PDA

View Full Version : The State of Dressage as Evidenced by WEG



Pages : [1] 2

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 2, 2010, 06:46 PM
Thanks to someone's link, I'm just finishing watching the freestyles and was able to watch some of the GP and GPS.

When I used to watch the Olympics, World Cup, etc., there were usually only a few really nice horses and rides that did most things really well. From what I saw, even the "not so good" rides were REALLY good. I see really consistently great riding, really fit, well-trained horses, happy, relaxed horses in a tough situation dealing well, really good execution of movements, and ALL kinds of horses (big giant ones, little quick ones, unusual ones, baroque ones, long leggy ones, tank-like ones) doing a REALLY good job. [And might I add, riders and horses from all over the world, not just the "top" countries, doing a SUPER job.] I'm super impressed, and I don't say that much.

Given that, why is there so much about the horrible state of dressage and training and the way things are and how everyone is on the wrong track and away from classical, or whatever? I read a lot about how so many thing are wrong and it's done in the wrong, harmful way. If that is so, why are we seeing SO many REALLY, REALLY good horses and rides? Is it just me seeing this? These are REALLY nice rides and horses.

enjoytheride
Oct. 2, 2010, 08:00 PM
You are obviously wrong. Everyone at WEG sucks and uses rollkur in conjunction with horse beating. The people on this BB are exactly right.

Hampton Bay
Oct. 2, 2010, 10:09 PM
Did you see the warmup? While most of the warmups were lovely, there were several that were far from it. The Polish horse had a blue tongue that flopped out of his mouth for about 30 minutes. The Dutch riders warmed up in Rollkur for 1.5 to 2 hours total. Totilas has a bit more breaks from the position than the last Dutch rider whose name I cannot remember. That poor horse had his chin to his chest for 1.5 hours, with about 5 minutes total in walk on long rein. There were many times when she would yank the horse's head side to side.

I have quite a few pics, if I can figure out how to post them. It was just ugly. The horse still did the movements, but always on the forehand and with his chin on his chest.

Totilas though was very much warmed up in Rollkur as well, and out of the eyes of spectators for the most part. I am tall though, so could see from elbows up.

Isabell Werth also warmed up very behind the vertical, and away from the eyes of spectators.

But the British, American, and Austrian riders all warmed up in a very relaxed manner.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 2, 2010, 10:27 PM
No, I was not there. All I've seen is what was posted online.

So, this is my point. If all of this ugly stuff is going on that is so bad to prepare them, why is all of the final result looking so good? All I can see is what was brought into the show ring and it was stunning. Ride after ride of beautiful, relaxed, super horses. The last one I saw was Sunrise--Oh my god. That mare was wonderful. How is something so horrible producing the best we've ever seen?

princessfluffybritches
Oct. 2, 2010, 11:27 PM
I think many of us live in fear of going the way of the Tennessee Walking Horse. There were some in that industry who couldn't just live with the beauty of a naturally gaited horse. They had to be better, win shows, be flashier and eventually the horses suffered from pads, burning feet, or ankles, weights, chains, head held back till their neck bulges underneath, breaking and resetting tails, scaring the piss out of them before they go in the ring so they're really animated. Watching what they've become is ugly.

If people win Olympic medals by utilizing awful methods to train their horses, to me, it's cheating.

Dressage methods have been handed down for hundreds of years. And if someone has trained their horse with correct methods, and is beat by people who have taken hurtful shortcuts with their horses, isn't that like cheating?

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:02 AM
Yeah, I agree with the flashy thing. What you used to see seemed attainable. I know I will never attain what was in that ring--way out of my league.

But, since the whole judging system is supposed to be based on seeing a willing, submissive yet energetic, happy, relaxed horse, how can it be gotten with the way of the TWH? They just want flash and flipping. While the flash was there, these horses almost all looked very relaxed, but SO energetic and willing. HOW can that be happening with awful methods? Can you "cheat" and get a horse to look like that in dressage, for any length of time, anyway?

Princess, was what you saw in the show ring ugly? All of the ones I saw, except maybe Randon, looked like some of the best rides I've ever seen. Do you think the judges got it all wrong?

If half of the people warmed up "the right way," and half of the people did it the "bad" way, WHY are they all going in and producing something so good? I'm really not baiting anyone or condoning anything. I'm trying to figure out what's going on. Does anyone NOT think those were a bunch of really great rides?

spirithorse
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:13 AM
WEG and FEI has represented total disregard for the clear consise descriptions contained in the rules of dressage.

The judges are honoring BTV, rolkur, poll not being the highest point, leg movers v. back movers, hollowed backs, disengaged hindquarters....all of these because of 'bad' schooling and riding. Riders that are not using the snaffle bit as the point of contact as referenced in the rules, but rather cranking on the curb and snaffle.........

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:43 AM
Please, only educated people who have a clue and can respond to what was seen instead of randomly repeating the same things over and over.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:57 AM
Because of my crazy schedule I have not watched any of the rides. I think some are up on YouTube now? I did not subscribe to the live streaming from WEG -- I'll buy the DVD later. The other problem is, DSL is too dang slow.

So I have not seen the test rides, but I think BTDT brings up a good question. I respect her judgement, and if she says she was seeing generally good rides with relaxed & happy horses, I will believe her before I believe someone like Spirithorse.

BTDT has BTDT in real life. Spirithorse has not.

In competitive dressage, TESTS are where the final result of training and warm-up are judged. If the horse goes in tense, frightened and cowed by its rider, it will show in its performance! Horses can't fake being happy and relaxed. Dressage, in spite of the hand-wringers, is still a long way from the abuses seen in the TWH world, WP, some of the breed shows and other disciplines and sports.

I'm not condemning all other facets of horse sports, but I'm sick to death of the whiners who think dressage is going to hell in a handbasket. It just ain't so.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 3, 2010, 01:10 AM
Thank you Beasmom!

Here's a link someone put up with all of the freestyles. It's Theo's site:
http://www.topdressage.tv/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1920
If you have DSL, just put it on, put it on pause for a looooong time, and then come back and watch it. That should work.

This woman has a bunch of the GP's and GPS's:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Mirrabella72#p/u/11/nD4yvwHJ7sE

ThreeFigs
Oct. 3, 2010, 01:18 AM
Oh, no, thank YOU for posting the links!

Maybe tomorrow I can sit down and watch a few rides if I don't have any more disasters!

ZiggyStardust
Oct. 3, 2010, 02:38 AM
The last one I saw was Sunrise--Oh my god. That mare was wonderful. How is something so horrible producing the best we've ever seen?

You should re-watch her freestyle. While I really enjoyed Fuego I think that technically speaking, the top 5 horses were sensibly placed, with the exception of that mare. She is horribly tense. Her tail swished swished swished constantly, and her hind end trailed several times. It made me tense just watching. I just feel strongly about that one because it was the only one of the top scored rides that made me uncomfortable to watch.

I think that tension is pretty common, and it does not seem to be penalized.

ETA: To answer the original question, sometimes I wonder if part of the real legacy of the rollkur method is in the horses who don't succeed under it. And if it's true that only a handful of people are "skilled" enough to use the method, are all of their students skilled enough? Can every horse handle being trained this way, or are there some whose brains and/or bodies are fried? The horses we see winning are the ones held up as examples that the method works. What about the ones who don't make it? Does rollkur play a part in that?

Check out this video of one of the WEG riders warming up. When my horse works with his hocks that far back behind him, he destroys the joints and his lower back. I know this because he hocks will crack and pop and his lower back becomes sore when I don't make him work correctly. He is not in favor of really stepping under himself and moving out in any gait except a gallop, if left to his own devices. I had to learn this the hard way. He is an OTTB with a long back. Maybe this WB's conformation makes that work ok. Maybe they do other work that strengthens the back to compensate, or maybe this horse is in a program that uses medicine and therapy to counteract those problems. I don't know. But I have learned the hard way that working my particular horse in such an incorrect manner will ruin his body.

http://www.topiberian.com/htmlvideos/weg_kentucky_entrenamiento_hiroshi_koretsu.html

betonbill
Oct. 3, 2010, 09:34 AM
I guess I'm (to borrow a phrase from the eventing colony) just a Smurf, but I thought that the video was lovely. I'm not overly concerned about the head, but I thought that the rider's position and seat and hands were quiet and effective. Let's see, he's 70-something, right, so that means I've only got some 5-7 years to go to get where he's at...guess I've really got to get cracking.

So I think it's just a matter of point of view. I didn't see anything at all constricting about that video, other people did. Warm up to me means getting the horse loose and moving more freely, so whatever is necessary to do that, either going a bit deeper than one would do in the ring, or slower, or faster, or bending more to get what the ultimate end is, which is a horse that can go ahead and do the required test. I'll confess I didn't pay too much attention to this particular pair, so I'll just have to go back and re-watch some of his tests.

I enjoyed the opportunity to watch these tests with some of the best horses in the world. I'll never get there myself, but I sure would like to give credit where it's due to all of these riders. It sure isn't easy.

As for the judging, I don't have an r, an R, or an I, but one thing I do know is that there's a lot of knowledge required to get any of these judging designations, and the judges with the I rating sure as hell didn't get their designation from a Cracker Jack box.

Hampton Bay
Oct. 3, 2010, 09:34 AM
Sunrise was the one I was watching be warmed up for about 1.5 hours in rollkur. I will get the pics of dad's camera and post them here in a few. I have quite a few, but my camera battery died before it got REALLY ugly with the head being yanked side to side. Curb and snaffle rein were held together, and she was constantly having to pull them shorter due to the very heavy contact.

The pics I have are a bit blurry though because it was dark and were were not allowed to use flash photography.

I'm going to try to find the video of her ride.

Schiffon
Oct. 3, 2010, 10:36 AM
I watched the warmup for about 1 hour before Totilas' ride in the GP or GPS (can't remember which day). He did not arrive at the warmup rings by the stadium until about 45 minutes before his test, so unless he was in a far distant ring and then put a cooler on, Gal did not warm up for an excessively long period. Even though he stayed in the ring where the public could not get next to the rail, from where I was standing at the public accessible ring, the elevation was such that I could see over the other ring's fence and observe the horses' head and neck and the riders seat and hands. I did not see any strong flexions done on Totilas. I hate forced chins on chest but am okay with low and round and I saw nothing disturbing in that time.

Mistral Hojris stayed in the non-public accessible ring for warm up as well.

The judging was variable and I was most happy with Cara Whitam who seemed to have the backbone to lower the scores when a fault occurred in an otherwise very good movement yet give a very good or excellent score when it was deserved.

I agree with the OP that the overall quality is higher and in a much greater percentage of horses that in years past, eg in 96 at Atlanta. That made my time in Lexington very enjoyable.

AZ Native
Oct. 3, 2010, 11:38 AM
No, I was not there. All I've seen is what was posted online.

So, this is my point. If all of this ugly stuff is going on that is so bad to prepare them, why is all of the final result looking so good? All I can see is what was brought into the show ring and it was stunning. Ride after ride of beautiful, relaxed, super horses. The last one I saw was Sunrise--Oh my god. That mare was wonderful. How is something so horrible producing the best we've ever seen?

The FEI rules are not being followed and it is not fair to the folks that do follow the rules. I am going to post a link in a new topic showing stills and why they are't correct according to the rules. I think most of us ( and I include myself ) do not have enough knowledge to specifically identify what is wrong, we just see that it doesn't look natural much of the time, or some think it looks great. As someone said who has no knowledge of Totilas after he saw the WEG video : ''he looks like a '' caricature of a dressage horse ''.
I'll post the link here too :

http://www.klubequus.org/totilas

SisterToSoreFoot
Oct. 3, 2010, 11:39 AM
Ziggy,

The warmup you posted isn't bad, IMO. In fact the horse gets softer, lighter, and looser as it goes on--the sign of a warmup that's working. Yes, the horse was ridden deep for a spell but I don't see tension, pain, or any ill effects from watching the horse's demeanor. And the rider is 70?! OMG! Amazing.

****Change of subject****

One thing I liked about the WEG is how the Spanish ride their "flagship" horses--the Iberians. It was so much fun to see the different style of the movements based on whether a German style WB or an Iberian was in the ring. I think its great that they have enough pride in the horses originated on their soil to campaign them internationally.

Wouldn't it be cool if more countries rode horse breeds originated from their nation or region? IE, Americans would ride SBs, Morgans, AHQAs, the British could ride Welsh Cobs, French could ride Selle Francais etc etc....

Of course that's never going to happen. Watching the Spanish rides, however, gives a special thrill because you are both seeing top dressage and a display of their nation's heritage. When most riders from most countries are on WBs, it homogenizes the cultural differences.

candico
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:02 PM
Steffen, Robert, and Kyra all thought Sunrise should have scored much higher with the latter two saying she should have placed first. They all saw how she warms her horse up for sure. The mare is now sixteen and has been competing at GP internationally for years. I can't imagine that this mare could have done better with any other partner. She does have a different build than the boys and mares do get unnerved more easily unfortunately, like Brentina at Beijing. Even if you don't particularly like her way of going, let's applaud a mare for being in the top five just as much as an andalusian for the same.

ZiggyStardust
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:13 PM
Ziggy,

The warmup you posted isn't bad, IMO. In fact the horse gets softer, lighter, and looser as it goes on--the sign of a warmup that's working. Yes, the horse was ridden deep for a spell but I don't see tension, pain, or any ill effects from watching the horse's demeanor. And the rider is 70?! OMG! Amazing.


I didn't think, as far as the use of rollkur/LDR goes, that this one was particularly "bad", esp compared to some of the other video. I just find it bizarre that a GP horse is ridden for 10+ minutes where he isn't tracking up for a good portion of it, and is taking larger steps in front than behind. This is the opposite of my understanding of correct work. The trailing hocks and unequal step seems to be common in the rollkur videos, including the ones that show more extreme use of it.

alicen
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:33 PM
I didn't think, as far as the use of rollkur/LDR goes, that this one was particularly "bad", esp compared to some of the other video. I just find it bizarre that a GP horse is ridden for 10+ minutes where he isn't tracking up for a good portion of it, and is taking larger steps in front than behind.

Tracking up, as in trot? Working trot is not done in a GP test.

Pasha
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:35 PM
I just find it bizarre that a GP horse is ridden for 10+ minutes where he isn't tracking up for a good portion of it, and is taking larger steps in front than behind. This is the opposite of my understanding of correct work.

I have read through a bunch of these threads now, and it is pretty clear that the most vociferous posters have never actually ridden at this level. Is every horse you get on immediately 100% perfect and ready to ride a dressage test? Of course not. It takes some warmup for both horse and rider to be "in the game" and ready to compete.

Now, I am not an advocate of LDR and do not use it myself. But then again, I am no longer a competitive equestrian and trying to win at the WEG. I am a hobby dressage rider in it for the love of the horse. If I were to project my philosophy and bias onto these top riders, I would sound much like the rest of you who are outraged. However, I don't have the time or inclination to analyze every movement of these riders. Like BTDT (and the stewards, judges, etc), I see some nice examples of competitive dressage in the tests. Why we need to micro-analyze every move these riders make is beyond me. But then again, I don't read People magazine or watch TMZ either!

ticofuzzy
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:44 PM
I just find it bizarre that a GP horse is ridden for 10+ minutes where he isn't tracking up for a good portion of it, and is taking larger steps in front than behind. This is the opposite of my understanding of correct work. The trailing hocks and unequal step seems to be common in the rollkur videos, including the ones that show more extreme use of it.

Maybe the Dutch team could hire you on as a consultant?

ThreeFigs
Oct. 3, 2010, 12:53 PM
:lol:

ZiggyStardust
Oct. 3, 2010, 02:00 PM
Maybe the Dutch team could hire you on as a consultant?

I love it when people advertising their businesses in their signatures come on here and make rude comments. It's consistent with the really outstanding business skills that plague a lot of the horse industry.

God forbid anyone come on here to try to understand something. Maybe you could explain why these riders warm up this way, or maybe you don't ride at that level and therefore don't know what you're talking about, either.

These comments remind me why other people stay away from the dressage forum. I just always find watching world games and the olympics inspiring and engaging and am excited to talk about it. Maybe I'll just go back to being apathetic about competition dressage. It's less annoying.

ZiggyStardust
Oct. 3, 2010, 02:05 PM
I have read through a bunch of these threads now, and it is pretty clear that the most vociferous posters have never actually ridden at this level. Is every horse you get on immediately 100% perfect and ready to ride a dressage test? Of course not. It takes some warmup for both horse and rider to be "in the game" and ready to compete.


Do you think that other people at the top of the game with a lot invested in it are going to go on an online forum and publicly criticize people that have a lot of power and influence in the industry? I'm not saying that's a conspiracy theory, it's just the people who are going to ask the questions loudly may be the ones who have the least to lose.

Of course no horse comes out perfectly when they start work, but in the eventing world, I don't see dressage schools where the horse is allowed to pony trot for 8 minutes.

Someone else pointed out that working trot isn't tested at GP level. Is "pony trot"?

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 3, 2010, 02:40 PM
Sorry--been sleeping. Now I'm watching X-country on tv! Yeah.

Please, play nice. I'm really trying to have an honest discussion and think it through honestly.

A few comments. I read the tail swishing thing a couple of times--someone thinks it's tension? What? All I can say is you really must have not ridden much, or not ridden hot horses or mares. All of the ones swishing tails, Sunset in particular, are a perfect example of horses that just have to keep time and keep that tail moving. It's not wringing, held off to the side, or anything tense. It's completely rhytmical (I CANNOT spell that word!) and in time with her gait. That's a GOOD sign, people. In judges school you are taught that consistent things like things are OK. It's when you see irregular swishing or it done at random times in response to something that it's a problem. I've had a few horses that move their tails like that ALL of the time, whether ridden or not.

I tried to look at whoever posted the thing on Totillas, but it didn't really make any sense. I'm not sure if the person who did that really knows what they are doing.

I still cannot see any of the warmup. So, back to the original question. If we're doing what we're supposed to be doing and judging the horses in the ring at that moment (and I'm not going near that some people clearly came in with extra points already) do YOU see some REALLY nice horses? I do. I have not seen such consistently good, happy, correct horses as a group, ever.

I love the idea of what someone said of seeing ALL types of horses in dressage. Wouldn't it be so cool if we saw QH',s TB's, drafts, baroque, ponies, and all variations and actually went with the idea that dressage means "training" and everyone is training their horse to the best of it's ability? Of course, what the best training would be would be a bugger to judge, and how you get there would be different for each type of horse. Hey, maybe there's an idea. We're seeing different types of horses now, and they're getting there in different ways?

BaroquePony
Oct. 3, 2010, 03:01 PM
play nice

:lol:

ticofuzzy
Oct. 3, 2010, 05:08 PM
It is statements such as these:

"in such an incorrect manner"
"I just find it bizarre that a GP horse is ridden for 10+ minutes where he isn't tracking up for a good portion of it, and is taking larger steps in front than behind."
"in the eventing world, I don't see dressage schools where the horse is allowed to pony trot for 8 minutes."

that lead to comments such as mine.


Those statements insinuate that these riders (who are getting scores of 74-85% in international Grand Prix competition) are blissfully unaware of what their horse's body is doing when they choose to ride a certain way. I'm QUITE certain they are well aware of exactly what their horse's hind legs are doing at every moment of their warm-up and also have a full understanding of how that eventually leads to an 85% in the ring.

MaximumChrome
Oct. 3, 2010, 06:44 PM
Reality is, human nature - we love to hate a winner! I agree with the OP, the horses and riding in the show ring were incredibly good, even the "losers" were quality horses and riders. If we all think life was better when R Klimke was showing, then let's go back and take a look at Ahlrich's walk work - how good was it really? Even his extended walk was lateral. No horse, no rider is perfect, they weren't back in the "good ol' days", and they aren't now. But in general, what we see now is overall nice quality - and no one can really deny the athletic ability and joy of many of the horses in WEG this year.

Overbending and deep/round riding has existed for much longer then Anky has been alive - and it still hasn't taken over the dressage world.

So, let's all pile on the winner, until he passes on the torch, then we'll have someone else to pick on:lol:

whbar158
Oct. 3, 2010, 07:53 PM
I think it is good to ask questions though. It surprises me that a GP dressage horse would be warmed up behind the leg (to me). In the video of a warm up I see a horse that is not being asked to move from behind, and rider working on the front end (stretching, bending etc). I am not a true dressage rider, but I do flat work and use dressage to make my horse better. Most horses I get on I like to get moving in front of my leg then pick up the reins to a good contact and work on the front end after the hind end has been engaged.

So why is this rider doing it the other way around? (A way that has been told to me over and over that it is wrong) Obviously it seems to work for the horse because it does look better connected towards the end. I always like to know WHY someone isn't following the normal "rules" for riding, esp a talented and experienced rider, maybe it is just for that horse? Or they have a reason. I also do not like the btv as I have also always been told that is beyond evil. I have used an over flex at times, as in pull them in for a circle then let go if they are being very stiff in the jaw, but the horse in the video is pretty much ridden btv until canter time.

So why? Obviously it works to an extent. I agree when you look at the horses you are seeing quality rides and horses, the horses have a ton of power and look flashy, but I think that flashy distracts from the fact that more often than I would think I see horses get behind the leg or drop behind the vertical at that level.

