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claire
Aug. 30, 2009, 09:45 AM
Or better scoring by the judges?

Astrid on EuroDressage poses some interesting questions. Discussion?



I couldn't help but wonder that the concept "top horse" has to be redefined now. In the presence of such great horses as Totilas, Parzival and Mistral any other 72% scoring horse, for instance, looks "normal". To what has the dressage world come?

Edward, Laura and Adelinde have stepped through star gate and entered a new era in dressage. These young talents have abdicated the old heroes and legends, who are now trying hard to catch up with them but a new league has arrived.. For some reason the words "Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé" rings through my head.

At the press conference a Dutch journalist tried to generate credit for the "Dutch school" as initiators and innovators of dressage. Somehow I was wondering to what extent this new trend has anything to do with "Dutch school," or the Dutch way of training.

In my mind it is breeding that matters here and even more so getting the right horses in the right hands at the right time. How Dutch is Totilas with 50% of his genes being German (his sire is Trakehner Gribaldi). What about Parzival who has thoroughbred and Westfalian blood on the dam side through Ulft and Roemer?

How Dutch is Laura Bechtolsheimer who has been trained in the most classical way imaginable.. And even Adelinde is not truly "Dutch school" as she is from the rural town Beilen in Drenthe and never got truly exposed to the notorious Dutch training system.

Elegante E
Aug. 30, 2009, 10:30 AM
My hope is that this era of extreme movement doesn't have a trickle down effect in the ammatuer world. It's already hard enough for people with ordinary horses, nice moving but not extravagant, to get decent scores without perfect riding and submission.

Frankly, the short necks on most of those horses, especially in the extended trots, is troubling. If I were Dutch, I wouldn't be proud of that.

pluvinel
Aug. 30, 2009, 02:23 PM
The question still to be answered is whether dressage is a "test of obedience" or a "1000-lb poodle show?"

In dog show analogies.....are we looking at dressage as an obedience trial or a Westminster kennel club "conformation" show?

In the recent past it was an obedience show


..from the past Article 401:
1. The object of Dressage is the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse. As a result it makes the horse calm, supple, loose and flexible but also confident, attentive and keen thus achieving perfect understanding with his rider.

2. These qualities are revealed by:

a) The freedom and regularity of the paces;

b) The harmony, lightness and ease of the movements;

c) The lightness of the forehand and the engagement of the hindquarters, originating in a lively impulsion;

d) The acceptance of the bridle with submissiveness throughout and without any tenseness or resistance.

3. The horse thus gives the impression of doing of his own accord what is required of him.......

4. His walk is regular, free and unconstrained. His trot is free, supple, regular, sustained and active. His canter is united, light and cadenced. His quarters are never inactive or sluggish. They respond to the slightest indication of the rider and thereby give life and spirit to all the rest of his body.

5. By virtue of a lively impulsion and the suppleness of his joints, free from the paralyzing effects of resistance the horse obeys willingly and without hesitation and responds to the various aids calmly and with precision, displaying a natural and harmonious balance both physically and mentally.

We might have "uber movers" today, but do they embody the ideal describe above?

J-Lu
Aug. 30, 2009, 03:19 PM
Maybe the phrase has been used before, but I literally just choked on my coffee reading the "1000-lb poodle show" comment. Thanks, Pluvinel!

I agree with your post.

Claire, I also believe that to some degree several groups/individuals are jockeying for position near the top of sport. Thus, the spin coming out of the journalist that Astrid is questioning. And it is spin. There is a staggering amount of money paid for horses, training, commissions, etc. at the top of the sport and most involved at that level want a piece of it. The development of the *sport* is not nearly as exciting as the development of the *profit* and prestige. Marketing has come of age in dressage and I am continually amazed by how marketing concepts shape this sport.

ridgeback
Aug. 30, 2009, 03:43 PM
can someone give the link to the article...we all should really do that:D

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:27 PM
my goodness! i think i have found my peeps ;)

glad to know i am not the only one that thinks some of the things mentioned here. phew!

(btw: are any of you international judges and or are you there in person? )

Sonesta
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:46 PM
I was there and have been here in England all week for the competition. It was the most amazing ride I've ever seen. But I'm not convinced that we will suddenly start seeing tons of dressage horses that can perform like Totilas. He may be one in a million.

mbm
Aug. 30, 2009, 05:53 PM
sonesta - if your replying to me.... sorry i was making a joke ..... since it appears now that only those that are int'l judges and were there in person are allowed to voice an opinion :)

goodpony
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:03 PM
Link?

claire
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:48 PM
Sorry. Here is the link to Astrid's EuroDressage article.
(I credited and quoted her remarks in my OP)

http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2009/09ec/diary_day3.html

Pony Fixer
Aug. 30, 2009, 07:49 PM
Thus, the spin coming out of the journalist that Astrid is questioning. And it is spin. There is a staggering amount of money paid for horses, training, commissions, etc. at the top of the sport and most involved at that level want a piece of it. The development of the *sport* is not nearly as exciting as the development of the *profit* and prestige. Marketing has come of age in dressage and I am continually amazed by how marketing concepts shape this sport.

