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View Full Version : Totilas is the most amazing horse I have seen in dressage in 30 years



mickeydoodle
Sep. 29, 2010, 11:26 PM
My goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!! watching Totilas today was just amazing- he can piaffe/passage three feet off the ground, his changes are 10+ and then after the halt and last salute, when the whole stadium is going nuts, waving flags, on their feet screaming, he can walk on a loose rein - looking at the crowd, it looks like he is saying "hi y'all, so glad you like me, how about going around again? anyone got a treat? I really want to scratch my nose on something, anyone got a sleeve?"

Then at the awards, when they remount for the victory lap- Ravel is going nuts, very explosive, Mistral has gone back to the barn (lost his cookies, so nervous he piaffed non-stop) Toto looks like he is out for a canter, light gallop around the park. He even transitions to walk at the podium again (after two rounds of the stadium) and walks flat footed on a totally loose rein out of the stadium, checking out the cheering/screaming crowd as he goes.

utterly freaking amazing

NoDQhere
Sep. 29, 2010, 11:30 PM
He gives me goosebumps! Totally utterly amazing. The perfect horse.

Bogey2
Sep. 30, 2010, 07:40 AM
damn, I am sorry to have missed this!! My friend sent a message last night, she really enjoyed him as well!

Izthatrt
Sep. 30, 2010, 09:01 AM
I am waiting for all the Youtube videos...Truly an amazing pair.

WBLover
Sep. 30, 2010, 09:46 AM
I was just telling another horse friend that if he were reincarnated as a human man, WOW, he'd be the sexiest man alive!!! :eek:

And even better, he'd be one of those men that has no clue how hot he is, which makes him even hotter!

2ndyrgal
Sep. 30, 2010, 09:54 AM
Totilas is a passage/piaffe machine, those two things were very impressive. The rest of it, simply wasn't as good or true in gait and impulsion as the horse from Great Britain. Yes, "Toto" is good, but he wasn't perfect. He is ridden exquisitely well, and precisely, but if the test wasn't as heavy on passage/piaffe as it is, he probably wouldn't have been in the top three.

Flame suit zipped, I'm "old" school and think and extended trot should be from behind, not all up in front.
JMHO.

I like Mistral far better.

Cielo Azure
Sep. 30, 2010, 10:23 AM
Here it the link to the performance at WEG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcmpEcuQ5TY

NOMIOMI1
Sep. 30, 2010, 12:16 PM
but if the test wasn't as heavy on passage/piaffe as it is, he probably wouldn't have been in the top three.

.

But it is. The End.

I just watched his Special, very amazing horse, with good will in mind.

esdressage
Sep. 30, 2010, 12:38 PM
I was just telling another horse friend that if he were reincarnated as a human man, WOW, he'd be the sexiest man alive!!! :eek:

I think anybody besides a horsewoman would shake their head at that (and laugh at us crazy horsewomen), but I have to absolutely agree!

He's g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s, athletic, effortless, the epitome of tall-dark-and-handsome, and the performances he puts in are absolute art. ***swoon***

ETA - I showed my non-horsey husband the video of Totilas' special, and he very seriously said, "Well, that looks like Echo!" Echo is my sweet little Arabian mare with whom I aspire to a very distant greatness. Thanks, hun, love the support… lol.

pony grandma
Sep. 30, 2010, 01:53 PM
Flame suit zipped, I'm "old" school and think the extended trot should be from behind, not all up in front.

And I agree. I was very proud of my DD, age 22, who wrote this to me after she watched the videos.


I think the horse is awesome... a lot of expression and power there... but where is the reach and lengthening from behind? He seems to be 70% up front, with the fancy shoulder and leg action. I know you can't expect the total package, I just don't see many people talking about his lack of reach (especially in the extended trot - he isn't even overstriding).


So now the breeding is going for exaggerated extravagance. And these are the same people who flame the Arabians and other now exotic looking breeds, and look where they themselves are headed.

I, too, am missing something here with the modern look and the training techniques.

horse2rider
Sep. 30, 2010, 02:50 PM
http://www.horse2rider.eu/Webnodes/en/Web/CMS/Nyheder/Unikt+maleri+af+Totilas

netg
Sep. 30, 2010, 02:56 PM
And I agree. I was very proud of my DD, age 22, who wrote this to me after she watched the videos.



So now the breeding is going for exaggerated extravagance. And these are the same people who flame the Arabians and other now exotic looking breeds, and look where they are headed.

I, too, am missing something here with the modern look and the training techniques.