Again I am not a professional dressage rider and do not ride at that level. I will say people who are saying "hey other disciplines do bad things to but overall they are ok" many in those groups are asking the same types of questions about how people doing the "wrong" things are winning and producing nice top horses. I think they are questions that need to be asked and answered.

Bats79
Oct. 3, 2010, 08:11 PM
Because of my crazy schedule I have not watched any of the rides. I think some are up on YouTube now? I did not subscribe to the live streaming from WEG -- I'll buy the DVD later. The other problem is, DSL is too dang slow.

So I have not seen the test rides, but I think BTDT brings up a good question. I respect her judgement, and if she says she was seeing generally good rides with relaxed & happy horses, I will believe her before I believe someone like Spirithorse.

BTDT has BTDT in real life. Spirithorse has not.

In competitive dressage, TESTS are where the final result of training and warm-up are judged. If the horse goes in tense, frightened and cowed by its rider, it will show in its performance! Horses can't fake being happy and relaxed. Dressage, in spite of the hand-wringers, is still a long way from the abuses seen in the TWH world, WP, some of the breed shows and other disciplines and sports.

I'm not condemning all other facets of horse sports, but I'm sick to death of the whiners who think dressage is going to hell in a handbasket. It just ain't so.

Beentheredonethat says she WAS NOT THERE and only saw the tests on video.

Hampton Bay was there and says the warmups were not nice.

Do you find any incongruencies in this or do you ascribe to the "end justifies the means" system as do so many?

Is it never going to matter how hard the training becomes provided that the horse at the show "looks the part"? Will there ever be a line to draw or should every one just butt out because the end result seems brilliant to most?

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 3, 2010, 08:15 PM
Thank you for playing nice. Good discussion.

whbar158--I'm not sure why that person posted the warm up video, I think it's the elderly Japanese man riding Whisper?, as it has nothing to do with the point of this thread. I think everyone sees what you see, but that guy's pretty old and I think is not on the caliber of the other riders, but what a great job he's doing! He's like 70? I think this is a period of time, the horse looks relaxed and happy, and what he was trying to gain at that point, I'm not sure. It's hard to criticize unless you know what he was going for at the moment.

I think you have the best question. WHY aren't people following the "rules?' And I think you have the answer--because it's for what the horse needs at that moment? I don't really know unless you're discussing that person at that moment. From what I know, these warm up/training was developed to try to figure out how to ride an unrideable horse when there was no other option to go buy a better one. I think people at this level or so intently focused on every single detail, they think through EVERY thing they do to get what they want. While you and I may not be able to figure out an answer, maybe they can? I really didn't see much of any behind the leg or behind the vertical, so I'm not sure what to say about that. Did you see any of these rides?

Dunno. Back to the point. Does anyone disagree that they are producing REALLY nice rides? I love Totila and Fuego, but not my type of horses. I love the Ravel, Sunset, Nadine types. I'm not so fond of the Mistral and Warum Nicht types. But, they're all doing a good job, as different as they are, and as differing opinions we have of what we like. Isn't that the point?

Bats--Beasmom meant I had BNDT in terms of seeing all of this in person over the years and actually training horses through GP. So, YOU'RE the one I want to ask the question to. HOW can a horse a horse be so brutalized and a sysetm SO wrong if the end result is SO nice? Dressage is not like saddlebreds where you go in with a nutty horse. They are being judged on all of the criteria of happiness, relaxation, willingness, correctness, etc. HOW is that possible? (I'm really not challenging you, but trying to figure this out. Do you agree that the rides were super nice? If not, we're at odds. If you do agree, then HOW is this possible?)

candico
Oct. 3, 2010, 08:52 PM
And that mare in the warm up video is not as young as most of the other GP horses there either so maybe her hind end needs a little warm up time before you really ask for engagement. If you take any three of our FEI schoolmasters who are between the ages of 14 and 20 and ask for super forward trot off the bat - you are not doing them any good. Ten to twenty minutes in becomes a different story and at the end of half hour to forty minutes you wind up with plenty of rev from the hind end, despite having begun in what some of you refer to as pony trot. Whisper is a "hot" mare I believe, so she already knows all the movements and now it is mainly about keeping her relaxed. I think if he got on a drilled her about being super forward and hot off the leg she would become a mess. A lot of mares resent the leg and often you almost want to teach them to ignore it just a little so that especially in the changes, etc. you don't have a resentful explosion.

ShannonLee
Oct. 3, 2010, 10:15 PM
A horse can definitely be slow and unengaged and not "behind the leg". They are two completely different things. Also, a horse can be fast and forward, and be "behind the leg". "In front of the leg" means that the horse reacts correctly with the hind leg when the rider asks, whether from a slow walk or an extended canter. Warming up in a pony trot can be just that, so long as the rider is not asking for more engagement.

I totally agree with the optimists on this BB - the quality of the top horses and riders at this WEG was far superior to other years - we better get to work now! The average test (of all GP starters) was about the same, but those top horses and riders were fabulous. Almost all of the top 15 horses piaffed beautifully, which has got to be a first.

Go Fish
Oct. 3, 2010, 11:45 PM
Maybe the Dutch team could hire you on as a consultant?

Bwahahahah! :lol:

ToN Farm
Oct. 3, 2010, 11:52 PM
I liked Hoketsu's warmup video on Whisper. The comment about his age makes me :mad: The man is fit and an excellent rider. He finished 24th out of 66 with a 68.68. I can't believe that even non-dressage riders are scrutinizing this videos looking for faults.

Thanks to Shannon for always having something positive and correct to say.

Donella
Oct. 4, 2010, 12:33 AM
I totally agree with the optimists on this BB - the quality of the top horses and riders at this WEG was far superior to other years - we better get to work now! The average test (of all GP starters) was about the same, but those top horses and riders were fabulous. Almost all of the top 15 horses piaffed beautifully, which has got to be a first

The rides are getting better for two reasons: One, because the quality of horses being bred today far exceeds the quality of those bred twenty years ago and so on. Two, because the training is better. If it weren't, the results would not be what they are.

ladyguinevere
Oct. 4, 2010, 12:35 AM
Hello everyone. I'm new to the board. This is an interesting discussion. But! I have a bone to pick with anyone who rags on Hoketsu. He is a very tactful rider. And he rides, at 70 years old, still so well. It's wonderful. He is an inspiration.

ToN Farm, thank you for posting his score. This is a trend I see happening so much more in international dressage. The lesser known riders are finally getting the scores they deserve. That's what I find so wonderful about the WEG this year. I mean seriously, four years ago, would Fuego have come in fourth with an 80 something %? No way. NO chance. Hoketsu probably would have gotten mid-to-low sixties. Dressage is progressing in such a GOOD way. I mean even Laura B. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have been sitting pretty in the silver medal spot. And think about Isabel! and Anky! Anky didn't even make it to WEG in dressage, and Isabel did quite poorly, well out of medal standing. New blood is beginning to take hold of dressage, names and places are becoming a moot point. Finally.

Let's hope we continue to progress.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 4, 2010, 12:55 AM
Yeah! I'm so glad so many people are seeing what I see. I see so many good things with the way things are trending. Of course there are always things to work on, but good stuff.

betonbill
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:00 PM
You'll have to pardon me because my recollection is a bit fuzzy, but I bought the TV coverage for the Barcelona Olympics. If I recall, Gifted had a good test, Graf George was sort of ho-hum, and then Robert Dover's horse had his tongue over the bit. The others, well, they are sort of a haze. Never was really, really crazy about Rembrandt, although I could see why they medaled.

Anyway, compared to now, how would all of those horses done if we zapped them into this year's WEG? Would they have scored as high now as they did then?

Dressage has always been a progressive thing, albeit slow at times. I thoroughly enjoyed this year's crop of horses and feel privileged to have seen them perform, even if on the computer screen.

Melyni
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:09 PM
I'd love to ride as 'badly' as any of those riders at the WEG.


Absolutely amazing performances from many of them, and pretty darn good ones from most of them.

Wish I were that awful.
MW

Couture TB
Oct. 4, 2010, 02:13 PM
Well all I can say about BTV/rollkur/etc is that you may be able to ride a thicker necked WB in it and not have a horse that wants to do it all the time but doing that to a TB would not end in a pretty sight, or much control when the horse decides to bolt :lol: So is it bad when done in one breed but good in another? Who knows. All sports have their training methods that others do not agree with, and if you think they don't then lets just say you don't see the forest through the trees.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Oct. 4, 2010, 03:48 PM
I just made sort of a day trip to WEG - was watching all day Fri, XC until Becky went, then came home. Walking around the grounds seeing the jumpers warming up on the flat, doing gorgeous engaged, oh so clean changes, the dressage horses in one ring, the eventers in another - it was heaven in horseflesh! Yes, I think there is (are?) an awful lot of really really nice horses out there, and darned good riders, too.

Calamber
Oct. 4, 2010, 07:03 PM
No, I was not there. All I've seen is what was posted online.

So, this is my point. If all of this ugly stuff is going on that is so bad to prepare them, why is all of the final result looking so good? All I can see is what was brought into the show ring and it was stunning. Ride after ride of beautiful, relaxed, super horses. The last one I saw was Sunrise--Oh my god. That mare was wonderful. How is something so horrible producing the best we've ever seen?

It would take a book length discussion of the similar discussions/passionate disagreements which took place at the time of the Dark Ages and before the advent of the Renaissance. It centered around the Oligarchic families who were the titled elite that had the funds to have the horses and riding halls versus some of the different families/individuals who believed that the excessive use of force and the use of truly barbaric equipment was a correct means to subdue such a large animal, versus those who fought for the Renaissance view of man and animal and the pedagogy which surrounds that method of training. It is basically the same today. Since there is so much ugliness, violence and barbarism in the music and culture almost anything that deviates from that would look beautiful to the average person, or even the not so average person. There are subtle differences and sure, the horses might look good, great even, giants of our time, but how does one judge? There were slaves who were truly beautiful performers in the classical arts on stage and theatre. Not trying to make a literal comparison, but there are horses who can be trained with some really ugly means and they still surpass what one would expect under those circustances. I have seen it, including the beatings, tying of the heads etc. The horses are such willing partners, and really, what can they do except lie down and refuse to perform or blow up? Would you think that those horses would make it to this level? You do not see all of what goes into the making of these horses, but believe me, if you saw a truly lovely moving, electric horse ridden by a sensitive educated and artistic rider, you probably would think you had seen Pegasus. It is easy to fool the eye, just work to develop your capacity. So yes, in case you did not guess, I think we have a long way to go.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 4, 2010, 10:57 PM
Calamber--I appreciate your thoughts, though I don't know if I agree with you. I wouldn't compare dressage today to the Dark Ages. I definitely think we ALWAYS have a long way to go, but if you look back, we've made a lot of progress. If you think what is happening now is brutal, you may not be aware of what used to happen. In the age of technology, people learn things a lot faster. I know a LOT of really brutal true stories of what has been done to some well-known dressage horses by well-known riders who you probably view as some of the great riders today. I just happen to know this because of who I knew. It was not common knowledge and there was no internet. Yes, I have seen what you have seen.

I don't know if comparing what people are complaining about as brutal to tying a horse and beating it is worthwhile. Do I think warming up this way is a good thing? I don't know. What I do know is I saw Anky do it with horse after horse after horse who had never seen her before in a clinic, and every single horse looked SO much better and happier. I do know she and Edward have produced some of the most consistently sound horses out there. I do know that the end result I see looks MUCH better and less brutal than it used to. I do not see obviously lame horses winning the Olympic gold (remember Barcelona?), clearly off horses all over, tense tight horses all of the time, and all what used to be the norm. What I see is better that it used to be. Have we reached Enlightenment? I doubt it. Are we living in the height of brutality and selfishness of Rome before it fell? Maybe. Are we better than we used to be? Yes.

Donella
Oct. 4, 2010, 11:37 PM
a literal comparison, but there are horses who can be trained with some really ugly means and they still surpass what one would expect under those circustances. I have seen it, including the beatings, tying of the heads etc.

I just honestly do not believe that someone can beat their horse, day in, day out and that the horse will perform a beautiful GP test worthy of high scores. It simply is not possible. It WILL show in the tests ie major tension ect. Horses are generous but they do not lie or "pretend".

ThreeFigs
Oct. 4, 2010, 11:42 PM
Right on, Donella!

Horses are not actors. If they are hurting, tense or frightened, it will show in their performance.

mbm
Oct. 5, 2010, 12:26 AM
just a couple thoughts:

first re:horse being beaten and the horse being tense or frightened.... i can tell you from first hand experience watching this that that is not true. i have see horses being welted over their entire body yet the horse stoically tried to do its best.... same rider beating another horse..... same thing. these horses were treated VERY roughly each and every time they were ridden. yet they performed and got excellent scores at shows.

second: people that i trust and that know what they are talking about all agree that what we see nowadays is auction riding, and that correct riding is rare.

third: how exactly has training improved from oh, say Podhasjky or Suenig?

and finally i think we are seeing what we see in the show arena because of breeding.... the horses are so superior to what we had even 20 years ago..... i think this is why we see so many more people able to compete - because you can do so with a lot less takt and experience than before (this is all all levels)

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:04 AM
Wow, mbm. You saw a horse beaten over and over and did nothing about it? Really, we all see horses we know are not ridden well "doing" well at shows in terms of scores. "Performed" and "excellent" scores is not the same as kick ass rides under a world view at the WEG. I see it all of the time. I can tell you the scores based on the rider's names.

I suggest perhaps that the people you trust and know need some retesting. I see a lot of auction riding of horses too young. But, you're telling me that Steffen is incorrect? Guenter? Leslie Morse? Mette? Really? Have you looked at the older pictures of all of these "classical" riders? They are dropped in the back, head high, and you would call them "incorrect."

Of COURSE the horses are better--built for the job. People riding with less tact? Are you kidding? Did you even see dressage 20 years ago? Seriously, I could have been in the Olympics with the right timing and money. (And no, I'm not that great.) There are MORE people riding, but the level of riding at ALL levels is WAY, WAY better. I can site so many examples I don't even know where to start from the bottom all of the way to the top. The riding is SO much better than it was 20 years ago. But, as always, when there is more, there is more of everything.

And, back to the point. I see much, much better riding and rides now than even five years ago. I just don't see how it's possible to brutalize a dressage horse for any length of time and get anywhere with them. We're looking at horses staying at the top of their game in the world at GP SOUND for 5-6 years. That was unheard of before.

The WEG rides were impressive far beyond what I've seen, and pretty much everyone else who really seems to know what they're talking about and has proved it. If you think differently, then we have nowhere to go. What you see as dressage and are complaining is so horrid is different than what I see, and I am not Miss Sunshine. You sure make me look like Miss Sunshine.

mbm
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:24 AM
i did not say whether i did, or did not "do anything" about the horrendous treatment i have seen by a certain rider.

i believe it was Sjef that said that they make warm-ups really difficult for the horse so it thinks that test is easy. take that as you like.

i am not telling you anyone is "incorrect" i am saying that what is winning is considered auction riding to many folks....

i have looked at many many many pictures/videos of "old classical riders" and sure, some images are not good but many many many others are excellent.

as for people riding with takt. yes, it is now possible, due to the amazing quality of the horse flesh, for folks to be able to show/ride at a much much higher level than before, and i do not believe that riding has gotten better. more folks ride, yes, but the basic riding is not better. they horses are and that allows for more folks to do the fun stuff :)

dont forget that there are many other places where dressage has been going on for a long time and the quality of the riding has been very high for a long time.

as for WEG. i agree that there were some amazing horses. and even a couple rides that i thought were super nice and one even made me cry :)

ETA: horse competing at GP for years is not new..... there are horses that have competed in several olympics, had competitive lives to late teens.... i cant believe that you think that is new? or that 5 years is a long competitive career?

i would appreciate it if you respond to leave the personal attacks/comments behind. thanks.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:51 AM
mbm--The word is "tact," as in "refinement." I'm sorry I "miscomprehended" your post. This sure seems to mean you saw it: "horse being beaten and the horse being tense or frightened.... i can tell you from first hand experience watching this that that is not true."

I disagree with you. People are riding with much better tact than before. I just don't understand how someone can see it so differently, THUS the beginning of this post. If you'd read it through, you would see. The premise was, does anyone disagree the rides were some of the best we've ever seen? If so, how can this be SO horrible?

No one said people haven't been riding dressage well for a long time all over the world. I know many people who were fabulous riders 20 years ago, but I also know that there are a lot MORE people who ride better than 20 years ago.

No, there were not horses who competed at the Olympic level of GP for years like Bonfire or Briar did, and some appear on track now. Name one. I said nothing about competing GP for years. Who said anything about competing the GP for years was unheard of? Hell, the Lippizanners do the airs into their 30's.

It seems what you think is wrong and incorrect from what YOU say is at odds with what I know, as do many others. You think Sjef saying the test should be the easy part of a ride is bad? It seems so from you "take it as you wish," or why would you say that? That's fine for you. I'm of the "the show is the easiest thing for the horse" part of thing. They never work as hard at a show.

You think responding to what you said is a "personal attack?" I guess no matter what, we see the world through completely different eyes. Where does this all come from? How can so many people see the same thing and have such different views if all know what is right? Perhaps there should be a whole new sport designed for the differing views.

poltroon
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:25 AM
One of my concerns is that some of the horses in the recent past, like Anky's Salinero, sometimes lose the diagonal cadence in the trot, especially passage - that is, the front and hind were not moving together correctly. As far as I could tell, the judges were so busy rewarding the extravagant movement that they did not seem to apply a penalty for the loss of the two beat gait.

But yes... if this becomes a leg-waving contest, alas we in America are very good at getting horses to wave their legs, and it ain't pretty.

Rockin H Transport
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:37 AM
I think many of us live in fear of going the way of the Tennessee Walking Horse. There were some in that industry who couldn't just live with the beauty of a naturally gaited horse. They had to be better, win shows, be flashier and eventually the horses suffered from pads, burning feet, or ankles, weights, chains, head held back till their neck bulges underneath, breaking and resetting tails, scaring the piss out of them before they go in the ring so they're really animated. Watching what they've become is ugly.

I don't want to derail this thread, like I've been known to do, but thank you for this reminder since I came across it!

The TWH is no longer a viable trail horse breed thanks to the TWHBA. They are being bred so pacey to carry those pads, that they are just kidney jarring to ride flat shod these days.

I ride speed racking and/or trail gaiting, and I have actually been learning alot by reading threads on here regarding bit engagment, lol, though you'll have to twist my arm to get me to admit it, hehe.

You see, we don't drive our horses into the bit like the TWHBA does, we let the horse relax the top-line and engage the bit, but we also ride a TWH/STB or pure STB, the TWH is just not a viable trail horse anymore unless he was bred square outside of a padded barn.

So yeah, the TWH, the QH, the OTTB, the pure bred sport horse ........ they can all fall to human vanity! And I'm sure I won't make too many gaited fans over this, just like I don't have many fans from my other posts here, but whatever =)

Don't think it can't happen to your breed!

mbm
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:55 AM
again, please read what i wrote. i said that i have seen a horses being treated really awfully and the horses do really well for that rider. i did NOT say one way or another what i did, or did not do as a result of what i witnessed.

you are correct, i did mean "tact" but used the german word for rhythm/relaxation - takt - instead. apologies.

from my perspective, there are many many more riders now than there were - but i just dont see many BETTER riders.... but maybe my definition of a good rider is different than yours?

i think that the training does show in the tests.... absolutely.... but judges today don't seem to care about the things judges cared about even 20 years ago.... and i also think that (and here is the heresy) if the judging was more in line with a few years back then you would not see the "quality" of tests that you see now.... why? because nowadays judges want to see hugely "expressive" and precision tests (aka auction riding) ... to deliver those kinds of tests the rider must ride with so much control that it cant help but make the horses mechanical to a degree - even with the tests that i liked - like Alfs, the rider was not soft , she was using her entire weight on the contact.... she has to to be able to get exact precise rides like the judges want.

but to me that is not what dressage is.... dressage is not about how exact can a horse be - but how good is the partnership between horse and rider - how good is the training when the horse is ridden in a manner that it allows the horse to have a say.

a perfect example is the difference between Totilas and Fuego or Alf and Fuego. Fuego was ridden with joy and that horse was on a light contact.... he was not forced to do anything and that showed in everything he did - even tho he was tense a lot of the time, he wasn't shut down - he was joyful.

i know that this sounds all California and all - but to me the essence of dressage is not shown much anymore. sure there are super athletes that show precise movements etc.

but the joy and emotion is not there.

anyway.... really far off track...

as for what Sjef said - that was one of the things that he was quoted saying as a reason for RK - because the work is so hard that the horse finds the tests easy. i am using that as an analogy to why it might be that a horse that is treated badly or roughly might look good in a test.... because it is easy compared to what they were going thru before.

and, as someone who i respect deeply has said numerous times: once you have a horses trust you can do anything to them.

you can think that the folks i know are know nothings and that is fine. but you would be dead wrong.

