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bigdreamer
Nov. 19, 2002, 06:10 PM
and i was kinda saddened... at
1. the crappy dressage tests... perhaps they only like to show the bad ones, i dont' know... but the tests really were on the poor side... and a lot of it, as i think(may be wrong...) seemed to be rider error... lots of riders had really "loud" seats and simply couldn't do a lengthening or get their horse to bend... but from what i've heard, theses are improvements over the last Olympics...
2. The fact that the narrator said for every other horse "this horse is fairly INEXPERIENCED at this level" or "had never seen stuff like this on course"...

I mean- yes there are only a few 4*'s... and i guess in order to get the experiance, u kinda have to go out there and do it- but i was disappointed in the # of inexperienced people at THE OLYMPICS. but you can only use that excuse for #2, NOT #1... IMO, it's inexcuseable... I am very happy that the up and coming eventing people are focusing more on Dressage...

I was also watching the various styles XC- i noticed the O'Conners(more karen then david) both lean lower while galloping as opposed to the rest who seemed to sit-up/stand more while galloping. Is that their way to encourage their horses? Or is that sposed to help in a different way? air resistance?? :P (sorry if the use of names bothers anyone, but i figure you can go look if ya need to to see what i mean)

There were some horses on course that looked phenominal... Darian Powers for example *yummy* i would give to ride that horse on course... *drifts into dreamland* He also had a nice dressage test.

Anyone else watched these? what are your opinions?

~laura~
p.s. the whole david forgetting where to go in stadium makes me laugh out loud every time. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

bigdreamer
Nov. 19, 2002, 06:10 PM
and i was kinda saddened... at
1. the crappy dressage tests... perhaps they only like to show the bad ones, i dont' know... but the tests really were on the poor side... and a lot of it, as i think(may be wrong...) seemed to be rider error... lots of riders had really "loud" seats and simply couldn't do a lengthening or get their horse to bend... but from what i've heard, theses are improvements over the last Olympics...
2. The fact that the narrator said for every other horse "this horse is fairly INEXPERIENCED at this level" or "had never seen stuff like this on course"...

I mean- yes there are only a few 4*'s... and i guess in order to get the experiance, u kinda have to go out there and do it- but i was disappointed in the # of inexperienced people at THE OLYMPICS. but you can only use that excuse for #2, NOT #1... IMO, it's inexcuseable... I am very happy that the up and coming eventing people are focusing more on Dressage...

I was also watching the various styles XC- i noticed the O'Conners(more karen then david) both lean lower while galloping as opposed to the rest who seemed to sit-up/stand more while galloping. Is that their way to encourage their horses? Or is that sposed to help in a different way? air resistance?? :P (sorry if the use of names bothers anyone, but i figure you can go look if ya need to to see what i mean)

There were some horses on course that looked phenominal... Darian Powers for example *yummy* i would give to ride that horse on course... *drifts into dreamland* He also had a nice dressage test.

Anyone else watched these? what are your opinions?

~laura~
p.s. the whole david forgetting where to go in stadium makes me laugh out loud every time. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Duramax
Nov. 19, 2002, 09:05 PM
I agree with your comments about Darien Powers. If he is not the best example of what a true **** horse should be, I don't know who is!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

As to the galloping position thing, when galloping b/w fences and after you've been in the saddle for quite some time, you get fatigued, and I think that different riders have different ways of resting themselves. I went to a Dorothy Crowell clinic where she taught us to put our feet all the way home in the stirrups and point your toes down, while basically standing up in the stirrups and bridging your reins and pushing your knuckles into the horse's neck. I guess each person copes with fatigue and position differently?

I haven't watched the 2000 tapes, but I have the 96 Atlanta 3-day one. I don't think the dressage was that bad there. I think you have to keep in mind that these horses are fighting fit and are getting ready to run and jump their hearts out in the next few days, so convincing them to be soft, supple, and relaxed is quite a task! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I'm not sure I know what you mean when you say that you are disappointed with the "inexperience" of some of the riders there. Who specifically are you referring to? Do you mean inexperience in the sense of never having been on the Olympic team or general lack of experience within the sport? Some of these riders may have never ridden for the Olympic team before, but have quite an impressive resume otherwise for international and 3 and 4 star competition. Maybe you are talking about some of the bizarre countries that scrounge up a cool horse and find some poor soul to stick up as a jockey and expect them to get around a **** course! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif (Remember the guy from the Atlanta games with the rainbow reins? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

SaddleFitterVA
Nov. 19, 2002, 09:15 PM
I watched a tape that a friend got for a present of the Eventing portion of the Sydney Olympics and the number of crashes they showed really bothered me. There was one combination that my heart was in my throat on almost every single rider and near the end of the XC portion, I realized that about 3 had gone through beautifully, the rest were all (for me) OMG moments.

It wasn't my tape, so I can't watch it again, but I didn't find the dressage bad and enjoyed the tape.

As for the crashes in eventing, that has been hashed, rehashed and then fought about again here, so for THAT discussion, there are a bazillion threads you could read up on.

Mel

Robby Johnson
Nov. 20, 2002, 07:37 AM
about your dressage comments as well. I have this tape and have watched it several times. They did show some of the bigger "names," and Blyth's test on Ready Teddy was explosive - they prefaced that in the tape (and he scored badly on it too). From what I remember, they showed most of Darien Powers test (I thought he looked lame), Pippa Funnell's portion on Supreme Rock (she got a 10 on her extended walk, despite the fact that he broke), Karen's test on Prince Panache (did you notice cantering down centerline that her right stirrup is about 2 holes longer than her left?). But, I still think the riding was good - just questioned some of the scoring. There is a difference. And what on Earth is a "loud" seat? Is that the same as an electric seat?

What always bothers me about these tapes is they are produced by the BBC, and have such an obvious bias toward the UK/European riders. And their factual errors just kill me!

Robby

I see a stairway so I follow it down
Into the belly of a whale
Where my secrets echo all around ...

Jair
Nov. 20, 2002, 09:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Robby Johnson:
What always bothers me about these tapes is they are produced by the BBC, and have such an obvious bias toward the UK/European riders. And their factual errors just kill me!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No no no no no!!