He actually does have overtrack. I watched on slow-mo to see, because I keep hearing he doesn't and couldn't tell at regular screen on a small computer monitor. He doesn't have a LOT of overtrack, but he does have some. I believe the trot is also where he gets his lowest scores - sounds reasonable to me that if he has overtrack but not perfect overtrack, has great rhythm and regularity, it seems fair he gets high scores but not as high as his other movements. I'm saying this as a non-expert, though, who doesn't know the finer points of how judges are taught to score.


That said, he's just not my "thing." The transitions and temperament are FABULOUS, but looks-wise, he's not what I most enjoy watching. Do I fantasize about having a horse who is so obedient, calm, yet works so hard? Well, yeah, who doesn't? :)

VanEq
Sep. 30, 2010, 02:57 PM
So now the breeding is going for exaggerated extravagance. And these are the same people who flame the Arabians and other now exotic looking breeds, and look where they are headed.

Very well put.

mp
Sep. 30, 2010, 03:15 PM
So now the breeding is going for exaggerated extravagance. And these are the same people who flame the Arabians and other now exotic looking breeds, and look where they are headed.

What the hell is that supposed to mean? That all Arabians are crap now because some people breed them just for their looks?

Newsflash: that's been going on for a long, long time. And so far, there are still some nice Arabians around. I have several in my own backyard. One is quite exotic and has won "Most Classic" awards for his pretty face. He is also one hellaciously athletic horse and an absolute delight to ride. We do breed shows and *gasp* dressage.

About Totilas: If the ride had been perfect, it would have scored 100. IMO, the piaffe and passage are breathtaking. The extended trot, not so much. But I still think it was an awesome, incredible ride.

Please, please, please. Stop this hand-wringing, nitpicking "sky is falling" attitude about dressage. It's not the end of the world because ONE aspect of an otherwise brilliant test is not up to par for you. Gawd.

farmgirl88
Sep. 30, 2010, 03:22 PM
I just watched his WEG round and WOW! He is truly captivating. You don't see a horse like all of the time; that who comes into the arena and captures you like that. His grace, strength, movement, impulsion....its all dead ON! I havn't seen a halt like that in a long time...WOW! Just to watch him gracefully sweep across the arena is something. The entire ride was soft, effortless, and full of grace. WHAT A HORSE!

He's 10 years old and like the announcers said; hes very much improved since last year. he's just going to keep getting better

akrogirl
Sep. 30, 2010, 04:32 PM
Totilas is a passage/piaffe machine, those two things were very impressive. The rest of it, simply wasn't as good or true in gait and impulsion as the horse from Great Britain. Yes, "Toto" is good, but he wasn't perfect. He is ridden exquisitely well, and precisely, but if the test wasn't as heavy on passage/piaffe as it is, he probably wouldn't have been in the top three.

Flame suit zipped, I'm "old" school and think and extended trot should be from behind, not all up in front.
JMHO.

I like Mistral far better.

I feel the same way. I just can't warm up to the overall picture, even though the tests are extremely accurately ridden.

NOMIOMI1
Sep. 30, 2010, 05:01 PM
ha ha I have an arabian and what the hell does that have to do with Toto?


Arabs arent running the sport. When they are.... Call me.

soloudinhere
Sep. 30, 2010, 05:07 PM
I feel the same way. I just can't warm up to the overall picture, even though the tests are extremely accurately ridden.

Admittedly, I do not follow dressage all that seriously, and can only muster up a passable second level test myself, but I find his movement really distracting. It looks almost unnatural, especially given how extravagant the front is and how average (to me) the back is.

I guess I don't find it attractive. I think Laura B's horse, Alf, looks like a much more balanced horse and looks happy and comfortable doing the work, not like he is throwing his legs everywhere.

But I am not winning, or breeding, so of course my opinion is not for much.

AmericaRunsOnDunkin
Sep. 30, 2010, 05:08 PM
I just love your description! Thank you for allowing me to be there with you :) !!!

pony grandma
Sep. 30, 2010, 05:49 PM
I'm so sorry - to the OP. I didn't mean to hijack your thread about your feelings for Totilas' showmanship. And everything that you said there was true. Your description was very pictural.

In retrospect I should have started another thread. I was just responding to another poster's comment.

I have the same right to an opinion as all of the Arab breeders who choose not to breed exotic do. It's just a statement of fact related back to breeding choices in the dressage world right now. I actually won a dressage suitability class on an Arab back in my day. I have nothing against 'a good horse.'

It's the same thing as consumer shopping - it's a good thing that we all have different tastes.