Didn't I just read some where this week that Parcival was $13,000 (USD)? That is not a staggering amount of money.

pluvinel
Aug. 30, 2009, 08:34 PM
Didn't I just read some where this week that Parcival was $13,000 (USD)? That is not a staggering amount of money.

'Tain't so much marketing as greed.
http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/cases/sales/neal.htm

Plaintiffs owned a dressage horse named "Aristocrat" that they wished to sell. Aristocrat was boarded in the Netherlands at the time relevant to this cause of action. In 1997 plaintiffs met with defendant in Florida, where defendant had a house, and arranged for him to serve as their agent in selling Aristocrat. Defendant was familiar with dressage horses and trained riders and horses in the Netherlands. It was understood that defendant would receive the standard 10% commission on any sale. Plaintiffs expected that the horse might sell for about $500,000 due to its performances in dressage competitions. Defendant made phone calls and sent facsimiles to plaintiffs in Tennessee on several occasions in 1997 to discuss the sale of the horse and to present offers to purchase the horse made by third parties. The offers were rejected by plaintiffs because the price was too low. In January 1998, defendant called Tyrone Neal, John Neal's son, in Tennessee and stated that he had a possible buyer for Aristocrat for about $310,000. Tyrone Neal told defendant that $310,000 was too low, but defendant told Tyrone that plaintiffs had placed an unrealistically high value on the horse. Defendant negotiated further with the prospective buyer and called back to Tyrone to say that the prospective buyer would pay $312,000. Defendant also told Tyrone during that conversation that because he had been unable to find a buyer at the price plaintiffs were asking, he would forgo his commission if plaintiffs accepted the $312,000 offer. Plaintiffs instructed defendant to sell the horse for $312,000, with no commission going to defendant. Plaintiffs received a wire transfer at their bank in Tennessee from defendant for $311, 964.50 shortly thereafter.

Plaintiffs subsequently learned, without disclosure from defendant, that the buyer had actually paid defendant $480,000.

Back "in the day" to compete in the Olympics, an athlete had to be an "amateur." Remember Jim Thorpe having his medals rescinded because he played in some backwater league.

In equetrian sports, the athletes were wealthy and did not need to earn the mortgage thru training, clinics, or horse sales. It was a gentleman's sport.

As fallout of the Soviet Union's "professional amateurs" in track, swimming, gymnastics...etc., the Olympics eliminated the amateur (shamateur) requirement in the 1980's.

Interestingly, this is when dressage quite being an arcane equestrian discipline and became big money.

J-Lu
Aug. 30, 2009, 09:30 PM
Didn't I just read some where this week that Parcival was $13,000 (USD)? That is not a staggering amount of money.

Pony Fixer, surely you get my point. Lets contemplate how much the *typical* International GP horse costs, how much trainers and rider charge, how much campaigning costs, vet and farriers at that level, etc. How much do you think was invested into Parcival since the low purchase price? How much do you think Parcival would cost if sold today? $50,000(USD)? I'm certain they would only ask for their investment plus a small profit back, right? How much to you think it cost for Parcival's 2008? Or 2009? I suggest that by any standard it was "staggering".

Kaluna
Aug. 30, 2009, 11:10 PM
The generation time of a horse is much less than the generation time of a person. Riding is not any better or worse. The horses have changed and the riders have adapted. The article implies that riders of 30 years ago would not ride the current horses well or that Edward Gal would ride Peron or Rembrandt or Biotop better than their own riders. I do not agree with this viewpoint. In 30 years, people will look at the horses of today and call them crappy [fill in the blank]. Little changes over time in dressage.

Dressage Art
Aug. 30, 2009, 11:29 PM
Plaintiffs subsequently learned, without disclosure from defendant, that the buyer had actually paid defendant $480,000. similar story happened to a friend of mine, who paid 1 million for the horse and got cc on the email to agent with price tag of 1/2 a million only, agent tried to pocket another 1/2 million for himself! At the end, the commission question was cleared with out legal actions, but friendship was lost.

honeylips
Aug. 30, 2009, 11:31 PM
it was not parcival who was 13K - it was Carl Hester's horse that he bought for 10,000 british pounds.

how much would parcival cost now - at least 1,000,000 euros.