The British commentators are so much better than the North American ones it is not funny. If this is the same tape I have, isn't the man narrating Mike Tucker, one of the course designers? I think I remember the odd factual error (horse/rider mixed up etc) but nothing major, and certainly nothing as bad as what the americans do to their coverage of horsesport!

As for bias, well, what do you expect? Its the BBC - of course they will show more British/Euro riders. It works both ways - watch any american coverage of the olympics and you'd think you guys were the only ones competing there! I'm serious! I watched some of NBC's coverage, and when they announced results of a given sport, they'd say something like "Sally Jane of the US got a Silver today" then fail to mentioned who/which countries won the gold or the bronze! now that is bad! /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I guess I've always found I would far rather watch equestrian sports that were produced by the BBC than North America. I've watched tons of showjumping etc. and there is no better equestrian commentator in my mind than Peter Churchill - that man knew showjumping inside out, and he was not the least bit biased and made the most intelligent comments (nor did he mince words when a rider made a mistake!!). Find one of his tapes sometime Robby - bet you'll love him! /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Robby Johnson
Nov. 20, 2002, 09:59 AM
and bias is extremely apparent when David O'Connor's list of accomplishments during the commentary from Sydney - by the Brits - does not include the fact that he won Badminton in 1997 aboard the horse that won the gold medal at Sydney.

Listen to the commentary and if you follow the sport, in America, you will hear the factual errors they report (I'll have to watch it again to pinpoint some others) but when you say, "so-and-so, third at ________," when in fact the person didn't compete there, or won there, whatever, that is an error of fact. That is irresponsible journalism.

Eventing Magazine is horrible about factual errors as well. They actually had a story before WEG that said the US hadn't finished a three-day team since 1990, which was entirely not true. We didn't finish a team in the Hague, but we actually finished 4th in Pratoni, then upgraded to bronze when the British team was eliminated due to the Polly Phillips/Coral Cove doping scandal. Hello?

I'm not British-centric, but fair play is fair play. It's no wonder, though ... their tabloid/paparrazzi media has really turned the entire world of journalism upside down.

It is interesting to see your perspective, though, as a neutral in all of this!

R.

I see a stairway so I follow it down
Into the belly of a whale
Where my secrets echo all around ...

[This message was edited by Robby Johnson on Nov. 20, 2002 at 12:35 PM.]

BarbB
Nov. 20, 2002, 10:32 AM
I gotta agree with Jair about the commentary.
Yeah, they are biased toward the British riders, but they are making the tape to be marketed in Great Britain - its a BBC production.

I have the tape of the Atlanta Olympics and it is pathetic.
It's one of the announcers that you hear doing figure skating, skiing, sometimes football, obviously has NEVER seen a horse go.
His comments are primarily "wow", "look at that", "gee they must be fit" repeated ad nauseum.
Everyonce in a while Jill Walton chimes in and tries to explain something, but is mostly cut off.
It was TERRIBLE! I have several tapes like this, made here.

At least the BBC commentators are horsemen and cover the equestrian events on a regular basis.
Personally I love the aside comments, they used to be really nasty about rider errors, they have toned it down lately. I thought they were great.

I don't buy tapes anymore unless the commentators are somebody like Jamie Hawksfield or Mike Tucker, the football announcers need to stick to football (I'm sure they would rather also /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif it can't be fun to try to comment on a sport that you don't know anything about.)

BarbB
charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

...virtue shall be bound into the hair of thy forelock... I have given thee the power of flight without wings. - The Koran

GotSpots
Nov. 20, 2002, 10:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> and i was kinda saddened... at
1. the crappy dressage tests... perhaps they only like to show the bad ones, i dont' know... but the tests really were on the poor side... and a lot of it, as i think(may be wrong...) seemed to be rider error... lots of riders had really "loud" seats and simply couldn't do a lengthening or get their horse to bend... but from what i've heard, theses are improvements over the last Olympics... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not sure what you mean by this. First, I don't think it's true. Custom Made had, I believe, the highest scored dressage test ever in the Olympics. We can discuss bias in judging or score inflation, but I don't think anyone can fairly say that Tailor can't do a lengthening or bend properly. Ditto many of the other riders. They may have focuses on some of the horses who exploded, but I think if you talk to people who were there, much of the dressage being done at FEI events is now competitive with that being done at dressage only competitions. Second, a 4 star fit TB trying to do a dressage test at that level is somewhat like trying to keep a pyromaniac away from a gallon of gasoline. I've never ridden a 4-star fit TB, but I can tell you that I've ridden horses fit for a one or two star that are hard to manage in the dressage ring because they are so puffed up with themselves they can't see straight. Think of Three Magic Beans, Nina's wonderful horse who is well known to be quite difficult in the dressage, but a machine x-c. There are many others who are similar. Sometimes what you may be interpreting as poor riding, may be the most tactful thing that rider could do on that day to keep the horse in the ring.

bigdreamer
Nov. 20, 2002, 05:45 PM
There is no doubt that some of the riding was awesome- i.e. custom made and darian powers... swizzle in i beleive did a nice job too.

but even andrew hoy had some of the same mistakes made w/ both his horses... watch closely next time. (ya, no1's perfect, but they were, IMO, simple-ish mistakes)

I liked the free walk pippa did- but that was, well... why the hell was she moving so gosh darn mucho!? "loud", since i couldn't think of another word yesterday. If it takes that much to encourage your horse to go forward... then by all means- do it... but i found it... "loud" /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif i like to use odd words for things sometimes... deal with me /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif but how come your average upper level Dressage rider never moves that much?... eh- i dunno

then the other horses they showed couldn't seem to put in a nice extended trot- some only had one decent step- but i saw no suspension, just fast running-ness that all went out the back door... I geuss i expected more from riders at the Olympics. There were maybe 3 tests i watched where i wasn't constantly going "ouu, boo-boo there... and there... and there too". I watched it many times to watch the varrying riding styles, and i wasn't too impressed with the Dressage... working with a GP Dressage instructor has obviously started to do something to me /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif someone save me now! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif i hated dressage 2 years ago... *shudder*