Donella
Oct. 5, 2010, 09:19 AM
first re:horse being beaten and the horse being tense or frightened.... i can tell you from first hand experience watching this that that is not true. i have see horses being welted over their entire body yet the horse stoically tried to do its best.... same rider beating another horse..... same thing. these horses were treated VERY roughly each and every time they were ridden. yet they performed and got excellent scores at shows

I am sorry but I just don't believe you (though I don't doubt the horse tried it's best). I have known many a harsh trainer in my life and their horses always lack in some way..wether it be tension or just that look in their eyes that they have shut down, lack of expression ect. You can ALWAYS tell. Maybe your idea of "beating" and mine are different but if someone is welting their horse on a regular basis then I just don't buy that the horse was able to put out world class work. So what if the horse won,maybe everyone else in the class was worse? And won what?. But my point was that nobody that is pulling really high marks at the international level is being unfair to their horses in the trainingh because they simply would not be able to show the kind of work that they do. It is just not possible.


and, as someone who i respect deeply has said numerous times: once you have a horses trust you can do anything to them

Exactly! Horses do not trust those who are unfair to them. Never, ever.

rainechyldes
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:18 AM
Overall I realy enjoyed watching the dressage this year. I have a soft spot for baroque style horses, as I worked and trained in Belgium for several years eons ago and was lucky enough to be allowed to ride her andalusians and lusitanos. I was thrilled to see horse other then look a WB back in the ring at a high level. (nothing against WBS, I like them too!)

Now I'm not a DQ by any stretch, I don't compete in dressage, I train enough dressage to keep my horses jumping well, so a half pass is about as high as my horses get.

One thing I noticed this year when watching, is the knee action. It seemed to me that there were/are a lot more horses with a higher knee action this year - might be my imagination of course. However it did strike me, so I enjoyed a change of pace over the long and low I've been seeing the last few years, epecially around my region at dressage shows.

Calamber
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:43 PM
a literal comparison, but there are horses who can be trained with some really ugly means and they still surpass what one would expect under those circustances. I have seen it, including the beatings, tying of the heads etc.

I just honestly do not believe that someone can beat their horse, day in, day out and that the horse will perform a beautiful GP test worthy of high scores. It simply is not possible. It WILL show in the tests ie major tension ect. Horses are generous but they do not lie or "pretend".

Did not say day in day out. Temper tantrums come and go. All I am trying to say is that we have not reached that level of discussion and even that of the appreciation of beauty when a crowd sits on the sidelines and hoots and hollers like they are at a football game or rodeo and the horses are ridden in draw reins, heavy on the curb bit, excessive movement of hands, legs, etc., all of that adds up to an ugly visual experience to me. The Age of Enlightenment perhaps but that was a very poor shadow to that of the Renaissance, that is what I hope, pray and work for, both for the horses and for mankind. Just look at how many people think that the Spanish rider and Fuego's performance was beautiful!

I suppose he could be said to be joyful (the rider) but the horse was all over the place and could not be what he has the potential to be, which I think could certainly surpass that of Edward Gal and Totilas. Not to push any hot buttons, just how I see it.

Calamber
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:48 PM
first re:horse being beaten and the horse being tense or frightened.... i can tell you from first hand experience watching this that that is not true. i have see horses being welted over their entire body yet the horse stoically tried to do its best.... same rider beating another horse..... same thing. these horses were treated VERY roughly each and every time they were ridden. yet they performed and got excellent scores at shows

I am sorry but I just don't believe you (though I don't doubt the horse tried it's best). I have known many a harsh trainer in my life and their horses always lack in some way..wether it be tension or just that look in their eyes that they have shut down, lack of expression ect. You can ALWAYS tell. Maybe your idea of "beating" and mine are different but if someone is welting their horse on a regular basis then I just don't buy that the horse was able to put out world class work. So what if the horse won,maybe everyone else in the class was worse? And won what?. But my point was that nobody that is pulling really high marks at the international level is being unfair to their horses in the trainingh because they simply would not be able to show the kind of work that they do. It is just not possible.


and, as someone who i respect deeply has said numerous times: once you have a horses trust you can do anything to them

Exactly! Horses do not trust those who are unfair to them. Never, ever.

They may not trust but they do obey. If they are superior animals then they will always look superior to the inferior. But then, you always know when a horse has been unfairly beaten and they could never make it to the international level. I think you might be surprised.

Calamber
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:54 PM
again, please read what i wrote. i said that i have seen a horses being treated really awfully and the horses do really well for that rider. i did NOT say one way or another what i did, or did not do as a result of what i witnessed.

you are correct, i did mean "tact" but used the german word for rhythm/relaxation - takt - instead. apologies.

from my perspective, there are many many more riders now than there were - but i just dont see many BETTER riders.... but maybe my definition of a good rider is different than yours?

i think that the training does show in the tests.... absolutely.... but judges today don't seem to care about the things judges cared about even 20 years ago.... and i also think that (and here is the heresy) if the judging was more in line with a few years back then you would not see the "quality" of tests that you see now.... why? because nowadays judges want to see hugely "expressive" and precision tests (aka auction riding) ... to deliver those kinds of tests the rider must ride with so much control that it cant help but make the horses mechanical to a degree - even with the tests that i liked - like Alfs, the rider was not soft , she was using her entire weight on the contact.... she has to to be able to get exact precise rides like the judges want.

but to me that is not what dressage is.... dressage is not about how exact can a horse be - but how good is the partnership between horse and rider - how good is the training when the horse is ridden in a manner that it allows the horse to have a say.

a perfect example is the difference between Totilas and Fuego or Alf and Fuego. Fuego was ridden with joy and that horse was on a light contact.... he was not forced to do anything and that showed in everything he did - even tho he was tense a lot of the time, he wasn't shut down - he was joyful.

i know that this sounds all California and all - but to me the essence of dressage is not shown much anymore. sure there are super athletes that show precise movements etc.

but the joy and emotion is not there.

anyway.... really far off track...

as for what Sjef said - that was one of the things that he was quoted saying as a reason for RK - because the work is so hard that the horse finds the tests easy. i am using that as an analogy to why it might be that a horse that is treated badly or roughly might look good in a test.... because it is easy compared to what they were going thru before.

and, as someone who i respect deeply has said numerous times: once you have a horses trust you can do anything to them.

you can think that the folks i know are know nothings and that is fine. but you would be dead wrong.

This is very thoughtful and from the heart (an educated one as well). Frederich Schiller wrote in "The Aesthetical Education of Man" that reason must guide the emotions, like the reins of the rider guide the horse". My only difference with you is the Fuego ride, it was all over the place in the Freestyle and the horse seemed quite erratic, certainly the riders hands and legs were, but I have a particular dislike of the new swinging, drumbeating legs anyway. I have not seen his other ride so I obviously do not have a feel for what he might be capable. It is certainly good to see anything done with joy, doesn't mean the rider has to sit there beaming away and whooping it up. Quiet joy, gladly expressed at the end of a good job, reason guiding the emotion, that I like.

naturalequus
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:54 PM
No, I was not there. All I've seen is what was posted online.

So, this is my point. If all of this ugly stuff is going on that is so bad to prepare them, why is all of the final result looking so good? All I can see is what was brought into the show ring and it was stunning. Ride after ride of beautiful, relaxed, super horses. The last one I saw was Sunrise--Oh my god. That mare was wonderful. How is something so horrible producing the best we've ever seen?

Just took a look at Sunrise and holy cow what a tail!! That is NOT a relaxed spine therefore not a relaxed back and not a relaxed horse whatsoever. There are other signs of tension exhibited as well.

mbm
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:59 PM
I suppose he could be said to be joyful (the rider) but the horse was all over the place and could not be what he has the potential to be, which I think could certainly surpass that of Edward Gal and Totilas. Not to push any hot buttons, just how I see it.


i think that what Fuego showed was emotion. it was not cold hard precision, but hot, fiery movement - he was alive. and that is what it think the crowd responded to.

yes, he was tense, and he didn't show the degree of collection/relaxation that he is capable of.

but it is a chink in the armor of "modern" dressage and i hope it widens.

ps i think you are correct that this horse could beat Totilas at his own game. i hope that we get to see that day!

Calamber
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:01 PM
again, please read what i wrote. i said that i have seen a horses being treated really awfully and the horses do really well for that rider. i did NOT say one way or another what i did, or did not do as a result of what i witnessed.

you are correct, i did mean "tact" but used the german word for rhythm/relaxation - takt - instead. apologies.

from my perspective, there are many many more riders now than there were - but i just dont see many BETTER riders.... but maybe my definition of a good rider is different than yours?

i think that the training does show in the tests.... absolutely.... but judges today don't seem to care about the things judges cared about even 20 years ago.... and i also think that (and here is the heresy) if the judging was more in line with a few years back then you would not see the "quality" of tests that you see now.... why? because nowadays judges want to see hugely "expressive" and precision tests (aka auction riding) ... to deliver those kinds of tests the rider must ride with so much control that it cant help but make the horses mechanical to a degree - even with the tests that i liked - like Alfs, the rider was not soft , she was using her entire weight on the contact.... she has to to be able to get exact precise rides like the judges want.

but to me that is not what dressage is.... dressage is not about how exact can a horse be - but how good is the partnership between horse and rider - how good is the training when the horse is ridden in a manner that it allows the horse to have a say.

a perfect example is the difference between Totilas and Fuego or Alf and Fuego. Fuego was ridden with joy and that horse was on a light contact.... he was not forced to do anything and that showed in everything he did - even tho he was tense a lot of the time, he wasn't shut down - he was joyful.

i know that this sounds all California and all - but to me the essence of dressage is not shown much anymore. sure there are super athletes that show precise movements etc.

but the joy and emotion is not there.

anyway.... really far off track...

as for what Sjef said - that was one of the things that he was quoted saying as a reason for RK - because the work is so hard that the horse finds the tests easy. i am using that as an analogy to why it might be that a horse that is treated badly or roughly might look good in a test.... because it is easy compared to what they were going thru before.

and, as someone who i respect deeply has said numerous times: once you have a horses trust you can do anything to them.

you can think that the folks i know are know nothings and that is fine. but you would be dead wrong.

This is very thoughtful and from the heart (an educated one as well). Frederich Schiller wrote in "The Aesthetical Education of Man" that reason must guide emotion, like the reins of the horse guide the horse". My only difference with you is the Fuego ride, it was all over the place in the Freestyle and the horse seemed quite erratic, certainly the riders hands and legs were, but I have a particular dislike of the new swinging, drumbeating legs anyway. It is certainly good to see anything done with joy, doesn't mean the rider has to sit there beaming away and whooping it up. Quiet joy, gladly expressed at the end of a good job, reason guiding the emotion, that makes me happy.

Calamber
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:05 PM
i think that what Fuego showed was emotion. it was not cold hard precision, but hot, fiery movement - he was alive. and that is what it think the crowd responded to.

yes, he was tense, and he didn't show the degree of collection/relaxation that he is capable of.

but it is a chink in the armor of "modern" dressage and i hope it widens.

ps i think you are correct that this horse could beat Totilas at his own game. i hope that we get to see that day!

As do I! I would love to be there. Maybe it will happen on the West Coast and we can both see it! Joyous day!

naturalequus
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:17 PM
A few comments. I read the tail swishing thing a couple of times--someone thinks it's tension? What? All I can say is you really must have not ridden much, or not ridden hot horses or mares. All of the ones swishing tails, Sunset in particular, are a perfect example of horses that just have to keep time and keep that tail moving. It's not wringing, held off to the side, or anything tense. It's completely rhytmical (I CANNOT spell that word!) and in time with her gait. That's a GOOD sign, people. In judges school you are taught that consistent things like things are OK. It's when you see irregular swishing or it done at random times in response to something that it's a problem. I've had a few horses that move their tails like that ALL of the time, whether ridden or not.


There is a vast difference between a tensely swishing tail and a tail that is swinging relaxedly with the movements. Sunset's is not the latter. Her canter leaves me with questions as well...

PaulaM
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:30 PM
It is great that we can all sit here and armchair quarterback these performances. However, let us see you get out there on these tremendous athletes and do as well as that these riders have.

Unfreaking believable some of the comments I have been seeing on here.

Grow up people!

TrotTrotPumpkn
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:36 PM
Comments on the original ?: The state of dressage as evidenced by WEG

I felt pretty good about the state of dressage as evidenced by the Freestyle, anyway, which is the only GP I was at in-person. The crowd had a good time, which I think was the point of adding music in the first place, and Fuego and his rider were, by far, absolute outstanding showmen, the crowd favorite, and brought the crowd to its feet for a big standing O. It was a fantastic performance amidst many other great performances, albeit a bit off at times from the dressage standpoint (judged accordingly).

Of course, if I was bringing a horse home I want to steal Mistral Hojris, or whatever Laura B's horse is named. Yum.

Anyway, I think it got people interested...which is what the local level really needs. It was very cute having non-horsey KY relatives ask "what did you think of Toto?" I said, "I got a kick out of his sparkle gold bell boots for the victory lap."

ThreeFigs
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:47 PM
Dittos to TrotTrot and PaulaM's comments.

Heck, I'd be thrilled to be able to ride as well as the "worst" riders at WEG dressage. Half as well, even.

I think all the criticism and bashing is a way for some to console themselves for their own failings. Trying to glimpse the Dressage God's feet of clay.

Ducking for cover now! :lol:

naturalequus
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:55 PM
It is great that we can all sit here and armchair quarterback these performances. However, let us see you get out there on these tremendous athletes and do as well as that these riders have.

Unfreaking believable some of the comments I have been seeing on here.

Grow up people!

So, not riding at the GP level denies one the ability to question or critically analyse?

"Do as well" is also subjective and not, in my opinion, reliant upon scores but rather upon the partnership and correct development of one's horse. "Do as well", to me, is creating a classically correct horse as a result of a harmonious relationship. That is not is what is always happening here, at the top levels.

I don't think that just because these riders are top riders that we must all remain mute unless we have ridden said horses. Horses are horses and you do not have to ride at the GP level to comprehend biomechanics, psychology, training techniques, and correct movement.

And btw I am not critical because of my own 'failings' (lmao), I am critical because these are supposed to be the best of the best. They set an example. So I expect the best. It bothers me that they are toted as the best and emulated when sometimes they are not the best - and I am not expecting perfection however I do expect it to be done correctly. When it is heard on CBC that Beezie has to work out her arms at the gym so as to have the physical strength to hold back Judgement, young riders think that is ok, when a hand-dominated ride is never ok. Riders watch ul riders such as Anky and think it is ok to have hard hands, a poor seat, and a horse moving incorrectly due to forceful and hand-dominated riding. I have a great respect for the riders at the top who are doing it correctly and who have harmonious partnerships with their horses. That is who I strive to emulate and I love to watch such riders.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 5, 2010, 03:25 PM
Wow. Anky has a poor seat. Who knew?

MOTS.

naturalequus
Oct. 5, 2010, 03:31 PM
I just dislike the 'loud' riding/seat/picture overall. I think it should look smoother and more harmonious. Quieter leg, seat that is less tense, softer hands. Just my opinion though of course, but I have seen and enjoy quieter riders better. Let's not make this into a Anky thing though and instead just keep it general - I probably should not have mentioned it but thought it was a decent personal example.

mp
Oct. 5, 2010, 03:37 PM
Wow. Anky has a poor seat. Who knew?

Apparently someone with an eye for critical analysis. ;)


MOTS.

I'm sure the meaning of this will be quite apparent once you 'splain it.

Donella
Oct. 5, 2010, 03:49 PM
It is great that we can all sit here and armchair quarterback these performances. However, let us see you get out there on these tremendous athletes and do as well as that these riders have

Amen Paula. Pretty amazing hey?

ThreeFigs
Oct. 5, 2010, 03:55 PM
More Of The Same, mp!

If Anky has a "poor" seat, the rest of us schlubs should just quit now. Sure, there are things to pick at on any rider. Y'all would have a field day with my riding, but I'm not World Class and never will be.

Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinions and these boards are useful places for the expression of same, but holy cow, these are people at the top of the sport. They've worked hard to get there. This is not an easy sport. Even the worst of them sacrificed much to be at the bottom of the list.

We learn both what to do and what NOT to do by watching riders better than ourselves. We learn even more about what NOT to do by watching riders worse than ourselves.

I forget who said this, but it has always amused me, "If you can't be a good example, you can at least be a horrible warning."

Donella
Oct. 5, 2010, 03:57 PM
They may not trust but they do obey. If they are superior animals then they will always look superior to the inferior. But then, you always know when a horse has been unfairly beaten and they could never make it to the international level. I think you might be surprised

Well, I have been around horses long enough to know that how they behave is an outward expression of their emotional/mental state. That is a fact. You obviously think horses can hide and pretend.....

If a horse is being treated unfairly then I know it will show in the work. And again, what is important is not what you and I think of as of unfair but what THE HORSE thinks of as being unfair. That is all that counts. And I will say it again, if the horse feels he is being treated unfairly, he will not perform to his utmost ability as he will not trust his rider.

If you think you can abuse a horse to an 80 percent in the GP, well, feel free to think so. I say you should get out and actually spend some time training and you may reasess that opinion.

naturalequus
Oct. 5, 2010, 04:05 PM
I think you can in 'this GP', when tension is rewarded by judges as so. Many of these horses clearly are not happy.

betonbill
Oct. 5, 2010, 04:29 PM
I think I saw much happier horses this time around than, say, the last couple of Olympics. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the rides. These new horses bring sort of a sparkle to the whole sport.

The only horse I miss is the pink Russian horse from the last Olympics. Anyone know what happened to him?

Thanks again for starting this thread. It's nice to be able to cheer about these horses without being made to think you're a fool by doing so.

spirithorse
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:07 PM
Fire fighting gear on...lol:lol:

Article 416

2. Submission. "....The main contact with the bit must be through the snaffle bit.

The disgrace of WEG is that the judges do not follow this very specific requirement. The riders have become dependent upon the curb and therefore are not presenting correct dressage.

I could not find any up close photographs of the competitors, however, the October 2010 issue of USDF presents an image on the cover that clearly shows what is wrong with current dressage presentations. The horse's throat latch is compressed, not only is there pressure to the snaffle but the curb is pressurized. Realizing this is but an instance in time, this image has become the standard within the Gran Prix level of dressage presentations. I do not know of 'any' horse that would say it is a "happy horse" being in this frame or even near this frame.

mp
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:15 PM
More Of The Same, mp!

Ahhh ... I knew it was something obvious.


If Anky has a "poor" seat, the rest of us schlubs should just quit now. Sure, there are things to pick at on any rider. Y'all would have a field day with my riding, but I'm not World Class and never will be.

Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinions and these boards are useful places for the expression of same, but holy cow, these are people at the top of the sport. They've worked hard to get there. This is not an easy sport. Even the worst of them sacrificed much to be at the bottom of the list.

We learn both what to do and what NOT to do by watching riders better than ourselves. We learn even more about what NOT to do by watching riders worse than ourselves.

Here's what I learned from watching a top rider. Some time back, a link was posted to a video of Edward Gal (I think) riding a young horse in its first dressage test. The horse was spooking sideways at about every other letter. Gal just sat in the middle of the horse, didn't grab his face and quietly guided him until he regained his mind. Then tapped the horse on the neck, and went on with the show.

And when my little mare at her first ever dressage show lost her ever lovin' mind, that's exactly what I did. I thought of what Gal looked like and imagined myself just staying with her as she backed up at Mach I, then did some lovely trot half passes (we're showing TL!), and spun around and around because she was. in. the. arena. ALONE!!!!! all before our test ever began. :lol:

The bell rang, I tapped her on the shoulder and we did a very respectable test.

I also enjoyed watching the WEG rides. There was less tension than I expected and more what I'd call true athleticism from both riders and horses. Good show!

alicen
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:23 PM
That would have been Peter Minderhoud.

handfish
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:35 PM
Sorry, derail:

Hoketsu isn't 70-- He's 72! This is what came up when I Googled:

http://www.regardinghorses.com/2008/07/07/235/

Which states that he first competed in the Olympics in show jumping in '64. Wow.

Also:

"Hiroshi’s family allegedly descends from a group of pirates who infested the Inland Sea in the Middle Ages..."

:O

alicen
Oct. 5, 2010, 07:23 PM
According to the Fei biographies, Hoketsu was born 3/28/41. 2010-1941 = 69

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 5, 2010, 08:39 PM
Hey! Pirates! Now let's rage against pirates invading dressage. Or for them! Or . . . !! :)

"Hiroshi’s family allegedly descends from a group of pirates who infested the Inland Sea in the Middle Ages..."

ThreeFigs
Oct. 5, 2010, 09:53 PM
Heeheee! That's quite the (alleged) pedigree and family history!

I'm also happy for a thread that celebrates dressage & doesn't bash it incessantly. Most posters apparently saw happier horses and more expressive performances in general.

Of course, the doom&gloomers aren't happy unless they're sad (or mad)...

mp
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:23 AM
That would have been Peter Minderhoud.

Ahh, thank you.

Foxtrot's
Oct. 6, 2010, 09:29 PM
I get the gist of the posts - positive and negative. Personally, I think the WEG shows the best dressage ever (from the comfort of my set). The quality of the horses has never been better, the riders softer and horses less tense. I think history is being made right there in Kentucky. Unlike the Olympics, where smaller nations are encouraged to compete,WEG is the best of the best. The OP's post said what I wanted to say, only better.

Comparing Fuego and Totillas...... The Spanish horses lack "schwung" that is bred into the WB's but the Spanish add another dimension. Both are exciting to me. Without sitting there at "C" with a scoresheet and calculator and years of experience, the armchair critics don't sway me. How many FEW judges have time for COTH.

