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Classical DQ
Aug. 29, 2009, 08:34 AM
I think it is wonderful that the Euro Championships had such high scores. My question is is this because the rides were that much better than in the past or have the judges changed their scales?
Anyone that there have an opinion??

eurodressage
Aug. 29, 2009, 08:44 AM
The quality of the horses is much better and the riders are able to ride better, correct tests (no mistakes).

And the judges are no longer afraid to give 9s and 10s

Hrsedq
Aug. 29, 2009, 04:36 PM
The quality of the horses is much better and the riders are able to ride better, correct tests (no mistakes).

And the judges are no longer afraid to give 9s and 10s

Must agree and have observed that this level of rider can truely direct each step their horse takes which is truely the WC, OG, Championship level of the art of riding.

K Bayo
Aug. 29, 2009, 05:45 PM
I was there for the GP and GPS and you would not have believed the quality of the horses and the riders. Just blew me away.

siegi b.
Aug. 29, 2009, 06:19 PM
I do think that the old 80's are the new 90's..... Any opinions?

Tomw
Aug. 29, 2009, 07:05 PM
i was also there and have to totally agree, the standard was unbelievable and the riders got the marks they deserved errors, the top riders pulled out perfection or near perfection with very few errors, it was a privilege to be.

Classical DQ
Aug. 29, 2009, 07:33 PM
That's amazing that there could be that much improvement in one year since the Olympics!! Incredible!!

mbm
Aug. 29, 2009, 09:06 PM
Must agree and have observed that this level of rider can truely direct each step their horse takes which is truely the WC, OG, Championship level of the art of riding.

you know..... and this might the exact reason i dont like modern dressage. what ever happened to the horse looking as if it were doing it all on its own? what ever happened to harmony? and self carriage?

nowadays it is all so robotically controlled... each . and. every . step. the horse dare not complain, have an opinion etc etc.

kinda like this:

http://pixofthelitter.net/pixofthelitter_007.htm

and is this prescience or what: http://pixofthelitter.net/pixofthelitter_014.htm (scroll down to tarantalus)

Ambrey
Aug. 29, 2009, 09:11 PM
That's amazing that there could be that much improvement in one year since the Olympics!! Incredible!!

I am not sure whether you're being sarcastic or not, but it's true! Did you see any rides like Gal's latest at the olympics? A horse with that level of athleticism and talent, ridden with that level of accuracy, and with such calmness, submission, and complete "can do" attitude?

If I recall, one of the horses that scored well in the olympics was rather balky and grouchy ;)

I am, honestly, among those who don't love Totilas' larger movement, but I do love the talent and heart he throws into dressage and how effortless he makes it all look.

mbm
Aug. 29, 2009, 10:26 PM
ambrey - i guess it all depends on what you think "good" is.... while i agree totilas is althetic - i dont like how the top horses go. spectacular sure - but forced and dare is say - ugly.

that is not what dressage is supposed to be. give me rides that are more harmonious and ummmm..... less forced.... more relaxed - aka the rides from years back aka klimke, etc. or even some of the top rides that are not breaking 80% - like the younger klimkes, theodorescu, our own Peters, Seidel, or the many other riders that seem to be able to ride more softy and less robotically. i dont even like to watch the top rides.... it just makes me sad and mad. i feel like a beautiful art form has been hijacked .....

i guess what i am trying to say is there is more to dressage than just doing the movements with no "errors" ... there is the whole emotional thing, the horse "dancing" with its rider, harmony, lightness, grace, self carriage etc etc etc.

Trevelyan96
Aug. 29, 2009, 11:33 PM
http://pixofthelitter.net/pixofthelitter_007.htm

and is this prescience or what: http://pixofthelitter.net/pixofthelitter_014.htm (scroll down to tarantalus)

With flame suit firmly in place, I will say that I found this to be hysterically funny and accurate in a sad kind of way

Ambrey
Aug. 29, 2009, 11:35 PM
i guess what i am trying to say is there is more to dressage than just doing the movements with no "errors" ... there is the whole emotional thing, the horse "dancing" with its rider, harmony, lightness, grace, self carriage etc etc etc.

And even considering all of those things, Totilas' most recent ride is much nicer than the winning rides in the olympics, don't you think?