It makes ya wonder tho- how come the people who do so well in dressage, *generally* do well XC?? and then watching stadium and seeing some people who weren't even bending their horses- they were going around with thier noses stuck to the outside- and then they knock 3 rails... kinda makes me go - HEY, DRESSAGE. I dunno- i am an avid beleiver in that Dressage is sooooo very very important-ay. And yes- they are extremely fit/hotish horses, but When properly doing dressage, your horse should be relaxed and calm/content and happy in his work. is that not right?

but i mean, what is that test equal to? maybe an upper 3rd level, low fourth level test? It shouldn't be too difficult with correct training- and i did notice the people with multiple horses did seem to do well in all 3 phases (andrew hoy, both the O'Conners...)so obviously they are doing something right that the others aren't (yeah, lots of exceptions, but a rider who has consistently good dressage horses that consistently do well is my point)... ? Is that an ok hypothesis to make? (please correct me if any of ya'll think i'm wrong) Also, the top 2 teams all finished with great dressage scores and few mistakes- perhaps their teams are doing something correctly that the rest aren't (dressage?), and now the US is lowering their dressage scores and doing much better.

ehhh. i can't think right now /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif need a break.

~laura~

Gry2Yng
Nov. 20, 2002, 07:03 PM
so...please share your best dressage score at a three day! /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

BarbB
Nov. 20, 2002, 07:38 PM
If you are comparing eventing dressage to 4th Level Dressage - you are making a very unfair comparison.

In eventing dressage there are no collected gaits.
Gaits are working, medium and extended - NO collection.
The only lateral movement is a short half pass.
No turns on haunches.
There is some shoulder-in.
There is no haunches-in.
There are only two flying changes (I think - somebody correct me here.)
The advanced eventing test is really more like 2nd Level dressage - but even 2nd Level has collected gaits.
So maybe 1st Level plus a little.

It is intended to show the obedience and adjustability of the horse, not demonstrate advanced dressage.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

BarbB
charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

...virtue shall be bound into the hair of thy forelock... I have given thee the power of flight without wings. - The Koran

Robby Johnson
Nov. 20, 2002, 07:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BarbB:
If you are comparing eventing dressage to 4th Level Dressage - you are making a very unfair comparison.

In eventing dressage there are no collected gaits.
Gaits are working, medium and extended - NO collection.
The only lateral movement is a short half pass.
No turns on haunches.
There is some shoulder-in.
There is no haunches-in.
There are only two flying changes (I think - somebody correct me here.)
The advanced eventing test is really more like 2nd Level dressage - but even 2nd Level has collected gaits.
So maybe 1st Level plus a little.

It is intended to show the obedience and adjustability of the horse, not demonstrate advanced dressage.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

There are now 4 flying changes in the 4* test, and I believe they show haunches in now too (in addition to shoulder-in) and medium and extended trots and canters.

The horse 1/2 passes both ways.

Robby

I see a stairway so I follow it down
Into the belly of a whale
Where my secrets echo all around ...

JER
Nov. 20, 2002, 08:41 PM
I'm with Jair on the British announcers. Love Mike Tucker and Peter Churchill, and I also like commentators like Lucinda Green and Lorna Clarke. They're colorful, enthusiastic and expressive.

The British videos show a lot more horses and riders than the Rolex videos -- you get to see a good number of competitors as opposed to the half dozen or so that you see at Rolex (when they showed the top 10 results at the end, my kid commented that she didn't know from watching the tape that there were even 10 entries).

As for factual errors, there's bound to be a few mistakes and most you can forgive. But there was no excuse for the NBC commentator at Sydney referring to the defending Olympic and current World champion Ready Teddy as 'inexperienced'.

bigdreamer
Nov. 20, 2002, 09:03 PM
Ok, so i don't have a horse that can do a 4 star, but i have done all those movements... Some with my leased mare (whos an 11 year old green bean w/o any training on her til this year, and is not a naturally talented horse- i can't afford my own /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif) and some with my trainers horse... But i am not saying i'm perfect or anything- far from. I never said i was. Only been riding for 7 years- eventing for 3, "into" dressage the past 2... I don't call myself a professional rider (a hopeful one tho:) )and don't want to be thought of as one... But if i had a horse of that calibur and with that talent I would hope i would spend the time and train him/her properly... Why rush? savor the time spent with your horse. Ya- professionals don't have time, blah blah blah... ok- so then don't do well... dunno what to say to that. Dressage takes time.

so then shouldn't that make it easier? (in reference to the 1st level plus test... i thought it was 2nd level, but wasn't sure where halfpass and extensions came in in what is commonly called "normal" dressage (so i don't get eatten for saying eventing dressage and dressage dressage are different... since, IMO they aren't either...)) o- and go check your omnibus- there is LOTS and LOTS of collected canter work... 11 movements including it actually. 7 in the 3* tests as well. (if numbers make a difference, i don't know... but ya)

But that's not my point. I dont care about what movements they have to do...

and as far as i know "dressage" means training... These horses should be trained(i'd hope they are anyways)... they have forever and a half to prepare, to move up... why rush up the levels and get a 60 at rolex when you can move up slower, establish your dressage and get a 30?? That helps the jumping as well. As fun as it is to see an 8 year old at rolex, sometimes I question that... I don't know how they place in reference to age, but I have noticed numorous older horses (custom made, giltedge, prince panache, Darian powers- to name a few) that have "been on the eventing scene" start to win at the end of their careers- perhaps because they are finally relaxing more and their dressage got better as the years went along?

and besides, what is a grand prix dressage horse? They are not exactly fat little lumps. They are hott too- the muscles they build are incredible. And yet they manage to control themselves- how? through relaxation and correct work. I am sick of the excuse that eventing horses are too hott... why aren't they relaxed??? You can be fit and relaxed and energetic... isn't that how it *should* be? (since it apparently ISN'T that way now...) I would like to think that if a horse is trained properly, 9 times out of 10 you will have a quality test (since we all have had the joy to experiance our horses having an off day /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif).