Even locally at our 'big' shows here, dressage is a far more pleasing experience and has come a long way.

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 7, 2010, 11:07 AM
Bravo Foxtrot!

opel
Oct. 7, 2010, 11:56 AM
Can the critics imagine sitting on a powerful horse in peak shape--in an electric arena full of crowd noise? This criticism that the horses were too tense or the curb was used too much is just amazing to me. I honestly thought that this group of horses was the MOST soft-especially over their backs--that I've seen at huge international competition. And I've been watching since the 1984 Olympics. Some part of me wonders of these critics even show--and if they're the ones boo-hoo'ing and blaming mistakes on spooky events outside of the arena. Look at the pictures and videos of international horses from the "halcyon" days past. Most of them are too high in the neck with an inverted and tense back. Somehow I also suspect that for the critics it's OK when Podhajsky rides on the curb only in everyday training--yet not OK when curb comes into use in a scary international arena. Whatever. We are seeing horses with more action than the horses of the past. This is due to continuing selective breeding. Say what you want about that, because I'm sure opinions differ, but don't assert that these big moving horses are abused when you really can't know (unless you've actually worked with these riders?).

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 7, 2010, 12:54 PM
Bravo Opel!

Donella
Oct. 7, 2010, 01:03 PM
Some part of me wonders of these critics even show--and if they're the ones boo-hoo'ing and blaming mistakes on spooky events outside of the arena.

I can pretty much guess that they do not...at least not successfully lol.

Pony Fixer
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:26 PM
I stopped reading at the bottom of page 2. I was at the WEG, and watched warm ups as well.

1. I was really impressed with the Japanese team as a whole. For a country "new" to high level/international dressage competition, they really did a great job. As good as the Dutch? Of course not, but a lot closer than I would have thought before seeing them!

2. No big surprises in the warm up. The rings near the main arena were strictly for use by those about to compete, and the other rings were closer to their barn--not "out of public eye", and not "away from the crowds" to be evasive, but rather by design of the organizers (and YES, I was told this by one of the main organizers of the WEG). All warm up areas were open to the public at all times, although some were easier to get close to than others.

3. Who is anyone to say that someone's warm up is "bad" or "incorrect"? I have a 6 year old horse, and some days, I have to spend a lot of time in the "shitty pony trot" because his back is too tight to push up the hind legs and keep the through. Other days, he comes out more warm and supple and we can push farther, faster. Some shows I hit the warm up right on as a test prep, other days I "miss". These guys KNOW how their horses need to be warmed up, long and low, up and out, "RK" or whatever. Some horses need a 40 minute warm up, others 1.5 hours. Some need "2 a days". I'll leave that decision up to the rider and Chef, and watch the warm up wanting to LEARN, rather than CRITICIZE.

4. You can't compare horses of 20 years ago with horses of today. Conformation has changed, riding styles have changed, our concept of what's important to us has changed. Whether you consider it evolution or DEvolution is your right, but it is what it is, and you can roll with it, or stop watching/competing, your choice. (I'm not saying you can't complain, by all means, that is your right, but I bang my head against the wall when some of you are all indignant about how dressage is not the way you see fit--usually without even having competed at the FEI levels!)

I really enjoyed the WEG competition. Some was better, some was not as good, I learned a lot about training and test riding sheerly from watching dressage for 8 hours a day for 4 days. I agree with those who feel good about dressage in the world today--I'm happy to be able to participate both as a competitor and a spectator!

Fixerupper
Oct. 7, 2010, 09:36 PM
:lol:

4. You can't compare horses of 20 years ago with horses of today. Conformation has changed, riding styles have changed, our concept of what's important to us has changed.!

:) just to be a sh!t disturber....let me quote the response I usually get when I say that very thing ....
"the skeleton of the horse has not changed in the last 20 years"....:lol::lol::lol::lol:


Some was better, some was not as good,

Exactly!! which is what always happens in competition vs training....or one competition vs another competition...

the judging was not necessarily perfect...but as compared to Bejing...closer to ideal than previously...

I would also like to say that while there has not been a perfect consensus here on the clear winners... it has been a much more civilized difference of opinions than has occured in the recent past....

Kudos to the mods for that

ToN Farm
Oct. 7, 2010, 10:42 PM
:lol:

:) just to be a sh!t disturber....let me quote the response I usually get when I say that very thing ....
"the skeleton of the horse has not changed in the last 20 years"....:lol::lol::lol::lol:

But in a way it has. All horse skeletons are not identical are they?

Pony Fixer
Oct. 7, 2010, 11:17 PM
The basic skeleton may not have changed (although I might beg to differ--my 5'10" sister and my 5'6" self have VERY different bone structure), but how those muscles string it up sure has. (And, Fixerupper, I realize you were being a sh!t stirrer!)

We breed a naturally more uphill, athletic horse now than 20 years ago. We breed for what our "ideals" are--that's the whole purpose of selective breeding. It's a continuum, with no real defined beginning or end. The horses have changed and our riding has changed--a little chicken/egg, no?

All weekend I saw only one flat-out "bad" ride. And even for that one, I'm gonna guess there was a big dose of bad luck mixed up in the pot. He came in last the first day, and I've seen him ride with a much less tragic result in the past. It sucks when your bad day is the day you really needed to bring it, but it happens to everyone I guess.

I am not "anti" RK (not "pro", just think it's not worth all the vitriol as the end-all-be-all worst sin ever for training), but honestly, I don't think I would be able to tell you based on the rides who practices what. The only horse, IMHO who had a bad neck was IW's Warum Nicht--he was BTV (just a little, but pretty consistently) and he has that dip right in front of the wither. I haven't seen him in person before, so it could be his individual structure and not a muscling issue. But geez-o-peez that horse has a HUGE trot stride length. How on EARTH does a human sit that???

I guess I've been around the block (and by that I mean the competition block, personally) to realize that many times, even the rides that make me cringe, turn out to have a legitimate reason. I can't tell you how many times my old horse and I would be talked about (behind our backs)--"he's so inverted", "she can't sit his trot", etc. He was SOOOOO spooky, that usually the first test the first day was hanging on and steering for the letters. It would get better and the scores would go up--the nay sayers? "I don't know how she got that good score on Sunday--Santa Claus judge!". Uh, no, it got better. Much better. And along with learning to ride, I also learned that the 6 minutes you see may or may not be a true indicator of the real training. And vice versa. I "judge" no one anymore, unless I see consistent overfaced, poor, borderline abusive riding.

None of that happened at the WEG. It truly was the best of the best, and I can honestly say I was not at all disappointed!!!

ToN Farm
Oct. 8, 2010, 12:21 AM
PonyFixer, I'm in agreement with both of your excellent posts. It especially bothers me when warmups are critiqued negatively. Whatever warms the horse up best is correct imo.

ShannonLee
Oct. 8, 2010, 08:13 AM
Great posts PonyFixer! Thanks!

It's really nice to read this thread and find out that finally there seem to be more positive people than negative. Yay!

MsM
Oct. 9, 2010, 08:52 AM
As someone who only watched the rides from video, I can agree there is more to like compared to, say, the last Olympics.
That said, I think many people have concerns.
I am a teacher and have to create tests. Sometimes I find when I score them that the results do not accurately measure what I intended. A student may get all the detail questions and score very well, while demonstrating they dont understand the basic concepts by missing those big picture questions. They earned the score according to the rules, but it is my error in test design and/or scoring that allowed a deceptive result.

I think some people are wondering if some of that is happening with the highest level of dressage. If you can resort to non-classical and perhaps questionable methods get a horse to appear correct for the duration of a test, do adjustments need to be made? It the test-scorers (judges) are not consistently or accurately evaluating and weighting some answers (invisible aids, light contact, etc) do adjustments need to be made?

Much as I enjoyed many of the performances, I felt that some aspects were not taken into account strongly enough and that others were overscored. I missed the invisible riding and harmony between rider and horse in many (not all) of the rides. I missed the forward-feeling rides. Many seemed stuck in a very short frame, even in the extensions. And too many of the extensions did not cover ground! A lot more decent piaffes than I remember seeing, but the improvement in collected work did not seem to carry over into extensions as I would have hoped.
Anybody else hope for more "buttery" rides, with lightness, ease and dramatic changes of frame?

naturalequus
Oct. 9, 2010, 09:38 AM
Very well said, MsM - you voiced my exact concerns.

alicen
Oct. 9, 2010, 10:24 AM
A lot more decent piaffes than I remember seeing, but the improvement in collected work did not seem to carry over into extensions as I would have hoped.
Anybody else hope for more "buttery" rides, with lightness, ease and dramatic changes of frame?

Considering that collection is the apex of the dressage pyramid of training and considering that we have yet to see the perfect horse, perhaps it is wiser to err for collection rather than extension?

MsM
Oct. 9, 2010, 12:08 PM
Certainly point-wise!

But it leads to the question, is it truely the collection that it appears to be, if the extension does not come out of it? Or is there something else blocking the extension?

I think riders are choosing to err on the side of earning collected points. But, for me anyway, the pendulum has swung too much in that direction (and stuck there) I most enjoy when a horse shows the whole spectrum, even though they all have relative strengths.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 9, 2010, 01:56 PM
MsM--VERY nice thoughts! These best of riders will produce what is being looked for in the test. If we want to see something different, we should adjust the tests. I don't remember what it is now, but the old tests 40% of the score was piaffe/passage. Guess what was most riders concentrate on.

Blue Domino
Oct. 9, 2010, 02:53 PM
RuPaul Dressage.jpg (40.8 KB)

Compared to a beautiful woman, WEG is a big fake. Let's call it
RuPaul dressage.

Big Hair, Big Make-up, Big Boobs. Big Stature. But It's all fake.

True dressage reflects truth and honesty.

[edit]

RuPaul dressage, that's what it is. Totillas is a big fake. All make-up, boobs, and hair. RuPaul dressage.

Pony Fixer
Oct. 9, 2010, 02:56 PM
Should I assume you were there?


RuPaul Dressage.jpg (40.8 KB)

Compared to a beautiful woman, WEG is a big fake. Let's call it
RuPaul dressage.

Big Hair, Big Make-up, Big Boobs. Big Stature. But It's all fake.

True dressage reflects truth and honesty.

[edit]

RuPaul dressage, that's what it is. Totillas is a big fake. All make-up, boobs, and hair. RuPaul dressage.

Foxtrot's
Oct. 9, 2010, 03:56 PM
Huh? - this is nuts....on something?

ShannonLee
Oct. 9, 2010, 06:47 PM
MsM - if great collection leads to great extension, how do we explain the fact that the horses which have for centuries excelled in collection (I am thinking the classical school horses like Spanish and Lipizzan) do not typically excell in the extension?

Theoretically I agree with you, but the example above seems to illustrate a problem with the theory.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 9, 2010, 07:43 PM
Oh, we were all talking like adults and then Blue Domino had to show up. Go somewhere else and scream and get attention.

besthorsever
Oct. 9, 2010, 07:57 PM
I agree 100% with Beentheredonethat's original post. I was inspired by the overall quality and the top 5 were all amazing. Such beautiful performances and consistency in a very exciting venue. As a mare owner, I very much enjoyed Sunrise's kur. And her music was the best in my opinion.
I'm a CoTH forum newbie and I have to say that the rollkur bickering on the dressage forum is very disheartening. Perhaps I'm the exception, but I've never seen "rollkur" in person, so I can't speak to its validity or its horrors. It does seem that there is alot of rhetoric and finger pointing without any real experience to back up the assertions. My father was a football coach and the armchair quarterbacks in the stands seem to be alot like those found around the dressage arena. I learned at an early age that you shouldn't criticize that which you really don't know (but think that you do).

spirithorse
Oct. 9, 2010, 08:10 PM
(I am thinking the classical school horses like Spanish and Lipizzan) do not typically excell in the extension?
Theoretically I agree with you, but the example above seems to illustrate a problem with the theory.

Having ridden quite a few Andalusians, I would disagree that they cannot excel in extension. The schooling of the classical Spanish horses consentrated on collection and did not focus on the extended work.

siegi b.
Oct. 9, 2010, 09:07 PM
Pony fixer - I think the only thing we can assume with Blue Domino and spirithorse is that they will continue to contaminate this forum with their predicable, hateful and uneducated drivel.:yes:

spirithorse
Oct. 9, 2010, 09:27 PM
Pony fixer - I think the only thing we can assume with Blue Domino and spirithorse is that they will continue to contaminate this forum with their predicable, hateful and uneducated drivel.:yes:

I really do have a great distain for having to answer individuals as you and such trash talk, never the less:

The moderators allow you to have your right to free speech and you exploit it to the max. This forum is for discussions yet you and a couple of others choose to turn so many threads into trash talk.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 9, 2010, 10:28 PM
Spirithorse, no one deserves being ignored more than you. Well, maybe Blue Domino does.

BD's latest posts have been nothing but trash talk. He/she hasn't added anything worthwhile to a discussion in ages. It's trollish, sh*t stirring behavior, nothing more.

Fixerupper
Oct. 9, 2010, 11:11 PM
MsM - if great collection leads to great extension, how do we explain the fact that the horses which have for centuries excelled in collection (I am thinking the classical school horses like Spanish and Lipizzan) do not typically excell in the extension?

Theoretically I agree with you, but the example above seems to illustrate a problem with the theory.

my take is that 'function follows form' which, obviously, is the the corollary of 'form follows function'

(chicken/egg...egg/chicken... :))

an interesting concept that I recently heard from a Portuguese horseman is that 'in his opinion' the Lusitano is being ruined by breeding for modern dressage...which requires a horse to have extended gaits as well as collected gaits....

Just as introducing thoroughbred bloodlines into the warmblood breeding stock has changed the 'european' dressage horse...changing the ingredients in the Iberian bloodlines will up the ante in the next generation of 'modern' dressage horses....
can't wait to see the result of a Totilas Fuego bloodline combo...
holy flying legs Batman....!

:winkgrin:

millerra
Oct. 9, 2010, 11:11 PM
Just when I thought the event forum was becoming more interesting then this forum, this thread comes roaring back.

way to go BD and SH!

Other than that, I have nothing remotely useful to add except I'm pretty sure Toto doesn't have big *boobs*...

Fixerupper
Oct. 9, 2010, 11:19 PM
ps...my take...
spirithorse is deluded but sincere.... :sadsmile:
Blue Domino is a comitted troll.... :eek:
my advice....ignore both.....:yes:
and get on with life...or at least life on COTH...:)

Go Fish
Oct. 9, 2010, 11:39 PM
I really do have a great distain for having to answer individuals as you and such trash talk, never the less:



As my grandma used to say: "it takes one to know one."

mbm
Oct. 9, 2010, 11:45 PM
i would say that what judges really care about now is precision above all. i remember when the word "error" first came to dressage. to me that is just a strange word to use for dressage. maybe for jumping, but dressage?

as for collection/extension... correct collection should lead to correct extension, but only to the degree the horse can extend. and i dont think to have a correct extension it has to look like a WB - but it does need to come from behind, cover ground, be the utmost the horse can do with its body etc etc.

i hope that dressage swings back more towards classical work, less to do with precision and more to do with harmony and lightness.

i think that Fuego just may be the chink in the armor. He really has created a huge stir! so exciting! so many people are talking and talking about him! i created a little quick collage with him and Totilas for fun because i wanted to see how they compared in stills... just a quick mashup and i just cant believe the response it is getting because Fuego is in the pics!

crazy but oh so cool!

can't wait to see what happens over the net few years :)

oh, ps this is also the first time in a while where there were toprides that made me happy :) i think this is true for many.

mickeydoodle
Oct. 9, 2010, 11:55 PM
Having ridden quite a few Andalusians, I would disagree that they cannot excel in extension. The schooling of the classical Spanish horses consentrated on collection and did not focus on the extended work.

your website does not confirm this, you are riding a jig, not a trot, and there is no extension pictured, not even a lengthening

mbm
Oct. 10, 2010, 12:28 AM
can we please dispense with the hate and personal bashing? please?

we need more good in this world and less hurtful behavior.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 10, 2010, 08:33 AM
In general, this forum has been more civil since, ahem, a couple of participants were banished. Except for the troll, most here are remaining civil. Even Spirithorse, while misguided, is usually polite.

Moderator 1
Oct. 10, 2010, 10:19 AM
We've removed some inflammatory comments/accusations. Let's please keep the discussion relatively productive and focused on dressage vs. each other.

Thanks,
Mod 1

Blue Domino
Oct. 10, 2010, 11:09 AM
I think it's a real big deal that the Dutch Chef d'Equipe robbed an American family of $178,000 dollars, and it speaks volumes about those who don't have a problem with it.

I would suspect someone who had robbed a family of $178,000 to also break every rule they could get away with when it comes to ethical horse training.

And those who gang up together like a mob and start screaming troll when somebody says something that they disagree with probably don't quite comprehend the art of dressage.

Bluey
Oct. 10, 2010, 11:28 AM
I think it's a real big deal that the Dutch Chef d'Equipe robbed an American family of $178,000 dollars, and it speaks volumes about those who don't have a problem with it.

I would suspect someone who had robbed a family of $178,000 to also break every rule they could get away with when it comes to ethical horse training.

And those who gang up together like a mob and start screaming troll when somebody says something that they disagree with probably don't quite comprehend the art of dressage.

I am responding to your words, but in no way mean to single you or mean you at all with what I will write.

I stay away from the dressage forum because many here I think have never been on a horse and trained in any semblance of dressage, much less learning from a dressage trainer and competed or even much less reached any level more than mere getting by as a starting student.

Now, to listen to them pontificate, they have trained and competed and achieved medals and all that, they know so much and can tell you why this or that horse does this.

What they don't understand is that they are seeing a virtual dressage world of their invention, not anything even remotely related to what those that learn and practice and compete and advance live.

Those posters sound like blind people describing an elephant by touch and saying how beautiful it's rainbow of colors is on their heads, or something just as absurd.
The sad part, those posters don't realize how little they know, don't listen to those that know, will never learn and at times will drag others into their virtual world of make believe dressage.

I really think it is a lost cause to try to explain anything, they will jump and keep jumping on you with what they think, no matter how absurd.

I think that anyone can learn if they realize they don't know, no one can learn if they already think they know and give so many reasons they think the world of dressage is as they think it is, not even knowing that they are way off the mark and those that know can't but eventually shrug their shoulders and keep on their true dressage path, leaving them to their delusions.

I have wondered about this all along, the debacle with the one poster and her horse situation and how to approach that mess had me thinking this and I think this is a good opportunity to comment, as a warning to those that may not know any better, but really would like to learn more, the right way, for what dressage is, not what flights of fancy some may imagine and insist dressge is.

Just be cautious, get a true blue dressage trainer, not a make believe one or an internet quick expert and go on to have a great time with your dressage horses.
Dressage is a very specific, technical discipline and it takes years to master just the basics properly.
Many love that path of discovery, but you have to do it right, or you are not "doing dressage".;)

Dressage is not something you will ever know it all about and it will take many years of little neat discoveries along the path.

You will rarely see someone that has studied dressage seriously for any time be other than humble, because it truly is a discipline where the more you learn the wider your horizons become and the more you see you still have to master, that you didn't even realized was there and the more you learn to listen, not contradict those that are ahead of you with your far out ideas.

As for that one trainer being involved in some fraud case, that is for the courts to determine what happened, what his contractual obligations were and for his federation to set him down according to their rules, if and when he is convicted.
Those situations take time and all are bound by the process, no one can act arbitrarily, he can't be banned without due process, as some are demanding.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 10, 2010, 12:01 PM
Well stated, as usual, Bluey.

I read the thread about this fraud case after seeing BD's post referring to it and "Rue Paul Dressage".

The fraud case is truly awful, and I hope justice is done. As for the Rue Paul comments, well, that's a matter of opinion and obviously many here do not agree.

Go Fish
Oct. 10, 2010, 12:11 PM
I think it's a real big deal that the Dutch Chef d'Equipe robbed an American family of $178,000 dollars, and it speaks volumes about those who don't have a problem with it.

I would suspect someone who had robbed a family of $178,000 to also break every rule they could get away with when it comes to ethical horse training.



If I recall correctly, Sjef never showed up for trial. (Don't know if he ever responded at all or not.) Not uncommon when the defendant does not live in the U.S. and the cost of defending him or herself would cost more than what the plaintiff was suing for damages. A default judgement was entered without any defense testimony by the defendant.

This is what I remember, anyway. Sjef may have well been guilty...we don't know for sure if he "robbed" a family of $178,000 or not.

I'm not trying to excuse him...but there's more to the story, I think.

It's a pretty big leap to think that because Sjef may have "robbed" someone, that he's an unethical trainer or breaks all the rules of horse training. I'm sure that some of the worst criminals in history were kind to their pets. One assumption doesn't necessarily follow the other.

mbm
Oct. 10, 2010, 12:20 PM
did you guys read the info on the court case? did you know he owes about 900k by now because of interest etc?

did you know that he had to go along with a federal marshall when they came to get him at WEG?

i will say that i agree with Bluey that dressage is a journey that will show you that teh more you learn teh less you know.

i also agree that it is better to stay away from bad/uneducated trainers - however, they seem to be the majority of what is out there.

find a excellent trainer and stick with them and learn.

there are more than one school of dressage - and they are all valid. the trick is to learn the school that works with your and your horses temperament and then find a trainer that can help you.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 10, 2010, 12:38 PM
To expand on what Go Fish had to say about "the worst criminals and their pets".