Personally, I see Totilas "dancing with his rider." Maybe in your effort to find the negative, you're missing the positives?

mbm
Aug. 29, 2009, 11:42 PM
ahhh, but i am not searching for the negative. i want to love dressage and the top riders and horses. it breaks my heart what is happening to the sport that i love and that I have basically given my live over to.

what makes me almost as sad is that views like mine are seen as aberrant, and that just becuase i dont find much beauty in it i am considered to be negative, etc.

not true. i am, above all things, honest. and i try to be diplomatic in my honesty altho sometimes i fail at that. but even so, i will not say i think something is beautiful when i don't feel it is. what good is there in that?

eta: sorry forgot to answer your question: no, i dont think this most recent ride is nicer that those in the Olympics. there were some nice rides in the Olympics. maybe not as flashy or extravagant or precise, but more beautiful. more harmonious, more..... artful.

Fixerupper
Aug. 29, 2009, 11:56 PM
Well I thought that the top rides at the Olympics mostly sucked! Talk about pushed, held, faked....I was in despair that that was the direction dressage was going!
The only disturbing thing I find about the rides we've seen at the Euro's is...how do you top that?!? :)

Trevelyan96
Aug. 30, 2009, 12:00 AM
I think that the controversy and paradox of modern dressage is that the drive for mechanical perfection, especially in collection, has taken precedance over the simple flowing beauty a slowly and systematically trained horse under a skilled rider. There is a great deal of quality 'holding it together' but not enough showing off of the 'letting go'.

Fixerupper
Aug. 30, 2009, 12:29 AM
Please don't let us forget that the 'classical' description of the movements are pretty much what these horses (Totilas & Parzival) are giving us...thus the scores of 80's and 90's...
I've heard/read very little criticism of Blue Hors Matine...pretty much just oohs and aahs...and yet she could not sustain that level of performance.
At 9, the jury may be 'out' on Totilas but I believe that Parzival has (so far) withstood the test of time.

I think we shouldn't let our 'pre-conceived notions' get in the way of appreciating two spectacular athletes.

Classical DQ
Aug. 30, 2009, 08:44 AM
My last post was not meant to be sarcastic. I just find it amazing that in one year we would have horses scoring such high marks and they were not horses that competed at the Olympics. Top horses are not made overnight. You would think that we would have seen them with scores in the upper 70's and 80's at least last year, in order for them to be scoring 90's this year. Sometimes I have felt that scores were held for unpopular riders/horses. This breaks that trend.

CatOnLap
Aug. 30, 2009, 11:14 AM
With flame suit firmly in place, I will say that I found this to be hysterically funny and accurate in a sad kind of way
Much truth in parody, they say.
The person who created that website has far too much time on their hands, but at least they waste it in a quality way! :lol:

Hrsedq
Aug. 30, 2009, 01:02 PM
Please don't let us forget that the 'classical' description of the movements are pretty much what these horses (Totilas & Parzival) are giving us...thus the scores of 80's and 90's...
I've heard/read very little criticism of Blue Hors Matine...pretty much just oohs and aahs...and yet she could not sustain that level of performance.
At 9, the jury may be 'out' on Totilas but I believe that Parzival has (so far) withstood the test of time.

I think we shouldn't let our 'pre-conceived notions' get in the way of appreciating two spectacular athletes.

Totally agree - the horses like their work, give the movement and the riders are asking not demanding - you don't get that response by demanding, to watch in person is to see the beauty of horse and rider dancing together - it is truely magnificant. Bravo to the breeders of these horses.

It is not mechanical movement but flowing perfection of the innate confirmation, plus heart and trainability of the horse that a breeder gamboled on when they bred stallion "A" with mare "B". Bravo to the breeders of these horses for the risks that they took because there is always a dachundt in a horse past. The Dutch breeding program of inspections and recording of evidance of traits of trainability and grading of conformation, with public statistical recording gives all the same gambol to breed and get a horse such as the ones ridden in the Euro Championships.

The success of the training that went into these horses to keep and let the confirmation come through speaks for itself in how these horses performed with trust and freedom of movement for their riders. A beautiful marriage of breeding and wonderful riding that to my eye ( a former Ballanchine & Martha Graham trained dancer ) that resulted in movement from the horse that was not seemingly directed by the rider - true freedom of a horse dancing to my eye.

