn't you all see this last year- it was hot in the early 2006 time I think...now it's just dying down- or one more of those that have taken a nice seat on the fence...;)

Gosh. Guess I'm just not hip enough to be in the know.

And why the denigrating tone?

It sounds like this organization is trying to address the very problems we've been lamenting page after page. I for one (a provincial nobody, granted) am very glad to know they exist.

ideayoda
Oct. 2, 2007, 08:39 AM
His book is coming out this year, they are starting an event (perhaps two) a year. Its not easy without big $$ to advance the organization quickly. Join it!

merrygoround
Oct. 2, 2007, 08:45 AM
I applaud their objectives, but in this country through it's certification program is not the USDF doing the same thing? Or have I been only listening to classical minded teachers?

Sonesta
Oct. 2, 2007, 10:42 AM
I'd say being formed in 2006 makes it still a very new organization and it NEEDS lots of members to have any clout. Membership and finances are vital to have influence. I joined today. I hope all you like-minded folks will do so as well.

Velvet
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:47 AM
I also remember this when it first started. My only problem with the site is that it doesn't really give members in the USA much of anything at this point. And the site doesn't really give you English samples. Maybe if they improve that part they'll get a TON of Americans to support it. I'm sure there are a lot of people who'd join, and pay for clinics with people who are a part of the Xenephon group. :yes: Especially with a small discount offered to them if they join. :D

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Oct. 2, 2007, 07:26 PM
I am very lucky I have a trainer who abscribes to exactly these principles. And what an enormous difference it has made to my horse, and myself.

petitefilly
Oct. 2, 2007, 09:54 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~

For the Well-being of all Horses

Olympic winner Klaus Balkenhol and Hans-Heinrich Isenbart demand a change

If - like us - you believe that

a return to the fundamental principles of classical equestrianism is urgently required,
only a supple horse can perform properly and remain healthy on the long-term,
an appreciation of physical and psychological connections in the training of horses has to be revived,
love of the horse and the aesthetics of equestrian sport should become a focal point once again,
horse-lovers throughout the world should unite in mutual pursuit of these aims,
then come and join us !

~~~~~~~~~~~


I agree-agree-agree-----jumping up and down with joy! Now those are goals, I applaude wholeheartedly.

dutchmike
Oct. 2, 2007, 10:21 PM
I thought it was dead. Last year there was major trouble between the starters of the club. I guess it resurected.:yes:

Sabine
Oct. 3, 2007, 02:03 AM
Gosh. Guess I'm just not hip enough to be in the know.

And why the denigrating tone?

It sounds like this organization is trying to address the very problems we've been lamenting page after page. I for one (a provincial nobody, granted) am very glad to know they exist.

this organization is another form of getting the masses to subscribe and it is teaching a mantra...it's like a religion. After spending a life time in dressage I don't believe in dogma and rigid rules. I believe in customized training for the individual horse- because the chance of it being cast away as 'not- usable for dressage' is just as high as the chance of it making it in 'your Xenophon world'.
What I am really saying is this: try and distinguish between what is real training and an economic venture. This is the latter- it benefits a few peeps and it's meant to confirm that 'their ' take on dressage training was correct- and that was just their opinion...while they cast away just as many horses as not trainable as the other camp did...

think about it!! :)

ideayoda
Oct. 3, 2007, 03:13 AM
It's actually just promoting a return to what the rules for training (as they now stand) state. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sabine
Oct. 3, 2007, 03:18 AM
It's actually just promoting a return to what the rules for training (as they now stand) state. Nothing more, nothing less.

there is no return- there are just as many promoting the classical flavor as there are promoting the other- if anything in this country USA- there are many more classical (or somewhat perceived as that) than the other. The other is clearly very poorly documented , understood and there are not more than a hand full that know this method. So really no worry in the homeland...you classical guys- get your shit together and make a couple of competitive horses and you'll have a lot to talk about...it's just like in the business world- who comes out with a good product wins!! The old principle holds and it doesn't really matter how you got there- because the horse will tell you if they are sick and tired of you!!!

Sonesta
Oct. 3, 2007, 10:50 AM
Wow, Sabine. I am truly shocked at your statements as they appear to suggest that it doesn't matter the methods you use as long as the end product wins. I believe it is this very attitude of produce a winner no matter what the cost to the horse is just wrong.

claire
Oct. 3, 2007, 10:58 AM
it's just like in the business world- who comes out with a good product wins!! The old principle holds and it doesn't really matter how you got there- because the horse will tell you if they are sick and tired of you!!!