Dressage Art
Aug. 30, 2009, 11:33 PM
Little changes over time in dressage. That’s true and it's hard to imagine that just in the last few years horses and riders can make such an incredible jump up. If it was just one Totilas, I would think it's an exception, but there are others...

I honestly hope that we will not be watching 1000 pound poodle dressage with short necks for the rest of our lives.

Surviving the Dramas
Aug. 31, 2009, 03:34 AM
He may be one in a million.

Right up until Sisther De Jeu comes out at GP - at which point there will be 2 in a million!

Honestly - I credit myself as being a pretty good rider, but no way in hell am I ever going to be rider enough to ride that horse or anything like it :lol:

I'm not saying that I like it, or that I don't like him (I will say that 90% was overgenerous) but I really hope this doesn't become what everybody seeks to achieve in breeding as there simply isn't enough "Edward Gals" out there to ride the damn things!

FriesianX
Aug. 31, 2009, 10:18 AM
The question continues to fester - what matters more, movement or training? It seems in the "good ol' days", fancy, fabulous gaits earned the score in the "gaits collective", and in a few of the true "brilliance" movements (such as the extended trot). Remember all movements are scored considering the "overlay" of the collectives (gaits, submission, impulsion, rider). Back in the olden days the "submission" overlay score mattered in every single movement much more than anything else. The "gaits" overlay score really just meant were the gaits pure and unconstricted (free and regular) or not? Now the judges must consider that "gaits overlay score" to mean scope and brilliance much more than free and regular. Is this where the sport is destined to go?

It is incredible to see a horse such as Totilas - he is a wonder horse, just as we see a few athletes in any discipline that rise about the rest, but is this where our discipline is going? Is this where the powers that be want to see the sport go? That is the eternal question.

canyonoak
Aug. 31, 2009, 10:58 AM
Which is why "Gaits" (and "Impulsion")now has a coefficient of 1 and "Submission (and "Rider") has a coefficient of 2.

Dressage Art
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:08 AM
The only thing is that if the horse is tight in his back/neck = not relaxed = not submissive enough = can still be taken down under submission as well. The definition what goes in to submission became blurry with time as well. IMHO all of the collectives do overlap with gaits too much = gait scores are reflected too strongly in every collectives now.

With the current set up STILL we have no scores that independently reflect the training. We have most scores that strongly reflect breeding.

lorilu
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:31 AM
Which is why "Gaits" (and "Impulsion")now has a coefficient of 1 and "Submission (and "Rider") has a coefficient of 2.


That was the idea for the change, but I think now judges start from the gaits score for each movement - so your average 6 mover will never score much above 7 (except for halt, etc)... because the gaits are not spectacular enough for an 8 or 9.

I HOPE I am wrong. I have heard some comments about the recent judges seminar in California.... anyone here go? What was the main topic?

Loretta

mbm
Aug. 31, 2009, 11:40 AM
oh come on... why the heck would the folks that benefit make any changes that would detract from their wallet?

extravagant movers cost $$$$ and there is alot of commission /training/etc to be made off that one fancy horse.

i really just do not see dressage ever going back to what it was meant to be. the stakeholders are making too much money now.....

lorilu
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:42 PM
HollysHobbies, that's not what I meant. Scores will be different, since gaits are in all scores. BUT, do they form the roof of the movement score? If a 9 mover has tension, lacks some of the movement (or the test's) criteria, perhaps poor geometry, etc, will they still score above an absolutely correct, harmonious, 6 mover?

We KNOW the answer. But it has not been "set down" in teaching or rules for judges as of yet.

Is it now? That was my question.

L

Alagirl
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:46 PM
"Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé"

for those not familiar with it, it's a red wine and and prior to a set day in November it may not be shipped, the big deal in the 80sto be among the first on the block to have the 'Beaujolais primeur' in the glass.

Not a great wine but a superb marketing strategy. :lol:

the 'Dutch School'? Ok, whatever.

bort84
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:57 PM
oh come on... why the heck would the folks that benefit make any changes that would detract from their wallet?

extravagant movers cost $$$$ and there is alot of commission /training/etc to be made off that one fancy horse.

i really just do not see dressage ever going back to what it was meant to be. the stakeholders are making too much money now.....

Okay, that seems a bit of an extreme statement. What is dressage "meant to be?" And when was it the way it was meant to be, in your opinion? I think it's easy to forget the rest of the people competing in dressage below the very top levels that don't have hundreds of videos of their rides floating around. I want the top international combos to be a different animal from the ones you see at the majority of competitions. Why is that bad? Ammies can still practice dressage at their level and get good scores on horses that don't move like Totilas. Pros can still get good scores on those horses as well. But when you get to the international level, don't you expect those horses to be the superstars of the sport?

