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View Full Version : What if Dressage Shows were like this?



baroqueNheart
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:52 AM
http://www.casalusitana.com/festa.html

The photos speak for themselves. This is the answer to get spectators!

DutchDressageQueen
Aug. 5, 2011, 07:32 AM
It says "content not found" when I click on the link

baroqueNheart
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:23 AM
Do you have a facebook account?

baroqueNheart
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:30 AM
I must have not copied in the entire link...it should work now.

MyssMyst
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:35 AM
I have a FB account, and I get the same error. I am logged in.

Edit: Even with the corrected link, it's still not working. Did you use the public link?

Wayside
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:37 AM
Tricorn hats are going to save dressage? :confused:

baroqueNheart
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:52 AM
@ wayside- that's the only picture you saw? No Tricorn hats are not what I am suggesting.

baroqueNheart
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:54 AM
Ok here is a link to the photos on their website. http://www.casalusitana.com/festa.html

MistyBlue
Aug. 5, 2011, 11:21 AM
Love their horses and their Open Barn Days are a lot of fun. :yes:

I think what the OP meant was having a dressage show with a live orchestra, demonstrations of other horseback activites, etc...ya know...fun. :winkgrin:

Instead of "Ssshhh, if you squeek out a fart you'll spook the horse and rider!" :P

Kyzteke
Aug. 5, 2011, 11:36 AM
I love the baroque breeds, but a breed show is not a dressage event. The breeders (like the Arab breeders in the '70's & early '80s) love flash & such, but none of this has anything to do with dressage.

Heck, if you like this sort of thing, try Scottsdale (the big Arab show).

But I still don't get the connection with these sort of breed shows/exhibits and dressage...:confused:

Unless you mean having open bars available...

trainingtree
Aug. 5, 2011, 11:49 AM
Love their horses and their Open Barn Days are a lot of fun. :yes:

I think what the OP meant was having a dressage show with a live orchestra, demonstrations of other horseback activites, etc...ya know...fun. :winkgrin:

Instead of "Ssshhh, if you squeek out a fart you'll spook the horse and rider!" :P

I think this as well.

I was at a clinic where a USDF Certified 4th Level "trainer" needed 2 people to help her mount and during the entire lesson everyone was frozen because they could not move or make noise per the direction. I was unhappy because I had a bag of potato chips and was starving! The whole thing reeked of irony. It was a young but not a "baby" horse, this trainer is overall afraid of riding most horses.

I think this type of thing makes horses more scared or nervous....

netg
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:05 PM
I think this as well.

I was at a clinic where a USDF Certified 4th Level "trainer" needed 2 people to help her mount and during the entire lesson everyone was frozen because they could not move or make noise per the direction. I was unhappy because I had a bag of potato chips and was starving! The whole thing reeked of irony. It was a young but not a "baby" horse, this trainer is overall afraid of riding most horses.

I think this type of thing makes horses more scared or nervous....

Re-reading, I think you mean the "don't move or make a sound!" attitude makes horses more nervous? I'd agree with that!

Dressage interspersed with live orchestras, speed games, rides, and a general party atmosphere might bother a lot of dressage riders who aren't used to it - but I think it would help horses! It would make things more interesting... but the dressage might just become the bathroom break time.

I've only had a live band pass by while I was riding once, and my horse didn't care. Actually, it was a marching band he couldn't see on the other side of a wall which started playing as we were going by. With that horse, it was the overhead ski-lift like people mover which scared him. But I was a kid riding in a 4-H bareback class and believe I still placed top 10. I'd be more bothered by that in a dressage show where my horse is supposed to be relaxed and focused on me. Like anything, though, regular exposure to freaky things makes them just ho-hum everyday things.

baroqueNheart
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:13 PM
When I look at the photos I see happy horses and spectators having a good time. I'm not suggesting speed games and a marching band, but the atmosphere created in this open barn day can be emulated. I see this as what's possible.

trainingtree
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:35 PM
Re-reading, I think you mean the "don't move or make a sound!" attitude makes horses more nervous? I'd agree with that!

Yup, that is what I meant! :) I still have not gotten over waiting until the end of her lesson to tear into my potato chips!

webmistress32
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:38 PM
love the mounted games component!

MistyBlue
Aug. 5, 2011, 01:16 PM
But I still don't get the connection with these sort of breed shows/exhibits and dressage...:confused:

Unless you mean having open bars available...