Okay. Doesn't matter how you get there, just so you win.

What a sad and jaded philosophy. I sure am glad that this hasn't been my experience.

SGray
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:39 AM
there is no return- there are just as many promoting the classical flavor as there are promoting the other- if anything in this country USA- there are many more classical (or somewhat perceived as that) than the other. The other is clearly very poorly documented , understood and there are not more than a hand full that know this method. So really no worry in the homeland...you classical guys- get your shit together and make a couple of competitive horses and you'll have a lot to talk about...it's just like in the business world- who comes out with a good product wins!! The old principle holds and it doesn't really matter how you got there- because the horse will tell you if they are sick and tired of you!!!

by rearing and/or running away with you in an awards ceremony?

wookiee
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:46 AM
you classical guys- get your shit together and make a couple of competitive horses and you'll have a lot to talk about...it's just like in the business world- who comes out with a good product wins!! The old principle holds and it doesn't really matter how you got there- because the horse will tell you if they are sick and tired of you!!!

So I read this to say that we need to see more classically-trained dressage horses winning! And I agree. I see thread after thread against some of the contemporary training methods. And "everyone" seems to agree, but then I ask: Where is the video of a horse winning who is classically-trained? Are there really no top level horses out there?

If AVG really is a terrible rider who is abusing her horses, why on earth is she winning???

I personally will not train my horse in the contemporary fashion. I want to learn classical methods.

The proof is in the pudding, and no I don't think we should be put winning above the horse; that is antithetical to dressage. But we need more prominent standard-bearers to say: Look, a happy horse performing at the top level. There IS another way!

slc2
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:58 AM
that was exactly what my original concern was, but i was hooted down for suggesting it.

there is nothing to say that because someone isn't a very public practitioner of rollkur, that they're a good trainer or rider. and i also think the relationship to xenophon is absurd. read the whole book of his, unabridged sometime, it wasn't exactly the golden era of horsemanship back then. the lovely photos depicting some roman sitting on a horse saddled with a leopard skin, doing a perfect little levade, are a modern romanticisation of the era. i think the choice of name is meant to appeal to a market segment, a segment that believes that the romans in the time of xenophon were some sort of classical masters. i think that's rot.

claire
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:01 PM
Well, to take this thread in a more positive direction. :winkgrin:

Which of the "up and coming riders" do you think represent the classical priciples?

I love watching Courtney King ride and her work with Idocus looks so harmonious. They really "dance" :)

(of course, this is JMVVVVHO, as I am not anywhere near a FEI rider, so probably shouldn't have an opinion! :lol: )

Sonesta
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:55 PM
The issue of what is being rewarded in the show ring is a huge concern. Our FEI judges seem to have eliminated the most fundamental part of the training scale - relaxation - and reward only the most extravagant flinging movements even if performed with rolling eyes and completely tense bodies.

The dressage world seems to be at a critical crossroads. We must determine exactly what is the goal of dressage. Is it a happy, relaxed horse performing intricate movements in harmony with his rider (as the classical group promotes) or is it freakishly exaggerated movement forced out of the horse by whatever method will work best for that goal (and that might, dare I suggest?, appeal more to the less educated audience)?

It certainly appears of late that the FEI judges have, for the most part, made their choice as to the latter.

Classical DQ
Oct. 3, 2007, 01:04 PM
I couldn't get the English application page to open. Has anyone gotten it, or do you have any suggestions?

ideayoda
Oct. 3, 2007, 04:18 PM
THe 'masses' should ALREADY be following the guidelines of the FEI, which is rather rigid...the gaits must be pure, the horses balanced, etc. It is a new organization to try to reintroduce why. Anything that we riders do which suppresses the gaits, or the ability to collect goes against the rules of the fei (which is to protect training from the methods de jour), something they have not done since Nigglis leadership.

Yes, training is customized for the advancement of each horse, but it cannot result in uphill balance and proper collection if not developed methodically. Hences the short neck, overly rounded (from the front) horses with no sit in the piaffe and no ability to pirouette about a handkerchief in most competitions. It is the traditional school which allows for the greatest ease of progressivity with mediocre horses.

Certainly this group is not doing it for economic gain. One only had to see the pain on the faces of people like George Wahl in the first GDF to understand how far we have departed the standards.

Red Barn
Oct. 3, 2007, 08:15 PM
that was exactly what my original concern was, but i was hooted down for suggesting it.