Am i alone when i say dressage is the foundation of eventing? My barn is huge on dressage, and i have witnessed first hand the extreme differences in a horse properly trained in Dressage that scores LOW in it and horses that score high. More times then not the "dressage-ier" horse places better. In a clinic, i watched the difference in my trainers horses compared to the others there- i watch my trainer and her daughter execute ADVANCED level questions (huge drop fence, 2 strides to a huge-butt corner, and some stadium exercises w/ 4' arrowhead to corner, skinny...etc...) pretty damn well... even though they were in the *training level* group, and YES the Olympian clinician said the exercise was advanced- you may call him up and ask about the horses if you like, he is very keen on them... interestingly enough, the people in the prelim group didn't do this exercise, and their dressage was... lacking?

I dunno, perhaps i will go research results in reference to age, and dressage scores... Let ya know what i find out /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

~laura~

bigdreamer
Nov. 20, 2002, 09:05 PM
i was also curious when they said welton envoy was inexperienced- hadn't he just won rolex earlier that year? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

BarbB
Nov. 20, 2002, 09:24 PM
the dressage test that we are talking about - performed at the Sydney Olympics.......was NOT the equal of an upper level dressage test.

I am not familiar with the new advanced level tests, perhaps they are more difficult than they have been in the past. Though I doubt seriously (without looking) that they have been suddenly stepped up to an entirely different type of test.

As for "dressage being the basis for eventing"

......uh, no.

BarbB
charter member BEQS Clique & Invisible Poster Clique

...virtue shall be bound into the hair of thy forelock... I have given thee the power of flight without wings. - The Koran

NRB
Nov. 20, 2002, 09:30 PM
ok bigdreamer, first let me say that I agree that dressage is correct trailing and helps the horse out in the jumping phases.

But as to comparing the "hotness" of Dressage Horses verses four star fit event TB's well its sort of like comparing apples and cumquatts. For example take two horses same breed, same age, same temperment. One you ride in an arena W-T-C and maybe some hacking out in the fields. The second horse you do all that AND let em run fast out in a field, fast over fences and etc. Now which horse will be hotter? Will probablly the second one, he's anticipating the galloping around part. Simplistic example I know but that is the best way I can explain it.

As to the Sydney tapes, I have it and have only watched it once. I remember that the Greek horse was lovely in dressage, but wasn't up to snuff out on the cross country course. I can't remember why.

And I agree that the American commentators can do a rotten job. At Atlanta the guy commentator said that Giltage was a Quarter Horse. I was like no way, way to go Quarter Horses!! But then I found out that he's really an Irish Tb (right???)

I'd like to add that I went to the regional dressage championships last month over here in Virginia and was Really impressed with some truley rotten riding, lame horses, and other sights that I was not expecting to find at the championship level. BUT I also saw some really good rides, lovely horses and courteous riders. The good and the bad are out there if you look hard enough for them. And we riders seem to LOVE nitpicking every little thing.....

AM
Nov. 21, 2002, 05:17 AM
I attended the WEG in Jerez. After three days of watching straight dressage, I watched the fourth section of the eventing dressage. I was surprised at the number of horses pulling themselves along on their forehand with their hocks trailing out behind. It must be incredibly difficult for the horse to perform movements correctly from that position.

From what I've been reading Mark Phillips is also telling the American riders that they have to improve their dressage. I believe the Australians improved their team dressage score by something like 30 points between the 1996 Olympics and the 2000 ones. They recognized that their jumping talent was not going to allow them to stay on top and made a concerted effort to improve their weakest phase. It certainly paid off for them. I'm amazed that more eventers don't turn to some of our talented dressage trainers for assistance...and not just in the run up to the Olympics.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 21, 2002, 07:08 AM
First, JER, my comments weren't intended to turn this into an American commentator vs. British commentator thing. British commentators *are* really stellar. My gripe was with the fact that when Brits are commenting on those outside the European circuit, they often don't report the facts and IMO they *do* show bias. Your comment on NBC's explanation of Ready Teddy also supports that America is just as guilty here. The blanket assertion here is for producers and directors and development staff to ensure the commentators have all pertinent facts checked so they can commentate appropriately.

Trust me, nothing pains me more than to sit through the OLN broadcast of Rolex. But, like you, I'm a significant armchair quarterback and I just know I could do better. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

AM, I know a few upper level event riders who work regularly with talented dressage folk. I know Julie (Burns Richards) works with Gunnar Ostergaard, and Darren (Chiacchia) works with Jessica Ransehausen. I think as soon as the judges start dinging them on "trailing hocks" and "pulling along the forehand" you will definitely see a rush toward better dressage. Also, don't forget that the USET Three-Day riders receive significant training from Sandy Pflueger-Phillips, herself a respected dressage rider and trainer.

Robby

I see a stairway so I follow it down
Into the belly of a whale
Where my secrets echo all around ...

Pixie Dust
Nov. 21, 2002, 08:36 AM
I think the people/horses who are winning tend to have good dressage (and good SJ!)

I think the fitness of a GP dressage horse is so different from the fitness of an advanced event horse. They just don't spend as much time galloping. To excel in dressage, a horse has to have a mind for it, and an event horse, to do well, must love galloping. Combining the love of galloping and jumping with dressage is hard. That's why eventing is so cool!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

NRB
Nov. 21, 2002, 01:03 PM
maggymay I was agreeing with bigdreamer about the importance of dressage. And yes I know that FEI level horses are hot. (A good friend of the family was killed schooling a students dressage horse.) But correct me if I am wrong, FEI levels start at I1 correct? And olympic level eventers are riding somewhere between first and second??? So why are we even compare the two??? IS that really fair?

My example was really aimed at showing the difference in training schedules between the two diciplines. And as a general rule, eventers are TB and dressage horses are warmbloods. Now there is an exception to every rule, but your average TB's in general tend to be more sensitive and hot than your average Warmbloods. However I was just thinking of lower level horses, not FEI. Yes I agree with you that a lot of top FEI horses are hot and thoses brilliant horses do need that extra umph to make it to GP. But again, advanced level eventers are not riding GP. So we are back to comparing apples to cumquats.