Well, won't speak for the OP but I think that last line is a bit what s/he meant. :winkgrin: :lol:
Keep a dressage show a Dressage Show. But also liven those things up a bit.
Have normal dressage levels/tests...but also have a demo or something once in a while. Have a bar. Have a band on premises. Have a barn open for spectators to come through and see some horses close up. In a second ring have dressage horses showing off other things they can do other than a test. Hell, give pony rides somewhere on grounds.
More content and more fun for spectators means more attendance and attention.
Spectators would be more than just other dressage people. Certain disciplines aren't known for being an better than watching grass grow for the average person. (not just dressage) Joe Average or even Joe Average Horse Owner isn't going to flock to watch the same test being performed ad nauseum...boring as heck.
And it benefits horses and riders. Horses and riders learn they can still trot in a circle (or an oval in the lower levels ;)) if music is playing somewhere on grounds. A rider can still find X and halt if spectators are clapping or talking. And shows can become a hella lot more affordable if well attended...get 200 people paying a few bucks each to come for a day of fun and watch those fees drop. And watch shows become more frequent. And watch horses and riders learn how to relax.

Not to mention it's always a good idea to interest more non-horsie folks to horses. Keeps our industry booming.

It's a win/win/win.

shakeytails
Aug. 5, 2011, 01:41 PM
At our shows we always have music (a few have a live orchestra), lots of hooting and hollering for favorites, and parties. Still few spectators.

I attended a dressage show with a friend once. The quiet was awful. I can't figure out why a horse and rider want or need silence to ride. I also think the "reading the test" thing was silly. If a 10 year old can learn and do an equitation pattern on very short notice, surely an adult can remember a test that only changes every 4 years. To me it took away from the horse's performance. I agree that watching the same test over and over is boring to the casual observer, especially at the lower levels- but I could watch musical freestyles all day long!

I'd like to see shows drop the admission fee. Yeah, I know $5 or $10 a person isn't much, but for a family to come watch the "pretty horses" it can add up.

Another thing I've noticed- horse show exhibitors aren't friendly enough to the general public. I make it a point to smile and be nice to people, and if appropriate I'll let them pet the nice horse or help them feed it a peppermint.

DutchDressageQueen
Aug. 5, 2011, 05:55 PM
Well, won't speak for the OP but I think that last line is a bit what s/he meant. :winkgrin: :lol:
Keep a dressage show a Dressage Show. But also liven those things up a bit.
Have normal dressage levels/tests...but also have a demo or something once in a while. Have a bar. Have a band on premises. Have a barn open for spectators to come through and see some horses close up. In a second ring have dressage horses showing off other things they can do other than a test. Hell, give pony rides somewhere on grounds.
More content and more fun for spectators means more attendance and attention.
Spectators would be more than just other dressage people. Certain disciplines aren't known for being an better than watching grass grow for the average person. (not just dressage) Joe Average or even Joe Average Horse Owner isn't going to flock to watch the same test being performed ad nauseum...boring as heck.
And it benefits horses and riders. Horses and riders learn they can still trot in a circle (or an oval in the lower levels ;)) if music is playing somewhere on grounds. A rider can still find X and halt if spectators are clapping or talking. And shows can become a hella lot more affordable if well attended...get 200 people paying a few bucks each to come for a day of fun and watch those fees drop. And watch shows become more frequent. And watch horses and riders learn how to relax.

Not to mention it's always a good idea to interest more non-horsie folks to horses. Keeps our industry booming.

It's a win/win/win.

:yes:

mbm
Aug. 5, 2011, 07:15 PM
dressage isnt about entertaining people - supposedly it is about training the horse. why do we need to make is more than that?

mzm farm
Aug. 5, 2011, 07:32 PM
I think "liven things up" is a great idea.

I went to a "baroque horse" show. The show bill had a class:
Friesian costume, NON armored - how fun is that?! And I definitely want to see the armored one too!
1/2 the horses seem to be stallions - and they are under control, most of the time you don't even know they are studs. Heck, one girl was riding her stud double in the warm up - no one even blinked.
Alongside the show, there was Standardbred sulky racing. People had harness classes, costume classes, dressage, hunter, western classes, all sort of classes.