there is nothing to say that because someone isn't a very public practitioner of rollkur, that they're a good trainer or rider. and i also think the relationship to xenophon is absurd. read the whole book of his, unabridged sometime, it wasn't exactly the golden era of horsemanship back then. the lovely photos depicting some roman sitting on a horse saddled with a leopard skin, doing a perfect little levade, are a modern romanticisation of the era. i think the choice of name is meant to appeal to a market segment, a segment that believes that the romans in the time of xenophon were some sort of classical masters. i think that's rot.

1) Xenophon wasn't Roman, he was Greek.

2) Both Greece and Rome were sadly lacking in photo equipment back in the day.

3) If you're talking about actual equestrian monuments of the stone variety, then yes, they're a couple thousand years old and not modern "romanticizations."

What on earth are you trying to say?

Sabine
Oct. 4, 2007, 01:36 AM
by rearing and/or running away with you in an awards ceremony?
I am sure hoping your comment was not meant in a snide way-!
Ride a young GP horse the way she does-...I suppose you would pray to stay on during the test. It's a very thin line they are dancing on- it's risky and it's asking the horse for the best they've got. It's scary like downhill racing...and public award ceremonies are nightmares for horses that are NOT AT ALL BEHIND THE LEG!!! I wish she would break with the idea to have to ride the winning horse in the awards- it's too risky when the horses are young.


I hope you get it now...it 's really about the ultimate forward. I feel very bad for Anky that she got injured..being a young mom with two little ones- it's not easy to handle.

Sabine
Oct. 4, 2007, 01:42 AM
The issue of what is being rewarded in the show ring is a huge concern. Our FEI judges seem to have eliminated the most fundamental part of the training scale - relaxation - and reward only the most extravagant flinging movements even if performed with rolling eyes and completely tense bodies.

The dressage world seems to be at a critical crossroads. We must determine exactly what is the goal of dressage. Is it a happy, relaxed horse performing intricate movements in harmony with his rider (as the classical group promotes) or is it freakishly exaggerated movement forced out of the horse by whatever method will work best for that goal (and that might, dare I suggest?, appeal more to the less educated audience)?

It certainly appears of late that the FEI judges have, for the most part, made their choice as to the latter.

I totally respect your opinion but I still have to ask you to accept the fact that the judges have been trained and promoted according to our rules and deserve the right to judge the way they see it. They can not really know what exactly goes on in the horse's daily training- but they can see that the horse performs correctly and willingly and shows ultimate forward reactions. IMO- most often judges get tough when horses do not show that real free flowing - willing and expressive forward..and that's where those classical horses most often get totally stuck...

again- let's have some seriously competitive classical horses win at the top...it's a no-brainer- you show me a good method that produces that- and the dutch method will be gone...just like that...!

Why do we all now have nice flat screens on our computers- because they work great- take less space and are optically attractive- so we threw out all those thick monsters- we used to have on our desks...same with dressage training- it's called evolution..the natural improvement of a process or a product thru constant reengineering/retesting/rethinking...

Bingo!

Maren
Oct. 4, 2007, 02:07 AM
Sabine wrote: it's called evolution

While I enjoy reading your posts, Rollkur hardly has anything to do with evolution. That is painful to read for my geneticist-eyes....;-)

I really hope you don't mean what you wrote in your last paragraph. There are indeed classically trained horses at the top (may I mention Wensuela Suerte? or the phalanx of Carola Koppelmann's animals?). And I have seen a TON of young horses, GP and others, that have behaved perfectly well in award ceremonies, really big ones included. You ask us "classical" riders to not jump to conclusions, then please allow us to do the same.
I really don't understand why people turn this into a "culture clash" when good riding has been practiced for so many years (more than any of us here live on the face of the earth, in fact) that in the end, I have no doubt which way we'll turn back to. Comparing classical dressage to an outdated antique is pretty short sighted, forgive me :-)

It's like explaining to a ballet dancer that the classical training from now on will be substituted by hip hop warm-ups. After all, it's just evolution, right? ;-))

Sabine
Oct. 4, 2007, 02:49 AM
Sabine wrote: it's called evolution

While I enjoy reading your posts, Rollkur hardly has anything to do with evolution. That is painful to read for my geneticist-eyes....;-)

I really hope you don't mean what you wrote in your last paragraph. There are indeed classically trained horses at the top (may I mention Wensuela Suerte? or the phalanx of Carola Koppelmann's animals?). And I have seen a TON of young horses, GP and others, that have behaved perfectly well in award ceremonies, really big ones included. You ask us "classical" riders to not jump to conclusions, then please allow us to do the same.