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 01:18 PM
A beautiful marriage of breeding and wonderful riding that to my eye <snip> that resulted in movement from the horse that was not seemingly directed by the rider - true freedom of a horse dancing to my eye.

really? i have to disagree vehemently! most of the top horses looked absolutely controlled and crammed together. to me there is hardly any f"freedom of expression" by the horse. sure it can express itself by flinging its legs around, but that is different - at least to me - than a horse happily and calmly giving itself to its rider and working in such a manner that it appears that it does by itself what its rider directs.

a totally different "feel" .

totilas does not look "free" to me. he looks very constrained. Parzival is better, but still constrained in the neck with a harsh contact.

i like to see the horse free to agree or disagree and decide to dance along. not held in place and forced to do as bidden. (see the elder klimke for examples and many other modern top riders)

anyway..... different strokes for different folks i guess.

i do wonder how totilas would look if ridden by say: klimke, or even S. Peters, or any other more "traditional" non "LDR" rider. my bet is that it would be beyond belief.

Hrsedq
Aug. 30, 2009, 02:22 PM
i like to see the horse free to agree or disagree and decide to dance along. not held in place and forced to do as bidden. (see the elder klimke for examples and many other modern top riders)

anyway..... different strokes for different folks i guess.

i do wonder how totilas would look if ridden by say: klimke, or even S. Peters, or any other more "traditional" non "LDR" rider. my bet is that it would be beyond belief.

Well, having been in LA in 84 and having a video of Klimke's ride, and having a video of Peter's ride at his farm prior to LV - IMHO they, Klemke, Peters, Gal, USA, Dutch, British, German etc., are all excellent, feeling riders to a lesser or greater degree on any given day/ride, who know you don't get anywhere unless the horse wants to give himself to you. If you respect the horse's gift to you and encourage his freedom, you get the brilliant movement that lies in the conformation - the rider asks and possible receives movement from the horse and they move fwd as a team . Fwd mvt doesn't happen unless you are a team.

So, we agree, with our different eyes, to disagree.

BUT, "to see the horse free to agree or disagree " during a test on a specific mvt judging box, gets hammered, by not only the kinder judges at the Oly's but by the harsher online judges on the BB's - and it's not part of the test directives.

You work at home to get the confidance of the horse to go to the show to exhibit the harmony of confidance, balance of training and freedom of the natural mvt, to dare to stretch beyond the expectations of work at home, to exhibit your abilitity to show that you and your horse have the heart to push the edge, which is where and why the scores have moved into the 90's.

Home Again Farm
Aug. 30, 2009, 02:56 PM
really? i have to disagree vehemently! most of the top horses looked absolutely controlled and crammed together. to me there is hardly any f"freedom of expression" by the horse. sure it can express itself by flinging its legs around, but that is different - at least to me - than a horse happily and calmly giving itself to its rider and working in such a manner that it appears that it does by itself what its rider directs.


Just curious. Are you basing this on seeing these rides in person?

egontoast
Aug. 30, 2009, 03:21 PM
Home Again, do a little search of someone's posts and you'll get the drift pretty soon. Talks the talk.

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 04:53 PM
home again, no, i didn't see them in person. so i could be missing something. however, i am not sure how being there in person would show a horse more long in the neck and less "constrained" ?

as for the rest - of course i am not an international rider - are you? my opinions are just as valid as anyone else's.... and honestly - insults because i disagree with the "in crowd" are old and tired.

at least i am trying to have a dialog about current events instead of just making personal comments that add nothing to the conversation. :)

egontoast
Aug. 30, 2009, 04:56 PM
i do wonder how totilas would look if ridden by say: klimke, or even S. Peters, or any other more "traditional" non "LDR" rider. my bet is that it would be beyond belief.

That's a personal comment, isn't it?