Sure any horse can do dressage, but when a horse comes along like Totilas, he's going to be a sensation. He's brilliant and that's important at that level of competition. I have no qualms with taking a uninspiring mover to GP if he has the brain for it and the build to handle it because dressage is about training. But you can't really expect that uninspiring mover to compete with the likes of Totilas, right? That's why top competition horses are usually expensive (and why good breeding increases your odds at that level). I love the Cinderella stories of horses found in somebody's backyard or outlaws being turned into stars (Balagur, and I've also heard this about Parzival, and Salinero depending on the stories you believe). But dressage can't go back to the "good old days" of obscurity when Olympic mounts didn't have to cost much. Now they usually do cost a lot because the sport has grown in popularity. I don't really think that's so bad or hard to swallow.

Breeders are going to have a heck of a time duplicating the likes of Totilas or Ravel or (insert name of top horse you love here) with any consistency. Breeders are obviously in it to make money if they can, why is that bad? But since most clients are ammies (depending on your status as breeder), I think good minds and rideability are usually going to be important factors in keeping breeding operations profitable. I guess I just don't understand the doomsday tone of some of these posts.

Dressage Art
Aug. 31, 2009, 01:03 PM
oh come on... why the heck would the folks that benefit make any changes that would detract from their wallet?

extravagant movers cost $$$$ and there is alot of commission /training/etc to be made off that one fancy horse.

i really just do not see dressage ever going back to what it was meant to be. the stakeholders are making too much money now.....

Yes, the sport of dressage is not about AAs. At the end it's all comes to making $ and about who does benefit from the sport of dressage = breeders and trainers = both are interested in the fanciest horses that they can breed/get. I'm yet to hear any big name trainer say that they are interested in achieving a harmonious training with an OTTB ;) It's quite clear that there is a stronger and broader divide in-between common dressage enthusiast and the pro sport of dressage with every passing year.

We see already that many AAs don’t want even to show in the same shows with pros = CA created a separate AA championship/show to fit that need and try to re-invite AAs to keep on participating in the sport. I think we’ll see more of that separation in the future. And honestly, I think it can be a good thing for all.

mbm
Aug. 31, 2009, 01:17 PM
I guess I just don't understand the doomsday tone of some of these posts.

because the focus is no longer on training. it is on making money and flash.

I am not only speaking of totilas. i am speaking in general. and it even hits the AA ranks. and, i use my personal experience when i comment. i know it isnt about training for may people. if it were all horses would be welcome and all trainers would welcome all breeds. and we know this is not the case.

many many trainers will only work with horses who are perfect. and if the horse doesn't work out - put it aside and get another.

this is not about training! It is about winning. and sometimes at any cost.

for me what is sad is the top 3 horses are all rollkured horses. how sad is that? i cant even bear to watch many of these rides and instead i like to watch the riders that aren't at the top. there is where you can see training and inspiring riding.

Ambrey
Aug. 31, 2009, 01:34 PM
That's the whole thing about having a competitive bar. Eventually many top competitors meet it and you have to raise it.

So once all of the horses at a level have pure gaits, a certain level of collection, and so on, what do you add? They chose brilliance, some people would have gone a different direction.

Variety makes the world go around :)

Equilibrium
Aug. 31, 2009, 01:54 PM
Re: Pluvinel's story:

My biggest hate in the world is bloodstock agents for this very reason and anyone who sells any horse be for $1 or $1,000,000 in any sport should know who is buying and be in contact with them directly. Use an agent if you will, but be in contact with any buyer. Wanna talk about over inflated markets for horses ect, much of it is from greed from people who have nothing to do with said horse. And some more of my personal favorites are horses who "sell" at sales.

I know this is really on topic, but that really struck me because as someone in the TB business where deals are struck behind your back, horses "sold" for inflated prices, and all the other crap only leads to people getting screwed to put it simply.

I have no idea about the other stuff because I don't think I'm qualified to answer. But I do like hanging out here and learning what I can!:)

Terri

lorilu
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:10 PM
OF course, this extends to us AAs- if you want to earn your bronze or silver, or go into the judges program, you need scores. If you want to qualify for regionals, you need scores. If we are riding average movers - no matter how correct or harmonious - will we get the scores for our efforts? If not, the sport becomes even more divided - ESPECIALLY if we consider the Judges programs.

And if the AA is not supported, why have GMOs? (and I am an officer in our GMO)

Loretta

Pony Fixer
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:46 PM
I'm sure to be lambasted for my comments now, but here goes...

I'm hearing a lot of hogwash and sour grapes (not everyone, you know who you are ;) )

I got half my bronze medal scores on a draft cross. I got the other half on a Morgan/WB cross. Neither horse was big money, neither was a brilliant mover. Scores were achieved by good basic training on top of 3 good basic gaits and a hell of a lot of work.