I really don't understand why people turn this into a "culture clash" when good riding has been practiced for so many years (more than any of us here live on the face of the earth, in fact) that in the end, I have no doubt which way we'll turn back to. Comparing classical dressage to an outdated antique is pretty short sighted, forgive me :-)

It's like explaining to a ballet dancer that the classical training from now on will be substituted by hip hop warm-ups. After all, it's just evolution, right? ;-))

Maren- I think you've taken it a bit far. I am no advocate of rollkur- never was- but I think I am first and foremost a dry-thinking business woman. I spend most of my time working in business with large companies and I guess my thinking is tainted by that.
I practice classical riding myself - very much so- my trainers are a judge and an ex-olympian- very classical indeed- but I see what I see and read and add the results and it computes. The answer is: there are several winning horses out there right now at the top- they are all more or less rollkur trained and they are without doubt- very very strong horses that stand out- and easily beat the rest. Done Deal!

There is no culture clash or me against you- it's just a very factual observation. Next enter those that say all the judges really suck and see the wrong thing. Well- if we put all this effort into creating our systems of administration and judging - we have to let them do their job. Next- there is sadly NO classically trained horse at the top- Wansuela Suerte was good but not great- and even Hubertus knew that. Now- he trained her perfectly and she shone because of that- so did Brentina- but maybe the really great gaits weren't there- or maybe the really great gaits didn't come out because of the training?? who knows??

Dressage Art
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:34 AM
I wish Xenophon would be more vocal and involved. For example, a statement about Power and Paint issue. Proposal how to troubleshoot warm up arenas. Weight in the forums about those issues and be available to answer questions. I'd like to see them to be more involved. Nice website and good message tho, so it's a start.

PS: Sabine, I’m so sorry that you are getting labeled as “advocate of rollkur” – for some it’s again back to the “bad guys verses good guys” kindergarten level of comprehension. Hey, just remember that “good guys” can do no harm and “bad guys” can do only evil things. Then world will be a better place and we will have world peace forever and ever ;)

egontoast
Oct. 4, 2007, 06:56 AM
I wish Xenophon would be more vocal and involved

He died .

rebecca yount
Oct. 4, 2007, 07:35 AM
I watched all the Grand Prix rides Friday and Saturday nights at Devon last week.

Only probably three or four of the horses really "sat" in piaffe, KEPT THE SAME TEMPO in trot, piaffe, and passage and in the transitions (VERY few had good transitions), and continued cantering in the pirouettes. Each horse/rider pair had its strengths and weaknesses.

In order to answer the questions some of you are asking, one would have to watch all the training of a horse you felt was "correct", to be sure the rider/trainer was really training in the "classical" method. Have you all watched the training of every horse you are praising or reviling? How do you know for sure how the horses are trained?

Some who have been mentioned on this board and elsewhere as "classically trained" do not show "correct" piaffe and transitions.

The best piaffe ("sitting" and even tempo) and transitions at Devon nights were those of Ashley Holzer and Pop Art. The winning horse twirled her tail constantly both nights--what do you all think about that? Must be something about those Danish horses.

There was a beautiful performance of an Intermediare Freestyle by Lauren Sammis and Sagacious. It was the one she did at the Pan Am games, done at Devon during the break so the owner, who couldn't go to the games, could see it. THAT horse was the best on that night--it was a beautiful performance of an apparently harmonious pair. But PS--I don't really know where I am in this fight, but I have seen photos posted on the internet of Sagacious apparently being ridden in draw reins. The owner posted them of training just before Gladstone/the Pan Ams. These were not competition photos but training photos.

Certainly the Power and Paint photos were disgusting and appear to evidence an abusive method of training.

Dalfan
Oct. 4, 2007, 08:34 AM
Okay. Doesn't matter how you get there, just so you win.

Isn't this exactly the attitude Witthiges dsiplayed when she said "whatever it takes to win" or some such garbage that came from her mouth when she was in charge?

slc2
Oct. 4, 2007, 08:46 AM
i'm not all that sure they mean 'whatever it takes to win'.

i think they mean that the horses are scoring higher in competition, so they win. i agree with yount and will emphasize that i don't think you can really directly tie training methods to winning. horses win all the time that are trained unfairly, roughly, unkindly, whether that's some subtle twisting of classical method or something that the public blatantly doesn't like.

