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Red Barn
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:11 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPjeC8RDgMo


YOU decide!

ToN Farm
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:24 PM
I see nothing at all to ridicule.

Pony Fixer
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:29 PM
Oh, Oh, let me guess. It's Coby van Balen, right? That's the answer.

For god sakes, can we move ON from the witch hunt to something a little more interesting?

It's a nice test. Some hiccups, but overall pretty darn good. The curb never goes behind 45 degrees, the horses ears go from pricked to turned to the rider but never pinned. A few flicks of the tail, but no wringing. Does the nose go BTV? Some, but only a tiny bit, and for sure not the whole time.

Excuse me, I have to get off the computer and go rollkur my horses, just because....

slc2
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:43 PM
agree with ponyfixer. there must be something else we can get excited about today.

hpelham1
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:22 AM
WOW. Seems like people are taking this a bit personally...

Where do I begin?? Since some have accused the OP of just taking the opportunity to slam Koby again, I'll ignore the rider at this point and concentrate on the horse. Let me be blunt..the horse is so tense he looks like a stick. There is not much engagement from the hind end, except during the extended canter where he looks as if he would run for the hills if he could. His ears may not be pinned, yet his mouth is gaping almost the entire time. During the free walk, the horse couldn't even move his nose/neck down and out. The tempi changes were just painful. I honestly can't believe that someone could look at this video and say it was a fine ride. To me, this ride is the epitome of everything wrong with dressage. We are not looking at a happy horse who enjoys what he is doing. We are not seeing a willing and happy expression. We are not seeing big, floaty, expressive gaits. If this is dressage, I am not a dressage rider.

On a happy note, his halts were nice.

dutchmike
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:29 AM
So how many posts are we going to have about Coby van Balen?. IMO we know what she did ,hopefully something will get done about by the competent authorities. So find a new victim ,it starts to look like a witch hunt and is starting to look pittyfull

Red Barn
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:48 AM
No, not a witch hunt at all, and I'm not sure why people are taking it that way. Is it really necessary to make every question PERSONAL?

I posted this video because I and several other people on these various threads have said that the problem with "modern" competitive dressage is that classical values are no longer the central criteria in judging - hence the increasing use of rolkur.

It has been demonstrated that this particular person uses this method.

Here is the PRODUCT of that method.

Apparently plenty of people find nothing wrong with it! That speaks volumes in itself.

Sabine
Oct. 3, 2007, 01:40 AM
WOW. Seems like people are taking this a bit personally...

Where do I begin?? Since some have accused the OP of just taking the opportunity to slam Koby again, I'll ignore the rider at this point and concentrate on the horse. Let me be blunt..the horse is so tense he looks like a stick. There is not much engagement from the hind end, except during the extended canter where he looks as if he would run for the hills if he could. His ears may not be pinned, yet his mouth is gaping almost the entire time. During the free walk, the horse couldn't even move his nose/neck down and out. The tempi changes were just painful. I honestly can't believe that someone could look at this video and say it was a fine ride. To me, this ride is the epitome of everything wrong with dressage. We are not looking at a happy horse who enjoys what he is doing. We are not seeing a willing and happy expression. We are not seeing big, floaty, expressive gaits. If this is dressage, I am not a dressage rider.

On a happy note, his halts were nice.

an who the frigg made you the expert?? Are you a judge- have you attended a show recently- ??? I so- make it to the east or west coast and catch some of our team riders riding up and coming horses at I2...then let's talk- while you're there- make sure you bring binoculars...

on another note- it's very poor taste to kick someone on the ground. She's on the ground ! Let's shut up and let it run it's course- frankly no need for sofa keyboard riders at this time..
Thanks!

LarkspurCO
Oct. 3, 2007, 01:50 AM
I don't recall seeing her ride before. I didn't really watch the horse but watched the rider's leg (just happens to be my obsession at the moment). What impresses me most is the nearly constant spurring throughout the test. There are rare stretches where she is not spurring, but otherwise jabbing every other stride.

EssentialEQST
Oct. 3, 2007, 01:54 AM
Not paying attention to the NAME of the rider.

I noticed excessive spuring/swinging back-and-forth of the lower leg, and it kind of looks like in the extended trot she's got her feet way out in front of her. At 2:59 looks like the horse jumps into the extended trot. Buck/kick-out into the canter at 3:58. Canter zig-zag looks all wonky at the change of bend & flying change. Horse's hind-end looks strange... just not right.
Missed some changes in the 1's.

That's my observation :)

Dressage-ryder
Oct. 3, 2007, 02:08 AM
dutchmike... My thoughts exactly!

hpelham1
Oct. 3, 2007, 02:44 AM
No one made me an expert, and I never claimed to be. These are my views after watching the ride.....and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I'm not going to apologize for it, and I'm not sure why some are taking this personally. The OP said "YOU decide".....she didn't say "this is wrong" or "this is great." She asked for opinions, and that is mine. And that's it! :)

Sabine
Oct. 3, 2007, 03:12 AM
No one made me an expert, and I never claimed to be. These are my views after watching the ride.....and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I'm not going to apologize for it, and I'm not sure why some are taking this personally. The OP said "YOU decide".....she didn't say "this is wrong" or "this is great." She asked for opinions, and that is mine. And that's it! :)

sorry - knowingly or not you got yourself into a hot seat- because this lady is being questioned bigtime...respect your opinion- and by gholly you are entitled to it...!!;)

slc2
Oct. 3, 2007, 07:10 AM
we see and critique what we want to see, according to the news of the day.

the video of the white horse is held up as an example of perfection, merely because his rider hasn't been in the news.

if you didn't know it was coby, if it was a friend of yours, or yourself, the critique would be very, very different.

it is quite common for people to urge horses forward in competition, yes, at every stride. try riding in a venue like that some time, or riding at the upper level, in which horses actually need urging, rather than coasting around at training level at your home barn, at a slow jog with your reins in a loop. the spurs may not be even contacting the horse, plus when they are, they are not exactly instruments of torture - spurs are part of classical riding. they are blunt and dull and tapping a horse with a spur isn't going to hurt him, quite the contrary, it's actually when the leg is still and clamped against the horse, with the spur NOT tapping, but dragging against the horse's side, and clinging to it, that it rubs a horse raw and irritates him.

leave coby van baalen alone. let her absorb the situation and learn from it, if you really believe there's so much to learn from it. the more you pick and critique, the more defensive people get, and the less they learn.

if your desire really is to improve training rather than aggrandize yourselves, you wouldn't engage in such personal attacks against individuals. witch hunt - absolutely.

Rusty Stirrup
Oct. 3, 2007, 07:22 AM
Is it a schooling ride? I don't see a number. Is that what you meant? LOL

ToN Farm
Oct. 3, 2007, 10:47 AM
try riding <snipped> at the upper level, in which horses actually need urging, rather than coasting around at training level at your home barn, at a slow jog with your reins in a loop. Few if any riders that are out there competing at FEI would be bashing rides like this. Picking on excellent riders and horses sickens me the same way that RK sickens the most of you.

egontoast
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:07 AM
:confused: The horse was very relaxed and supple. his mouth was not open. You are seeing foam, not an open mouth..

. Sometimes I get the impression that many of the people who are most anti- dressage on these threads (airy fairy? Do you train dressage?) just don't like the sport anyway and want it to be more like WP or HUS. If you think that horse was too tense then maybe take up western pleasure.

Pony Fixer
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:30 AM
I agree with eggy and ToN.

I think those that are most likely to trash an upper level ride have never been close to doing it themselves. If you actually rode upper levels, you would understand that all those momentary blips are just that--and that not only are no rides perfect, but the higher you get the more difficult it is to put together a more seamless ride.

I am only riding 3rd level, not FEI, btw in interest of full disclosure. But if you read USDF magazine, they outline how many % of riders at shows are at each level, and 80%+ are at Tr and 1st. I'd be interested to know where in that 80%-20% split these latest "dressage is becoming evil" discussions lie.