Same can be said of almost any AA. If the gaits are pure, they don't have to be fancy for the bronze. Same goes for the silver, except the horse does have to have some talent for engagement, IMHO.

Sure, there's lots of money thrown around in the pros. Name a sport where that is not true. Will there be "trends" based on the current leaders, sure, but it isn't going to change the course of "REAL DRESSAGE" in the future. There will always be exceptions, there will always be those who cut corners or buy their way to the top.

I think Totilas is marvelous. I think his walk is good and his canter is ridiculous, and the trot is only going to get better. In the YouTube video there is one brief shot of his face just before a piaffe and his eye is soft and almost smiling.

As for video vs. live, I do think there is a difference. I was blown away seeing the WDM in person (good close seats)--and I don't think I would have believed how different it was had I not seen it with my own eyes. I hope I can see Totilas perform in person one day.

mickeydoodle
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:58 PM
Speaking of training, Toto's is wonderful- he is the picture of submission in that test. Did anyone watch the closeups of his half pass transitions???? The were seamless- a beautiful, fluid glide from one bend to another, with no bobble in tempo nor rhythm. And the extended canter to canter pirouette??????? Fabulous.

Anyone who has done canter pirouettes at all knows what a struggle it can be in the begining to just get the pirouette canter from collected canter. It is hard for the horse to shorten the stride, keep the jump, keep the rhythm, and stay thru to the reins. Then you have to turn also in the next step. Let alone going from an extended canter to a pirouette canter in one or three strides, it is an incredible mark of his submission that he can do that. Have you ever tried an extended canter to a pirouette canter? It is not just a "trick". How many of us have galloped down the long side in a 1st level lengenening only to find quite a lot of horse in your hand at the end, hard to get back to a "working canter". Try it before you talk about marks in submission.

caddym
Aug. 31, 2009, 02:58 PM
I totally agree with ponyfixer

BUT I have a thought about our judges programs.

I have a good friend who is a pro and going for her "S". To do so, she needs to fly herself to shows, pay her own hotel and food AND loose a lot of income.

I'm not sure about the exact criteria, but she could be in a position where she flys out to a CDI rents her hotel room and entry scratches will reduce the entries so that that show will not count towards her qualification requirements

My point is that this is costing her a lot of money (and no guarentee that she will get her "S").

Since it is so personally expensive to become a judge - wont that trend in keeping the whole sport elitist?

bort84
Aug. 31, 2009, 03:00 PM
OF course, this extends to us AAs- if you want to earn your bronze or silver, or go into the judges program, you need scores. If you want to qualify for regionals, you need scores. If we are riding average movers - no matter how correct or harmonious - will we get the scores for our efforts? If not, the sport becomes even more divided - ESPECIALLY if we consider the Judges programs.

And if the AA is not supported, why have GMOs? (and I am an officer in our GMO)

Loretta

I think you can generally get rewarded with high enough scores even on an average mover if he is very correct and precise. But that horse isn't going to be competitive as far as winning blues goes at higher levels of competition. And you can certainly find really nice movers in a reasonable price range, you may just have to take some other flaws and spend longer searching.

I don't know, I guess I just don't see a problem with a better mover getting better scores if he is doing the work as well as a less talented mover. Plus I think a lot of average movers can become above average through proper training. Now I do think it would be a shame if the sport got to the point that average movers couldn't get qualifying scores for their riders for medal and judging programs (I don't think it's to that point currently). I'm not a scoring or judging guru, so I don't know the best way to ensure that doesn't happen.

As much as dressage is about training, part of it is about the beauty and harmony of the performance. A horse with more elegant movement is going to score better because of this. This doesn't mean that horses without spectacular movement shouldn't be able to compete, and, again, I think it would be a shame if scoring qualifications became impossible for a rider on an average mover.

Also, @mbm, I still think you may be overreacting a bit, but it does take people with extreme feelings and opinions to make even moderate changes happen, so that's okay. I really don't think dressage has become all about flash and money and that the focus on training has been forgotten. If you are a TOP pro, you probably don't have time to take on any horses but the best. That doesn't mean you're sending the 2nd tier horses to the slaughterhouse, just onto somebody who can give them the attention they deserve. Do you really expect EG or SP to take a run of the mill OTTB or QH or arab and try to make it an Olympic champion when they can have Ravel or Totilas instead? Of course they are going to work with the best animals they can get. Why is that wrong? It's their job. They aren't doing this for fun after work, they are doing it for a living hopefully because of their love for the horse and the sport.