Pixie Dust
Nov. 21, 2002, 01:46 PM
IMO, the difficulty can come from more than just their level of fitness. A horse can be very fit without being hot. And a normally calm and cool horse can get really fired up when he knows he's about to gallop fast and jump huge things.

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

austin
Nov. 21, 2002, 01:54 PM
And we're off....

Let's all respect each others talents and struggles. If you haven't walked in their shoes or ridden that type of horse, don't judge.

subk
Nov. 21, 2002, 02:16 PM
Comparing the fitness of a Grand Prix dressage horse with a three-day fit TB is like comparing the fitness of a wieght lifter and a decatholoner. I have ridden both and yes they can both be hot but they are entirely different kettles of fish.

Dressage horses spend their whole training focused on the single concept of competing in a dressage arena. Three-day horses spend the majority of their training not only NOT working on dressage but working on a performance that is diametrically opposed to executing a good dressage test in a competitve atmospere.

Bigdreamer if you had any idea of what it was that you are speaking about, you would realize how extrodinary the dressage that was performed on that tape truely was! What you may very well have seen as a "mistake" was some master horseman finessing the ride.

I am so tired of hearing how lousy eventers ride dressage. I can not tell you how many incidents I know of where eventers show up at a dressage show and are not only competitive but also clean up!

For the record, by the time you get to Advance you perform (or have performed) medium, extended, collection at all three gaits, shoulder-in, travers, turn on the honches, 1/2 piourettes at the walk, half-pass, 10 meter circles at w,t,c, counter-canter, rein-back...are we beyond "first or second level" yet?

And for the record...NO--dressage is not the foundation of eventing!! Bad dressage is embarrassing, bad XC gets you hurt. As a horse who's been bred for 200 years to gallop, many event horses who are tense and uncooperative in the dressage arena are in their element at a gallop. I happened to ride one of those and trust me he's a Mazzeratti as far as relaxation, balance, obedience and adjustibility on XC...and he's not that unusual in that manner as far as three-day horses go.

Could eventing dressage be improved? Certainly. Has the sport change in the last few years so that more emphasis needs to be place on dressage for our international riders to be competitive? Certainly. But 3-day eventers must display horsemanship in the dressage arena so much more so that straight dressage riders. That usually means that the ride you see at a three-day is not even close to that horse's ability were he in ideal circumstances.

Go back and watch that tape, but watch XC first, then watch the dressage.

GotSpots
Nov. 21, 2002, 02:48 PM
Subk: You go, girl!

BTW, any chance you'll be able to meet up with us in Florida at all this year? I believe Jim's going to mostly stay home and trailer back and forth.

subk
Nov. 21, 2002, 03:00 PM
Just to set the record straight that was NOT decatholoners or weight lifters that I rode but horses! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Gotspots--I'm hoping to get down to Florida. I almost have to if I want any kind of spring season much less if I want to do a 3-day. I have a call into Jim to figure out the schedule.

Jair
Nov. 21, 2002, 04:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
Bigdreamer if you had any idea of what it was that you are speaking about, you would realize how extrodinary the dressage that was performed on that tape truely was! What you may very well have seen as a "mistake" was some master horseman finessing the ride.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

whoa there, you guys. Why are you being so nasty to Bigdreamer? She was voicing her opinion, and looking for comments on the dressage from the olympic eventing. There is no need to bash her and accuse her of knowing nothing - that is just tasteless.

I've seen the tape - and even given what I know about eventing, I would not call all of it extraordinary. Dressage is all relative on the day - some of the event tests at the olympics (or at Badminton, Burghley wherever) are awful. And that is irregardless of who is riding it, how well the trained the horse is at home, or even taking into account that the horse knows what is about to happen on x-country - there are always bad tests and good ones. The dressage test is a moment in time, and even if you're a good rider, it can still be a bad moment! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

I imagine that is what Bigdreamer was aiming at.

Sometimes I wonder if the excuse that "the event horse is too fit" as the reason for a bad dressage test isn't overused. Sure a lot of the time that is the case, but sometimes it isn't either. There are terrible rides in all disciplines - sometimes its just a bad day, and sometimes it is the rider.

Arise now, arise Riders of Theoden! Dire deeds awake, dark it is eastward. Let horse we bridled, horn be sounded! Forth Eorlingas! Tolkien, The Two Towers

Gry2Yng
Nov. 21, 2002, 06:40 PM
First, it has already been said that there are collected gaits in eventing dressage, they start at Intermediate. In theory, you are not doing a shoulder-in unless you have collection!

Second, a horse that does dressage every day is different from a horse that does dressage and jumping. Eventers live in a 24 hour day and a 7 day week just like everyone else, but we have set a goal of mastering xc, stadium, dressage and endurance. Students of everything, masters of nothing. AND THAT IS THE WAY WE LIKE IT!

I love dressage, I am good at it, and so is my horse. For the record I can get 60's at second level at recognized shows. Maybe next year I will do third level. But GUESS WHAT, I still only have 24/7. I have to balance all aspects of what is required by the sport.

Finally, as far as fitness being an excuse...fitness is one problem, and I agree GP dressage horses are fit and hot, but so is anticipation. I go to dressage shows JUST to prove to my horse that every dressage test is not followed by an xc gallop. These horses are not stupid! Mine even knows the distinction between having a jog and not having a jog. Maybe next year I will take him to dressage shows and jog him before his first test.

Sigh...so what makes me so angry is the critique of OLYMPIC competitiors. They are the BEST at not only all three phases, but also at turning out FIT, SOUND horses.

I won't apologize to bigdream for jumping down her throat, because she doesn't have a clue what it takes to produce an Olympic event horse. I've ridden a one star and I don't have a clue, but at least I know enough to know that.