Forte
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:32 AM
Let's ignore the rider's name for a while. What I saw was a lovely fluid ride. Not a perfect ride, but very respectable and with many lovely moments. The rider's leg is very busy at time, which is distracting. She rides with a very good coach, so I'm sure this is being addressed. Yes, she does get thrown into a chair seat at times, especially during the extended trot. This is obviously a huge moving horse though, so I think its somewhat understandable, and I'm sure it's something that she's working on. How many of YOU could ride an extended trot like that without losing your position?

Eclectic Horseman
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:39 AM
She does seem to sit a bit behind the motion almost "on her back pockets." Perhaps she would not need so much leg if she were not contradicting it with her seat. That's the way it appears to me anyway.

I do see a tendency toward visibly busy legs these days. So much so that it is becoming almost a fad. I find it quite unattractive and wonder about the old adage of the horse getting increasingly dead to the leg when it is used every stride?

gr8fulrider
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:46 AM
I saw some very good moments, a tactful rider, and a horse who looks as if he's at the beginning of his time at this level, and ironing out the kinks.

As for the "spurring," to me (on the small screen) it looked like her leg was draped softly about the horse and as a result there was some swing to it, natural because the horse actually was moving forward. To keep her lower legs 100% still she'd probably have to tense somewhere else. I've seen plenty of videos posted on here as good examples where the rider's leg has a little swing. And yes she was asking him forward. Better to insist upon forward than to let him be sucked back.

A person is so much more than the worst thing that she ever did. Does anyone want to go back and critique the lovely rides on Ferro that received so much praise before the pony pictures came out?

I'd also really, really like it if critiquers stated their experience at this level. I've never shown FEI, only watched. So this is from an amateur who has watched a number of people, and gotten the privilege of sitting on some nice schoolmasters. Naysayers-- how are your FEI horses going?

grayarabpony
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:00 PM
I watched the first 2 minutes.

OK first of all, the horse is NOT IN HIS TRACKS. Was that passage after the first turn? if so, very tense and not engaged. The same with the extended or medium trot that followed. I don't need to be an FEI competitor to critique something like that. Forward and relaxed is BASIC. This horse is not through his back.

The canter into the arena was very good, although the halt was not square.

From what I could see the half passes looked good.

The rider needs to stop leaning behind the vertical. Edited to add: That's probably why her leg is flapping so much, because her pelvis isn't properly absorbing the motion.

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:25 PM
Hmmm it looks like all of this stuff that so bad to you reflects in the score? 66%

Who are you mad at? The judge obviously has eyes and more training ?

LarkspurCO
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:28 PM
So this spurring every stride. I've been watching video of the 2004 Olympic Games and nobody did this. Why is this not considered nagging and why wouldn't it deaden the horse to the aids?

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:38 PM
So we have the endurance rider who loves to ride commando on her hollow backed arab and her ringboned QH for many many miles weighing in on what's wrong with dressage. Am I allowed to say that? or are we only allowed to say this sort of thing about upper level riders?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.:) Even me.


WOW

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:40 PM
So we have the endurance rider who loves to ride commando on her hollow backed arab and her ringboned QH for many many miles weighing in on what's wrong with dressage. Am I allowed to say that? or are we only allowed to say this sort of thing about upper level riders?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.:) Even me.

Egon where did you get this from. Ive never done endurance. I dont have a horse with ringbone. What are you talking about ??

egontoast
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:42 PM
gee, mnomiomie, maybe not every response is about you? <Maybe?Is it possible? Shoe fits and so on.

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:43 PM
You really shouldnt say that to anyone anyway. IT did look like u might be talking to me! Not nice no matter what.

Dressage-ryder
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:44 PM
I didn't notice " Spurring" every stride, her leg moved but her toe pointed forward and from the small screen the spur only touched the horse at times..I didn't see spurring every stride. I saw a swinging leg a lot, but spurring... no.


Ferro is still one the the horses that makes me get goosebumps.... THIS woman did a super job with him and I wont jump on the "lets destroy" Coby wagon. She IS and good rider and thats why she has gotten where she has.

Sometimes I wonder WHAT the point is of threads like this? Are people really this rude to PROFESSIONALS offline? Do you go to Debbie M. or Lisa W. or whoever after they ride and give them your valued opinion?I dare YOU!

egontoast
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:46 PM
You really shouldnt say that to anyone anyway. IT did look like u might be talking to me! Not nice no matter what.

Give me a list of who deserves 'nice'?

Are you being 'nice '?

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:48 PM
Wanna fight huh! PM me then and tell me what you think about me/them but posting pokes at people not very cool. Especially if they really do have a sick/lame horse.

egontoast
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:52 PM
Wanna fight huh! PM me then and tell me what you think about me/them but posting pokes at people not very cool. Especially if they really do have a sick/lame horse.


Um no thanks. I have no idea what you are talking about thank God.

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:53 PM
So we have the endurance rider who loves to ride commando on her hollow backed arab and her ringboned QH for many many miles weighing in on what's wrong with dressage. Am I allowed to say that? or are we only allowed to say this sort of thing about upper level riders?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.:) Even me.

YOU posted this about someone and then say you dont know what I am talking about! Im just jumping on you about it because its WRONG!

twnkltoz
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:58 PM
WOW. Seems like people are taking this a bit personally...

Where do I begin?? Since some have accused the OP of just taking the opportunity to slam Koby again, I'll ignore the rider at this point and concentrate on the horse. Let me be blunt..the horse is so tense he looks like a stick. There is not much engagement from the hind end, except during the extended canter where he looks as if he would run for the hills if he could. His ears may not be pinned, yet his mouth is gaping almost the entire time. During the free walk, the horse couldn't even move his nose/neck down and out. The tempi changes were just painful. I honestly can't believe that someone could look at this video and say it was a fine ride. To me, this ride is the epitome of everything wrong with dressage. We are not looking at a happy horse who enjoys what he is doing. We are not seeing a willing and happy expression. We are not seeing big, floaty, expressive gaits. If this is dressage, I am not a dressage rider.

On a happy note, his halts were nice.

I can't see the video because I'm at work, but it probably wasn't a free walk. It was an extended walk.

Red Barn
Oct. 3, 2007, 01:35 PM
You think maybe that nagging spur might be necessary to move a horse forward when his back and neck are frozen solid due to certain "extreme training methods?"

Just a thought.

Hazelnut
Oct. 3, 2007, 02:39 PM
Wrong? The only thing wrong is I can't ride like that or any approximation thereof. I wish I could ride like that...

hpelham1
Oct. 3, 2007, 04:11 PM
Most of my post dealt with the tension of the horse. So here is a lovely ride that I think shows the best of dressage. When you compare this horse to the first video I hope it will show what I meant about tension in the first horse.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gkgq6YhVeN


And just so no one accuses me of a witch hunt, here's a video of the lovely Ferro ridden by Coby.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62ucx2XJ9fI

In my opinion, both of the above horses show what we look for in dressage. Both of these horses are expressive, relaxed, and are visibly enjoying what they are doing. When compared to these two lovelies, the first horse is visibly tense and unhappy.

hpelham1
Oct. 3, 2007, 05:33 PM
Here's the first link again, sorry about that.:)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gkgq6YhVeNo

PaddyUK
Oct. 3, 2007, 05:46 PM
But that was not a comparable test, no passage, piaffe or canter pirouette as in the very first Corby video.

My trainer says you should not snark someone elses riding unless you can preform the movements ot test yourself.

On that note I shall say nowt.

Paddy

hpelham1
Oct. 3, 2007, 05:56 PM
I wasn't snarking someone's riding, just talking about the tension of the horse. Yes, Ingrid Klimkes' ride was at a lower level, but the freedom and expression of the horse was lovely. As was Cobys' ride on Ferro, which was a higher level.

Red Barn
Oct. 3, 2007, 06:20 PM
Ingrid Klimke's ride IS lovely! (If I'd been cleverer, I would have posted something like that in the OP, for comparison's sake.)