a judge cannot judge the training method. he can judge what he sees in the ring.

and i think if i told you all a horse was rollkur trained, and you watched the video, you'd say it sucked. and that if i took the SAME video and told you the horse was classically trained, you'd love it, and have explanations for minimizing or ignoring any faults you saw. but you wouldn't see faults, because you were told the horse was classically trained. in fact, you all do that all the time here - your eye is biased. very. any horse you think is 'classically trained' is perfect, and faults are ignored. with the rollkur horses, you're not seeing the faults that are there, and are making up other ones to fit your expectations.

i don't believe witthages or anyone else at the top believes 'whatever it takes to win' in the way it is being suggested here. i think saying, 'they score well' isn't the same as saying whatever it takes. i don't think witthages believes it's ok to abuse horses, but if you believe she thinks it's ok to abuse horses, confront her personally - don't keep gossiping about her here.

but i think where many at the top differ with the public is they don't think rollkur - until it gets very extreme, like cobygate, really is abusive, i'm not even sure they feel cobygate was abusive, so much as just stupid and irresponsible. i don't think they believe it causes pain ro shuts off the horse's breathing. i think if they thought it was a problem they would have banned it. i don't think they feel it is abusive at all, until it goes to cobygate like extremes.

egontoast
Oct. 4, 2007, 08:48 AM
The best piaffe ("sitting" and even tempo) and transitions at Devon nights were those of Ashley Holzer and Pop Art.

She trains with Anky.:)

Rusty Stirrup
Oct. 4, 2007, 09:54 AM
Most professionals and ribbon riders ARE going to do whatever it takes to win. Several years ago I remember threads on this very bb stating that there was no such thing as competitive and classical dressage. I doubt many will still make that statement.

ideayoda
Oct. 4, 2007, 10:00 AM
"a judge cannot judge the training method. he can judge what he sees in the ring."

Of course the judge judges the training method, those guidelines are what the FEI rules outline clearly as the touchstones of correct training. Those who do turn a blind eye to the over tempo/tense/impure gaits/lack of lateral flexability/lack of lowering of the croup in piaffe/etc ignore the rules in favor of submission (as they are told to do because then even the uneducated can guess who makes 15 steps/ertc).

grayarabpony
Oct. 4, 2007, 10:28 AM
The whole conflict comes from what is judged as "great gaits". A lot of what many people call wonderful movement I see as throwing forelegs around and not enough from behind (especially evident in passage and extensions), or brilliance being confused with tension. I'd never thought I'd see dressage as being described as scary like downhill skiing though -- a young horse in training, sure, a horse in competition -- sounds like he's not ready to be there.

:rolleyes:

snoopy
Oct. 4, 2007, 10:29 AM
She trains with Anky.:)


I know she USED too...but I do not believe so any more....

mbm
Oct. 4, 2007, 12:50 PM
this organization is another form of getting the masses to subscribe and it is teaching a mantra...it's like a religion. After spending a life time in dressage I don't believe in dogma and rigid rules. I believe in customized training for the individual horse- because the chance of it being cast away as 'not- usable for dressage' is just as high as the chance of it making it in 'your Xenophon world'.
What I am really saying is this: try and distinguish between what is real training and an economic venture. This is the latter- it benefits a few peeps and it's meant to confirm that 'their ' take on dressage training was correct- and that was just their opinion...while they cast away just as many horses as not trainable as the other camp did...

think about it!! :)

huh? by its nature Dressage is a set of theories that set about to improve on the nature of the horse.

so yes, in that respect - it is a set theory.... and it does work for all horses.... because it is based on the nature of the horse. why would you want to ridicule the proliferation of correct theory? ???

also, i dont get this whole thing about having to modify dressage theory for the special horses. this is just crap.

the more i learn the more i understand this.

and Sabine - you know as well as i do that "popular" dressage theory is not really the same as traditional dressage theory...

i think that anything that helps to educate the masses on correct theory is a good thing. and i doubt that the principles of this org are making any $$ off of this.... it costs too much to do events like they are doing.

and really - even *if* they were to make some $$ - who cares? why does doing good = being poor?
and no matter how much some of us would like it otherwise - everything around us can be described by a set of theories... which i guess sabine could say is dogma :)

slc2
Oct. 4, 2007, 12:57 PM
well she trained a lot with her

no, actually paula, you are NOT allowed to 'judge the training'. you are ONLY allowed to judge what you see in the ring. you cannot say, 'this person trains with so and so so i am automatically going to mark her down', or 'i saw this person training in a way i don't like so i am automatically going to mark her down'.