Adolf Hilter was a vegetarian and doted on his dog. Apparently loved kids as long as they weren't Jewish, Gypsies, or what we now call euphemistically "Special".

JGHIRETIRE
Oct. 10, 2010, 12:40 PM
This is what I love about riding -- the more you learn - you realize the more you still have to learn.


Dressage is not something you will ever know it all about and it will take many years of little neat discoveries along the path.

You will rarely see someone that has studied dressage seriously for any time be other than humble, because it truly is a discipline where the more you learn the wider your horizons become and the more you see you still have to master, that you didn't even realized was there and the more you learn to listen, not contradict those that are ahead of you with your far out ideas.

Blue Domino
Oct. 10, 2010, 06:13 PM
Bluey,

Great post, and mostly agree with you, however.


An American judge in an American court has already determined and ruled that Sjef is guilty. That is not in question. The fact that he is a citizen of the European Union is the only reason he is not sitting behind bars for grand theft larceny. Sjef was ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution and the accrued interest on that $500K he never paid is up to over $900,000 as mbm pointed out.

Sjef may well be kind to his own animals, I don't know. But the dressage horse and competition dressage is a source of lucre for Sjef, how he gets his money.
My guess is somebody who has robbed a family to get money, will also abuse, mistreat and disregard classical standards to get money also. Watch a video of Sjef riding rollkur if you don't believe that one.

Blue Domino
Oct. 10, 2010, 06:19 PM
Oh, we were all talking like adults and then Blue Domino had to show up. Go somewhere else and scream and get attention.

Beentheredonethat,

You're so 'special':)

Blue Domino
Oct. 10, 2010, 06:45 PM
[QUOTE=Beasmom;5148442]Spirithorse, no one deserves being ignored more than you. Well, maybe Blue Domino does.

BD's latest posts have been nothing but trash talk. He/she hasn't added anything worthwhile to a discussion in ages. It's trollish, sh*t stirring behavior, nothing more.[/QUOTE

Pardon me, but I consider this to be a very worthwhile topic:yes:

I don't buy for one minute, the concept that an injured horse could be helped by LDR.

Time is a healer, if the horse gets better, it's in spite of the LDR, not because of it.

I once believed a little LDR might be ok, but after finding out Sjef, the proponent of a little LDR is a big crook. Gotta consider the source. All LDR is wrong.

Comparing LDR to a horse getting better is like comparing the medieval medical practice of blood letting getting the patients better. They lived in spite of it.

Blue Domino
Oct. 10, 2010, 06:52 PM
In general, this forum has been more civil since, ahem, a couple of participants were banished. Except for the troll, most here are remaining civil. Even Spirithorse, while misguided, is usually polite.

This forum would certainly be a better place if you were to join the 'ahem' . Only trolls start calling other people trolls. Please get back under your bridge.

mbm
Oct. 10, 2010, 07:22 PM
it has been more civil because there are less people to disagree with certain posters - because those certain posters are not capable of not turning threads in train wrecks - ie have polite discourse that doesn't end up in name calling, piling on etc etc.

Watermark Farm
Oct. 10, 2010, 07:37 PM
Shortly before the 7pm freestyles were to start, I watched this rider, one of the very first riders to go in the freestyle (#425), as he hacked his black horse up the track from the stabling to the grandstand area. This seems very overbent to me, but what do I know? Is this a common way to warm up at this level?

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g237/watermarkfarm/FreestyleRider425.jpg

siegi b.
Oct. 10, 2010, 07:57 PM
Bluey - your words couldn't be more appreciated..... Thank you for putting it in the proper perspective!

Siegi

MelantheLLC
Oct. 10, 2010, 08:42 PM
Well, to get back to the subject line, I was there for the second half of the Special and the freestyle.

It was totally epic. A blast from start to finish. Okay? But I have NOO problem with being an armchair quarterback. I get armchaired, if not ripped a new one, alla time by people who can't begin to do what I can do in my RL career, because I put my work out there where I am judged. That is the POINT of it.

So do these riders. They are out there to be judged. They choose to perform in front of an audience, not in a locked and darkened arena in the middle of the night. I respect their courage, commitment, skill, fancy hats and all the stamps on their passports. But it's part of the deal, kids. The only ones who didn't choose to be there were the horses.

If all we're gonna do is sit around going "Oooh-aaaahh, I wish I could do that," nothing is learned. Plus it's just dull. :D

Now, at the cross-country, I mostly stood there saying, "Oooh-aaaah, I wish!" But at the dressage I was there to educate my eye, to question, to be thrilled and to learn, and also to be disappointed if things were not what they could be. I was sitting next to my previous trainer (we roomed together) and we talked for 5 solid days about horses, dressage and training.

BTW, you can buy the dvd's of every ride, at http://shop.thesporthouse.com/2010-World-Equestrian-Games-DRESSAGE-ULTIMATE-FAN-PKG-WEGDSU.htm They are great for post game slo-mo analysis without a license. :eek:

I did come away feeling that I saw an historical event. I do think Totilas is the greatest dressage horse that has ever lived to this point. He did not disappoint in the Special. He is mesmerizing to watch, and seems to be so powerful, rhythmical and perfectly balanced that nothing is difficult for him. I wish he could stretch his neck out just a teensy bit; in the Special his extensions were not quite what I expected, but the diagonals were short and we (trainer and I) speculated that Gal was riding conservatively there. But we both loved him in the special; he was all I had hoped. (It was very interesting, some horses looked much better than they had seemed in videos, and others looked worse. But Toto lived up to his.)

Gal is certainly the rider we would all want to be. I didn't see any warm-up, so I can't say about that, but in the arena he is by far the quietest--the ideal of invisible aids. Matthias Rath and Minderhoud (got their autographs like a fangirl!) are in the same ballpark, very quiet and utterly correct. Minderhoud had to ride out a gigantic buck on Nadine. I watched it in slo mo on the vid, and rodeo riders would be jealous!

Soo, all that said, in the GP special part 2, right up until Steffen came out, there were many uninspiring piaffes. Many showed no lowering of hindquarters, or that stabby unlevel way of lifting the hind feet, or serious flaws in the rhythm. Our seats gave us a head-on view of one the piaffes in the test, and horse after horse had splayed front legs, rocking from side to side. It showed me clearly that the vertical balance is a crucial component of piaffe, and in fact the piaffe where they step sideways in a circle is probably really a cheat in that sense, because that's what the horses do when they lose their vertical balance, they widen the stance of their front feet or step to the side.

Watching one after the other, I began to think, ok, I must really be clueless, I apparently have no idea what a piaffe is supposed to look like.

Then Ravel came out and right in front of us, before going in the arena, they did a lovely piaffe, and my faith was restored. Whew.

We thought Victory Salute, the Aussie horse, did a lovely relaxed and happy test. A traditional test, without extravagant elevation but very correct.

I was personally sad that my fave Sterntaler choked fairly badly. I love his easy passage and beautiful powerful walk, but he just didn't spark for much of the GP, and when it came to the final piaffe, he--um--he walked. *Blushing for Matthias and Sternie* So they were cut from the freestyle, since each country can only send 3 riders. But Matthias is young and a lovely rider, so I hope with experience we'll see more of them.

I do think that there is a sea-change occurring. Isabell and Warum Nicht looked almost "old-fashioned" in terms of the stiff upright neck and appearance of 3 different horses, front middle and back. This is what Salinero looked like to me, and if it's going out of style, good, IMO.

Mistral--now that is a lot of horse. I am not personally a fan of the pogo-stick passage, but clearly the judges loved him. The most interesting thing about the pair, which my trainer pointed out, was Laura's huge half-halts. She was half-halting very visibly, even from the stands, and in the vid you can see her hand moving maybe 4 inches backwards in powerful half-halts, coming from extension to collection. Mistal is extremely big, and clearly is a lot to collect, but that was quite interesting and made me wonder if, say, Gal, would need that kind of hand.

The quality of riders and horses started to improve exponentially after the first break, and by the time we got to the last 4, well, it was showtime. I feel honored to have seen them, both in the GP and the freestyle.

But I tend to agree with the poster who commented that the rides *overall* were fairly average. It was in the top that the spectacular improvement showed.

Also interestingly, in the freestyle, Totilas just seemed a bit "meh." I remember turning to my trainer just before the end of his performance and saying, "You know, I think I liked him better in the Special," rather abashed, and she said, "Yeah, I feel the same way!" The crowd seemed to also, there was not quite the same outburst of applause as for his GP.

Was it because we'd seen him before, and now expected too much? Or because he came right after Fuego? Or was it just a little conservative again, Gal not quite riding at the edge of what Toto can do? Dunno.

Fuego. Of course he was just SO. MUCH. FUN. Yes he was tense, but I realized that if I'm going to see the flying front legs, the reason I like the baroque style is because the hind legs keep up with their quickness. That thing that you can see with Toto and others, of the hind legs seeming to be unable to keep up with the rolling extravagance in front, doesn't happen with Fuego. He's all there, one horse, all the time.

His popularity with the crowd can only be good for the sport, IMO. It was really good to see the joy.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 10, 2010, 08:55 PM
MelatheLLC--Thank you for being adult and bringing this back to the point. I think a lot of us are like you--we think our way through things and have opinions, that may or may not be 100% accurate, but that's the point. It's not seeing who can get the most attention, despite what some think.
Bluey--You, too.

mbm--I think for the most part you are polite, though tend to wander off topic. I would just be ware some of the people I know you think are just doing a great job and are defending as being the worst offenders of what you contend.

Please, continue to talk ON TOPIC about what you thought. The other lawsuit thing is on another thread. Stay nice.

Bluey
Oct. 10, 2010, 10:30 PM
Well, to get back to the subject line, I was there for the second half of the Special and the freestyle.

It was totally epic. A blast from start to finish. Okay? But I have NOO problem with being an armchair quarterback. I get armchaired, if not ripped a new one, alla time by people who can't begin to do what I can do in my RL career, because I put my work out there where I am judged. That is the POINT of it.

So do these riders. They are out there to be judged. They choose to perform in front of an audience, not in a locked and darkened arena in the middle of the night. I respect their courage, commitment, skill, fancy hats and all the stamps on their passports. But it's part of the deal, kids. The only ones who didn't choose to be there were the horses.

If all we're gonna do is sit around going "Oooh-aaaahh, I wish I could do that," nothing is learned. Plus it's just dull. :D

Now, at the cross-country, I mostly stood there saying, "Oooh-aaaah, I wish!" But at the dressage I was there to educate my eye, to question, to be thrilled and to learn, and also to be disappointed if things were not what they could be. I was sitting next to my previous trainer (we roomed together) and we talked for 5 solid days about horses, dressage and training.

BTW, you can buy the dvd's of every ride, at http://shop.thesporthouse.com/2010-World-Equestrian-Games-DRESSAGE-ULTIMATE-FAN-PKG-WEGDSU.htm They are great for post game slo-mo analysis without a license. :eek:

I did come away feeling that I saw an historical event. I do think Totilas is the greatest dressage horse that has ever lived to this point. He did not disappoint in the Special. He is mesmerizing to watch, and seems to be so powerful, rhythmical and perfectly balanced that nothing is difficult for him. I wish he could stretch his neck out just a teensy bit; in the Special his extensions were not quite what I expected, but the diagonals were short and we (trainer and I) speculated that Gal was riding conservatively there. But we both loved him in the special; he was all I had hoped. (It was very interesting, some horses looked much better than they had seemed in videos, and others looked worse. But Toto lived up to his.)

Gal is certainly the rider we would all want to be. I didn't see any warm-up, so I can't say about that, but in the arena he is by far the quietest--the ideal of invisible aids. Matthias Rath and Minderhoud (got their autographs like a fangirl!) are in the same ballpark, very quiet and utterly correct. Minderhoud had to ride out a gigantic buck on Nadine. I watched it in slo mo on the vid, and rodeo riders would be jealous!

Soo, all that said, in the GP special part 2, right up until Steffen came out, there were many uninspiring piaffes. Many showed no lowering of hindquarters, or that stabby unlevel way of lifting the hind feet, or serious flaws in the rhythm. Our seats gave us a head-on view of one the piaffes in the test, and horse after horse had splayed front legs, rocking from side to side. It showed me clearly that the vertical balance is a crucial component of piaffe, and in fact the piaffe where they step sideways in a circle is probably really a cheat in that sense, because that's what the horses do when they lose their vertical balance, they widen the stance of their front feet or step to the side.

Watching one after the other, I began to think, ok, I must really be clueless, I apparently have no idea what a piaffe is supposed to look like.

Then Ravel came out and right in front of us, before going in the arena, they did a lovely piaffe, and my faith was restored. Whew.

We thought Victory Salute, the Aussie horse, did a lovely relaxed and happy test. A traditional test, without extravagant elevation but very correct.

I was personally sad that my fave Sterntaler choked fairly badly. I love his easy passage and beautiful powerful walk, but he just didn't spark for much of the GP, and when it came to the final piaffe, he--um--he walked. *Blushing for Matthias and Sternie* So they were cut from the freestyle, since each country can only send 3 riders. But Matthias is young and a lovely rider, so I hope with experience we'll see more of them.

I do think that there is a sea-change occurring. Isabell and Warum Nicht looked almost "old-fashioned" in terms of the stiff upright neck and appearance of 3 different horses, front middle and back. This is what Salinero looked like to me, and if it's going out of style, good, IMO.

Mistral--now that is a lot of horse. I am not personally a fan of the pogo-stick passage, but clearly the judges loved him. The most interesting thing about the pair, which my trainer pointed out, was Laura's huge half-halts. She was half-halting very visibly, even from the stands, and in the vid you can see her hand moving maybe 4 inches backwards in powerful half-halts, coming from extension to collection. Mistal is extremely big, and clearly is a lot to collect, but that was quite interesting and made me wonder if, say, Gal, would need that kind of hand.

The quality of riders and horses started to improve exponentially after the first break, and by the time we got to the last 4, well, it was showtime. I feel honored to have seen them, both in the GP and the freestyle.

But I tend to agree with the poster who commented that the rides *overall* were fairly average. It was in the top that the spectacular improvement showed.

Also interestingly, in the freestyle, Totilas just seemed a bit "meh." I remember turning to my trainer just before the end of his performance and saying, "You know, I think I liked him better in the Special," rather abashed, and she said, "Yeah, I feel the same way!" The crowd seemed to also, there was not quite the same outburst of applause as for his GP.

Was it because we'd seen him before, and now expected too much? Or because he came right after Fuego? Or was it just a little conservative again, Gal not quite riding at the edge of what Toto can do? Dunno.

Fuego. Of course he was just SO. MUCH. FUN. Yes he was tense, but I realized that if I'm going to see the flying front legs, the reason I like the baroque style is because the hind legs keep up with their quickness. That thing that you can see with Toto and others, of the hind legs seeming to be unable to keep up with the rolling extravagance in front, doesn't happen with Fuego. He's all there, one horse, all the time.

His popularity with the crowd can only be good for the sport, IMO. It was really good to see the joy.



Thank you so much for taking the time to write all that, it was great to read it and almost feel like we were there with you, watching intently from the edge of the seat.

I bet that was a very interesting experience and makes you try a little harder to become like those top riders you admire, giving you something concrete to aim for.:cool:

ThreeFigs
Oct. 10, 2010, 10:31 PM
Thank you, MelantheLLC, for that link!

Soon(ish) I'll be able to watch the rides without waiting for YouTube to load.

Bluey
Oct. 10, 2010, 10:33 PM
Interesting that the videos don't quite always match what you remember seeing in person.
I have wondered some times about that too, if the eye sees something that may be distorted in the video, or the video shows something the eye missed?

Donella
Oct. 10, 2010, 11:09 PM
Bluey, seems you and I think alike when it comes to this topic. Really good post!

Donella
Oct. 10, 2010, 11:13 PM
Gal is certainly the rider we would all want to be. I didn't see any warm-up, so I can't say about that, but in the arena he is by far the quietest--the ideal of invisible aids

Thats how he comes across to me too. I watched the 40 min warmup video that is posted on that spanish site and tried for the life of me to discern various aids, what he was doing with his hands, legs ect. Gosh, I couldn't see ANYTHING. He is so subtle and quiet... so awe inspiring!

mbm
Oct. 10, 2010, 11:50 PM
mbm--I think for the most part you are polite, though tend to wander off topic. I would just be ware some of the people I know you think are just doing a great job and are defending as being the worst offenders of what you contend.

topics wander..... happens all the time. as for the rest, i have no idea what you are saying ?

Fixerupper
Oct. 11, 2010, 12:09 AM
Interesting that the videos don't quite always match what you remember seeing in person.
I have wondered some times about that too, if the eye sees something that may be distorted in the video, or the video shows something the eye missed?

While eye witness impressions are not totally accurate (the 'invisible gorilla' thing...) sadly video is not an exact replica either. In digital video there is the equivalent of 30 frames per second which if played back that way would appear 'jerky' like the old silent films...so the 30 frames are each repeated a number of times in playback which gives an 'impression' of the action but often misses small changes in the activity.
Apart from the excitement of being there...it is also why video of dressage performances which 'blew the audience away' can look sort of flat on 'tape'...
It says a lot about some of the performances at WEG...because they looked pretty 'not flat' in the videos.

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 11, 2010, 12:22 AM
I think Bluey is right about the video thing. Sometimes, a lot of times, it seems way different with horses or anything else. Sometimes I watch American Idol (hangs head in shame, :) and I just don't hear what they hear there, so I put it to they are seeing things differently in person and do know what they are talking about.

And, just to be fair, I sent a bunch of friends a notice that the WEG was on tv. A horse friend who is a good all around horse person and trainer, though not dressage, had this comment: "Actually saw the Freestyle Dressage, looking more like Park seat horses all the time."

Fixerupper
Oct. 11, 2010, 12:26 AM
A horse friend who is a good all around horse person and trainer, though not dressage, had this comment: "Actually saw the Freestyle Dressage, looking more like Park seat horses all the time."

Funny.... I was talking to a non-dressage rider today who thoroughly enjoyed watching the freestyles for the first time.... go figure....

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 11, 2010, 12:57 AM
I think she enjoyed them, but had that comment. So, maybe looking more like that is good? I dunno.

MelantheLLC
Oct. 11, 2010, 12:58 AM
I heard John Lyons say he thought "that guy who rode the big black horse, the one that won, whatsisname...Ed Gear?" was the best rider out there. Complimented his quiet aids and balanced seat, though not exactly in those terms. ;) Actually he said, "He just sits there." This was in the context of explaining to someone that your horse knows how to change leads, you don't have to get in his way trying to help too much.

I thought it was cute, that he even attended the dressage. He's not one of the ones who disses others, at least that I've heard, though it's interesting to watch the western guys trying to puzzle out why having your pony jog in place isn't a piaffe. They just seem a bit baffled as to why it's such a big hairy deal.

Plumcreek
Oct. 11, 2010, 01:27 AM
Gal is certainly the rider we would all want to be. I didn't see any warm-up, so I can't say about that, but in the arena he is by far the quietest--the ideal of invisible aids

Thats how he comes across to me too. I watched the 40 min warmup video that is posted on that spanish site and tried for the life of me to discern various aids, what he was doing with his hands, legs ect. Gosh, I couldn't see ANYTHING. He is so subtle and quiet... so awe inspiring!

I sat by the make up ring and watched Gal and Totilas do their warm up before the Team Dressage. Do not know if he rode earlier in another arena, but sure looked like he had not. He warmed up like he rides the test. The horse looked confident and at ease with his rider the whole time. Here are some photos I took: http://www.facebook.com/photos/clusters/?aid=32320&id=100000995721553&success=8&failure=0#!/album.php?aid=32320&id=100000995721553

Bluey, the word that came to mind watching Totilas was BROKE, in the best western training meaning of that word. Actually, in two hours of sitting there, all the horses I watched were nice and pretty darn correct. Laura B, the British silver medalist was the other standout for quiet and effective warm up. Was also impressed by the Japanese rider on the chestnut. I remember thinking that what I was seeing overall was not the Rollkur and LDR I had read about on this forum. I really liked what I saw.

Bluey
Oct. 11, 2010, 07:52 AM
Thank you for the responses on how videos work and why they are not quite what we see, very interesting.

I hear you about the broke, broke horse.
I think that has maybe not always been so, I remember some really top performers that were broke enough, but quirky and "had their moments".
Remember Granat?

I do like broke-broke more the older I get and of course seems more professional to at least get the horses there first today, because you can't steal a ride any more, everyone is so good.