One thing that strikes me about this whole thread: everybody (almost!) seems to think that all this business about CVB and rolkur and classical training and all that is about INDIVIDUALS. Why assume that?

Honestly, aren't there bigger issues at stake? Like the direction in which our whole sport is headed? Like sorting out the specific qualities that this discipline actually values?

Reducing a necessary debate to a matter of how impolite it is to "snark somebody's ride" just trivializes the whole thing, and perpuates the idea that everything in life is just a gossipy replay of People Magazine.

WindsongEq
Oct. 4, 2007, 01:15 AM
It was a pretty typical Intermediare II ride. The RB was a bit sticky, there aren't supposed to be tempi's between the fairly large pirouettes and the 1's should have only been 11 not 17, way too many with mistakes in the middle. Intermediare II is a big jump from I-1. The piaffe, passage and single tempi's are added in this test. The piaffe is allowed to have 1 meter of ground cover. The piaffe was active. I thought the horse talented and willing. I liked the way the rider used her outer leg in the trot half passes, in time with the horse's outer hind instead of pushing the whole way across.
I-II is a bit easier test than the GP for a young horse just starting to show its Piaffe, Passage and 1's.

Sabine
Oct. 4, 2007, 01:25 AM
Ingrid Klimke's ride IS lovely! (If I'd been cleverer, I would have posted something like that in the OP, for comparison's sake.)

One thing that strikes me about this whole thread: everybody (almost!) seems to think that all this business about CVB and rolkur and classical training and all that is about INDIVIDUALS. Why assume that?

Honestly, aren't there bigger issues at stake? Like the direction in which our whole sport is headed? Like sorting out the specific qualities that this discipline actually values?

Reducing a necessary debate to a matter of how impolite it is to "snark somebody's ride" just trivializes the whole thing, and perpuates the idea that everything in life is just a gossipy replay of People Magazine.


you have made up a new direction with every post. Initially your post was easily read as a stab against Coby- especially in light of what's going on. Now it's about the direction dressage is going in- jeez???!

Dressage is going in the direction that the governing associations, its members, the riders and the public want it to go- there is a lot more learning and growing to do- but overall- I think it's going just fine in the right direction.
If your philosophies on training don't agree- then ask yourself if this is a perceived dislike for the dutch system or maybe something you don't quite know -other than thru the media?

QueenofHearts
Oct. 4, 2007, 01:40 AM
In the very first video i thought the rider did look a little busy through the leg. But, I also thought she might be doing it to keep her horses attention. I though he looked like he would almost think about something else and then get back on task. I thought he looked like he wanted to look around a bit so but that test has so much stuff the rider has to keep the horse concentrated. Just watching it, I would say that that might not have been the pairs best ride, there was a few things to improve on but it looked to me to be a honest effort for both horse and rider.
It kinda had the look of, this will be better a few more times around.

twnkltoz
Oct. 4, 2007, 01:50 AM
Finally got to watch the video...looks like a nice horse. Anyone bother to look at his ears?

PiaffeDreams
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:07 AM
Thanks for the link. I'd like to be able to put a test in like that on a horse that is obviously green at I2. I noticed his ears too.... they are big, keen on her, keen on the arena and quite floppy a lot of the time.

I'd take the horse. I'd take that ride. And, I'd certainly take the level they've progressed to with the weaker points they still have. Looks like what we all (or those of us doing dressage anyway) work on all the time. It just goes to show that no matter how many medals you win, how many famous horses you've ridden, or what level you are working on every horse and every rider work every day on connection and throughness.

Even Grand Prix is a process not a product.

EssentialEQST
Oct. 4, 2007, 12:53 PM
I'm not bashing anyone... I made an observation. I could care less if it's Coby or the cowboy down the street. OP asked a question, I answered IMHO. The observations I made were obvious ones too. Missed tempis, buck/kick out, and that jump/launch into the extended gaits. I too liked that she aided with the outside in time with the horse's outside hind, and didn't drive the whole time with the leg. I was also pleased to see floppy ears at points of the ride.

Piaffedreams, I agree with your last post. Dressage isn't for the faint of heart... we all work on the same issues, have the same faults pretty much. Otherwise, we'd all be getting 10's ;)

Hony
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:03 PM
IMHO the horse looks very relaxed at the start of the test, then gets a bit tense towards the end when the tempis are asked for. He looks a little bit weak during the tempis, like he is at the start of his career rather than at the pinnacle.
Coby rides just fine. I think some people on this board assume that upper level riders are god and should make no mistakes. The fact is that there are riders with natural talent and feel and riders who just work damn hard at it. All riders have issues, maybe having a quiet leg is Coby's issue. The one thing I have noticed with good riders is that when they have an issue they recognize it and try to fix it. It may take them years to do so, and they may never quite conquer it but they are aware of it.
Professionals were not always professionals so I think it is important to see the human aspect of their riding rather than just tear them apart.
Think about the number of times people post a pic here and say 'please excuse the hands, or please excuse the wobbly legs, I'm working on it'. With those people we never bat an eye but with a pro we expect that they will never put a foot wrong. It is an unrealistic standard.

Eclectic Horseman
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:19 PM
People educate themselves by identifying what's right and what's wrong. It can be challenging when you are figuring out why someone might have gotten the very respectable score of 66% on their freestyle and not a 76%.

Doesn't mean anyone is "bashing" or critizing unfairly. No one gets 100%. We learn by identifying flaws and discussing how they can be improved or corrected.

You don't learn anything by saying "yes, good" all the time. Although I do know riders who are willing to pay a lot of money to their trainers to hear that and only that!!! ;)

grayarabpony
Oct. 4, 2007, 03:19 PM
I haven't watched the Ferro video yet, but I love Ingrid Klimke's ride. Just a couple of hiccups with the half pirouttes and a flying lead change, which looked like green horse stuff to me. It looked like a lot of fun to ride. What level was she riding and what was her score?

Hony
Oct. 4, 2007, 10:16 PM
You don't learn anything by saying "yes, good" all the time.

Agreed, but you do learn from hearing good some of the time!!!

Carol O
Oct. 4, 2007, 11:16 PM
Glad to see I'm not the only one who's halts are not always square!

Dirigo
Oct. 5, 2007, 08:38 AM
It makes me sick, to read the stabs on this ride.
Anyone here who "critizises" it would probably give their right arm, to be able to do what this rider does with this obvioustly still young and inexperienced FEI horse. (either that, or they're not honest with themselfs)

I find that the riders, who ACTUALLY compete in the FEI ring are a whole lot kinder and more compassionate then tribune riders on these BB's.
That is largely, because faults are UNDERSTOOD by people who compete at that level.

Stop looking for dirty laundry. We all strive to better ourselfs. We ALL have improvements to be made all the time. Look for the things, that are good, rather then parts that are not perfect, as there is no such thing in Dressage.

~Freedom~
Oct. 5, 2007, 08:50 AM
Glad to see I'm not the only one who's halts are not always square!


Happening a lot at the higher levels. And lower ones I see.

Red Barn
Oct. 5, 2007, 06:14 PM
you have made up a new direction with every post. Initially your post was easily read as a stab against Coby- especially in light of what's going on. Now it's about the direction dressage is going in- jeez???!


Um, no.

I was TRYING to use CVBs ride as an example of what some of us find baffling about the way upper level competitive performance is evaluated nowadays.

Obviously, I need to have my meds adjusted.

Judging by the tone of the last 3 pages, anybody who’s ever trotted a 20 meter circle feels entitled to carry on as if “Coby” and “Anky” and “Sjef” have been their best buds since grade school. Apparently it’s rude and uppity to critique their performances because “we’re all in it together” or some such crap.

WTF are you people talking about?

The riders under discussion are NOT OUR PEERS, they’re CELEBRITIES, just like pop stars and baseball players! And NO, you don’t have to be an FEI rider to critique their performances any more than you have to win the Tour de France to hold an opinion on steroid use, or be Spike Lee to critique a film.