no, one can't do that. it is unethical. it is against the rules. it is morally wrong. it is dishonest. one can only judge what one sees in the ring, that is the judge's charter, and one can't make up things one doesn't actually see, to mark down just to cover up that one is 'judging the training'.

yes, if a horse is going too fast, or not tracking up, a judge can mark it down. but to make up stuff or exaggerate what one sees, or to ascribe every single fault to one part of the training to prove a point - no.

rebecca yount
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:08 PM
I don't think Terri will mind. Here's a link to one of the pages in her photo gallery--one of the images is Pop Art in piaffe. Gorgeous.

http://www.terrimiller.com/gallery/gallery.php?galleryid=1093&tnpage=8

Sabine
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:16 PM
huh? by its nature Dressage is a set of theories that set about to improve on the nature of the horse.

so yes, in that respect - it is a set theory.... and it does work for all horses.... because it is based on the nature of the horse. why would you want to ridicule the proliferation of correct theory? ???

also, i dont get this whole thing about having to modify dressage theory for the special horses. this is just crap.

the more i learn the more i understand this.

and Sabine - you know as well as i do that "popular" dressage theory is not really the same as traditional dressage theory...

i think that anything that helps to educate the masses on correct theory is a good thing. and i doubt that the principles of this org are making any $$ off of this.... it costs too much to do events like they are doing.

and really - even *if* they were to make some $$ - who cares? why does doing good = being poor?
and no matter how much some of us would like it otherwise - everything around us can be described by a set of theories... which i guess sabine could say is dogma :)

MBM- you're right- it's meant for the masses...as such I suppose it can do a service...;)

sm
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:18 PM
Regarding ideayoda's and slc2's dialogue, this reminds me of Kurt Albrecht von Ziegner. To paraphrase his writings:

- What is the point of the dressage training? Movements are only a means to an end in the continual strive toward harmony between horse and rider. Emphasis should be on tempo, balance and expression - all elements that are only to be achieved through submission, contact, straightness and impulsion.

- Meanwhile, in a test, the completion of the movements (technical) are marked higher than the fundamental elements of dressage.

So, I think ideayoda and slc2 both have a point. The FEI pledged to uphold the purity of the principles dressage in it's international competitions (article 417 or 419, do I need to find it again and post it) which it clearly is not doing.

Anyway, von Ziegener's article that appeared in St Georg was translated here http://horsesforlife.com/TakingResponsibilityVonZiegener

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 4, 2007, 05:28 PM
Cant you just ride and not have to classify it?

mbm
Oct. 4, 2007, 05:55 PM
no, actually paula, you are NOT allowed to 'judge the training'.

errr... i think that what a judge does do is judge the training... what else are they judging??? the grooming? ;)

Sabine
Oct. 4, 2007, 06:04 PM
errr... i think that what a judge does do is judge the training... what else are they judging??? the grooming? ;)

The judge HAS to judge what he sees at the time the test is presented. He can NOT judge the warmup, the cooldown, the grooming or the color of the horse. This is irrelevant.
If- as a consequence of the training a part of the test is presented poorly or incorrectly then the judge has to judge WHAT HE SEES!!

Since the result of proper training is a clean test- in a way the judge will judge the training- the submission- the expressiveness and the suppleness of the horse while carrying out the exercises- however how that rider obtained that submission/suppleness/expressiveness during the training sessions will not be known to the judge per se- there is no sign on the back of the rider saying (this horse was trained using classical methods and never wore a draw rein in his life)...;)

slc2
Oct. 4, 2007, 06:56 PM
exactly. the judge can not make suppositions or hold any prejudices about whether he likes the rider or their trainer or the methods used to train the horse, this is what i mean by 'judging the training', you cannot. you judge the test. the second that horse walks into the ring, he is on a level playing field with all other competitors and riders. regardless of what you have read in a horse magazine, or seen them do before.

a trainer cannot say, i saw them warming up in a way i don't like - the warmup is not judged. that is the rules. judging does not mean making up your own rules, based on your opinions or feelings about whether so and so is a drunk, or a bad trainer, or a person who doesn't vacuum their house enough. or anything else.

if someone comes into the ring and fulfills the requirements, they get a score that reflects that. that's it.