Mozart
Sep. 30, 2010, 06:09 PM
I was just telling another horse friend that if he were reincarnated as a human man, WOW, he'd be the sexiest man alive!!! :eek:



Along the lines of this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE

Donella
Sep. 30, 2010, 06:56 PM
All of you people who have to put the horse down because he is scoring high 80's and not 100 percent: GO AWAY. I am so sick of you people, you are such downers. No matter how good something is you always have to find SOMETHING to bitch about.!:mad:

I think both Gal and Toto are something to behold... as Robert Dover's says: "Aesthetic Perfection" !

spirithorse
Sep. 30, 2010, 07:14 PM
Beautiful yes, correct no. And because it is not correct it should not be scored inappropriately. It is beautiful but is stands a distance from 'aesthetic perfection'.


DR 117
6. The position of the head and neck of a horse at the collected gaits is naturally dependent on the stage of training and in some degree on his conformation. It should, however, be distinguished by the neck being raised unrestrained forming a harmonious curve from the withers to the poll being the highest point with the head slightly in front of the vertical
DR 116
2. Putting out the tongue, keeping it above the bit or drawing it up altogether as well as grinding the teeth and swishing the tail are mostly signs of nervousness, tenseness or resistance on the part of the horse and must be taken into account by the judges in their marks for the movement concerned as well as in the collective mark for submission.

It is not about bitching, it is about compliance with the rules/descriptions in their entirety as so deliniated in the FEI Rules of Dressage. It is not just about Totilas/Gal, it is about any competitor not in compliance. Judges should not wavier just because of their personal opinions and likes.


All of you people who have to put the horse down because he is scoring high 80's and not 100 percent: GO AWAY. I am so sick of you people, you are such downers. No matter how good something is you always have to find SOMETHING to bitch about.!:mad:

I think both Gal and Toto are something to behold... as Robert Dover's says: "Aesthetic Perfection" !

grayarabpony
Sep. 30, 2010, 07:16 PM
Donella, you put up the most negative post on this thread so far. :lol: This isn't your bulletin board and you don't get to dictate what people think or say.

OneGrayPony
Sep. 30, 2010, 07:18 PM
I can say that the ride was extremely precise, and I liked that. His halts were beautiful, and the transitions were very nice indeed.

ZiggyStardust
Sep. 30, 2010, 07:45 PM
I agree that his knee action is very distracting, as someone else already said somewhere. His trot work kind of makes me cringe for a couple of disparate reasons, but I enjoyed watching the piaffe and passage, and his canter work is just beautiful. He does seem more relaxed than many of the horses, which I appreciate, as well. Really thought the canter work was the best. His walk is quite nice, too.

I watched some of the eventing dressage, and I was curious how the GP horses would look in some of those movements, like extended walk and the walk half "pirouette". Would be interesting to see a GP test that included a progression of movements based across a larger scale.

grayarabpony
Sep. 30, 2010, 07:52 PM
I very much like Totilas too; he looks to have excellent rideability and bucketloads of physical talent. Although I think Mistral's piaffe is better when he hits it, Totilas just really sits down when he has to make an effort to keep going.

alicen
Sep. 30, 2010, 08:01 PM
Totilas' passage defies the laws off physics. To go that slowly and have such oomph - the epitomy of collection.

Schiffon
Sep. 30, 2010, 08:27 PM
They are obviously both wonderful horses ridden expertly.

IMHO Totilas' reputation seems to cause some judges to overlook a slight weakness in a movement. This is not universally the case as most gave him "only" 8's and an occasional 7 for his extended trot, but for example, his final piaffe in the GPS showed hind legs that were slightly unlevel and his profile was a bit pedestal-like. One of the judges on the side gave it an 8 but the other still gave it a 10.

Knee action to the extreme to me is neither here nor there - its more personal preference. It isn't directly related to biomechanical ability or specific qualities that are defined in the dressage rules. Therefore, I think it is just as wrong to criticize extreme knee action as it is to criticize lack of knee action. One has to look at the underlying biomechanics to decide if it is relevant, eg, tension or lack of scope, respectively.

Really looking forward to seeing Mistral Hojris over the next couple of years because I think he could develop into an even more impressive horse when youthful exuberance matures into greater self confidence and lightness.

mickeydoodle
Sep. 30, 2010, 10:38 PM
Along the lines of this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE

EXACTALLY

mickeydoodle
Sep. 30, 2010, 10:40 PM
Beautiful yes, correct no. And because it is not correct it should not be scored inappropriately. It is beautiful but is stands a distance from 'aesthetic perfection'.