News flash, people! Most of us – and I do understand that there really are exceptions on this board – participate in the highest levels of dressage competition as SPECTATORS and SPECTATORS only. And what in the world is wrong with that? Spectators are IMPORTANT. Spectators are the reason art and sport exist, for God’s sake! Being an intelligent critic is your JOB. Why is everybody so eager to shirk their responsibilities here?

Isn’t it obvious that an informed and discerning audience is what preserves the integrity and vitality of any art form or sport? Without that, art and sport degenerate into cheap parodies of themselves pretty damn quick.

So yes, I had this crack-brained idea that the “Coby” debacle might actually spur some real debate on the factors that have gradually changed the shape of competitive dressage over the last 20 years or so. It COULD have been a perfect opportunity to objectively evaluate the sport as whole, and how the performers at the top influence the standards set for the rest of us.

But nooooo. That’s just way too abstract. And besides - "Anky" needs jingles!

Hazelnut
Oct. 5, 2007, 06:19 PM
Actually, I just wish I could ride as well as the riders in the videos you posted.

snoopy
Oct. 5, 2007, 07:10 PM
Ever watched a sport discussion panel TV show (football, tennis, golf etc)...not all those on the panel have "played" or competed to the level that they are discussing...that does not make their observations less vaild. To say that your opinion is without merit simply because you "have never been there" is ridiculous.
Because one has not competed to GP or any of the FEI levels does not mean that you are unaware of what is necessary to carry out a good test. One can point out areas of weakness because hopefully our basics are on similar lines. I do not think that you need to be an FEI rider to COMMENT on a horse's way of going or rider position/aids....assuming that one has a solid education in the principals of riding/dressage.

An interesting note....this ia a quote from Coby's book:


Why is the book called The Simplicity of Dressage when to many dressage seems so complicated? Coby van Baalen explains: "It's not because dressage is so simple to do, but because dressage is simple to explain. Regardless of which level one rides, the basics are always the same."




That said....I have noticed the Coby does tend to ride with a VERY long stirrup and she has been prone to have "active" lower legs....that is not to say that she is using her spur excessively because there is more movement than you would like to see. I have seen her ride on many occasions, seen the leg movement but have also noticed that she was very controlled in her USE of the spur. I will be the first to admit that I was unhappy by "those pictures" but as I have said, from my own experiences of seeiing her compete/ride IN PERSON....that she is on the more tactful side given some of the horses she rides.

LarkspurCO
Oct. 5, 2007, 09:44 PM
Red Barn, I agree with you. But, alas, it doesn't appear that you can discuss anyone's faults on this board without unleashing the cracken. Perhaps it was just bad timing. Maybe a better choice of wording in the subject line would have been better received. Who knows?

Watching the second video of Coby on the stallion, she also uses her spurs a lot there. I guess it's just her style. I'm not talking about the swinging leg -- there's a bit of that -- but there is a lot of deliberate spurring. I watched a Spanish rider (Beatrice Ferrer-Salat) with a similar style. She was the only rider on the 2004 Olympics DVD who rode that way. She also placed in the medals.

I still do not understand why continuous spurring does not become nagging, and why the horse would not eventually just tune that out over time as with any other repetitive aid. I'm not going to get an answer here, so I'll discuss it with my trainer (she's the one who told me to start studying the Olympic riders anyway). I don't have to ride GP for this to be a relevant question.

Red Barn
Oct. 5, 2007, 10:04 PM
HEY, Rational People! How nice.

I've noticed that there's a lot of talk about Busy Leg Syndrome lately, and I've noticed it too - not just in this ride, but in lots of others.

I keep thinking that it's gotta be a by-product of the newly popular stiff-backed/BTV (probably rollkured) style of movememt, which surely makes the horse less inclined to move freely forward, and so requires more pushing.

Thoughts?

LarkspurCO
Oct. 6, 2007, 02:10 AM
Honestly I don't feel educated enough to speculate on why a given rider needs to spur more than another. It doesn't seem to me that many lazy horses get to be ridden by riders of this caliber, yet I can see where a horse ridden in rollkur might easily lose the forward flowing energy and require more leg/spur.

A friend who went to the last to World Cup events in Las Vegas said that all the riders were doing it in the warm-up, so I'm operating under the assumption that most riders at this level are using rollkur in some fashion. However, I don't know that they necessarily use it on every horse they ride and at every level.

As far as the busy legs, I tend to see it more a reflection of the rider's particular training and riding style. Watching other known rollkur riders, their legs are quiet, their positions perfect, and their horses quite forward. So I don't know if one should draw a direct correlation between rollkur and spurring.

Red Barn
Oct. 6, 2007, 08:14 AM
Not saying you could find a direct one-to-one correlation - especially since people are still pretty shy of admitting they even use rollkur - just that there seems to be a connection in terms of movement style.

One thing that struck me right away about the O'jay video is how little real hind end engagement the horse seems to have. Big up front, weak in back. (Somebody back on page one described this as ". . . just not right" in the hindquarters.) Odd in such a nicely conformed horse at the upper levels, don't you think?

Of course I'm just speculating here, but doesn't it seem likely that an immobile neck/back and a disconnected hind end are probably related somehow? So if the frozen carousell horse "frame" is considered a requirement now, aren't problems like reduced forwardness/impulsion likely to result?

angel
Oct. 6, 2007, 08:41 AM
The problem that I see in this thread discussion about this ride, and in other threads of similar ilk, is the acceptance of this ride being outstanding and a refusal to acknowledge the obvious flaws. This is not just about this horse or this rider. When riders cannot look at a performance and discuss the flaws, it means either they do not see them, or deem them of no concern. In either of those cases, the flaws remain acceptable, not only in the video that is being presented, but also in the minds of those watching and praising such a ride. Without the rider being able to constructively understand the flaws, the rider is doomed to repeat the flaws, themselves. Over time, as these flaws increase, quality deteriorates to the point that other means become acceptable to controling the horse's performance.

Many have noted the busy lower leg that is displayed in this video. This is a direct result of the rider attempting to ride with stirrups too long, which places the weight forward, and tends to stop the horse. You can see the results of it, not only in the swinging leg, but also in some of the explosive transitions, including the buck into the right lead canter. For the reinback, the weight actually needs to be forward, but when the rider rides with the weight forward all the time, the horse really does not discern a change of balance into the reinback. We see that in this horse, whose reinback was not only stuck initially, but also crooked.

I could point to other faults within the movements, and especially note the flaws in the extended walk...which did look as a free walk in the lower levels...incorrect for the free walk as well.

If I were to ride this test, I would be pleased with the score. Things could have gone much worse. However, I would not be pleased with those things that I am seeing wrong, either if I were myself, or it were a student of mine. You'd better believe that there would be some more working happening before the next test, attempting to fix those problems that I saw. But, how can you fix what you fail to acknowledge as being a problem?

Fallbrook
Oct. 6, 2007, 10:41 AM
Honestly, aren't there bigger issues at stake? Like the direction in which our whole sport is headed? Like sorting out the specific qualities that this discipline actually values?

So what's your plan?

grayarabpony
Oct. 6, 2007, 10:55 AM
Angel, did you actually read the thread? :confused: All the catfighting is going on because some people dare to critique the ride. Plus I think you meant to use the word backward instead of forward.

Red Barn
Oct. 6, 2007, 11:18 AM
I guess, Fallbrook, that my plan is to try and understand the sport of dressge as it exists today, and figure out what the general viewing and/or riding audience feels about all the developments of the last few years. Obviously there are (at least) two strongly divergent factions on the subject of Classical vs. Competitive standards, and I find the whole debate both fascinating and timely, because I'm wondering if there will ever be an official divide between the two.

Of course there will always be people who would rather put out their own eyes with a hoof pick than question public success - I plan to ignore them.