of course, the test is affected by how the horse is trained. duh. but the judge cannot judge that, he cannot make any suppositions or hold any biases or prejudices, he judges the test and the test only.

sm
Oct. 4, 2007, 07:06 PM
Irrelevant, draw reins and rollkur are not addressing the point that was made:


"Of course the judge judges the training method, those guidelines are what the FEI rules outline clearly as the touchstones of correct training. Those who do turn a blind eye to the over tempo/tense/impure gaits/lack of lateral flexability/lack of lowering of the croup in piaffe/etc ignore the rules...

Of course the judges can't mark down for rollkur, why would they even try to find a method to do so? The FEI reviewed it and allows it... that was not the point being made.

Maren
Oct. 4, 2007, 09:00 PM
"but maybe the really great gaits weren't there- or maybe the really great gaits didn't come out because of the training?? who knows??"

So what, we're back to judging gaits? That is exactly where the cat bites its tail, sort of.

Anyway, I do appreciate your input, Sabine, especially BECAUSE you have a different background and can apply it (read: over the fenceline - good!). I just had to smile to myself about that other comment here saying "so long as horses don't complain"....who is to judge that? Who knows when a horse is complaining?? Like us, they're all indivduals. Like us, they voice their "concerns" in different ways. Is Gribaldi a classic example of Rollkur gone bad over time? Who knows? but it does come to mind....;-)

Have to go back to my real job now, but you guys keep writing. Interesting reading!

Hony
Oct. 4, 2007, 10:42 PM
Sabine - that's exactly what I thought when I saw it. It's a money grab like all the other horse whisperers.
I took a little time to read Xenophon and found that there was nothing that isn't commonly being practiced today in many, many stables.
Did everyone read the section where he writes about bitting. The description of bits that were used is frightening. I am certain that it would easy to use a loose rein, infact necessary when there are spikes on the bit.
The principals that are outlined are clearly about creating a partnership between horse and rider. This is not a thing of the past in any way.
I hate money grabs and I don't need to pay for someone to remind me that me and my horse are partners. Xenophon is rudimentary IMHO. Important, but rudimentary. I would hope that this is the case for many people. If not, then I guess you really do need the club to remind you that you are working WITH your horse.

Sabine
Oct. 5, 2007, 02:00 AM
Sabine - that's exactly what I thought when I saw it. It's a money grab like all the other horse whisperers.
I took a little time to read Xenophon and found that there was nothing that isn't commonly being practiced today in many, many stables.
Did everyone read the section where he writes about bitting. The description of bits that were used is frightening. I am certain that it would easy to use a loose rein, infact necessary when there are spikes on the bit.
The principals that are outlined are clearly about creating a partnership between horse and rider. This is not a thing of the past in any way.
I hate money grabs and I don't need to pay for someone to remind me that me and my horse are partners. Xenophon is rudimentary IMHO. Important, but rudimentary. I would hope that this is the case for many people. If not, then I guess you really do need the club to remind you that you are working WITH your horse.


thanks Hony- that works for me...but if MBM thinks her classical skills are better off by subscribing- then so be it...;) Whatever floats your boat- in my world there are a few more tools and methods used than what is descibed here-...:)

Sabine
Oct. 5, 2007, 02:09 AM
"but maybe the really great gaits weren't there- or maybe the really great gaits didn't come out because of the training?? who knows??"

So what, we're back to judging gaits? That is exactly where the cat bites its tail, sort of.

Anyway, I do appreciate your input, Sabine, especially BECAUSE you have a different background and can apply it (read: over the fenceline - good!). I just had to smile to myself about that other comment here saying "so long as horses don't complain"....who is to judge that? Who knows when a horse is complaining?? Like us, they're all indivduals. Like us, they voice their "concerns" in different ways. Is Gribaldi a classic example of Rollkur gone bad over time? Who knows? but it does come to mind....;-)

Have to go back to my real job now, but you guys keep writing. Interesting reading!

Thanks Maren- and good point about the complaining. I would like to address that first.
I think 'complaining' in my world means that some part of the very close relationship I have with my horse is not quite right- it could be physical, behavior, eating, physical- anything really- usually my gut rings the bell and I know that something is not quite right. I do acknowledge that pushing a horse to a higher level of performance takes some work and some temporary discomfort. The key is 'temporary'. Usually the worst signs in my mind are having to do with their gut (physical-colic) and behavior changes. This to me is always a sign of too much stress and going down a road that possibly can be taken differently- I review, assess and make changes then. But I also do want to point out that temporary discomfort is normal and just like athletes that work out hard- horses go thru that and with proper icing/care recover promptly and without scars- just to show stronger and happier.