Unfortunately, in the horse world, you have to accept that some people will get involved that don't love horses as much as one would like. They may really be in it for the thrill of being on stage or getting a ribbon or a pretty picture. It's sad and frustrating, but I don't think it's much more prevalent in dressage than in other disciplines. It's still about training to a LOT (most) of the participants and about harmony with their horse. I also really don't see most of the international riders getting where they are today without a focus on training.

mbm
Aug. 31, 2009, 03:28 PM
Also, @mbm, I still think you may be overreacting a bit,

<snort> well sure, but i never said i wasn't a highly emotional person who is willing to voice her opinion even if it makes me unpopular..... and yeah, to get change or to be heard sometimes you gotta say what you feel..... and then hope that compromise can be worked on in the middle somewhere...


but it does take people with extreme feelings and opinions to make even moderate changes happen, so that's okay.

very true.


I really don't think dressage has become all about flash and money and that the focus on training has been forgotten. If you are a TOP pro, you probably don't have time to take on any horses but the best. That doesn't mean you're sending the 2nd tier horses to the slaughterhouse, just onto somebody who can give them the attention they deserve. Do you really expect EG or SP to take a run of the mill OTTB or QH or arab and try to make it an Olympic champion when they can have Ravel or Totilas instead? Of course they are going to work with the best animals they can get. Why is that wrong? It's their job. They aren't doing this for fun after work, they are doing it for a living hopefully because of their love for the horse and the sport.

well, my comments weren't about SP or anyone that high up the ladder... more about local trainers (or wanna be trainers) ... honestly - i would love to see some of these folks train a horse up the levels instead of ridings the talent/training of others. Perhaps i am just overly emotional because i happen to have one of "those" horses that is difficult (and talented!) and trying to find good correct patient training has been extremely difficult - and when found then it takes time to unwind (if you ever can) the work done by others) so i am a bit jaded i guess.

i love nothing better than to watch a harmonious ride.... i was watching the other kur rides from the Euro's and there are some super rides that made me very happy.... i do think there is a huge gulf between most of the top rides and the ones the judges pick to win and that get gigantic scores. some of those are the ones i just dont "get" .....

FriesianX
Aug. 31, 2009, 04:09 PM
Which is why "Gaits" (and "Impulsion")now has a coefficient of 1 and "Submission (and "Rider") has a coefficient of 2.

In the FEI tests, yes, that is how the coeeficients run. But you also have to take into account how each individual movement is scored. Before scoring a movement for its individual components, the judge must take into account the collectives as an "overlay" of each movement. So, using a trot half pass as an example - before evaluating the bend, the flow, the crossing of the legs, the judge must consider the quality of the gaits (paces) - not just whether the trot is pure or not, but the brilliance of the trot. And of course, the submission, the impulsion, and the rider. But judges are taught that the gaits are the first thing to evaluate. Even within the judging ranks, there is discussion about whether the gaits should be more important than the submission. In our half pass example, if the horse has a 6 trot, they are unlikely to get an 8 on a trot half pass.

So, the question becomes... Is that where the sport is going? Please note, I'm not opposed to the flashier horse getting the better score - a natural, stand-out athlete HAS an advantage. In any sport. That is what sport is. Competition where the best person/horse/dog/team wins.

The question really boils down to - are the flashy gaits more important than the correct training? Which should have the "advantage"? Or should they at least be weighted equally when evaluating individual movements? Or should the weight be on training first? Which means the natural advantage might go to a very trainable horse, instead of a very flashy horse. I don't have an answer, just asking the questions...

When we see a ride like Toto - there is no question that it is a top quality ride - both gaits and training are out-of-this-world incredible. What can you really mark him down for? His braids aren't quite even:lol: But when you look at some of the other big flash movers - some of them aren't quite so correct once you get past the flash of the front end. They are tight in the back, short in the neck, and those (IMHO) are the ones that bring up the question - which is more important, flashy movement or harmonious submission? And it really is a "chicken or the egg" question...

siegi b.
Aug. 31, 2009, 05:44 PM
FriesianX - you bring up some very good points.... I do believe that brilliance of paces and training (i. e. execution of the movement at that pace) should be scored equally because the better pace will result in a better execution of the movement. Picture a canter pirouette performed with a collected down-hill canter vs one that shows good uphill tendencies.

lorilu
Aug. 31, 2009, 06:41 PM
FriesianX, you said that so much better than I did!

and Bort84, I am not worried about the color of the ribbons. That's what brings me to dressage - you ride against yourself. That being said, though, having a hope of getting scores for a bronze or (wayyyyy down the line) silver, would be nice, even if my horse is only an average mover. That's one goal I can work towards over time, as training continues....

And, when I was badly injured a few years ago, and really wondered if I would be able to ride again (not just sit on a horse), I realized that scores are the deciding factor for continued participation in the sport..... no scores, I can't become a judge.