After that, I going to let Pinky out of his cage, escape from the lab and TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

angel
Oct. 6, 2007, 11:33 AM
I meant exactly what I wrote, grayarabpony.:yes: The reinback is the only movement that does require the weight to be on the front part of the stirrup. All other movements require that the weight either be on the rear, slightly on the rear, or completely neutral or even. The distinguishing feature of the direction that the movement goes, and by what degree the hind legs are engaged, depends on how the rider's seat is able to transfer the weight of the torso to the stirrup. So many of the reinbacks today and done with dragging hindlegs because the riders are incorrectly weighting the stirrups. The only time that the weight of the stirrup should be on the rear edge as the reinback is done, is at that point of the half-halt just before the reinback is initiated. Then, the weight on the stirrup is transferred to the forward position to actually initiate the rearward progression of the diagonals. The weight of the stirrup changes focus because of the manner in which the rider's upper body should be changing to "lighten" the seatbones for the reinback. When riders ride with stirrups too long such that their legs are constantly reaching to touch the stirrups, they are actually telling their horses to stop and go in reverse. Hence, more use of the spurs to keep the horse moving forward, while the rider's body is actually telling the horse to stop.

rcloisonne
Oct. 6, 2007, 12:05 PM
:rolleyes:
As for the "spurring," to me (on the small screen) it looked like her leg was draped softly about the horse and as a result there was some swing to it, natural because the horse actually was moving forward.
Um, I think you might need glasses. That horse was being spurred almost continually, in addition to having his jaw cranked open. :rolleyes:


To keep her lower legs 100% still she'd probably have to tense somewhere else.
Really? I didn't see Ingrid Klimke as tense anywhere and her legs (and hands) were very quiet. Perfect? No, but her ride was a joy to watch. That is what dressage should be.


I've seen plenty of videos posted on here as good examples where the rider's leg has a little swing. And yes she was asking him forward. Better to insist upon forward than to let him be sucked back.
Swing a little? As I said, you may need glasses. And, needing to "insist on forward" should be an anathema to any riding partnership. Blatant displays such as this are also ugly.


A person is so much more than the worst thing that she ever did. Does anyone want to go back and critique the lovely rides on Ferro that received so much praise before the pony pictures came out?
Actually, I saw the whole video of the Sydney Olympics and low and behold, there was one indoor class where Ferro refused to enter the ring at all (despite rigorous spurring) and was disqualified. Ever wonder why he displayed so much resistance? Probably not.


Naysayers-- how are your FEI horses going?
As I recall, it was a child who pointed out that the Emperor had no clothes. But, he wasn't a royal, so what could he possibly know? :lol:

claire
Oct. 6, 2007, 12:26 PM
:rolleyes:
As I recall, it was a child who pointed out that the Emperor had no clothes. But, he wasn't a royal, so what could he possibly know? :lol:

Touche! :winkgrin:

LarkspurCO
Oct. 6, 2007, 12:38 PM
doesn't it seem likely that an immobile neck/back and a disconnected hind end are probably related somehow? So if the frozen carousell horse "frame" is considered a requirement now, aren't problems like reduced forwardness/impulsion likely to result?

Absolutely. And this is one of the fundamentals that applies to the lower level riders as well (this "if you don't ride fei you're just a piece of crap" attitude is annoying). I was advised that, in this area, your horse must have a third-level "frame" before even bothering to ride in training and first-level tests. I do believe I actually scratched my head there...

I'll have to go back and watch the video again, focusing on the horse. In other rides I've been watching, the front-end/hind-end disconnect is most obvious in extended trot. Some of them look downright weird.

Angel, thanks for the thoughtful explanation.

grayarabpony
Oct. 6, 2007, 12:43 PM
Angel, that still doesn't change the fact that the rider is behind the vertical most of the time. Her leg goes from behind out in front to going way behind, because she is leaning backward instead of sitting the horse. The horse is going to pay more attention to the seat than where the rider's foot is in the stirrup anyway.

LarkspurCO
Oct. 6, 2007, 01:22 PM
Angel, that still doesn't change the fact that the rider is behind the vertical most of the time.

Agree, her position does not look forward at all (in the O'Jay video).

Red Barn
Oct. 6, 2007, 01:42 PM
Larkspur, I agree with you about the extensions.

In O'jays video you notice this most dramatically in the funny little bunny hop he throws in right BEFORE the extension - honestly, what could that indicate but a lack of engagement?

Same with the tempi's at the end. (I agree with the poster who said they were painful to watch.) Forelegs all over the place, and the hind end. . . . eeww! Not pretty.

When I look at rides at this level I tend to see rider "error" as a series of compensations for movement difficiencies on the horse's part. (Training related, obviously.) I think that all the things people have pointed out about the rider herself just demonstrate how hard she has to work to hold it all together, and this says more about the horse's ability to do the work easily than about her skill level. JMveryHO.

PS:

I'm enjoying this discussion so much I keep running in from the barn chores to check the board. Thank you!

LarkspurCO
Oct. 6, 2007, 01:47 PM
I'm enjoying this discussion so much I keep running in from the barn chores to check the board. Thank you!


Oh, crap!!! Chores!!!!!!!!!

(I also need to go ride my pathetic training level gelding around in mindless circles on a loopy rein, while wondering how spurs are actually supposed to work.:D)

nhwr
Oct. 6, 2007, 01:57 PM
But, alas, it doesn't appear that you can discuss anyone's faults on this board without unleashing the cracken. Perhaps it was just bad timing. Maybe a better choice of wording in the subject line would have been better received. Who knows?Are we to extrapolate CvB "faults" as a rider from a few poor quality videos on youtube? Really? That is a premise that is naive in the extreme. Particularly when you consider the predisposition of the viewer to find what they want to see. Peoples' comments of the first video make that clear.

Being a person with no particular respect for ignorance, I always find it amusing to hear the emperor's clothes argument. It takes a real hubris to pull that off in dressage. Being unaccomplished as a rider does give one a certain perspective, but it is not a perspective worth bragging about :rolleyes:

And ignorance and hubris is a combination that generally inhibits development of skill.

LarkspurCO
Oct. 6, 2007, 02:21 PM
Are we to extrapolate CvB "faults" as a rider from a few poor quality videos on youtube? Really? That is a premise that is naive in the extreme. Particularly when you consider the predisposition of the viewer to find what they want to see. Peoples' comments of the first video make that clear.

Are you suggesting the YouTube videos are fake, or that an intelligent person with two good eyes cannot detect a fault in a horse or a rider in an isolated ride? What are the judges judging after all? A single ride.


And ignorance and hubris is a combination that generally inhibits development of skill.

Perhaps you might exercise your humility and vast wisdom, not to mention your impressive vocabulary, to enlighten and educate all of us ignorant, self-righteous fools.

Red Barn
Oct. 6, 2007, 02:46 PM
Peoples' comments of the first video make that clear.


The improper positioning of the apostrophe in this sentence demonstrates a woeful lack of "throughness" in your Spell-check application.

JMHO.

claire
Oct. 6, 2007, 02:53 PM
Being a person with no particular respect for ignorance, I always find it amusing to hear the emperor's clothes argument. It takes a real hubris to pull that off in dressage. Being unaccomplished as a rider does give one a certain perspective, but it is not a perspective worth bragging about :rolleyes:
And ignorance and hubris is a combination that generally inhibits development of skill.

I find it amusing that people get themselves in such a twirl over someone posting their opinions. :lol:

Don't open the thread!!!!! You know you are just going to get yourself all :mad: !

Or better yet, put all those ignorant posters on ignore :winkgrin:

CatOnLap
Oct. 6, 2007, 02:58 PM
well heck, RedBarn, at least they didn't spell it "ppls". :yes:

Angel, I haven't read the rest of this thread, but I honestly have never heard of weighting the front of the stirrup before to achieve reinback. How does one do this without raising the heel, shortening the leg and so on?