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:02 PM
BUT, "to see the horse free to agree or disagree " during a test on a specific mvt judging box, gets hammered, by not only the kinder judges at the Oly's but by the harsher online judges on the BB's - and it's not part of the test directives.

my comment about free to agree or disagree is my attempt to discuss a feeling that i have when i watch these rides.... to me it looks like the horse is so held together so contained and constrained that if the rider let go it would fall on its face. my understanding of dressage is that we try to teach the horse to carry itself under the rider in such a way that it returns to its natural beauty. ie the horse works in self carriage and looks like it does of its own free will that which is asked - working in harmony and lightness. i dont get that feeling from some of the modern horse/rider combos. some i do. but in general i dont think top of the list for the dutch is self carriage and harmony. it is accuracy and flamboyance.

and i hate to say this... but from personal experience i can tell you that yes indeed horses will give their all (ie let the rider in) to someone even if they are treated harshly/abused/etc the things i have seen creep me out even thinking about it now - and yet those horses worked very well for their riders/handlers..... the saying is: once a horse trusts you you can do anything with it. and i have to agree - so i cant agree that the fact that the horses are working hard means that the horse wants to be doing what it is done and is happy with the situation

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:05 PM
That's a personal comment, isn't it?

erm, no...i don't think so? i was speculating what totilas would look like if someone else was riding him - i gave some examples of different riders from different "styles" of riding/training. how you make that into a personal comment is beyond me.

K Bayo
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:14 PM
You do not get goosebumps froom watching grainy jerky Youtube. When watching Gal and Adelinde in the flesh, it was as near to perfection as you can get.

BabyGoose
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:15 PM
With flame suit firmly in place, I will say that I found this to be hysterically funny and accurate in a sad kind of way

Me too.

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:23 PM
You do not get goosebumps froom watching grainy jerky Youtube. When watching Gal and Adelinde in the flesh, it was as near to perfection as you can get.

maybe you don't.... but my lack of goosebumps has nothing to do with it being a video..... there are *plenty* of videos that leave tears running and goosebumps popping.... and no, toto is not among those.

and i have to say i find it disingenuous to say that now we must be there in person to appreciate it... and if all we have is video that we can not possibly understand the whys and wherefores of the scoring etc.

so now we need to not only be international judges but we must be there in person to really understand why these horses are getting outrageous scores.

really?

spotted mustang
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:27 PM
With flame suit firmly in place, I will say that I found this to be hysterically funny and accurate in a sad kind of way

I agree - pretty damn funny:

Quote: "Tarantulus displays the specialized traits that have earned him the highest scores in the history of Aesthetic Equitation. The quality of his lateral work has been favorably compared to that of the king crab because of his astonishing ability to move at leg-blurring speed in any direction, be it forwards, backwards, sideways or diagonally."

Ambrey
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:28 PM
so now we need to not only be international judges but we must be there in person to really understand why these horses are getting outrageous scores.


Yep! Except when Steffan wins, it's because the judges are wrong and you can only figure out who was really better by watching videos ;)

Hrsedq
Aug. 30, 2009, 06:21 PM
my comment about free to agree or disagree is my attempt to discuss a feeling that i have when i watch these rides.... to me it looks like the horse is so held together so contained and constrained that if the rider let go it would fall on its face. my understanding of dressage is that we try to teach the horse to carry itself under the rider in such a way that it returns to its natural beauty. ie the horse works in self carriage and looks like it does of its own free will that which is asked - working in harmony and lightness. i dont get that feeling from some of the modern horse/rider combos. some i do. but in general i dont think top of the list for the dutch is self carriage and harmony. it is accuracy and flamboyance.

I don't personally know the the Dutch riders so I can't comment or make judgements on if they choose accuracy and flamboyance above self carriage and harmony. I know you can't get accuracy until you have some degree of self carriage at any level. Movement, that some might call flamboyant, others, would see as natural from conformation and breeding.




and i hate to say this... but from personal experience i can tell you that yes indeed horses will give their all (ie let the rider in) to someone even if they are treated harshly/abused/etc the things i have seen creep me out even thinking about it now - and yet those horses worked very well for their riders/handlers..... the saying is: once a horse trusts you you can do anything with it. and i have to agree - so i cant agree that the fact that the horses are working hard means that the horse wants to be doing what it is done and is happy with the situation

Here I think personal experience with other horses and interrpretations of what a rider was doing gives us our opinions. I have seen a horse beaten and denied water because it's professional trainer could not break it's spirit and get it to do what he wanted- The horse from that time onward never let a rider on it's back. I in turn went to the police and the barn owner and reported and was black balled by certain local riders, who have since left the area; but I was proven correct by that individual horse in the end - the horses I have known are quite capable of telling a bad rider what for in many ways.


the saying is: once a horse trusts you you can do anything with it. and i have to agree
I would agree but the qualifier is "trust" and that has to be earned and one shouldn't assume that it is automatic. The main observation on these specific horses is if they are being abused why would anyone tolerate what you imagine to be happening ?- They are way to valuable and needed in the long turn both as team horses and breeding animals.