Sounds like you have a great trainer bigdreamer, but don't kid yourself into thinking you can do a better job than the riders with the pink coats. I've worked around four star horses, as have some others on this board, and it is no piece of cake!

bigdreamer
Nov. 21, 2002, 06:59 PM
hi everybody /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

PLEASE NOTE: that i am in no way MAD, or being like "rawr, you guys are dumb"- i am simply enjoying the debate /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I'm not being catty, just voicing my opinion. thanx, and have a nice day /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif (i have an odd sense of humor too, that wasn't catty either! just want to make that clear)

Please, go to this website

http://www.usdf.org/what_is/foundation.html#dressage

Dressage- no matter what level it is at includes obediance to the rider, relaxation, listening to simple cues, engagement of the hind end, *flexability*, and It develops the ability, suppleness, and *athleticism* of the horse. It builds all kinds of muscles, helps build the topline which helps your horse stay fit for cross country (i remember reading an artical from Kim Venoski-severson(??) where she had her horse do dressage *6* days a week. yes *6* to help build up his moo-scles to take cross country like a train, and she said it worked... i beleive her). It makes your horse have stronger bones/tendons/joints, frees up their muscles (and i imagine your horse developing a longer stride through dressage helps out on XC with speed?) helps rid of stiffness, etc. I think i could go on forever. Dressage is bad in no way... cept it takes so damn long to learn /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

as maggymay said
"I think plenty of eventers still see dressage as something tiresome they have to do one day a week, rather than as a way of riding every horse forward and balanced, every day, every step to build a better athlete.

I read an interview with whatsisname (Kibac TicToc) who said he could get a horse fitter doing dressage than any other way. He said it gave him, power brakes, power steering and a couple extra gears as well (paraphrasing that)"

I would like to think that if your horse can't put in a decent dressage test, then go around clean XC, you are somewhat lucky. You have a scopy willing horse then can pull itself out of trouble and jump whatever it's pointed at. Maybe the horse listens better out cross country... but isn't that some sort of dressage there?

I still like the old way of training in somewhere that i can't remember where across the ocean from the USA ( /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif brain fart)- before your horse EVER sees a rail on the ground, it MUST be able to do a 2nd level dressage test successfully. I assume that means 60% or above. Then, when you start jumping, your horse is relaxed, has all the buttons to turn on a dime, move laterally, do a bending line, lengthen and come back to you, etc. etc. and we wonder why those from across seas beat us in jumpers all the time.

High scope- A wonderful horse he was- but wasn't It said that the rider saw we has gunna be out of stride to the jump, half halted (tried to slow down in some way?) and the horse didn't listen? Obediance, listening to slight cues... where did that go?

Your horse can't just be running like a fool out there. They have to be relaxed and able to handle a situation where they may need someone to pray on a star that they make it out alive. Going into a coffin you want your horse to think "one stride jump, one stride, over that ditchy thing,..." not "OH MY GOD!!! THERE'S A JUMP! AND A DITCH! Lord HELP ME NOW" they need to be adjustable and thinking constantly in order to jump neatly. They need to think under pressure, EVEN in the flippin dressage ring, not just out on course. If your horse needs to add a stride to a jump, he better damn well listen. leaving out strides *CAN* be a death threat. You need to be able to do tight turns and 10 meter circles in good balance. If you can't do a 10 meter circle well balanced on the flat, then when you try to do one with jumps on it, your horse may not be balanced and could drop a leg somewhere and flip.

I'm NOT expecting perfect dressage tests. I am not expecting your horse to be Piaffe (and as David O'Conner says, you DON'T want to go past rhythmic half steps- as that is where the muscles start developing bigger and bulkiar, which the event horse doesn't need) but I am hoping that NO MATTER WHAT you ask of your horse, he should at least remotely listen... cuz if your horse isn't listening, then I would be scared as hell to ride it out on a 4 star course. That's BIG DANGEROUS TECHNICAL stuff. And yeah we all make mistakes, we get nervous, our horses get anxious, the atmosphere at a 4* is electric and crazy, but OBEDIANCE is so commonly emphesized on every dressage website i go to. If your horse is obediant, then what's the problem? Perhaps you had an off day- OK - we can all accept that, horses are not machines, but on the average, i would hope you can get a decent dressage test in the 40's with out TOO much trouble. *Even in the lower levels* obediance is the key. Heck, if you can't get/establish obediance in the lower levels, how do you expect to do it as you move up? And as i've heard, isn't the dressage test supposed to contain movements that you will be asked to do out on course? Not like, "oo make sure to half pass b/t those 2 jumps", but if you need to move a little right to jump dead center of a corner shouldn't your horse be able to halfpass a stride to move over (if you are on the right lead, and need to move right, u'd need to halfpass a tid bit, correct?)? when you take a long route, they sometimes have sharp turns from jump to jump- if you can't bring your horse back RIGHT AWAY to a nice canter to do a 10 meter circle- you'll waste more time. If you don't have a foundation, how are you sposed to build anything?

Yeah, you come across random horses that are stars out on course, and suck royally at dressage. XC is their "element". But that's once in a blue moon- and i would bet a horse like that could be trained in Dressage to relax in the ring and move correctly (unless there's some mental block/temperment issue, but i'd think that would show on XC too... or confomration- but again, wouldn't that show up XC??).

Dressage shouldn't be difficult- any horse is capable of a 1st level test. My mare is proof /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif and she can be the wenchy witch of the west (she was abused as a youngin /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif ) on random days, but through dressage she has relaxed, become HAPPY in her work (yeah happy, she's living proof /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ), her temperment has changed extremely for the better, and her little quarter horse legs are capable of a lengthenings that surprised my trainer. (she's an appendix... with short little legs and a BIG rump, lol)

blah- brain drained and need to do homework. does this help explain my POV better?

~laura~

Gry2Yng
Nov. 21, 2002, 07:11 PM
nobody asked me to half pass through a combination ON THE BIT and THROUGH! I have, however, been asked to thread a line of skinnies through water at 550 mpm. And guess what, my horse is so obedient that all I have to do is THINK about it and it is done!