I was taught to "close the front door and open the back one" for reinback. If I raised my heel by weighting the front of the stirrup, I would not be able to create the energy flow forward, which then goes through the horse to the bit and back, where the seat is somewhat relaxed and open to allow the horse to step back. If the front of stirrup were weighted, I daresay I would tip over backwards as the horse raised up in front to prepare the r-b. That is one of the more common faults I see in r-b: horses who dive down with the forehand and drag their front feet, instead of rising up in the forehand and stepping clearly and diagonally back.

nhwr
Oct. 6, 2007, 02:59 PM
Are you suggesting the YouTube videos are fake, or that an intelligent person with two good eyes cannot detect a fault in a horse or a rider in an isolated ride? What are the judges judging after all? A single ride. I am not "suggesting" anything - what I said was pretty clear, clear enough to ruffle your feathers, anyway. I think anyone would have to concede that CvB as a rider can not be well represented by a few minutes of youtube video. So using these as the basis to discuss her "faults", well I think that means your slip is showing.

I find it amusing that people get themselves in such a twirl over someone posting their opinions. :lol: Not twirling at all. It is pretty funny actually.

I can understand that this chatter may make a person feel like a better spectator, but it doesn't do much for one's riding. These endless discussions, the only thing they improve are one's typing.

But if you disagree, by all means, carry on, as I am sure you will :cool:

nhwr
Oct. 6, 2007, 03:13 PM
The improper positioning of the apostrophe in this sentence demonstrates a woeful lack of "throughness" in your Spell-check application.

JMHO. Just saw this.


You are right. I have been spending more time in the saddle than at the keyboard lately.

But thank you for demonstrating my previous point so clearly. I bow to your superior typing skills :winkgrin:

gotta go, the weather is perfect and I have horses to ride :)

Elegante E
Oct. 6, 2007, 03:42 PM
Angel: have to agree with your analysis. Her forward position is shown by how far back her outside leg came time and again in the lateral work. Her spur was hitting the horse's loins, just in front of the hip at times. To me, that is a sign that the horse isn't responding and that the rider's position is not what it should be.

I'm in with the dumbstruck crowd at how busy legs are these days. I stupidly bought the video, On the Levels, and was amazed that there was only one comment about busy legs when many of the riders spurred their horses with each step. This is an instructional video and ignores what I consider a big riding flaw. How are people supposed to learn if that's the type of instruction being put forward?

ToN Farm
Oct. 6, 2007, 04:16 PM
I stupidly bought the video, On the Levels, and was amazed that there was only one comment about busy legs when many of the riders spurred their horses with each step. This is an instructional video and ignores what I consider a big riding flaw. How are people supposed to learn if that's the type of instruction being put forward?I would not classify On the Levels as an instructional video. It is to show how the tests are ridden and the narrator gives some advice and comments on the movements. You can have busy legs without spur use, and you can overuse the spur without legs looking busy. While busy legs may be unattractive to some, they very unlikely to affect a test score. So many people keep thinking that the rider's position is judged in a test, when rarely is that commented on. It is the 'Effect of the Aids' that counts. For some riders and horses, it might take busy legs, a chair seat, or other less than perfect body positions to get good work from the horse.

ToN Farm
Oct. 6, 2007, 04:26 PM
It makes me sick, to read the stabs on this ride......

I find that the riders, who ACTUALLY compete in the FEI ring are a whole lot kinder and more compassionate then tribune riders on these BB's.
That is largely, because faults are UNDERSTOOD by people who compete at that level.

Agree. Maybe you don't have to ride FEI to critique it, but you do need to ride FEI to realize just how difficult it is. Really, when I see how these excellent riders get ridiculed, I don't even want to enter the ring again. They are so much better than I could even dream to be.

Elegante E
Oct. 6, 2007, 05:04 PM
I would not classify On the Levels as an instructional video. It is to show how the tests are ridden and the narrator gives some advice and comments on the movements.

The movements are discussed and comments made. It's a teaching vid. Teaching is instruction.

LarkspurCO
Oct. 6, 2007, 06:00 PM
Agree. Maybe you don't have to ride FEI to critique it, but you do need to ride FEI to realize just how difficult it is. Really, when I see how these excellent riders get ridiculed, I don't even want to enter the ring again. They are so much better than I could even dream to be.

I think ridicule might be a bit strong. At any rate, why would you be concerned about what a bunch of clueless people would have to say about your riding?

I seriously doubt riders at Coby's level give a rat's flaming flying behind about what the lowly chatroom bloggers have to say about them.

angel
Oct. 6, 2007, 06:23 PM
These FEI riders should be the cream of the sport. When you see a FEI rider who cannot keep a reinback straight...which by the way, is a Second Level skill...I would hope that someone would be listening out there. A smooth walk to canter transition is again Second Level...whoops, I guess we are not supposed to notice Second Level mistakes if the rider is riding an FEI test, right? Let me think...I believe that the extended walk is supposed to be Third Level work. So when you say that lower level riders haven't a clue...just how low do you think that is? Training Level?

TonF is correct in that the rider is not penalized, and that only the way the horse is moving is scored. But, many of these FEI riders have such exceptional horses, that the horse can perform without the rider being correct, and still do passibly well. Most of us have "normal" horses, and yet we are still taught the same incorrect stuff that we see in these FEI rides. The problem is that we do not have a horse under us that can cover our *SS for us.

egontoast
Oct. 6, 2007, 07:49 PM
But, many of these FEI riders have such exceptional horses, that the horse can perform without the rider being correct, and still do passibly well. Most of us have "normal" horses, and yet we are still taught the same incorrect stuff that we see in these FEI rides. The problem is that we do not have a horse under us that can cover our *SS for us.

Bullpucky.

nhwr
Oct. 6, 2007, 09:37 PM
These FEI riders should be the cream of the sport. When you see a FEI rider who cannot keep a reinback straight...which by the way, is a Second Level skill...I would hope that someone would be listening out there. A smooth walk to canter transition is again Second Level...whoops, I guess we are not supposed to notice Second Level mistakes if the rider is riding an FEI test, right? Let me think...I believe that the extended walk is supposed to be Third Level work. So when you say that lower level riders haven't a clue...just how low do you think that is? Training Level?

TonF is correct in that the rider is not penalized, and that only the way the horse is moving is scored. But, many of these FEI riders have such exceptional horses, that the horse can perform without the rider being correct, and still do passibly well. Most of us have "normal" horses, and yet we are still taught the same incorrect stuff that we see in these FEI rides. The problem is that we do not have a horse under us that can cover our *SS for us.
This is such crap it is hard to know where to start. But I guess I'll start with feeling sorry for your horse and repeat
... ignorance and hubris is a combination that generally inhibits development of skill. In a test, a rider generally isn't penalized, the test is scored. A judge may offer an opinion about what they see, but it is based on their impression of the moment they observe. Does that make it true? Not necessarily, though I used to feel differently when I had less confidence in my horses. Exceptional horses and exceptional performances in the dressage arena don't fall from the sky, they are made by exceptional horse/rider combinations. Since we are the ones with the brains who decided that dressage tests are worth doing, I'll tip my hat to the talented rider. They are the ones that make the difference. I happen to believe that most horses are capable of a lot more than they usually produce. The thing holding the horse back is usually who is sitting in the saddle. But many then riders suffer from a chair seat ... I am not talking about a position on their horse's back but rather just too much time in a chair ;)

Sabine
Oct. 7, 2007, 03:18 AM
Angel must be a gift from above....or NOT!!!...pretty major BS I am reading here...LOL!
but I guess this is another chair seat rider...YEP!

HappyHoppingHaffy
Oct. 7, 2007, 04:39 AM
My only complaint was the free walk...not even close to tracking up...
Other than that, I thought it was a beautiful test and reminds me why I love to watch dressage!!

grayarabpony
Oct. 7, 2007, 10:55 AM
My only complaint was the free walk...not even close to tracking up...
Other than that, I thought it was a beautiful test and reminds me why I love to watch dressage!!

I think you need to get your eyes checked because O'Jay doesn't track up at the trot either.