DR 117
6. The position of the head and neck of a horse at the collected gaits is naturally dependent on the stage of training and in some degree on his conformation. It should, however, be distinguished by the neck being raised unrestrained forming a harmonious curve from the withers to the poll being the highest point with the head slightly in front of the vertical
DR 116
2. Putting out the tongue, keeping it above the bit or drawing it up altogether as well as grinding the teeth and swishing the tail are mostly signs of nervousness, tenseness or resistance on the part of the horse and must be taken into account by the judges in their marks for the movement concerned as well as in the collective mark for submission.

It is not about bitching, it is about compliance with the rules/descriptions in their entirety as so deliniated in the FEI Rules of Dressage. It is not just about Totilas/Gal, it is about any competitor not in compliance. Judges should not wavier just because of their personal opinions and likes.

YOU ARE NUTS!

mickeydoodle
Sep. 30, 2010, 10:42 PM
I agree that his knee action is very distracting, as someone else already said somewhere. His trot work kind of makes me cringe for a couple of disparate reasons, but I enjoyed watching the piaffe and passage, and his canter work is just beautiful. He does seem more relaxed than many of the horses, which I appreciate, as well. Really thought the canter work was the best. His walk is quite nice, too.

I watched some of the eventing dressage, and I was curious how the GP horses would look in some of those movements, like extended walk and the walk half "pirouette". Would be interesting to see a GP test that included a progression of movements based across a larger scale.


the majority of event dressage horses in the dressage test, even at WEG level were tense, hollow, neck and back inverted, choppy, short gaited- not one of them that i saw could have done a real, correct piaffe/passage

grayarabpony
Oct. 1, 2010, 12:00 AM
the majority of event dressage horses in the dressage test, even at WEG level were tense, hollow, neck and back inverted, choppy, short gaited- not one of them that i saw could have done a real, correct piaffe/passage

Oh, some might be able to; TBs and some horses with a lot of blood can really lose their gaits when tense. They don't have that metronome like warmbloods do.

Event dressage is better than it used to be, but those horses are superfit and know they'll be running crosscountry. Talk about trying to keep a lid on.

ZiggyStardust
Oct. 1, 2010, 04:00 AM
the majority of event dressage horses in the dressage test, even at WEG level were tense, hollow, neck and back inverted, choppy, short gaited- not one of them that i saw could have done a real, correct piaffe/passage

While that is a very charming comment, I think you misunderstood my post. I was musing that I would be interested to see the GP horses perform some of the eventer test movements, like extended walk and half pirouette at the walk, in the GP test, as kind of a "progressive" test.

And it doesn't really matter if any of the event horses can or cannot do piaffe/passage. Newsflash: They don't have to in competition. That's like saying the GP horses couldn't run the 4**** cross country course. So what? Some would argue that the level of submission required to do GP movements is highly undesirable in a horse that runs cross country at the upper levels. You also have to remember that most of the event horses are pretty uninterested in dressage and would rather jump out of the arena and off toward the course if they have to work one way or the other. In eventing, the dressage test is still for the most part about getting relative obedience and accuracy from horses who are "racehorse" fit and balls to the wall.

And one of the GBR event horses (Inonothing?) did a better medium/extended trot than any of the GP tests I watched. Including Totilas. The event horse actually used his hind legs underneath himself in equal steps as the front.

horse2rider
Oct. 1, 2010, 05:10 AM
If you want to see more of the tests from the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special
you have the possiblity to see more of the combinations here.

http://www.horse2rider.eu/Webnodes/en/Web/CMS/Nyheder/OPDATERET+-+Opsamling+af+nogle+af+de+sidste+dages+h%F8+%28355 0%29

snoopy
Oct. 1, 2010, 05:52 AM
Totilas is a passage/piaffe machine, those two things were very impressive. The rest of it, simply wasn't as good or true in gait and impulsion as the horse from Great Britain. Yes, "Toto" is good, but he wasn't perfect. He is ridden exquisitely well, and precisely, but if the test wasn't as heavy on passage/piaffe as it is, he probably wouldn't have been in the top three.

Flame suit zipped, I'm "old" school and think and extended trot should be from behind, not all up in front.
JMHO.

I like Mistral far better.



:yes:

tm
Oct. 1, 2010, 07:31 AM
Boy, you all are a tough crowd.

I'm writing this from WEG. I've been photographing dressage for 30 years, and it is not often that TWO horses move me to tears in one day. But here are Totillas and Mistral Hojris, two superb athletes, being piloted by two superb riders. They are different horses, with different strengths and weaknesses, but my gosh, they have made all the trials and tribulations of being a photographer here at the Games worth it to be at ringside.