Get off your dressage high horse and give credit where it is due.

bigdreamer
Nov. 21, 2002, 07:14 PM
gry- nope- your right- horses aren't stupid. DId i ever say they were? Nope. But they do need to be clever and sane and "smart" and relaxed and calm and focused on the job- not the job of the next day. They need to learn to wait. I have no problem with them going crazy after the dressage test- that's when they should be allowed to. But they should focus on the rider, what the rider tells them to do, whether it's jump a 4' jump, or an extended trot. Event horses are awesome. I love them to death- they are sposed to be well rounded horses that can do it all. Isn't dressage included "in it all"??

I agree that there's no other way to learn then to be thrown out there and DO IT- but i hope these mistakes are learned from, and not repeated. Dessage is getting better- at the lower levels from what i know, and at the higher levels as i've been told...

Yeah- the Olympics are great. There were some undoubtedly nice rides. Nice horses, some nice riders... BUT i must say that i was hoping they'd be better. Perhaps they didn't show the nice tests... but from what i noticed from the scores- they did. Perhaps i expected too much from our worlds greatest event riders.

~laura~

p.s. the Greek Girl had 2 rails and time faults in stadium, no problems XC, had a PHENOMINAL XC round actually. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

bigdreamer
Nov. 21, 2002, 07:18 PM
*sigh* gry. your horse is good at dressage- as you say. So what's your problem? why are ya gettin all catty at me? try and take a green bean that knows nothing through those skinnies in the water at 550mpm. Perhaps his talent and bravery will get him through it, but then train him some dressage and see how much better he goes through.

and besides, i SAID
"Not like, "oo make sure to half pass b/t those 2 jumps", but if you need to move a little right to jump dead center of a corner shouldn't your horse be able to halfpass a stride to move over (if you are on the right lead, and need to move right, u'd need to halfpass a tid bit, correct?)?"

just simple little corrections... not HALFPASS 20 million strides. jsut to move off that leg w/o swappin leads or something.

bigdreamer
Nov. 21, 2002, 07:33 PM
yeah- way back when eventing tested bravery, speed, enduarance, etc, etc.

But now-a-days XC has changed. It's got technical stuff that requires dressage principles.
I'm not saying to be in a frame while galloping- in fact being in a "frame" when galloping isnt what you want. But you want a connection to your horses mouth. Dressage HELPS a ton. Fine- whether you want to do it better or not- that's your decision. But for people that can't bend their horse when they come off a tight turn to a huge max oxer, and a horse doesn't see it til the last second cuz they aren't bent in the correct direction, and they crash and say " i don't know what happened", then fine... i'll sit and bite my tounge. I saw that in the olympic tape more then once... I think it's just... odd (for lack of a better word) and disappointing to see an OLYMPIC rider make that mistake. Once- ok- but constantly???

I must say, tho, that at Rolex the riding was much better then what i saw on the tapes. eh, and thoughts on that? More US riders doing better?

Gry2Yng
Nov. 21, 2002, 07:37 PM
can't be good at dressage and have good xc. Heidi Antikatzidis (or the Greek Girl as you call her) did a great job and sadly lost the medal in show jumping, which only goes to prove the point, it is very hard to be good at all three phases. Which is EXACTLY my point, you can't criticize three-day dressage, because there is so much more to do.

I can do a darn good dressage test, I am bent out of shape because I bust my butt to do it on a fit, sensitive TB. You speak as though it is easy and the riders who don't do it lack discipline or ability or knowledge. They don't! They ride 3rd/4th level dressage, jump 4' stadium fences and gallop 12 miles xc, better than anyone else in the world.

Maybe they don't hold up to GP dressage standards, but I doubt anyone who participated in the Syndney Olympics cares.

Really, you are disappointed with what you saw on the tape. My contention is, that if you actually understood those horses and the full test of three day eventing you would not be disappointed.

You've stated you haven't ridden a three day. Have you ridden second level?

Gry2Yng
Nov. 21, 2002, 07:47 PM
was also an important part of that quote. Most jumpers don't go 550.

Duramax
Nov. 21, 2002, 08:06 PM
Hey bigdreamer, sounds like you should ditch the whole eventing thing and switch over and become a DQ!

bigdreamer
Nov. 21, 2002, 08:22 PM
It's hard to do all 3 phases. Yes. indeed it is. Did i say it wasn't? NOPE. I said DRESSAGE WOULD HELP YOU DO BETTER. Heidi had a phenominal dressage and XC round (sorry if calling her "the greek girl" offended anybody- didn't mean to, just couldn't remember her name). Her stadium (even tho they only showed the rails she knocked) seemed to go pretty well- i think only a handful of people had clears, many peopel knocked lots of rails- But all in all her stadium was fairly good. Would she have EVER been in contention if her dressage had sucked? NOPE! never woulda stood a chance as the top few horses postitions barely changed. Her horse actually was fairly heavily built- obviously had some warmblood sticken out in him. Michaelmas i beleive was his name. Was a clever guy on course, never missed a beat. I liked him a lot. If you watch the top 5 after dressage on XC, they had a lot less "OH MY GOSH" moments then other people, and their hroses all looked like packers on course...

Those riders have to be doing well if they have gotten as far as they have, and i give them credit for it, BELEIVE me, I DO! i give you credit, i give everyone credit. I love eventing, i think it's a thrill, and i think that dressage makes it even better. I have aspirations of going to the Olympics, and i plan on training my horses in dressage more then anything. As balance, adjustability, etc. helps to enhance your horses jumping ability- making it all around a better horse. I just think dressage is important- So... shoot me. maybe then i'll fall off my dressage high horse and land with my face in big ol pile of his poop /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif ewwy. (this is scary, i never thought i'd be thought of as a DQish wannabe person... ever. and now look at me??)

yes i've ridden 2nd level, even 3rd level and some 4th level stuff. I have not competed above 1st level as i have never worked with a serious dressage trainer who knew what they were doing until a 1.5 years ago, and have never ridden a horse that i can show at a level above that, but i have schooled them. They're fun to ride. I also spend all my $$ on eventing- as a 17 year old whose not from a very financially well off family, i pay for all of my horse stuff except the lease. I work off lessons at the barn- i can't afford Dressage shows- as i'd rather event.