I love the comments of those that were there, that is so helpful to understand the whole of what is going on today at the top.
Thank you.:)

shea'smom
Oct. 11, 2010, 08:08 AM
I have some pictures of the Polish rider warming up if anybody wants to see them. I can not post them here though, not a premium member.
I saw the Musical warmups.
The one rider someone mentioned that rode early and posted a pic of him walking to the warmup? He actually had a lovely warmup, very little moments of "rollkur" or whatever you want to call it.
Spanish guy was awesome, rode on the snaffle, cantered in a half seat. Laura's horse could have gone in the hunter ring at first, very open forward relaxed.
Imke ? sp? was nasty, pulling mares head down so you could see how tense her arm was, hanging in the rein, yuck. Mare looked very unhappy.
Canadian rider with Robert Dover coaching did a lot of Rollkur, but lots of breaks and riding up too.
Nathalie? somebody had the nicest warmup, so low key and lots of praise and suddenly, this gorgeous work! that horse totally changed and she let him have all the time he needed.

ponybetty
Oct. 11, 2010, 10:12 AM
poll highest point, nose in front of the vertical, active hind end, talented front end, etc, etc. People love it......oh, and read the comments that go with it.
I'm just saying.

Oh, and there were horses I liked and horses I didn't like at WEG.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6F7oe9ZUGs

katarine
Oct. 11, 2010, 12:35 PM
MelantheLLC thank you so very much for your well written and constructed posts. I'm really enjoying them.

bort84
Oct. 11, 2010, 01:00 PM
IImke ? sp? was nasty, pulling mares head down so you could see how tense her arm was, hanging in the rein, yuck. Mare looked very unhappy.


That's interesting. Some (Robert Dover and others) have mentioned they felt she should have beat Steffen and Ravel, but I thought her horse looked so tense and unhappy during the ride (angry tail and mouth) that I couldn't have given her the bronze.

I hate to speculate on things I didn't see with my own eyes, but based on her test, I wouldn't be super surprised if her warmup was a bit rough.

Donella
Oct. 11, 2010, 01:56 PM
Canadian rider with Robert Dover coaching did a lot of Rollkur, but lots of breaks and riding up too.

Do you know which rider? What color horse?

shea'smom
Oct. 11, 2010, 02:16 PM
A chestnut horse. I didn't have a program, but I bet there was only one Canadian in the Musical? Nice rider, a judicious juse of rollkur, I guess, if you are going to use it.

EquiChord
Oct. 11, 2010, 02:28 PM
We wanted to share the GP Freestyle Press Conference highlights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibJxO8ThBZU

bort84
Oct. 11, 2010, 04:05 PM
Canadian rider with Robert Dover coaching did a lot of Rollkur, but lots of breaks and riding up too.

Do you know which rider? What color horse?

I think he coaches Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, right?

Haven't heard about him using rollkur, but then again, a lot of people use LDR-esque techniques that can get close to rollkur territory.

Auventera Two
Oct. 11, 2010, 05:00 PM
But yes... if this becomes a leg-waving contest, alas we in America are very good at getting horses to wave their legs, and it ain't pretty.

For me personally, that's why I don't prefer Totilas' movement. Too leg wavy and high steppin' flashiness. Reminds me way too much of a Saddlebred or TWH. Just not what I want to see in a dressage horse, but that's just my opinion. To each their own.

I understand that he's being called the horse of the century and all that, but for to me, that's just a sign of where dressage has been heading.

Everybody wants bigger, flashier, fancier, higher stepping, more action, more more more big big big. We did it to big lick horses, and now somebody out there is doing it to warmbloods as well, apparently.

shea'smom
Oct. 11, 2010, 06:34 PM
Yes it was Pop Art. That horse has a bit of a funny almost ewe neck, a big dip right in front of the withers. So maybe that is a way to help him. It was not ugly and he was ridden up and got breaks, but it did look like rollkur to me and it did look like it was done on purpose and not just him gettng too low., why did that change to italics???
I did think they were a nice pair, not bashing them at all.

mp
Oct. 11, 2010, 06:42 PM
Everybody wants bigger, flashier, fancier, higher stepping, more action, more more more big big big. We did it to big lick horses, and now somebody out there is doing it to warmbloods as well, apparently.

Comparing Totilas to a big lick horse is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? Whether you like his movement or not, the horse does not show signs of tension or anxiety. What you do see -- or at least I do -- is a very strong partnership between that horse and Edward Gal.

For what it's worth, I prefer the less extravagant movers, too.

mbm
Oct. 12, 2010, 02:43 AM
that too bad about Pop Art :( i rally loved her riding and i am curious if she changed her warm-ups once she started working with Dover. i don't remember Pop Art having a dip in front of the withers before - but maybe i just didn't notice it.

as for Totilas and Big Lick and or Park.... the point isn't that he is a big lick horse (altho i think he is looking very very 70's park-ish) it is i am guessing that we are on a slippery slope where bigger/flashier is better and once we start down that road then where will it stop?

we already have sacrificed quite a bit to get where we are..... if we follow the path we are on.... where will it lead?

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 12, 2010, 03:04 AM
It will lead to you MBM, being the leader on all things we do with our dressage horses. Your approval will dictate what we do. We will consult you for our next training decision. If you dont think its cool, no one will train against your wishes again! I was going to warm up my own horse with a really low, deep outline tommorow. Do you think I should change my mind about that?

mbm
Oct. 12, 2010, 03:22 AM
It will lead to you MBM, being the leader on all things we do with our dressage horses. Your approval will dictate what we do. We will consult you for our next training decision. If you dont think its cool, no one will train against your wishes again! I was going to warm up my own horse with a really low, deep outline tommorow. Do you think I should change my mind about that?


edited.

dear DRR, why do you react so strangely to my posts? i have an opinion - sometimes it is a strong opinion, probably it is contrary to what the majority opines.

but, i do try to stay away from the realm of the personal. you could too. we might just meet one day and then what will you say?

mbm
Oct. 12, 2010, 03:43 AM
btw: intelligent people ask questions. there is nothing wrong with asking " where will this lead" - even if the answer is " back to classical dressage" the action of asking and doing the work required to answer is a good exercise.

siegi b.
Oct. 12, 2010, 10:04 AM
Yes, "intelligent" people will ask questions, mbm..... it's the not so smart ones that make all the judgmental statements. :lol:

ThreeFigs
Oct. 12, 2010, 10:13 AM
Riders and trainers with depth of knowledge and experience use several techniques to help the horse understand what is wanted and to help the horse achieve that.

Sometimes it involves techniques that might be judged unorthodox BY SOME.

Totilas, IMO, is a freak of nature, like Secretariat or Man O War. He may be merely a blip on the radar screen or he may signal a new era in big-moving dressage horses. Rider skill must match the aptitude of the horse, however, or the big mover doesn't get to shine.

Totilas & Gal represent a perfect storm of equine and human talent brought together at the same time. Steffen, Ravel, and the British and Spanish pairs represent additional "perfect storms" of talent.

It's a good time to be a dressage enthusiast. I see no problem and celebrate these gifted pairs.

bort84
Oct. 12, 2010, 11:28 AM
as for Totilas and Big Lick and or Park.... the point isn't that he is a big lick horse (altho i think he is looking very very 70's park-ish) it is i am guessing that we are on a slippery slope where bigger/flashier is better and once we start down that road then where will it stop?

we already have sacrificed quite a bit to get where we are..... if we follow the path we are on.... where will it lead?

?

What did we sacrifice?

I have to say, I think many are a bit too quick to glorify the good old days (in all things, not just dressage). Remember, in the "good old days," there were far fewer cameras to see what people were doing in the warmup, at home, and just behind the scenes in general.

I bet there was a lot of crap going on in those good old days that would be a surprise to a few.

Also, when I watch old videos that are available, I think the majority of our horses competing today are much more suited to the task at hand. There are obviously exceptions, but overall, I think breeding has really helped create a horse more capable for dressage competitions. Yes, there will be trends in breeding and competition, but that is unavoidable.

Some may argue "modern" dressage has been too tailored to the WB, and there might be a bit of truth to that depending on how you look at it. However, all sports undergo evolution - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and most people won't agree on whether it's been good or bad, haha.

I don't think we're in great danger of going the way of the saddle seat ASB, the halter/WP QH, the halter arab, etc etc with our dressage horses. There is luckily a much more strict breeding program for most purpose bred sport horses. I don't think we'll see people sacrificing motor and conformation for a flashy front end like you sometimes see in the saddle seat world - you cannot have a top GP horse with no motor, no matter how much people like an expressive mover.

Anyway, there's always a bit of a "the sky is falling" mentality when people sense change. It does take people with strong opinions to help guide change in the "right" direction, but there will always be disagreement as to what is "right."

AzuWish
Oct. 12, 2010, 11:54 AM
I was watching some freestyle with my non-horsey hubby. And I tried to describe to him about why it is a fluke and kind of controversial to have a horse younger than 10 at this level.

Anyway, I was talking about the foundation and the basic principles and stuff, and how these horses are supposed to go in a snaffle and do every other level of dressage since dressage builds on each level.

And he had the best idea: Why don't they have to show their horses in a snaffle at each level during the competitions. I thought it was brilliant. Of course, impossible. But still brilliant.

I actually was pretty happy with what I saw in the arena. A lot of horses using their backs and engaging their HQ. However, I would love love love to see Tortilas doing Intro B or Training Level 1!!! lol Not saying he couldn't do it, but just saying it would be so great to see the foundation they have built upon to get to this level. And then have that factor into their score

Blue Domino
Oct. 12, 2010, 02:08 PM
For me personally, that's why I don't prefer Totilas' movement. Too leg wavy and high steppin' flashiness. Reminds me way too much of a Saddlebred or TWH. Just not what I want to see in a dressage horse, but that's just my opinion. To each their own.

I understand that he's being called the horse of the century and all that, but for to me, that's just a sign of where dressage has been heading.

Everybody wants bigger, flashier, fancier, higher stepping, more action, more more more big big big. We did it to big lick horses, and now somebody out there is doing it to warmbloods as well, apparently.


Certainly agree with you! More More More, Big Big Big.


Put a bit differently, it could be big hair, big make-up, big boobs, more more more, big big big, RuPaul dressage.

millerra
Oct. 12, 2010, 02:19 PM
You know, I admit that I've spent to much time watching PC movies such as Bolt and Meet the Robinsons, having little kids an' all. So I freely admit being a bit, uh - out of the mainstream. But who the H--- is RuPaul? I'm afraid to even google the name on my work computer (my only computer, btw).

Yes - I live in the backwoods, but maybe its nicer back here. Please inform me in a PC way 'cuz I think must be missing somethin'.

Pony Fixer
Oct. 12, 2010, 02:37 PM
Rupaul is a drag queen. Beautiful, campy, larger than life.

I myself, aspire to a certain level of "Rupaul-ness" in my dressage, and think BD may be on to something!

Unfortunately, I'm off to do other things. Just when I think this BB is interesting again, the same old sh!t shows up. Yawn.

Blue Domino
Oct. 12, 2010, 02:41 PM
Totilas is the newest weapon in the cold war, the main battle tank, the biggest, heaviest, most versatile new version. Fire Power.

He certainly does impress me, he is certainly a fantastic, impressive horse.

I feel sorry for all the normal horses out there, who aren't muscle man freaks of nature like Totilas.

I feel sorry for them, great pity for them when their owners and the trainers start demanding of them that they go like Totilas, and their poor frail
bodies start to fall apart, because they are after all, only flesh and blood.

mbm, I always enjoy reading your posts, you are one of the few posters on this forum that doesn't ever hunt for red meat, you never go in for the kill.
You are truly a nice person. I expect your riding reflects your generosity, and that it would be a great pleasure to watch you ride.

I think riding reflects who people are. That's why I say that Edward Gal is probably a very nice man, and why Totilas gives him his best.

Pity the poor horses when people not so nice as Edward Gal, start trying to make their horses look like Totilas.

I fear that's going to be the state of dressage after WEG.

What I find most beautiful in dressage is strength in weakness, when the weakness of a horse, through time, slow gradual development and love and patience and kindness from the rider have turned weakness into strength.
That's when the art is revealed, when weakness has been made strong.

bort84
Oct. 12, 2010, 03:35 PM
Eh, I think it's a bit far fetched to think dressage will go to the lengths (or even to 10% of the lenghts) the TWH big lick folks went to in order to mimic one horse.

Dressage is just such a different beast than a purely "showy" sport - to use a current example: Fuego undoubtedly had one of the "showiest" freestyles at the WEG. However, the more technically correct horses beat him - that goes to show that dressage is not headed towards flashier beating more correct. Totilas has flashy movement, BUT he is also correct, that's why he wins the way he does - it's a combo of flash, ability, and precision. The other 3 horses behind him are also very nice movers, but they look nothing like Totilas (or much like each other even) - clearly you don't have to have park-horse style action to be competitive.

Getting a horse to grand prix at the highest levels of our sport is nearly impossible to fake or shortcut. Yes, rollkur has evolved as a shortcut of sorts (depending on who you talk to), but the horses it's being used on are still highly trained, very strong, well bred, and, as far as I can tell, about as sound of mind and body as any other horse competing at such a high level.

To even slightly relate people chasing the "Totilas factor" to what happened in TWH big lick land is probably a bit extreme. There are far more careful and regulated breeding practices (in general), there are far more rules in place to protect the horse's welfare, and there is a much higher level of education and horsemanship throughout the dressage population.

Now, you are ALWAYS going to have incorrect, shortcut, or borderline abusive riding by uneducated and/or unscrupulous people. These people are always going to try to mimic what they see the best doing in hopes that a little bit of the gold will rub off on them (without having to put in the same level of work). You don't need a freak like Totilas for that to occur. But I feel strongly that the principles of dressage mostly keep these people out of the upper ranks.

Anyway, horses like Totilas don't scare me - to me, they represent progress. Change is often a good thing, it doesn't have to be scary.

Are there some trends we're seeing currently that I'd like to see change? Absolutely. But I guess I just don't feel this sense of dread about where dressage is headed like some seem to.

katarine
Oct. 12, 2010, 04:44 PM
Aren't y'alls navels sore from all this pickin' just yet?

Blue Domino
Oct. 12, 2010, 04:51 PM
Adventera Two

Great post, couldn't agree more.

What's frightening is those who say, dressage can never be like that, when dressage is becoming just like that.

sixes, sevens and eights are no longer acceptable, only a horse who can deliver nines and tens is revered. It is frightening.

grayarabs
Oct. 12, 2010, 04:56 PM
Azuwish - you have jogged my memory. Seems that many years ago such a thing was proposed - ie snaffle. And/or seems like there was an FEI class added for that purpose??? I wish I could remember more. Anyone?

Blue Domino
Oct. 12, 2010, 04:56 PM
Aren't y'alls navels sore from all this pickin' just yet?

Hopefully, you'll stop at the navel and won't continue heading south. But I won't hold my breath, considering past posts.

katarine
Oct. 12, 2010, 05:08 PM
Aw come on, Blue Domino, don't you know that intelligent people ask questions? There is nothing wrong with asking " Aren't y'alls navels sore from all this pickin' just yet?" - even if the answer is " not yet but I love to hear myself type!" the action of asking and doing the work required to answer is a good exercise.

Blue Domino
Oct. 12, 2010, 05:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-GHxzOrn2w

My favorite WEG duo, CALECTO V and Tina Konyot. Watched their ride from
the selection trials on HR tv last night, what a thrill, LOVE his movement. He has a great sense of self preservation. Love a horse like that, as he gets stronger, he only gets better. Love that big STRETCH and length of stride.

And Katarine,

Please dear, get back on subject and get out of other people's navels, the lint isn't good for you .:eek:

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 12, 2010, 05:49 PM
Oh my.

spirithorse
Oct. 12, 2010, 06:12 PM
Currently FEI is considering snaffle through GP, unless they chickened out on that like they did "r____r".

bort84
Oct. 12, 2010, 06:28 PM
Adventera Two

Great post, couldn't agree more.

What's frightening is those who say, dressage can never be like that, when dressage is becoming just like that.

sixes, sevens and eights are no longer acceptable, only a horse who can deliver nines and tens is revered. It is frightening.

I think you're taking this to an extreme that is unwarranted, though I think I do understand what you're trying to say - be careful of extremes and always be on guard against human ambition overruling good judgment.

However, dressage is not becoming just like big lick, saddle seat, or endurance as Auventera Two described. And most serious dressage fans DO revere the vast majority of the riders who were at the WEG, even those scoring in the "measly" 70-80% range...

At the end of the day, dressage is still VERY much about training and development for all horses, not just the freaks - remember that what we see at the WEG is not at all indicative of what 90% of dressage riders do or even want to do. I think in dressage more than many other disciplines, you have a more educated group of participants and a more "horse-friendly" ideal. Add to that breeding programs that tend to be well regulated, extensive judge training programs, and a focus on precise execution rather than a focus on flash (breed show type disciplines) or speed (race type disciplines) and you a rather different environment than big lick, saddle seat, endurance, racing, etc.

Totilas is revered because he is a bit of a freak and should be applauded for his ability as Edward Gal should be applauded for his development. People SHOULD aspire to breed horses like Totilas and create riders like EG. But to say that people only "revere" horses of his equal freakiness, well, that's a bit of a stretch in my mind. Look at the variety of animals we saw at the WEG. I think if you rewatch each of the top 5 freestyles, you will see 5 very different animals, all being respected for their individual traits.

I grew up in saddle seat land, so I know all about things getting extreme and not in a good way (it's one of the reasons I switched to dressage). Dressage is NOWHERE near that type of extreme. The only way you could possibly compare it is that we are breeding horses that are more capable of the "ideals" we are after and are able to ask more out of them.

But dressage ideals are very different and require a well rounded individual more than something like saddle seat, so you're not going to see all front end, no motor types (or other unfortunate breeding extremes) because a horse who isn't a well rounded type can't do grand prix. Also, a poorly trained horse with the main focus on flash is not going to be able to do GP - that's why I don't see dressage as "becoming just like" big lick, saddle seat, racing, endurance, etc.

siegi b.
Oct. 12, 2010, 07:27 PM
bort84 - I couldn't have said it any better.... Bravo and Thank You!!!!!:yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes::yes:

mbm
Oct. 12, 2010, 08:14 PM
?

What did we sacrifice?
"

Harmony?
Relaxation?
Correct Development of collection?
The horse getting lighter instead of heavier?
the look of the horse doing on its won what is being asked?
beauty for precision
etc

i believe, human nature being what it is, that unless there is opposition the bigger/better/faster/more crowd will soon turn ANY sport into a caricature of itself.

when i look back at some of the idols of the past, i see amazing development of the horse. i think, when i look at some of the images/vids: what would they create if they had the horses we have today?

why are we not seeing more beautiful work instead of more forced and tension filled work?

Totilas is an amazing animal. to *me* he shows a lack of proper development. in other words:his training shows.

i will say however that he is much more relaxed now than he was a year ago and the waving of his front feet is less.

i hope that we see more of horses/riders like Fuego/Diaz.

mbm
Oct. 12, 2010, 08:17 PM
Getting a horse to grand prix at the highest levels of our sport is nearly impossible to fake or shortcut. .


wow.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 12, 2010, 08:36 PM
Well, so it is. The same way one can't fake Olympic-level gymnastics, fencing or diving. It takes work. Every now and then a freak comes along, like Michael Phelps (OK, never mind the marijuana scandals -- the guy could swim like Flipper!), who sets the discipline on its head.

Toto and the three or four horses closest to him are like that. It's like the year Affirmed and Alydar ran in the Triple Crown. So much talent in one place, at one time. We have sacrificed nothing, but have gained much.

Glass half full here!

spirithorse
Oct. 12, 2010, 08:56 PM
Beasmom;
Yes, what you say is true with so much horse talent together at one time in one location!
However, I and a whole lot of other dressage participants question the lose of 'correctness'.
Someone used the word sacrifice which means in part: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else
So, I ask you and others, might we be sacrificing correctness for pizazze?

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 12, 2010, 09:52 PM
Wow, I don't know what to say. Some very thoughtful people.

I haven't seen Colecto--lovely, but very uneven and unlevel in passage and piaffe. He also was swishing his tail the whole time. I see him being in time, but some are saying it's a sign of tension and stress. He looks a lot like Totilas.

Once again, back to the origins of this thread bort87, it's nearly (or really) impossible to get a horse to GP, let alone at the highest levels of the sport with shortcuts and faking. How can anyone think otherwise? If you've ever actually done it or seen it, there's just no way you'd say that.

Harmony, relaxation, correct development of collection, lighter horses, beaut in precision? Hell yes. WAY better than it used to be. Did you ever watch dressage before? Really?

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 12, 2010, 11:29 PM
Just about every gold medal ride dating back to at least 1984 can be viewed on youtube and many "greats" from before that. Those old rides dont come close to holing up to todays standards on ANY level. Klimke's 1984 ride would not have been top 15 and watching it makes it easy to tell. Granat couldnt have made it to these events. Correctness? Where in these rides? Heavy, dull, piaffeless. In those days myself and my friends looked to classical dressage in Spain, Portugal, and the SRS to see things well done. The competition horses where terrible. The work that really began with Rembrant and moved on from there is the best competition dressage ever and this years WEG perhaps the high point of all time. Its is going to get better too! Glad to be a dressage rider at this time in a long history. There is more to learn from and more outlets to learn it than ever before in history! Get it?

mbm
Oct. 13, 2010, 01:01 AM
i hear you. i just disagree on many levels. i think we clearly must have different definitions of what correct is.

as for faking it up the levels. so, if i am hearing you what that means is that every single horse at GP is correctly trained? no holes, perfectly classical?

really?

Blue Domino
Oct. 13, 2010, 01:38 AM
Over on the arabian horse forums they're delirious that 'Park' stallion (Totilas) has finally proved that the park horse is the superior athlete after all.