How about just enjoying the fact that we have two horses of a quality never before seen? I know I am!

Blogging about it all: http://terrimiller.wordpress.com/

Jeito
Oct. 1, 2010, 09:08 AM
How about just enjoying the fact that we have two horses of a quality never before seen? I know I am!

Blogging about it all: http://terrimiller.wordpress.com/

Thank you so much :)! And I am enjoying these extraordinary horses :yes: Can't wait until tonight.

And thanks to the OP for the great description of the victory lap!

CFFarm
Oct. 1, 2010, 09:19 AM
I was more impressed with Edward Gal's ride. I didn't want to like it but I did. Tactful and quiet. Totilas is a born entertainer.

Bogey2
Oct. 1, 2010, 09:20 AM
thanks terri!!!

chancellor2
Oct. 1, 2010, 09:23 AM
When I have seen Totilas on Youtube or on "tape", I thought his movement was a bit distracting as well. However, having seen him in person now, I found him MUCH less distracting and just plain beautiful. Both he and Mistral gave me goosebumps to watch.

ceffyl
Oct. 1, 2010, 09:30 AM
Boy, you all are a tough crowd.

I'm writing this from WEG. I've been photographing dressage for 30 years, and it is not often that TWO horses move me to tears in one day. But here are Totillas and Mistral Hojris, two superb athletes, being piloted by two superb riders. They are different horses, with different strengths and weaknesses, but my gosh, they have made all the trials and tribulations of being a photographer here at the Games worth it to be at ringside.

How about just enjoying the fact that we have two horses of a quality never before seen? I know I am!

Blogging about it all: http://terrimiller.wordpress.com/

THANK YOU, at last a sensible post WITHOUT disecting each of the two horse / rider combinations then pulling each to pieces and implying each are overmarked! :)

Having known Stephen Clarke for more years than he has been in the spotlight - since he was a 12 yr old pony club member I find it incredulous that so many COTH posters believe they as far better judges of this level of dressage than Stephen and his compatriots at world level. Really if you all are such great experts please get on board and into the judges boxes.

It has been such a pleasure to watch two combinations who are bringing in a new era of dressage. However you see it things change and move on, usually for the best. Certainly we hope for the best for horse welfare, particularly watching Laura in exercise, warm up, and cooling her horse down after Alf's tests (no dashing off to glug a cold drink for herself and hand the horse to a groom, she stays with him and drops him down herself). Laura's test in the team for me was spellbinding, not in the way Totilas holds my attention, but for the shere power, elegance, and everything that dressage stands for. Exemplary riding, inspirational.

ridgeback
Oct. 1, 2010, 10:12 AM
Just watched a video of Edward and toto on Theo's site and I think I'm in love with Edward:lol::lol: I think I'd enjoy watching him ride a chair. It is soooo nice to see a rider at his level being all sappy about his horse. What a great guy.. Cannot not WAIT to see him in the freestyle tonight.

betonbill
Oct. 1, 2010, 12:42 PM
Thank you all for allowing us all to be unabashed fans of BOTH wonderful horses. With all the bashing, there's always a little bit of wondering...am I wrong to like what I'm seeing? Let's just be thankful that we are here to see it, either in person or on video. What great ambassadors for the sport these two horses are.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's sort of the same thing as when Secretariat was racing. He had everything, charisma, that freaky stride, that amazing win in the Belmont. Or Zenyatta--the same thing.

So, go ahead and pick everything apart. I don't care any more. I'm considering it a great privilege to be seeing greatness in the here and now, and I'm just going to sit back and enjoy it!!!

Mozart
Oct. 1, 2010, 12:51 PM
I was more impressed with Edward Gal's ride. I didn't want to like it but I did. Tactful and quiet. Totilas is a born entertainer.

If you ever get a chance to see Gal's ride on Totilas' sire Gribaldi at the World Cup in Vega..you will be even more impressed. I saw the video just this past summer. Gribaldi made it pretty plain he had no interest in playing that day and Gal just quietly, firmly, kid gloved him through that test. It was beyond impressive.

All the more reason why I would be really saddened if Gal ever lost the ride on Totilas. He deserves that horse.

mbm
Oct. 1, 2010, 12:56 PM
i just think it is great that here we have a horse that is so phenomenal and

a) he is not a modern WB in type *at all*
b) he isn't hot! or crazy!!

i just love that - it proves that those that go on and on and on about how the modern WB is the best thing ever and how of course they are crazy and unridable because they are so talented - well..... not!

ps - i think i read that he is like 17hands... is that rue? he looks to be more along the lines of 16h, altho maybe Gal and his groom are just very tall?