But the atmosphere was SO RELAXED! There is all this mayhem going on, and the horses are just hanging out. My mare got off the trailer and stepped into the ring for a LEADLINE class about 1/2 hr after arriving into this "mad house" - it was her first time off the farm in over a year. And she did fine.

I was so impressed with the relaxed attitude of all participants, that I took a filly that has NEVER been on a trailer, nor off the farm she was born at there for her first experience away from home - and she can be a spooky hothead - and it went well. I am convinced that it was because everyone is just relaxed about horses there.

Spectators were there too - nice, friendly people. Exhibitors were friendly to spectators, "yes, sure, pet the horse", none of this " watch out, its gonna bite and kick you" tense attitude I seem to run into at the dressage shows.

I think this kind of atmosphere gets non-horsey people interested in horses, and it is new people coming into our sport that is needed to keep it alive and growing.

Wayside
Aug. 5, 2011, 07:54 PM
@ wayside- that's the only picture you saw? No Tricorn hats are not what I am suggesting.

Thanks for the new link and explanation.

Yes, at first I just saw what looked like a pas de deux by people wearing frilly shirts, embroidered jackets, and tricorn hats, and I was sort of wondering how the wardrobe change from one archaic standard to another was going to make a difference :lol:

Livening things up might help, but I think part of the problem with dressage for spectators is that it's hard for them to understand what's going on. Stadium jumping, racing, and pulling are all much more spectator friendly, since a non-horse person can walk up and tell pretty quickly what's good or bad.

MistyBlue
Aug. 5, 2011, 07:54 PM
dressage isnt about entertaining people - supposedly it is about training the horse. why do we need to make is more than that?


Well, every discipline is about training horses. I don't know a single discipline that doesn't involve training the horse. ;)

Why make it more than that? To increase interest, to remove the Elitist stigma, to increase attendance, to recruit new people into equine pursuits or at least equine interests, etc.

Not to mention...if dressage is more about training than other disciplines...why are horses and riders of all other disciplines capable of dealing with people talking/moving/laughing and not require dead silence and stillness from everyone else on grounds?

If you want to further the training of the horse, introduce outside stimulus. (works for training the rider too)

mbm
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:09 AM
i dont think the quiet around a dressage court is because the horse cant handle noise.... (and how many show are dead quiet?)

but just because some shows ask for quiet does not mean the horses would blow up if a noise happened.

i hate it when i am trying to concentrate on something and people are making loud noises. it is just distracting. if i am riding not much bothers me - but if i am watching or listening that is a very different story and my giess is that it helps teh judge concentrate and allows the spectators (such as they are) to also concentrate and pay attention to what tehy are seeing.

i see no reason why we need to "sell" dressage... that kind of mind set is what ends up lowering standards, etc.

the point of dressage should be to maintain the highest standards possible because that will attract those that are, well attracted to it.

i dont ride saddleseat or western because i dont like those disciplines - not becuase of how audience friendly they are or not ;)

Covergirl15
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:48 AM
I completely agree with the original poster. I was talking to a friend of mine who rides hunters and she made the comment that she had never been to a dressage show. I told her how boring they were. Even though I show in dressage they are so boring to watch! (At least in my area) No one comes to watch, and even the riders usually just come for their test, and they rarely watch other people's. At the hunter shows in our area, which are a lot more kid friendly as far as competitors and those watching, people come to just "hang out." Everyone is nice (for the most part) and I know most of the people showing, even though I only showed in hunters for a year or two, and that was a few years ago. People who aren't showing at that particular show come for the heck of it and many who are or aren't showing will stay the entire day and watch others' rounds. And even at the big hunter show of the year, they had the four big dressage trainers in our area do a quadrille. People loved that, because it was interesting and different.
But I do think the biggest thing that would attract people to come watch (at least in my area) would be to be friendly! After my last show, on schooling day I came home and told my parents that I wanted to switch back to hunters because the other riders were so mean! (Not that I would over something like that, but still!) They were right behind my mare and then if passing us would go so close, but then gave me the nasty look and comment because she pinned her ears and swished her tail? She is not a kicker, but she does like a little personal space. I feel like if they want to keep our sport going in the area, then they should try to be a little nicer to the 3 or 4 juniors that actually compete!
Sorry for my little rant, this has been something that I have wanted to start a thread on for a while. In my area, the shows attendance rates keep getting lower and lower and many shows have been canceled (even though we only have 2-3 schooling and 2-3 rated shows a year), and I really feel like something needs to be done to make them more fun for the competitors, and to draw in those from other disciplines or those that don't ride at all to come and watch I think they can be fun, we just have to work a little harder to make them that way :)

Gestalt
Aug. 6, 2011, 11:34 AM
Covergirl15, I also find it amusing that these same people that gave you the rude looks don't seem to be having fun at their own show! Good gawd people, relax a little, it's just a dressage show. And if you're so worried your horse might blow up and kill you or itself, get a different horse.