Hrsedq
Aug. 30, 2009, 06:25 PM
Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver. - I should pay attention to this.

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 06:48 PM
I would agree but the qualifier is "trust" and that has to be earned and one shouldn't assume that it is automatic. The main observation on these specific horses is if they are being abused why would anyone tolerate what you imagine to be happening ?- They are way to valuable and needed in the long turn both as team horses and breeding animals.

i dont assume they are being abused - nor did i say that.

i gave you some idea of what i have seen.... horses that are abused and still willing to give their all for their rider/handler. so i know that just because a horse performs well is not a reason to think it has free will. or, as i think you put it: that they want to be doing what they are doing.

i also think that to a larger degree top riders are very careful to select horses that work well in their programs - what ever those programs may be.

Fixerupper
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:10 PM
hmm...free will...

I've seen loose horses jump fences for 'fun'...
I've never seen loose horses do half pass or full pirouettes for fun :confused:

maybe they should just leave those movements out of the tests...

J Lav
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:25 PM
Well I have watched this horse all week both warming up and competing and to me there is no way anything about this horse is forced or contrived.

This horse dances round the warm up like a kid skipping round the school playground. His latent energy combined with inherent suppleness and elasticity whilst so relaxed in his demeanor just have to be seen to be believed. Edward hardly seems to move and the horse just looks to be doing everything for himself.

I had seen this horse on video before but seeing him in the flesh both at Hickstead and at Windsor made me realise that you just cannot see how fluent and effortless his work is on video. It just does not do him justice as it can't quite capture the feeling of power and throughness that this horse has.

The likes of Alherich etc look so wooden and limited by comparison. I think that at times the emphasis on an uphill balance and collection at the expense of suppleness and all round elasticity is where the difference lies, Todays horses are much more the complete athlete, some training methods have gone to much the other way and we see horses that are far too on the forehand and not able to articulate the hindlegs and 'sit' but I think the ideal we tend to aim for is now a happy medium of old school balance and collection and the modern lateral and longtitudinal suppleness with Totilas being able to show both to a degree I personally have never seen before in 40 years.

Is he perfect? No of course he's not but he's the closest I've ever seen and the errors he makes are not ignored by judges...he gets 10's and he gets 4's...that's how it should be. The tempis are an obvious weakness at the moment but he is only 9 and the scores are low accordingly. He doesn't score as highly as some others in the extended trot because as yet it lacks some length of frame and ground cover, I suspect (IMHO)because he is still finding the strength and maturity to cope with the extreme power that is produced by his hind legs. To me the extended trots at Windsor were better than those he did at Hickstead only a couple of weeks earlier.

I personally feel so privileged to have seen him and I can't imagine dressage getting much better than this, a harmonious partnership dancing through an effortless GP test like it was a first level schooling show.

Hrsedq
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:39 PM
J Lav - thank you for the excellent post of your first hand observations - really appreciate your eyes on the ground and descriptions of his work in the two shows, Hickstead and Windsor. I got goosebumps watching the videos even though the angles of the camera lost a complete view. Thanks !!

candico
Aug. 30, 2009, 10:19 PM
If one is to say that "classical" refers to the foundation from which this sport was derived - then we are talking war horse. Someone described how Totilas was so similar to Xenophon's horse... was it Bucephalos?? (that's what I remember from the Black Stallion). Anyway, if I were to pick a Knight and his Horse to lead my Kingdom into battle, I would pick Edward and Totilas, hands down. I think the enemies would either be breathless in disbelief or high tailing it the other direction in case Totilas decides to knock off their heads with his front feet! I can totally imagine Edward being able to ride this horse one handed smitting his enemy and instilling hope and inspiration to those who follow him. If I were a princess I'd definitely be more than happy to climb aboard and have Edward sweep me away off to his castle- the fact that he'd be way more interested in "Happy" squire is not the point here...

And for those who think he looks like a "Big Lick" TWH - I don't think any warrior of any era would pick one of those to lead their men into battle... Well, except our former prez but he'd be headed the wrong direction anyway ;}