Like I said before, it's frightening that 6's, 7's, & 8's aren't good enough anymore, that only 9's and 10's are the acceptable mark.

Circus riding, without true gaits being rewarded at the highest level. Horses that lack a true 2 beat trot getting 9's and 10's. A travesty.

And again, I pity the poor horses the DQ's will be trying to get to go like
Toto.

Next thing you know, we'll be hearing how somebody got their sick or injured horse better with LDR or rollkur.

Auventera Two
Oct. 13, 2010, 08:56 AM
If I had a dollar for every reference I've read on forums to Totilas being a foot waver, park horse, saddle-seat'y, wow look at that fancy front end, holy cow I didn't know a dressage horse could move its shoulders like that.....

If the foot waving has earned him "horse of the century" status, then I'm not interested. If I want to see foot waving, I can go watch a Hackney driving class. Personally, I found his front end to be very distracting from the overall picture.

He's a gorgeous animal, a real athlete, and I respect his training and his accomplishments. But it's just not the movement I personally prefer in a dressage horse. And my opinion is that if dressage people are getting so oogly woogly over this extreme foot waving, it is definitely a sign of where dressage is headed. The horse looks like he's been in training bungees for the last few years. I'm sure he HASN'T, but that's what it looks like.

What ever happened to Quaterback by the way? Two years ago he was all the rage, now you never hear anything about him. Instead it's Totilas this - Totilas that. If Quaterback had such stunning movement and conformation, why isn't he "horse of the century?"

siegi b.
Oct. 13, 2010, 09:46 AM
i hear you. i just disagree on many levels. i think we clearly must have different definitions of what correct is.

as for faking it up the levels. so, if i am hearing you what that means is that every single horse at GP is correctly trained? no holes, perfectly classical?

really?

The statement was not that every single horse at GP is correctly trained.... but rather that the successful international GP horses wouldn't be there unless they were correctly trained.

There are plenty of incorrectly trained horses in every sport but you're not going to see those at the top international levels.

And I have to agree with Don Raphaelo..... go look at the old dressage videos and then tell me with a straight face that those rides would be considered competitive today. I know it sounds good that Balkenhohl's horse was a police horse before he trained him to GP, but even if you buy all this horse manure you still need to look at that pair performing a GP. Not so classical and/or impressive if you're honest with yourself.

Just my opinion....

mp
Oct. 13, 2010, 10:57 AM
If I had a dollar for every reference I've read on forums to Totilas being a foot waver, park horse, saddle-seat'y, wow look at that fancy front end, holy cow I didn't know a dressage horse could move its shoulders like that.....

You'd have about $200. And you'd have to be lurking a lot of places to get that.


And my opinion is that if dressage people are getting so oogly woogly over this extreme foot waving, it is definitely a sign of where dressage is headed.

Yeah, because everyone knows what you read on a BB is a sure sign of what's happening everywhere and a great way to predict the future.

I was at a regional championship this past weekend. I watched TL Open, because I was curious to see how the judges would score. The ride that won was the one that adhered to the criteria for TL ... and there was no "flash" to be seen. Just a very nicely ridden test on a horse in TL frame.

Good post, bort84.

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 13, 2010, 11:50 AM
What ever happened to Quaterback by the way? Two years ago he was all the rage, now you never hear anything about him. Instead it's Totilas this - Totilas that. If Quaterback had such stunning movement and conformation, why isn't he "horse of the century?"

You just countered your own point here. It is because movement and flash isnt everything. This isnt the hunters, and it isnt AQHA, and the judge doesnt pick out of a line of horses the best mover.

Toto could move like that in his home arena forever and not be the next big thing. He is winning because of scores on movements and accuracy pure and simple, hence fads not being as easily changed in the dressage world.

You STILL have to have the whole package, no matter how many times people focus on the wrong parts of the horse.

bort84
Oct. 13, 2010, 12:57 PM
You STILL have to have the whole package, no matter how many times people focus on the wrong parts of the horse.

Excellent point: people may focus on Totilas extravagant front end, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a LOT of other great things going on...

@ Blue Domino about the people on the arab forums clamoring at how the park horse is a superior athlete: I came from saddle seat land. I made a choice to leave saddle seat land (which I loved) because the level of horsemanship just was NOT there overall. There are some great trainers, but many of the "top" trainers are getting there with shortcuts or simply because they have wealthy customers that buy fantastic animals that can coast on their talent without much training. You can't do that in dressage. You're not going to have national or world champions that have coasted there on their horse's talent alone - you CAN do that in many breed show ring disciplines.

There is a stigma with saddle seat folks (I used to have it) about "how hard can it be if they're not trotting with their knees in their nose?" So let's not take the opinions of folks who've likely never sat on a dressage horse or had a real dressage lesson in their lives and get all worried about it. Plain and simple: most of them don't know what they're talking about and don't understand.

@mbm: I'm not saying all of the horses that competed at the WEG (yes, that includes Totilas, Ravel, Fuego, and the like) don't have holes here and there. ALL horses have weak spots as do their trainers. None of them is perfect. What I'm saying is, you don't get to those levels through shortcuts - not taking shortcuts does NOT mean you don't still have work to do and room for improvement: we still haven't seen anyone score a 100% yet, have we?

Do you really think some of these pairs have gotten to the top simply by riding superior horses and rollkuring the crud out of them?

Also, I have to agree with DRR that most of the rides even from 20 years ago just wouldn't cut it today.

Does this mean I think dressage is perfect as is? No. There is always room for improvement, and trends occur in every sport. I, too, see many horses that look a bit tense, or are too often BTV, or aren't quite as strong in their hind end as they should be, etc, etc, etc... These things should be noted and worked on. But I think it's extreme to suggest that everything was better in the "good old days."

Donella
Oct. 13, 2010, 01:17 PM
And I have to agree with Don Raphaelo..... go look at the old dressage videos and then tell me with a straight face that those rides would be considered competitive today. I know it sounds good that Balkenhohl's horse was a police horse before he trained him to GP, but even if you buy all this horse manure you still need to look at that pair performing a GP. Not so classical and/or impressive if you're honest with yourself.

Amen. I have NO idea what people still see in those old rides. I think they just like the idea of it.

spirithorse
Oct. 13, 2010, 02:03 PM
what correct is.


Correct: "true, right, accurate, in accordance with"

Without adherence to the descriptions stipulated in the Articles, correctness does not exist.

The past performances may not meet perfection, however, they do come closer to correct than the circus dressage now being given high scores as correct dressage.

Dressage cannot be correct if the fundamentals are ignored and at WEG the medaling performances could not achieve the fundamentals as is clearly demonstrated in the total misrepresentation of the the primary requirement for head placement and the primary requirement for the bit of contact.

Auventera Two
Oct. 13, 2010, 03:00 PM
You just countered your own point here. It is because movement and flash isnt everything. This isnt the hunters, and it isnt AQHA, and the judge doesnt pick out of a line of horses the best mover.

Toto could move like that in his home arena forever and not be the next big thing. He is winning because of scores on movements and accuracy pure and simple, hence fads not being as easily changed in the dressage world.

You STILL have to have the whole package, no matter how many times people focus on the wrong parts of the horse.


I'm not sure how I countered my own point. I thought I made the point exactly. People being hung up on flashy and extravegant is why Quaterback sort of fell off the radar screen. Totilas showed up waving his front legs to his chin and everybody goes "Ooooooh preeeetty - horse of the century! Quater...who?"

If simply CORRECT and classic was all people cared about, Totilas would just be a really nice GP horse, instead of the greatest gift the dressage world has ever known.

SueL
Oct. 13, 2010, 03:28 PM
Quaterback was never given the chance to prove himself in sport. Breeding shed came first. I rather think he would have been successful in sport.

Totilas' people allowed him to prove himself in sport. THEN earn the ability to reproduce. He's done so rather well I think. His sireline is solid in the ability to sit and collect - and he sure can. Probably going to be handed on.

Damline is jumper lines. That incredibly free shoulder probably comes from there. You don't want a "grounded in earth" jumper.

Toto is a *superb* athlete. He tries his heart out *every, single time.* If you don't care for his particular cuppa, that's fine. But give him his due, please.

Geesh

Sue

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 13, 2010, 03:38 PM
I'm not sure how I countered my own point. I thought I made the point exactly. People being hung up on flashy and extravegant is why Quaterback sort of fell off the radar screen. Totilas showed up waving his front legs to his chin and everybody goes "Ooooooh preeeetty - horse of the century! Quater...who?"

If simply CORRECT and classic was all people cared about, Totilas would just be a really nice GP horse, instead of the greatest gift the dressage world has ever known.

Do you realize how a dressage test is judged?

If Ooooh pretty horse won the day then we'd see a helk of a lot more Fresians, arabs, and dutch harness animals running things around here. :lol:

Have you SEEN some of the winning animals in person? Some of them have heads like a mac truck, and are NOT the prettiest thing in the barn, but I say again they are athletes with FAR more to offer than flash...

Donella
Oct. 13, 2010, 03:50 PM
People being hung up on flashy and extravegant is why Quaterback sort of fell off the radar screen.

Quaterback breeds close to a 1000 mares per year and has so far lived up to his siring potential producing many foal show champions in Germany, top auction foals and licensed stallions. He is six years old and he certainly did not "fall off the radar screen".

I doubt he will be directed towards a career in sport with those kinds of breeding numbers.

If you don't know anything on the subject you are wise to just leave it alone.

fooler
Oct. 13, 2010, 03:55 PM
I think many of us live in fear of going the way of the Tennessee Walking Horse. There were some in that industry who couldn't just live with the beauty of a naturally gaited horse. They had to be better, win shows, be flashier and eventually the horses suffered from pads, burning feet, or ankles, weights, chains, head held back till their neck bulges underneath, breaking and resetting tails, scaring the piss out of them before they go in the ring so they're really animated. Watching what they've become is ugly.

If people win Olympic medals by utilizing awful methods to train their horses, to me, it's cheating.

Dressage methods have been handed down for hundreds of years. And if someone has trained their horse with correct methods, and is beat by people who have taken hurtful shortcuts with their horses, isn't that like cheating?

We are complaining about the trainers and riders when the real problem is with the Judging. As long as the judges place the 'Big Lick" TWH or the over-flexed, behind the vertical Dressage horse - then the trainers and riders will follow suit.

Just as with the QH Halter and Pleasure Horses - the Judging had to be adjusted.

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 13, 2010, 04:05 PM
We are complaining about the trainers and riders when the real problem is with the Judging. As long as the judges place the 'Big Lick" TWH or the over-flexed, behind the vertical Dressage horse - then the trainers and riders will follow suit.

Just as with the QH Halter and Pleasure Horses - the Judging had to be adjusted.

I think Fuego had more movement then anything at the WEG, and he was marked appropriately for his mistakes.

I think we are safe. If we were not, then it would have been Fuego first, Toto second, and so on (if based on flashy movement). Ravel wouldn't stand a chance in the placings...

So where is your logic now?

fooler
Oct. 13, 2010, 04:12 PM
I think Fuego had more movement then anything at the WEG, and he was marked appropriately for his mistakes.

I think we are safe. If we were not, then it would have been Fuego first, Toto second, and so on (if based on flashy movement). Ravel wouldn't stand a chance in the placings...

So where is your logic now?

Referred to 'flashy movement' for TWH.

Referred to overflexed and behind the vertical for dressage.
Tortillas is a beautiful mover and ridden well. Offered as one example - when asked for an extension, his legs take longer strides, but the body does not extend. In short - the entire frame remains the same. Quite unlike the trot extension I saw ridden a former "O" level judge some years ago in which the horse went from a collected trot/frame to an extended trot/frame and back to collected trot/frame.

Auventera Two
Oct. 13, 2010, 04:31 PM
If you don't know anything on the subject you are wise to just leave it alone.


Awwww bless your heart. You feel better now? :rolleyes:

And to whomever said this is what happened with western pleasure AQHA horses - you're right. And it's happened in every discipline, so why a person should think dressage is exempt from this is beyond me. For years competition dressage has been moving toward bigger and flashier. So when a foot waver comes along, everybody oooohs and aaaaahs. It's so predictable.

Yes, he's a beautiful horse and incredible athlete, but is he consistently performing absolutely flawless tests that are off the charts correct? Does he perform with such absolute perfection that he can be called the horse of the century? Or is everybody just seeing the flashiest trot they've ever seen on a warmblood? Seems like the latter to me. But that's just my OPINION. Everybody has their own.

NOMIOMI1
Oct. 13, 2010, 04:57 PM
Yes, he's a beautiful horse and incredible athlete, but is he consistently performing absolutely flawless tests that are off the charts correct? Does he perform with such absolute perfection that he can be called the horse of the century? Or is everybody just seeing the flashiest trot they've ever seen on a warmblood? Seems like the latter to me. But that's just my OPINION. Everybody has their own.

Obviously. Well at least 80% or more anyway...

I think instead that you must be easily swayed into missing the animals wonderful ability by focusing on his trot, far more than I think others are duped into giving him high scores.

YOU are the one bringing it up and forgetting about the other 75% of the test that he performs.

But it is coth, so the carping must continue I suppose...

bort84
Oct. 13, 2010, 05:06 PM
Yes, he's a beautiful horse and incredible athlete, but is he consistently performing absolutely flawless tests that are off the charts correct? Does he perform with such absolute perfection that he can be called the horse of the century? Or is everybody just seeing the flashiest trot they've ever seen on a warmblood? Seems like the latter to me. But that's just my OPINION. Everybody has their own.

No, what Totilas does is perform with a VERY high level of precision AND flashy movement - THAT'S why he's so impressive.

Yes, he has shortcomings (short neck conformationally and a short neck during extensions, a bit BTV, an overly extravagant front end from time to time, etc), but all horses have flaws. His are just fewer than the competition, so he wins. He gets off the chart scores because he's doing what most horses can't - be both an electric performer and mover AND a level-headed competitor with extreme precision.

Take Brentina as an example of no flash but competitive, she managed to do extremely well despite being pretty "boring" to watch in terms of flash and wow. A LOT of top dressage GP horses aren't all that flashy but they are correct technically and will beat a flashy horse that is not technically correct.

What Totilas does is correct technically (though he does have some shortcomings) AND it's flashy. He's both, and THAT is why he's impressive. If he were just a flashy mover, he wouldn't win - if that were the case, the sport would be overrun with saddle seat type ASBs (though I'd personally love to see more of the sport type in the ring, haha).

Now, I will add (again), that I, too, am unhappy with the amount of BTV and tension we're seeing at the upper levels right now. It's a trend I'd like to see fade, and that I think probably will fade - but I would agree the issue needs to be addressed. How it should be addressed, no idea, but we likely need to work with the judges on the matter.

However, I don't think breeding horses with freer shoulders and stronger hind ends that allow them to move extravagantly, and, consequently, to have an easier time with a lot of the required GP movements should be frowned upon.

Though Totilas is short in the neck and some feel his hind end doesn't yet match his front at all times - he is one of the least tense horses in appearance of most of the top GP horses competing right now. Part of that is because his job is easier for him - so let's applaud his breeders for a job well done instead of criticizing them for creating a "freak."

Plumcreek
Oct. 13, 2010, 05:07 PM
Riders and trainers with depth of knowledge and experience use several techniques to help the horse understand what is wanted and to help the horse achieve that.

Sometimes it involves techniques that might be judged unorthodox BY SOME.

Totilas, IMO, is a freak of nature, like Secretariat or Man O War. He may be merely a blip on the radar screen or he may signal a new era in big-moving dressage horses. Rider skill must match the aptitude of the horse, however, or the big mover doesn't get to shine.

Totilas & Gal represent a perfect storm of equine and human talent brought together at the same time. Steffen, Ravel, and the British and Spanish pairs represent additional "perfect storms" of talent.

It's a good time to be a dressage enthusiast. I see no problem and celebrate these gifted pairs.

I like this. After viewing the Edward Gal interview, and after standing ringside at WEG to watch this pair warm up, I can see how this rider and horse trust each other and can do great things together, and it goes beyond leg waving and correctness. Totilas was the standout in the warm up ring for his obvious happy partnership with his rider 100% of the time that I watched. Another rider with a different training philosophy might not have let Totilas shine through, and the horse might look very different in competition.

spirithorse
Oct. 13, 2010, 05:24 PM
"What Totilas does is correct technically"

Why the effort to avoid correctness by soooo many posters on this thread?

NO it is not! His frame is not correct, his foreleg action is to extreme for the hindleg action to be in rhythm, his hindquarters are lowered as in the Big Lick SB's, he is not infront of the vertical with poll as the hightest point.

bort84
Oct. 13, 2010, 05:38 PM
"What Totilas does is correct technically"

Why the effort to avoid correctness by soooo many posters on this thread?

NO it is not! His frame is not correct, his foreleg action is to extreme for the hindleg action to be in rhythm, his hindquarters are lowered as in the Big Lick SB's, he is not infront of the vertical with poll as the hightest point.

You ignored the rest of that sentence which said: "What Totilas does is correct technically (though he does have some shortcomings)..."

Perhaps I should have said "at least as or more correct than the competition."

There will always be the "classical" vs. "modern" argument, but in current "modern" competition, Totilas outperforms his peers, not because he is flashy, but because he is at least as or more correct AND he does it with flash.

I'm not saying some of the top teams don't have their issues (which I have mentioned in several of my posts, so it's not like I've completely ignored that point), but within his peer group that is "modern" dressage, Totilas shines.

fooler
Oct. 13, 2010, 06:02 PM
You ignored the rest of that sentence which said: "What Totilas does is correct technically (though he does have some shortcomings)..."

Perhaps I should have said "at least as or more correct than the competition."

There will always be the "classical" vs. "modern" argument, but in current "modern" competition, Totilas outperforms his peers, not because he is flashy, but because he is at least as or more correct AND he does it with flash.

I'm not saying some of the top teams don't have their issues (which I have mentioned in several of my posts, so it's not like I've completely ignored that point), but within his peer group that is "modern" dressage, Totilas shines.

Back in 2005 I had the honor and pleasure of watching one of the SRS US shows. A well respected dressage judge friend of mine was asked to compare the horse and riders to those she judged weekly. Her response - They (the SRS) would not be competitive. So should we strive for 'modern' dressage or that as practiced at institutions such as the SRS?

spirithorse
Oct. 13, 2010, 07:07 PM
I'm not saying some of the top teams don't have their issues (which I have mentioned in several of my posts, so it's not like I've completely ignored that point), but within his peer group that is "modern" dressage, Totilas shines.


Bort84;
You make excellent points.
Yes, the problem is with "modern" dressage.

Totilas can only do what his rider allows and I laugh because we are consistently discussing what the horses look like and are doing, as if these horses have control.

The simple fact remains that the riders are NOT ALLOWING the horses to meet the descriptions. Therefore, the presentations are rought with incorrectness.

I believe that Fuego's rider made consistent attempts to release his horse, it was Fuego who would not move his head/neck. In my opinion that places the pair above Totilas/Gal, because Gal did not ever release his horse.

Also we must adhere to the rule stating that the snaffle bit shall be the primary bit of contact. So view all of the riders and see who uses the curb the least amount of time and with the least amount of pressure.

mbm
Oct. 13, 2010, 07:30 PM
No, what Totilas does is perform with a VERY high level of precision AND flashy movement - THAT'S why he's so impressive.

Yes, he has shortcomings (short neck conformationally and a short neck during extensions, a bit BTV, an overly extravagant front end from time to time, etc), but all horses have flaws. His are just fewer than the competition, so he wins. He gets off the chart scores because he's doing what most horses can't - be both an electric performer and mover AND a level-headed competitor with extreme precision.

well.... i think you are missing the larger "issue" and that is that Totials is not over his back and out to the bit. these are *fundamental* training issues that any 2nd level horse should have in spades.

it may very well be that the judges love him. but that does NOT mean that all educated dressage folks love him.

There are a lot of folks who cringe when his name is said.

There is riding to win at international competitions and there is correct riding. Show riding (at that level) has really turned into how to beat the test instead of how to train properly and then get tested on it .... (and that was really Sjefs genius - he figured out how to train the horses in such a manner that they would score huge points for each movement while not meeting the basic requirements of the training scale. )

Dressage is HUGE business now - and that has changed things. a lot.

while i agree that mostly the horses nowadays are better than what we had before - the quality of riding/training as evidenced in the show area - has gone down if you use the rules/training scale/etc as the criteria

the rules are not being upheld. and that is NOT just a "keyboard jockey" POV.

Donella
Oct. 13, 2010, 07:53 PM
Ahhhhh. God. I give up. It is so blatantly apparent (by the many bizarre comments that have been posted) that the 99 percent of the haters here are not even dressage riders and clearly do not understand even the basics of our sport. Then we have to listen to them question the judgement of the Olympic judges? Barf. Forget it. I'm done.

mbm
Oct. 13, 2010, 08:24 PM
haters? having a different opinion than you means i am a hater? i try very very hard to be the opposite. but that doesn't mean i will agree with 100% of the people on the planet.

its ok if you want to say i am not a dressage rider - that is fine - sometimes i dont like to identify that way. But, i am not so sure you could say the same for the folks i know who agree with me. well, i guess you could call them "not dressage riders" and "haters" but you would be dead wrong.


there is nothing in inherent in being a judge that means that you are beyond reproach. if you are smart as a judge you go along and continue to get training and if you want work you need to be sure to stay in line with other judges. especially now when any judge that is an outlier will be pinpointed for further (re)education to get them more in line with the rest.

do you think that those that turned in their judging cards did it because they just didn't want to judge anymore?