L

Fixerupper
Aug. 31, 2009, 09:19 PM
to mix some equine metaphors....;)

It's bit like Secretariat...was he the 'new race horse'? as it turned out..no
Like Totilas...he was a freak...good breeding not top of the heap breeding, good training and riding...but not revolutionary training and riding.
Did we all hate Secretariat because he won by 31 lengths?...not as I remember it :lol:
I don't think we should agonize over where dressage is going based on the performance of one 'freak'....but we should get used to watching him win a few things for the next little while! Much like we got used to the one on one between Anky and Isabell for a 'few' years'.

My solution is to have one class for them and another class for everybody else.

Parzival is a more 'credible' star because he came up through the ranks (so to speak) but when you are up against Secretariat....being Riva Ridge is pretty OK.

J-Lu
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:09 AM
PonyFixer, I understand what you are saying. That said, to say that the concerns people state here boil down to "sour grapes" is also hogwash and a little simplistic. Dressage is much more expensive at all levels and much more subjective than most sports, and people have disagreed about the direction of dressage and some horse breeding for decades. It's not just lower level riders on average horses who express concerns about the direction of the sport despite the fact that they may be the ones posting *here*. Understanding all sides of the argument (whether or not you agree) can help you get a better grasp on the depth of the issues.

canyonoak
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:45 AM
Dr. Klimke said: "the point of doing the movements is to improve the gaits.
You want to know if your half-pass is correct? Ask for an extension!"

The point of training the horse IS to improve the gaits.

The point of performing a dressage test is to show off the training which means showing off the gaits.

Dr. Klimke also said: "It is not enough to buy a world-class horse. You have to buy a world-class horse you can ride."

It does not matter whether you are a pro or AA, what matters is finding some love in your heart for your athlete-partner.

Dressage is moving along the same path as skating/gymnastics/etc.

The more risk one adds to the basic foundation of a movement, the higher the score.

The more ATHLETIC the performance, the higher the score.

But this is built on the foundation of rhythm, balance and harmony in dressage because there are two athletes involved.

ALso being judged is the communication between two species--it is a rare and strange and unique sport for sure..

lorilu
Sep. 1, 2009, 11:21 AM
Unlike other subjective sports, there really is no group other than USDF giving awards... while GMOs might offer YEA, there is nothing between them and the national levels.

It would be nice if there were intermediate levels, to reward the efforts of the "not national level gaits" horse and his rider.

Also, the medals are supposed to be "Rider Awards", right? So why penalize a rider on a not flash but correct horse in her efforts to get a medal?

L

caddym
Sep. 1, 2009, 12:02 PM
Also, the medals are supposed to be "Rider Awards", right? So why penalize a rider on a not flash but correct horse in her efforts to get a medal?

L

But the scores needed to qualify for a medals don't require flash - I just got my silver medal just needed 2 scores at 4th level and 2 scores at PSG above 60%. A correct horse can do this

mbm
Sep. 1, 2009, 12:05 PM
Dr. Klimke said: "the point of doing the movements is to improve the gaits.
You want to know if your half-pass is correct? Ask for an extension!"

The point of training the horse IS to improve the gaits.

The point of performing a dressage test is to show off the training which means showing off the gaits.

Dr. Klimke also said: "It is not enough to buy a world-class horse. You have to buy a world-class horse you can ride."

It does not matter whether you are a pro or AA, what matters is finding some love in your heart for your athlete-partner.

Dressage is moving along the same path as skating/gymnastics/etc.

The more risk one adds to the basic foundation of a movement, the higher the score.

The more ATHLETIC the performance, the higher the score.

But this is built on the foundation of rhythm, balance and harmony in dressage because there are two athletes involved.

ALso being judged is the communication between two species--it is a rare and strange and unique sport for sure..

while i agree with what is quoted above, take a look at what i bolded. these are subjective ideas. good gaits is subjective. improiving the gaits is subjective. i agree 100% that good training will improve the horses gaits and athleticism. however, to *me* that does not = the end result being a gaited/saddle seat/park looking gait....

to me it means a horse that covers ground, is buoyant, collects and extends at ease, who looks *easy* and soft. controlled power - but it must all be relaxed, and the horse must also show softness in the body ie flexibility and bend etc.

canyonoak
Sep. 1, 2009, 12:18 PM
<< to me it means a horse that covers ground, is buoyant, collects and extends at ease, who looks *easy* and soft. controlled power - but it must all be relaxed, and the horse must also show softness in the body ie flexibility and bend etc.>>


Wow, you just described Totilas!!!!

mbm
Sep. 1, 2009, 12:30 PM
the overall impression i get from totalis via video is that his body is tight/crammed altho not necessarily "tense" - just locked - especially his neck which is like a block of stone. my hypothesis is that he compensates for this lack of "freedom" by flinging his legs.

i have watched warm-up vid which i thought were quite nice (apart from the LDR).... relaxed power etc.