Having multiple things going on at a show won't necessarily bring in new people, but it would sure help with the current competitors and their family, crew, friends, etc. When I rode hunters, family and friends would stop by the show, but they think the dressage classes are boring and most of the people "seem" snobby. I'm not saying they are, just that they seem to be.

And to the poster that said the competitors should go out of the way to be friendly to the public, I agree 100%. We were at a beach volleyball event and the players made a point of walking through the crowd talking to the kids. I realize not everyone has the personality for that, but a friendly smile never hurts.

MistyBlue
Aug. 6, 2011, 12:13 PM
i dont think the quiet around a dressage court is because the horse cant handle noise.... (and how many show are dead quiet?)

but just because some shows ask for quiet does not mean the horses would blow up if a noise happened.

i hate it when i am trying to concentrate on something and people are making loud noises. it is just distracting. if i am riding not much bothers me - but if i am watching or listening that is a very different story and my giess is that it helps teh judge concentrate and allows the spectators (such as they are) to also concentrate and pay attention to what tehy are seeing.

i see no reason why we need to "sell" dressage... that kind of mind set is what ends up lowering standards, etc.

the point of dressage should be to maintain the highest standards possible because that will attract those that are, well attracted to it.

i dont ride saddleseat or western because i dont like those disciplines - not becuase of how audience friendly they are or not ;)

Out of the dozens of dressage shows I've been to, it's the riders and coaches that are demanding it be quiet. Nobody else.

And the reason I alwways hear given? "Ssshhh, you'll spook the horse!" ;)

That's a pretty poorly trained horse IMO.

Why does everyone have to concentrate so hard on a dressage test they're watching? Is the horse and rider teaching quantum physics at the time? And why is silence needed to concentrate? Or watch? Nothing is being said that the audience or judge needs to hear. The judge isn't listening the test. And I'm hopeful that a judge can concentrate on watching a test even if there's music playing or people talking. They seem to do it fine during freestyles.

I'll zip up my flame suit for this comment ahead of time, but please realize absolutely no disrespect is meant for the discipline or for mbm:

Making dressage more interesting for spectators is most definitely not goiing to ruin or lower the standards of the discipline.
(flameworthy part ahead) There are walk/trot freestyles and rider/horse combos at the same levels for years on end already. Lack of interest has not helped standards at all.
(flamesuit off)

And the "keep the masses out, don't even make it inviting for them to watch because they'll lower our discipline" mentality is why just about every other discipline finds so elitist and snobby about dressage to begin with.

The point of *every* discipline is to maintain high standards of training, performance and competition. That's not exclusive to dressage. And all the other disciplines seem to manage well in that department despite the fact that other horse folks and the general public are made more welcome to spectate.

It's intricate flatwork, not the recipe to World Peace. Dressage is not the end all/be all and all other disciplines are lower due to the sports being fun. They all require the same high levels of dedication and training.

And without involving the public and other equine discipline spectators...you shrink the pool of future participants. And yes, those will all start at the beginning and might seem to be "lowering the standards" to some elitist riders but they'll also keep that discipline alive over the long term. We all need to be embassadors for our sport.

InWhyCee Redux
Aug. 8, 2011, 12:19 PM
I love the baroque breeds, but a breed show is not a dressage event. The breeders (like the Arab breeders in the '70's & early '80s) love flash & such, but none of this has anything to do with dressage.

Heck, if you like this sort of thing, try Scottsdale (the big Arab show).

But I still don't get the connection with these sort of breed shows/exhibits and dressage...:confused:

Unless you mean having open bars available...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't dressage developed to train and test the working military horse? Personally, I find Doma Vaquera far more "real" and interesting than some DQ doing Rollkur on a horse that takes three people to mount.

And, yes, a full open bar is always a nice touch! ;)