Islandponies
Oct. 7, 2007, 11:57 AM
From the USDF website: "The aids should be virtually imperceptible. A squeeze of the calf, a closing of the fingers, a shifting of the rider's weight in the saddle should be all that is necessary to tell the horse what is required."

She looked like she was in a rodeo, spurring a bronc to make it buck.

claire
Oct. 7, 2007, 12:24 PM
Funny, the people complaining about "chairseat keyboard riders" are the ones with the highest avg. posts per day! :lol:

Chill guys! Just don't read or post on the threads with "ignorant and hubristic" topics and posters! :cool:

nhwr
Oct. 7, 2007, 02:02 PM
The call for "peaceful reasoning" while stirring the pot.....ah passive aggression :rolleyes:

But in riding, as in life, you go with what you have (or in this case, don't have) ;)

LarkspurCO
Oct. 7, 2007, 02:18 PM
The thing holding the horse back is usually who is sitting in the saddle. But many then riders suffer from a chair seat ... I am not talking about a position on their horse's back but rather just too much time in a chair ;)

Okay, previous jabs and tit for tat aside, that's just funny. And so true.:lol:

petitefilly
Oct. 7, 2007, 06:03 PM
Ah, there will always be ringside jibs at people, it's a *thing* specators do for fun. Too bad it gets so bad here that the professionals rarely post anything. It would be nice if some of the professionals who are lambasted would add their thoughts but I'm afraid the threads get so down and dirty no one would dare to post. :(

Is there anywhere where one would get an opinion on these rides by the very people who ride them?

hpelham1
Oct. 7, 2007, 08:34 PM
Shall we get back to the training pyramid for a moment??

1. Takt (rhythm and regularity)
2. Losgelassenheit (relaxation)
3. Anlehnung (contact)
4. Schwung (impulsion)
5. Geraderichtung (straightness)
6. Versammlung (collection)

It is my personal feeling that so many of the basics are lost as many riders move through the levels. When I look at the first video, I don't see the first two rungs of the training period. And I have seen the same thing on many other high level rides. I am tired of hearing that no one can critique a high level ride except a high level rider----all dressage should be based along the same lines. I think a training level rider may be MORE qualified to critique a high level ride simply because they are immersed in the basics each day. After having it beat into them for six months on rhythm and regularity, you can bet they will be able to tell when a horse looks balanced. It's called training the eye. And yes, of course, the high level rides are harder, but that doesn't mean those riders should forget the basics because they are more concentrated on high movements.

This thread has begun to get a very "classist" feeling between the low level riders and the high level riders. May I remind all that everyone once started at the same spot?

Red Barn
Oct. 7, 2007, 09:09 PM
Petitefilly, I think your reasoning is a little skewed.

If a person actually wanted an OBJECTIVE evaluation of what’s going in upper level dressage competition I think “the very people who ride it” would be the LAST group they’d ask! After all, they’re hardly disinterested parties.

Wouldn’t trying to figure out what’s going on in international competition by asking Anky van Grunsven be kind of like trying to understand the Enron scandal based on the testimony of Jeff Skilling?

Really, a very misguided notion.

nhwr
Oct. 7, 2007, 10:28 PM
This thread has begun to get a very "classist" feeling between the low level riders and the high level riders. May I remind all that everyone once started at the same spot?
Wouldn’t trying to figure out what’s going on in international competition by asking Anky van Grunsven be kind of like trying to understand the Enron scandal based on the testimony of Jeff Skilling?

Really, a very misguided notion. By the same token, wouldn't it be misguided to listen to the opinions of those who are invested in the excuses for their own failures?

Really, if you live by the sword, you must die by it :rolleyes:

Red Barn
Oct. 7, 2007, 11:10 PM
You make a lot of very peculiar assumptions, nw, and it's hard to imagine why anyone would be so oddly vitriolic about any of this.

Sort of interesting, though.

hpelham1
Oct. 7, 2007, 11:31 PM
Should I feel threatened??:eek:

It's always nice to have a complete stranger who knows nothing about my achievements call me a failure. ;)

millerra
Oct. 7, 2007, 11:40 PM
This thread (and a few others) are rather amusing but sad. An international rider is critiqued/flamed etc for having an imperfect test at an FEI level. Wow.

I'm a lowly event rider, planning to show my dressage horse 3rd level next spring and schooling 4th and I just want to say - It is FRIGGIN hard to ride a test that involves more than walk trot and canter and a few lengthenings. Keeping my horse through, engaged and ahead of my leg and getting all my transitions on the spot, and, and, and... well, lets just say its easier to ride a coffin on Xcountry. OY vey. It takes far more brain power, feel, timing and skill than I would have ever imagined until I tried. And this is 3rd level... My hat is off to anyone who can get through the FEI tests, even w/ a few bobbles.

So, I will have mistakes in my tests, my horse may miss a change, he may curl a little in front when we lose our balance. He may lose his rhythm in his mediums. But at least we'll be having fun and trying our best. :)

Bottom line: it's HARD - a few mistakes will happen. Lighten up.

Edited to add- my horse "makes" a mistakes because I screw up.

ESG
Oct. 8, 2007, 12:20 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPjeC8RDgMo


YOU decide!

In a word? Nothing. Decision made. :D

Can we please stop picking on nicely trained horses ridden by effective riders now? :rolleyes:

ESG
Oct. 8, 2007, 12:27 AM
My only complaint was the free walk...not even close to tracking up...

Um,............there isn't a "free walk" in an FEI test.


Other than that, I thought it was a beautiful test and reminds me why I love to watch dressage!!

On this point, we agree. Yes, there were errors here and there, but the horse looked content and capable of the work, and the rider rode what she had under her @$$ at that point in time.................which is all any of us can do. I just wish I could get what's under my @$$ to look that good. Or, just get my @$$ to look that good. :cool:

nhwr
Oct. 8, 2007, 02:03 AM
You compare the training methods of an international competitor (who isn't even the subject of this thread) to someone convicted of criminal conduct and others are the ones making odd assumptions? WTF???
Get over yourself! :rolleyes:

You are free to express whatever ridiculous opinions you like :yes:
Dealing with people who think you are full of $h!+ is part of the deal :yes:
Don't like it? :cry:
Think your argument through thoroughly :eek: :p

petitefilly
Oct. 8, 2007, 02:29 PM
Petitefilly, I think your reasoning is a little skewed.

If a person actually wanted an OBJECTIVE evaluation of what’s going in upper level dressage competition I think “the very people who ride it” would be the LAST group they’d ask! After all, they’re hardly disinterested parties.

Wouldn’t trying to figure out what’s going on in international competition by asking Anky van Grunsven be kind of like trying to understand the Enron scandal based on the testimony of Jeff Skilling?

Really, a very misguided notion.

Misguided? Well, my two cents, the world of dressage is very small, and the people who ride on the videos, or competitions, are the ones who are probably their own worst critics. They talk about each other and know the weaknesses of the other riders far more than you or I.

It would be nice to hear their own views on the rides of others, but it would be VERY UN_PC to do so. It would be unsportmanslike, and rude, but in the real world I think it would be extremely refreshing to hear one of them lambast the other for training or competition rides.

I am sure their own worlds are full of critical reviews of themselves or others. PC is the Politics of being *Nice-Nice* to the public.

Call me skewed if you wish, but I'd sure as hell love to hear what Steffan Peters REALLY thinks of Anky or Edward. :) And vice versa. I'd be all ears!

angel
Oct. 8, 2007, 02:46 PM
I would be much more interested in hearing them critique their own rides and explain what went wrong and how it could have been prevented.

slc2
Oct. 8, 2007, 04:03 PM
buy videos. they do that. carol lavel has also put out some super videos watching people's warmup rides that is better than any commentary on any test, discusses the rider's style, the horse, its bloodlines, its training background, the rider's emphasis, what she doesn't agree with, every thing one could possibly imagine. jaap pot put out a tape where he discussed every single ride at s'hertogenbosch that he judged, can't get much better than that.

and ah...his judging was a lot more positive than the far less experienced bb jockeys judging the worlds riders.