I don't like what happened to Gribaldi at all...:(

I am not judging gaits- but the flexibility and ease with which a upper level horse shows its original gaits- the ones he had way back when he was 3. I think it's back to total gymnasticizing and loosening and more loosening and soft collection and loosening- that back and forth- that's the only thing that produces the real gaits. Did you see Isi ride at Europeans- Satchmo in the GPS? Did you see the enormous expressiveness she showed there?
The Piaffe was not good but the rest was killer good, fluid and just effortless. I think that is a great example of what I am talking about. And yes- she rides very deep..;)

mbm
Oct. 5, 2007, 02:17 AM
from what i understand ( and i havent looked at the site in a year) they are just about reminding folks that the traditional methods of dressage work well and should not be forgotten. And they also offer education oportunities for folks.

and, if my experience in the world of dressage is any indication, the average joe smoe dressage rider who wants to get an education is going to have one hell of a time finding a good trainer that practices correct dressage.... so i beleive any org that is about teaching folks correct theory/practice is worthwhile.

what i dont get is why do folks feel the need to tear down something that is about doing good?

do you tear down the spca or the humane society or the usdf or any other specialty organization that has dues, educates etc?

if you dont want to join - dont. but to say these folks are bad just becuase they feel a need to voice their opinion and help educate others - is really silly.

the folks that started that org are some very well respected people. so i dont get it?

shouldnt we all be happy that there are more education opportunites for folks?

and fwiw, i dont subscribe - (i am not really a joiner ;) but i would go to an event if there were one in my area. i think it would be interesting.

Rusty Stirrup
Oct. 5, 2007, 07:39 AM
I haven't looked at the site in quite a while also. I don't really think it's about making money. I think because of the direction dressage has been taking the original founders wanted to distance themselves from the controversy and newer methods used in competition. I'm not a joiner either (limited to this bb and another because it's free). I

slc2
Oct. 5, 2007, 08:51 AM
"something that's doing good"

they haven't done anything except make a website and say they are classical.

Bluey
Oct. 5, 2007, 11:45 AM
---"do you tear down the spca or the humane society or the usdf or any other specialty organization that has dues, educates etc? "---

The humane society educates?:rolleyes: :lol:

http://www.animalscam.com/organizations.cfm

I do agree that to tear at this Xenophon Society is without merit.
If and when they do more than take a stand on what is classical training and riding, then we may agree or not with them.

Right now, to use your example, to name themselves defenders of what is good, as those associations you mention do, is no ground for attack.

When they have an active track record, as those associations have by now, then you can say they are not on the level, they do it for the money, power, publicity, etc.:yes:

mbm
Oct. 5, 2007, 12:06 PM
fwiw, where i live the humane society is a good thing.... they have no kill policies etc, they also have various education programs.... .

i have no idea what that are like elsewhere.

and re: doing good: they have gotten peopel talking, they have voiced an opinion ,they have done various symposiums, or the organizers of the org have done symposiums, all that is good stuff.

Bluey
Oct. 5, 2007, 12:19 PM
fwiw, where i live the humane society is a good thing.... they have no kill policies etc, they also have various education programs.... .

i have no idea what that are like elsewhere.

and re: doing good: they have gotten peopel talking, they have voiced an opinion ,they have done various symposiums, or the organizers of the org have done symposiums, all that is good stuff.

You are aware that "no kill" policies, in general animal control/rescue work, are not seen as sustenable or reasonable policies?

Who do you think gets all those extra animals the "no kill" people can't take in, because of those "no kill" policies keep their turnover so low and so no place for the next needy animal?
Why is it better to warehouse unadoptable animals than euthanize them?

I am just making a point here, that, unless you are very well aquainted with a situation, their problems and what is being done, it is hard to have an opinion that makes sense for that situation.

No representative of the Xenophon Society has been controversial, speaking in the name of the society, that I know of.
As of now, that society has not really given much, as a society, for people to pick on it, as some are trying to.

That was my point.

MWWarmbloods
Feb. 19, 2008, 04:44 PM
http://www.allege-ideal.com/index.php?lang=en

Blkarab
Feb. 19, 2008, 04:53 PM
dressage4fun---Where are you located? Please PM me.

My instructor teaches the classical principles. She studies with Melissa Simms and attended the Neindorff school in Germany for a time.