Beentheredonethat
Oct. 13, 2010, 08:28 PM
bort84--What you say. Ditto that. Always.

Just have to add, maybe you should tell Edward Gal Totilas is not over his back and capable of doing 2nd level. Really? Really? Really? You can do GP movements and not be over the back? And ALL of the judges ignore that and get it wrong? Really? Just because he's a nice guy and cute? Really?

mbm
Oct. 13, 2010, 08:31 PM
maybe i should of said "dropped in the back" but i will stand by "not out to the bit"

maybe it has to do with him being cute - bit for sure it has to do with beign a mega star and marketing and making money. hopefully Gal is reaping some of that :)

and yes, you can do GP movements and not be over the back - been to any training barns or local shows lately?

mbm
Oct. 13, 2010, 08:33 PM
here is a random pic of T..... does this look correct to you?
http://www.topiberian.com/es/inicio/formacion/1550-icuando-falta-la-traccion-remetimiento-y-capacidad-de-sosten-en-el-caballo-de-deporte

eta, just looked at the rest of the content on that page.. looks like a discussion on piaffe?

siegi b.
Oct. 13, 2010, 09:03 PM
mbm- why don't you work on your grammar a little before you start complaining about GP riders and horses. I have a hard time taking you seriously when you can't even put together easy sentences using correct words and grammar, but you try to tell me and the world what it takes to ride dressage correctly.:)

Yikes!

spirithorse
Oct. 13, 2010, 09:07 PM
http://www.topiberian.com/es/inicio/...llo-de-deporte (http://www.topiberian.com/es/inicio/formacion/1550-icuando-falta-la-traccion-remetimiento-y-capacidad-de-sosten-en-el-caballo-de-deporte)


The Black is HOLLOW backed..........hindquarters are trailing

opel
Oct. 13, 2010, 09:25 PM
Totilas does have amazing range to his gaits--as does Fuego and many other top dressage horses. What amazes me is how people seem to get stuck in their disapproval of "foot waving" and themselves don't seem to be able to see beyond the gaits. The first time I saw Totilas, I liked the fanciness--pretty--but I was BLOWN AWAY by the transitions, relaxation and the regularity. These are absolute basics of dressage. Lots of points there. The judges really are looking at much more than "foot waving" and those of us who have been there in the dressage trenches can appreciate much more than some would give us credit for. I'm not saying any horse is perfect but dismissing people who see something special in his performances--accusing us of being "big lick" types--is absurd and ignorant.

alicen
Oct. 13, 2010, 09:32 PM
I think some people are having difficulty coping with just how exceptional Totilas is.

opel
Oct. 13, 2010, 09:44 PM
And perhaps, also having trouble with how they ASSUME he was trained.

ThreeFigs
Oct. 13, 2010, 11:10 PM
Oh, man, I'm enjoying this thread!

So many excellent posts! Thank you bort84, SueL, Nomiomi, alicen, opel, BTDT, DRR, Donella. I know I'm forgetting some other good ones.

If "foot waving" were a big deal in dressage, then Friesians, Hackneys and ASB's would reign in the dressage arena. Nothing against those breeds -- I love them all. Just sayin', if that's what the judges are awarding, (in the opinions of a few misguided posters...) then we'd all better run out and buy a few, slap on heavy shoes, get out the surgical rubber tubing and have at it.

The negative nellies have little or no experience in dressage. They keep harping on the front end of the horses they criticize. That's not the end you ride. And no, Totilas has no resemblance to a big lick TWH, beyond that he shares equine anatomy with TWH's.

You know, a head, a mane, a tail, four legs....

mbm
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:49 AM
mbm- why don't you work on your grammar a little before you start complaining about GP riders and horses. I have a hard time taking you seriously when you can't even put together easy sentences using correct words and grammar, but you try to tell me and the world what it takes to ride dressage correctly.:)

Yikes!

oh, sure i will get right on that since spelling is directly related to how well i can or can not ride or my ability to see correct work :)

btw:i have known some AMAZING people who could spell about as well as me.... and if it makes you feel better, i have never been a good speller - when i was 6 *they* tested me for aptitude (along with all the other kids my age) and it came back that i should be a scientist or doctor ;)

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:59 AM
I have seen videos of your riding. Your blog has them. you know that right? You spell very well comparitively. Grammer is good too!

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 14, 2010, 01:06 AM
MBM. In all fairness. It has been a year since I saw your blog videos. Great opportunity to post some new stuff of yours here and show what an over the back horse looks like so all can know you can evaluate one that is not when you see it. Is there anything unfair in that request?

mbm
Oct. 14, 2010, 01:07 AM
tsk tsk DRR whats with the low blow?

i never said i was a great rider and i dont call myself a trainer.

spelling has nothing to do with riding. it also doesn't have anything to do with being able to know correct work.

if you think it does please explain how that works?

mbm
Oct. 14, 2010, 01:10 AM
i have zero to prove to you or anyone else. my riding has nothing to do with this topic -

or, maybe we *should* have everyone posting here post a current video of them riding! that would be fun!

i am game if everyone else is!

Blue Domino
Oct. 14, 2010, 01:27 AM
:cry:Pity the poor ponies that the DQ's are gonna try to make em go like Toto.:cry:
Looks like this thread is full of em, gonna make their ponies go like Toto.

Pity the poor ponies.:cry:

fooler
Oct. 14, 2010, 01:41 AM
Tortillas is a beautiful horse and mover. That said he is not ridden to the rules as is Ravel, another beautiful horse and mover.

Gal does not allow Tortillas to extend his frame in the extended gaits (per Chapter 1, Article 404, paragraph 4.5 and Article 405, paragraph 4.5) as does Peters. Since the horse's frame is not extended, allowing the energy to flow from haunches forward the horse tends to exaggerate the front leg action. Also Ravel does lower his haunches and carry in the Piaffe where Tortillas does not (see Chapter 1, Article 415, paragraph 1.

These are but a few of the differences I see between the two horses and riders. Overall Ravel appears to be trained and ridden more correctly and provides IMO a better example of what is defined in Chapter 1 Article 401 paragraphs 1 and 2 found here:http://twww.fei.org/sites/default/files/file/DISCIPLINES/DRESSAGE/Rules/Dre_Rules-09_update2010_w-mod_DM.pdf

This has been discussed for several decades. I remember articles in PH and COTH back discussing "flinging forelegs" back in the 1980's. The question we have to ask ourselves is will we accept "modern dressage", "boring old dressage" or some variation of the two?

opel
Oct. 14, 2010, 01:52 AM
Blue Domino
Who said they think they're gonna have their horse go like Toto? Well, I do aspire to have an amazing, soft, relaxed horse with excellent transitions and mastery of the movements-a la Toto. I will not love my horse less or enjoy my riding any less if she doesn't have his amazing gaits. It can seem that some people can't or won't accept that someone else can be better than they are--and appreciate that for what it is. This goes in many realms--not just riding. For myself, I think Toto and Gal are at the top of the game. Amazing work. I hate to see people tear their work down with catty and often plain wrong, mean-spirited comments. This has nothing to do with going out to the barn and trying to whip my horse into something she's not.

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 14, 2010, 03:00 AM
Fooler. you do know Ed Gal trained Ravel until he was 7 or 8? right?

Don Raphaelo Rollkurista
Oct. 14, 2010, 03:22 AM
MBM. There is no way to understand correct riding if you cannot do it. Only the wrenching of experiance, years of experimentation, failure, and hopefully improvement can qualify anyone to recognize and understand what correct is. One has to have tried and failed. And then made one that is better. And then better that. To constantly contradict the lifetime pros who judge topsport horses and have literally dedicated their lives to doing so, without experiance to back up your opinions is bogus. Are you so into projecting your untested opinions on the board that you really dont realize the logic of what I have just said? Not a judge? Not a trainer with a track record? Not an amatuer competitor with a track record? Not an amatuer classical rider of accomplishment? Please post the vids off your blog to support that! What can you show of youself that will make people take you seriously while you tear down the best and brightest of our time? At the risk of getting bannished. I am tired of hearing your unfounded rants. Do something of value with your belieg system. Post some evidence to back it up or leave it. You are a nucience. Like a high school kid that keeps trying to give people a wet Willie! Yuk! Hey! Stop doing that!! Hey! I mean it! No more wet Willies!!!!!

siegi b.
Oct. 14, 2010, 08:00 AM
Don Raphaelo - mbm, Blue Domino, spirithorse, et al will have to find another dead horse to beat on..... now that it seems that Totilas has been sold to Paul Schockemoehle. My guess is that he'll now be much more of a breeding stallion than competitor and what a waste that will be!

Money makes the world go around.... :sadsmile:

cyberbay
Oct. 14, 2010, 08:58 AM
Well, it's early in the day, but... I'll bite. I'll say that spelling correctly does have something to do with riding correctly. Spelling is a system, universally recognized and employed to provide clear communications among strangers.

So, you could say... spelling well is simply respecting a system that is for the best for everyone, has been in place long before you came along, and will be in place long after you go. Kind of like the riding system...

It's just a matter of respect and contributing to the betterment of all. It doesn't mean rigidity or blind following, just respect and recognition of others' input and work.

Also realize that spelling can be impossible for more than a few people. Kind of like riding.

mp
Oct. 14, 2010, 10:12 AM
Awwww bless your heart. You feel better now? :rolleyes:

And to whomever said this is what happened with western pleasure AQHA horses - you're right. And it's happened in every discipline, so why a person should think dressage is exempt from this is beyond me. For years competition dressage has been moving toward bigger and flashier. So when a foot waver comes along, everybody oooohs and aaaaahs. It's so predictable.

Yes, he's a beautiful horse and incredible athlete, but is he consistently performing absolutely flawless tests that are off the charts correct? Does he perform with such absolute perfection that he can be called the horse of the century? Or is everybody just seeing the flashiest trot they've ever seen on a warmblood? Seems like the latter to me. But that's just my OPINION. Everybody has their own.

You're certailny entitled to have an OPINION on Totilas. But when you state that Quaterback has "fallen off the radar screen," don't get your pants in a bunch when someone points out that's an inaccurate STATEMENT.


Ahhhhh. God. I give up. It is so blatantly apparent (by the many bizarre comments that have been posted) that the 99 percent of the haters here are not even dressage riders and clearly do not understand even the basics of our sport. Then we have to listen to them question the judgement of the Olympic judges? Barf. Forget it. I'm done.

Where's the like button?

I am a lower than a snake's belly level dressage rider. But at least I get out and go to shows and clinics, so I have something other than bulletin boards to base my OPINIONS on.

fooler
Oct. 14, 2010, 10:39 AM
Fooler. you do know Ed Gal trained Ravel until he was 7 or 8? right?

Had forgotten that fact. Doesn't change my opinion. Read Peters' comments in this article:
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/chronicle-horse-and-horseman-year-ravel-and-steffen-peters?page=2

Sorry to hear the horse was sold and I hope Gal had some input regarding the sale.
So now the question is will the horse go to stud at Paul Schockemoehle's (quite a horseman in his own right) and/or be made available for one of the German riders.

mickeydoodle
Oct. 14, 2010, 10:55 AM
http://www.hartetoharte.org/Cavallettis__3_.jpg
Pure Classic Dressage

'Sympathetic Horsemanship' (c)



Website Building Software & Website Design Tools (http://www.intuit.com/website-building-software/) by Intuit Small Business (http://business.intuit.com/)
http://web4.realtracker.com/netpoll/imulti.asp?js=1&pn=90006&user=1756496846&pp=about&l=71&tt=10%2F14%2F2010+10%3A51&j=1&p=0&p3=-&spd=&c=32&d=1181303035&w=1280&h=1024&ck=1&b=[object Error]&to=-360&ref=&f=1&sl=0
Now this is hollow backed, above the bit, hind legs trailing

bort84
Oct. 14, 2010, 11:53 AM
:cry:Pity the poor ponies that the DQ's are gonna try to make em go like Toto.:cry:
Looks like this thread is full of em, gonna make their ponies go like Toto.

Pity the poor ponies.:cry:

Seriously??? I think you might need to take some deep breaths...

I have a lovely little dressage horse who is super talented and a great mover.

I also grew up training saddle seat horses, so I know the "tricks" and techniques to get a horse who's not naturally inclined to move like Totilas to get closer to that style (at the trot, good luck faking the rest of his talent).

However, NO horse that doesn't have Totilas' raw talent is ever going to be able to look like him, no matter what sort of tricks and gadgets you put to work.

My fantastic little dressage horse will NEVER move like Totilas, and I have no intention of trying to make him like that.

Yes, there may be some out there less scrupulous than me, but for the most part, 90% of dressage is made up of lower level competitors who wouldn't dream of trying to ride a horse like Totilas, let alone try to make their horse like him.

mbm
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:03 PM
MBM. There is no way to understand correct riding if you cannot do it. Only the wrenching of experiance, years of experimentation, failure, and hopefully improvement can qualify anyone to recognize and understand what correct is. One has to have tried and failed. And then made one that is better. And then better that. To constantly contradict the lifetime pros who judge topsport horses and have literally dedicated their lives to doing so, without experiance to back up your opinions is bogus. Are you so into projecting your untested opinions on the board that you really dont realize the logic of what I have just said? Not a judge? Not a trainer with a track record? Not an amatuer competitor with a track record? Not an amatuer classical rider of accomplishment? Please post the vids off your blog to support that! What can you show of youself that will make people take you seriously while you tear down the best and brightest of our time? At the risk of getting bannished. I am tired of hearing your unfounded rants. Do something of value with your belieg system. Post some evidence to back it up or leave it. You are a nucience. Like a high school kid that keeps trying to give people a wet Willie! Yuk! Hey! Stop doing that!! Hey! I mean it! No more wet Willies!!!!!

i must of touched a sore spot.

for the record, i am not trashing anyone - nor am i questioning anyone's riding skills etc.

i believe that dressage is traveling further away from the ideas/rules as laid out by the FEI -

riders will give the judges what they want. dressage is big business and so money is what motivates TPTB.

it is all pretty standard political/economic theory applied to horse sport.

the fact that you cant separate people from ideas is not my problem.

mbm
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:08 PM
Well, it's early in the day, but... I'll bite. I'll say that spelling correctly does have something to do with riding correctly. Spelling is a system, universally recognized and employed to provide clear communications among strangers.

So, you could say... spelling well is simply respecting a system that is for the best for everyone, has been in place long before you came along, and will be in place long after you go. Kind of like the riding system...

It's just a matter of respect and contributing to the betterment of all. It doesn't mean rigidity or blind following, just respect and recognition of others' input and work.

Also realize that spelling can be impossible for more than a few people. Kind of like riding.

i would love to see some research that says anything about riding and spelling.

and it has zero to do with respect, blind following etc. it is how my brain is wired. i don't "see" that i misspelled something.... so i can respect you all i want and i still wont be able to spell.

<shrug>

Go Fish
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:08 PM
However, NO horse that doesn't have Totilas' raw talent is ever going to be able to look like him, no matter what sort of tricks and gadgets you put to work.



Amen. The "haters" consistently ignore this horse's raw talent for the sport. That's what impresses me the most. It's like a perfect storm...the right owners, the right funds, the right trainer, and the right horse.

I'm thankful that I've lived long enough to have witnessed a horse such as Totillas. I don't expect to see another one like him again in my lifetime.

bort84
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:16 PM
Tortillas is a beautiful horse and mover. That said he is not ridden to the rules as is Ravel, another beautiful horse and mover.

Gal does not allow Tortillas to extend his frame in the extended gaits (per Chapter 1, Article 404, paragraph 4.5 and Article 405, paragraph 4.5) as does Peters. Since the horse's frame is not extended, allowing the energy to flow from haunches forward the horse tends to exaggerate the front leg action. Also Ravel does lower his haunches and carry in the Piaffe where Tortillas does not (see Chapter 1, Article 415, paragraph 1.

These are but a few of the differences I see between the two horses and riders. Overall Ravel appears to be trained and ridden more correctly and provides IMO a better example of what is defined in Chapter 1 Article 401 paragraphs 1 and 2 found here:http://twww.fei.org/sites/default/files/file/DISCIPLINES/DRESSAGE/Rules/Dre_Rules-09_update2010_w-mod_DM.pdf

This has been discussed for several decades. I remember articles in PH and COTH back discussing "flinging forelegs" back in the 1980's. The question we have to ask ourselves is will we accept "modern dressage", "boring old dressage" or some variation of the two?

The name is "Totilas."

To start, I love Steffen Peters and Ravel - Ravel is actually more my "type" of horse if I were to see them both standing in their stalls. And I would give a pinky to ride with SP.

One thing I think people overlook in Totilas is his relaxation and calmness throughout his tests - they only see flying legs and flash and don't notice how calm Totilas is in comparison to the competition - that is HUGE and a HUGE thing I really like about the horse. At the WEG, Totilas had a quieter tail and a more relaxed/less tense look than Ravel, and that gives him a BIG edge. I think part of it is because the job is so easy for him.

At this particular competition, I was also surprised at how BTV Ravel was, honestly. I found his BTV to be more noticeable than Totilas. I also think his piaffe was less consistent this time around and more forced looking than Totilas'.

EACH horse has his flaws and strengths. Ravel is unstoppable in his half passes - his extension and fluidity are incredible and Totilas can't come close here. Ravel also has lovely extensions and has more neck to work with.

What I'm saying is, all of these horses people are throwing out (Ravel, Fuego, etc) to showcase how incorrect Totilas is also have very distinct flaws that are not inline with FEI's rules and guidelines. Every top horse competing has shortcomings. Some here seem to be ignoring that in an effort to show how terrible and incorrect Totilas is.

mbm
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:20 PM
Amen. The "haters" consistently ignore this horse's raw talent for the sport. That's what impresses me the most. It's like a perfect storm...the right owners, the right funds, the right trainer, and the right horse.

I'm thankful that I've lived long enough to have witnessed a horse such as Totillas. I don't expect to see another one like him again in my lifetime.

haters? again i will ask - having a different opinion than you = hate?

really?

that kind of takes away from the horror of REAL haters don't you think?

katarine
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:21 PM
Now that he's sold and perhaps, retired to stud, maybe we'll get to talk about something else until his, (and Quaterback's) babies emerge to rule the world here in about ....five to ten years?

Whatever will we do? Gasp! We might have to RIDE what we own. Or, what we wished we owned, since we don't actually, you know, ride.


Signed, lowly Training Level rider who does not remotely think Toto has any actual, real life effect on plain old every day dressage shows and training for 99% of us. If cause and effect were that strong, that immediate, heck we'd all be fit and fabulous like those infomercials tell us we can be, for the low low price of 19.99 instead we're largely fat and lazy but damn handy with a remote :)

ETA: Mmmm, tortillas, mmmm

bort84
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:26 PM
i would love to see some research that says anything about riding and spelling.

and it has zero to do with respect, blind following etc. it is how my brain is wired. i don't "see" that i misspelled something.... so i can respect you all i want and i still wont be able to spell.

<shrug>

I must say, I haven't really noticed your spelling much at all, and I'm a bit of a grammar freak.

I do have a thing for a lowercase "i" though, haha. Granted, that's probably just me, as I'm also been one of those people who could NEVER get into text speak, and I tend to use puncuation and capitalization on all of my online doings. I actually cringe when my mom sends me a text with U R or LOL in it - pretty sure that's supposed to go the opposite way, haha = )

BetterOffRed
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:27 PM
Now that he's sold and perhaps, retired to stud, maybe we'll get to talk about something else until his, (and Quaterback's) babies emerge to rule the world here in about ....five to ten years?

Whatever will we do? Gasp! We might have to RIDE what we own. Or, what we wished we owned, since we don't actually, you know, ride.


Signed, lowly Training Level rider who does not remotely think Toto has any actual, real life effect on plain old every day dressage shows and training for 99% of us. If cause and effect were that strong, that immediate, heck we'd all be fit and fabulous like those infomercials tell us we can be, for the low low price of 19.99 instead we're largely fat and lazy but damn handy with a remote :)

ETA: Mmmm, tortillas, mmmm


:lol::winkgrin::lol::winkgrin:

mbm
Oct. 14, 2010, 12:27 PM
:)

(eta the above is for Bort)

Donella
Oct. 14, 2010, 01:43 PM
Also Ravel does lower his haunches and carry in the Piaffe where Tortillas does not (see Chapter 1, Article 415, paragraph 1

Are you blind?! What do you think the horse is doing here if not taking weight behind? Toto has the best Piaffe/Passage tour I have EVER seen (apparently the judges agree).

http://www.edwardgal.nl/img/upl/nws/EdwardGalTotilas3%5B1%5D.JPG

http://www.hippodot.com/em2009_totilas_piaffe_300.jpg

But then, I am talking about the horse called Totilas...never heard of one called Tortillas. Really, what rider doesn't even know the horse's name by now?

I really need to just stop reading these threads. It's like a bad accident....I can't tear my eyes away but when I look I feel sick. Ahhh...