DownYonder
Sep. 1, 2009, 01:03 PM
to mix some equine metaphors....;)

It's bit like Secretariat...was he the 'new race horse'? as it turned out..no
Like Totilas...he was a freak...good breeding not top of the heap breeding, good training and riding...but not revolutionary training and riding.
Did we all hate Secretariat because he won by 31 lengths?...not as I remember it :lol:

LOL, I also used the Secretariat analogy last night in a conversation with a friend about Totilas. Like Secretariat, Totilas has freakish talent that has been expertly nurtured and developed. It remains to be seen if he will turn out to be a successful progenitor of super talented horses. Very few uber talented horses are able to reproduce themselves, and even Secretariat was not a particularly successful sire of race horses - his best contribution to future generations was through his daughters.

DownYonder
Sep. 1, 2009, 01:15 PM
the overall impression i get from totalis via video is that his body is tight/crammed altho not necessarily "tense" - just locked - especially his neck which is like a block of stone. my hypothesis is that he compensates for this lack of "freedom" by flinging his legs.

i have watched warm-up vid which i thought were quite nice (apart from the LDR).... relaxed power etc.

There has been some discussion among dressage breeders that some of today's young horses are such enormous movers they almost scare themselves with their big gaits, and their riders have to carefully "hold them together" until they develop enough strength to carry themselves in balance at all times. This theory has been particularly used to describe Jazz offspring (Parzival's sire). While Totilas is not a Jazz offspring, he certainly fits the bill of "an enormous mover", but one would think, at nine years of age, he would have figured out how to contain all his power. OTOH, his power as a GP horse is just now coming. Perhaps in another year or so when he is more confirmed in the GP movements, he will have enough strength and balance to flow through the test with the same panache and brilliance he exhibited last week, but with even more ease and fluidity - including actually moving his neck.

Dressage Art
Sep. 1, 2009, 01:49 PM
Since it is so personally expensive to become a judge - wont that trend in keeping the whole sport elitist?Yes, but the sport of dressage always been elitist and will stay elitist. The best horses for the best riders = mega $ to play that game.

In the last 50 years dressage continuously gains popularity and is one of the fastest growing sports in US. However, the growth wasn't in the higher echelons at Olympic levels, it's rather casual horse lovers are falling in love with new to them training of dressage and starting to take lessons and interests to it. That's what's keeps the dressage growing in US. At the same time those fairly new dressage fans are not on the same page with the elitist point of view of some dressage riders. More than that, some elitist dressage riders keep on widening the gap by demining comments when answering the concerns of those average dressage fans. May be, in time we’ll see the separation of “new dressage riders” and “elitist dressage riders”


to say that the concerns people state here boil down to "sour grapes" is also hogwash and a little simplistic. Dressage is much more expensive at all levels and much more subjective than most sports, and people have disagreed about the direction of dressage and some horse breeding for decades. It's not just lower level riders on average horses who express concerns about the direction of the sport despite the fact that they may be the ones posting *here*. Understanding all sides of the argument (whether or not you agree) can help you get a better grasp on the depth of the issues.ditto.

Ambrey
Sep. 1, 2009, 02:10 PM
In the last 50 years dressage continuously gains popularity and is one of the fastest growing sports in US. However, the growth wasn't in the higher echelons at Olympic levels, it's rather casual horse lovers are falling in love with new to them training of dressage and starting to take lessons and interests to it. That's what's keeps the dressage growing in US. At the same time those fairly new dressage fans are not on the same page with the elitist point of view of some dressage riders. More than that, some elitist dressage riders keep on widening the gap by demining comments when answering the concerns of those average dressage fans. May be, in time we’ll see the separation of “new dressage riders” and “elitist dressage riders”


Excellent observations!

Pony Fixer
Sep. 1, 2009, 03:33 PM
PonyFixer, I understand what you are saying. That said, to say that the concerns people state here boil down to "sour grapes" is also hogwash and a little simplistic. Dressage is much more expensive at all levels and much more subjective than most sports, and people have disagreed about the direction of dressage and some horse breeding for decades. It's not just lower level riders on average horses who express concerns about the direction of the sport despite the fact that they may be the ones posting *here*. Understanding all sides of the argument (whether or not you agree) can help you get a better grasp on the depth of the issues.

Oh, no, I agree with you. I think it's hogwash to say it's ALL about big money these days and if you don't have it, you can't succeed. Successful horses can be bought OR made, or both.;)