Red Barn
Oct. 8, 2007, 04:46 PM
Call me skewed if you wish, but I'd sure as hell love to hear what Steffan Peters REALLY thinks of Anky or Edward. :) And vice versa. I'd be all ears!

Gosh, Petitefilly, I can't help but agree with you on that one! Good times!

But in this case I wasn't actually talking about individual critiquing individual, entertaining as that might be. I was talking about objectively evaluating the system ITSELF.

Obviously a lot of people on this board are perfectly content with current competitive ideals. There are plenty of others, though, who find them problematic because they've strayed so far from the basic tenets of the Training Scale, and therefore from the classical model.

I can't speak for anybody else, but I myself feel that the requirement that competition horses now display BOTH hugely exagerated gaits AND a rigid, over-bent head carriage is bound to create problems simply because it's an untenable combination. I’ll admit that it’s very flashy, and that lots of people like it for this reason. I’ll also concede that it’s probably helped to increase the audience for dressage just because it’s so damn showy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a trend that should be pursued without reflection.

It doesn’t look to me like this forced frame could possibly be conducive to soundness in MOST HORSES and I think it’s an unhealthy model to put forward for the general population to emulate.

The fact that even the best horses in the world have to be rollkured into this fashionable "frame" just proves the point that this probably isn’t an ethical or realistic ideal. The fact that horses competing at the highest level suddenly appear to have more trouble with very basic things (purity of gait, impulsion, straightness) just goes to show that this ideal impedes, rather than enhances, quality of movement. Finally, the fact that the best riders in the world lose poise and elegance in trying to achieve it just adds credibility to the idea that it should be reevaluated.

I'm not saying our dear friends "Coby" and "Anky" are flawed riders somehow. In fact, I'm saying just the opposite: if even THEY can't make it look good, it might just be a crappy proposition in the first place.

LarkspurCO
Oct. 8, 2007, 05:07 PM
Red Barn, again you raise some very good points.

slc2
Oct. 8, 2007, 05:11 PM
sure, i don't happen to agree with any of them but they sure put a clever spin on the situation.

nhwr
Oct. 9, 2007, 11:28 AM
Obviously a lot of people on this board are perfectly content with current competitive ideals. There are plenty of others, though, who find them problematic because they've strayed so far from the basic tenets of the Training Scale, and therefore from the classical model.
This might be true. But it is also certainly true that several of those who decry "the state of modern competitive dressage" are in it up to their necks and have conflicting financial interests at stake. That makes their criticism equally suspect, IMO.

I can't speak for anybody else, but I myself feel that the requirement that competition horses now display BOTH hugely exagerated gaits AND a rigid, over-bent head carriage is bound to create problems simply because it's an untenable combination. I’ll admit that it’s very flashy, and that lots of people like it for this reason. I’ll also concede that it’s probably helped to increase the audience for dressage just because it’s so damn showy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a trend that should be pursued without reflection.
I guess I missed the part where all this became the "requirement". If this were true how do you explain the success of the Spaniards in recent years? The basis of all dressage is that gaits are a reflection of training. Correct riding improves them, bad riding degrades them. Lots of people don't like this but there is no way around it.

It doesn’t look to me like this forced frame could possibly be conducive to soundness in MOST HORSES and I think it’s an unhealthy model to put forward for the general population to emulate.
Couldn't this idea apply to dressage in general. In fact, wasn't that the very problem that Alois Podhaisky had with dressage at the end of his career? "Emulating" GP work, with or without the horrors from the flat lands, is a bad idea for the "general public", IMO. Any horse that isn't properly prepared for work is at risk of injury. Personally, I have seen a lot more horses injured and ridden to unsoundness by well meaning amateurs than I have in big-time competitive dressage.
I am not generally a rolkur fan - though I am sure this will not be believed.
It just bothers me to see people so easily spoon fed dogma and led to join a witch hunt.

mazymind
Oct. 9, 2007, 12:25 PM
Here's my $0.02, from someone who HAS competed, multiple times on multiple horses at the I2 level.

The mistakes in the test movements to me mean very little. It's very difficult to produce an error free test, and because the very best in the world can do it at Aachen doesn't mean that every horse and every show produces this. If you go to Aachen, and watch all the rides, including the ones that don't make it onto the highlight tape, well, they are full of errors of all kinds. Unfortunate, but true. Just as if you go to your local show, you will also see tests with errors of all kinds, at every level of competition. This is the normal situation. Horses are horses, and they are not machines. A perfect harmony is what we strive for, but do not always achieve.

But what I see overall about this ride, is that the horse was most likely developed in rollkur. He has the dead giveaways that are easy to spot- the fixated head and neck where the neck is broken at the second vertibrae, no crest development, no actual connection up to the riders hands, and the rider is in fact, riding on the curb. This is not at all a correct use of the double bridle and the bits, the rider is riding on the curb, not from a mistake caused by show pressures, but because she is desperate to keep the horse's head down and round at all costs. Why? Because that is what the judges will score up.

I do not see the indications that the horse moves from behind and comes into the riders hands and under her seat. I see a horse which lacks engagement, where the hind legs are inactive and consistently undertrack. I see a horse which is struggling to produce these movements without the neccessary physical development and falling back on his magnificent basic paces to make it up. It falls short to me. But again, it's smooth and exactly what is being pinned today, like it or not.

As for CVB, well, I've certainly never been a fan of her riding, in fact, I've detested it for years. Except for her coach shouting to everyone how "classical" his/her training methods are, I think that the rumors would have been spread long ago. Her rides on Ferro were mostly painful to watch to me, and I rarely saw anything approaching harmony. Excessive spurring, poor seat, bad hands, well, this is not something which has come up just in this test. I believe the owners of Ferro wanted him back and ended up in a big dispute over it, and there was some major flak over her training back then with him. Whatever, the poor horse is dead.

However, I will say that what she is producing in this test is EXACTLY what is being rewarded in the big show rings today, and it hardly makes any sense to knock her for riding to please the judges and gain the scores. 66% for a test this poor, lacking even the basic tenants of the training scale and fraught with major costly mistakes is a testiment to just how well the judging is done more than for how well the rider rides.

Bi beo
Oct. 9, 2007, 08:50 PM
Sure, and isn't this now a lovely debate? It got a wee bit nasty there in the middle but is now perhaps back on track. Thanks Mazy for your $0.02!!

I would be interested to hear what some of the louder voices on this thread think after reading the latest posts.

Spectrum
Oct. 9, 2007, 10:06 PM
Here's my take on the ride:

1. The horse is totally stuck behind. This is most clearly seen in the extended walk and extended trot when the horse is several inches short of tracking up. But if you look carefully in the canter half-pass zigzags and the pirouettes, you can see the outside leg is consistently dragged at the canter- the horse is "stuck."

2. The curb is at an angle drastically beyond 45 degrees for almost the entire ride. The horse's mouth is open repeatedly (no, eggy, it isn't just spit- you can see daylight at times). It's kind of hard not to notice the curb is so tight when that glaringly un-matched noseband is constantly drawing your eye towards it.

3. The horse is half-running away with her after the final extended canter across the diagonal and flying change- he gets unstuck and the collection is looooong gone. The first section of passage up the CL is almost not even a collected trot. And the rhythm and ground-coverage of the passage is all over the place basically until the piaffe, when she finally gets him cranked back into place.

I agree, not the type of dressage anyone should be aiming towards.

And in case anyone feels like looking up my old posts to get my background and tear me down, I've been a working student with two well-known GP trainers and have sit on enough FEI movements (not to mention closely watching the training of, on a daily basis) to know how they ought to look and how both the rider and horse look when they are well-ridden and happy.

Spectrum.

Red Barn
Oct. 9, 2007, 10:28 PM
Wow. Smart People, at last!

Thank you, Baby Jesus.