I am not claiming myself an expert, not at all. I'm not, that's that- but it is my firm beleif that DRESSAGE HELPS OUT IN XC/STADIUM. If we want to turn this into an arguement about who has done what, then should i even go to where i have brought my mare from? From a head tossing blibbering 24/7 PMSish idiot to a horse content in her work now schooling 1st level and some 2nd level moves, and at shows her "crazy green-bean-ness worked for me because her forwardness into my hands created a wonderfully forward balanced horse?

GRY- i don't want to offend you so much that you get this defensive. I don't want to turn this into an arguement. I'm sorry i have never competed in a 3-day. But you do notice a consistency with trainers and all their horses. Some trainers have lots of good horses at dressage, do well consistently and their horses- and they are calm. Then there are those that aren't. I don't find that odd- i find it as a Big light glaring in our face that TRAINING has lots to do with a lot of things... and Dressage means training, eh? according to the site i posted- it's basic training.

As my favorite clinician says "work for 150% at home, then maybe you'll get 70% at the show"

I'm sure the Olympians know what they are doing... I just wish it showed better.

Duramax- I would never consider it, i enjoy eventing too too much. I enjoy dressage. As much as i HATED it and wanted to die during flat lessons 2 years ago, i now embrace it. Without it my mare would still be a nut XC. As our dressage progressed, our XC got better and better. hmm, imagine that.

Gry2Yng
Nov. 21, 2002, 09:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Lucinda Green has the opinion, too, that we may be micromanaging our horses (mainly owing to the increased stress on dressage) to the extent that the horses' spontaneity has been removed and they wait for the cue from us rather than just react. TBs may be flighty, frustrating and opinionated but they also have the hair trigger responses to get themselves (and us) out of trouble when a slower WB wouldn't.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

JER
Nov. 21, 2002, 10:28 PM
bigdreamer, I'm curious about your riding background. Could you tell me:

-- how much eventing have you done? To what level? On how many different horses?
-- what levels of dressage have you competed at?
-- how many competition horses have you trained yourself and to what levels and disciplines?

I'm not trying to slam you in any way. From reading your posts, I simply have no idea what sort of experiences have led to you forming your opinions on eventing and dressage.

I think we all agree that upper-level dressage and event horses are two rather different animals, although you will find a smattering of eventers with FEI dressage experience and the same amount of dressagers who evented to US Prelim level.

But when you say that 'obedience', and therefore a strong background in dressage, should be of paramount importance, I have to disagree with you. IMO, the key element in eventing is PARTNERSHIP.

XC at the upper levels requires a bold horse who can find his own way when necessary. The horse and rider have to have respect for each other's abilities and be able to trust each other in times of uncertainty. Otherwise, it's just too dangerous.

The situation described above is not one that will ever occur in the dressage arena.

In terms of training the horse, every horse is different. IMO, simple jumping exercises, ground poles, cavalletti, etc. will improve dressage -- there's no reason to wait until the horse is confirmed at 2nd level and in fact, the repetition of dressage (and longeing) might be more stressful on the horse than a varied routine that includes jumping exercises. Reiner Klimke -- who first competed in the Olympics as an eventer -- recommended finishing a regular training session with a few jumps.

Ultimately, we have to accept our horses for who they are. There are 3-phase superstars out there, but most eventers -- and I'm talking about riders and horses -- have their strengths and weaknesses, and we work on these in our training.

Because straight dressage and straight SJ don't offer XC, a horse that is excellent at XC but does not put in a good dressage test can still be a good event horse. Conversely, an excellent dressage horse that does not enjoy or do well at XC will NEVER be a good eventer. Likewise, a careful, worrying showjumper is not a good candidate for the uncertainties of solid obstacles.

A lot of the work we eventers do at home is building the trust between horse and rider that leads to a successful partnership. We learn to listen to each other because some day on XC we're going to need to rely on the other's heart and ability to get us safely to the other side. And in exchange for those heart-stopping, miraculous moments in which the horse and rider literally mean the world to each other, we should be willing to forgive a few imperfections.

Robby Johnson
Nov. 22, 2002, 07:14 AM
I hope you can cite that article, bigdreamer. I wonder if you're quoting Kim with a specific horse?

She is a good friend of mine, and I find it hard to believe that she rides dressage on her horses six times a week.

But I've only been by her farm for lunch, not a regular working day (or week).

What I can say is that her horses are very obedient and well-trained, because each time she picks up the reins that is what she insists they be. This is sort of the whole concept of dressage in the three-day. And that's probably the secret to her incredible success.

Robby

I see a stairway so I follow it down
Into the belly of a whale
Where my secrets echo all around ...

deltawave
Nov. 22, 2002, 07:31 AM
One, there is a HUGE difference between schooling a few upper level movements on a schoolmaster and being a solid rider at a given level. I've said this many times...just because I jumped an experienced horse over some Intermediate jumps this summer doesn't mean I'm "schooling Intermediate". I'd say those who have been there and really done it are the ones I'd let decide if they're doing it right. Since NONE of us has done a **** (with the exception of Denny, who I don't see posting this thread) then we're all kind of just blowing smoke when we criticize those riders. It's certainly OK to learn by watching, and I think that's what bigdreamer was trying to do, and IFO will freely admit that I'm in no place to critique ANYBODY, but it's a natural instinct to do so.

Two, it is no guarantee WHATSOEVER, to use a converse argument, that a very good dressage horse is going to be good XC. My mare is a living proof--gets low 30's in dressage ALL the time, and is a very difficult ride XC who has TWO clear rounds XC in the past 2 years. It takes an incredibly special horse/rider combination to be GOOD in all three phases, particularly at the upper levels. We should all aspire to that, but also have the humility to be realistic in the way we assess ourselves.

Three, I think it is pretty much assumed at this point that High Scope was in the process of collapsing/dying on his way to the jump at which he fell. He wasn't disobedient, he was in trouble. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

[This message was edited by deltawave on Nov. 22, 2002 at 10:21 AM.]

GotSpots
Nov. 22, 2002, 07:49 AM
Bigdreamer said:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> High scope- A wonderful horse he was- but wasn't It said that the rider saw we has gunna be out of stride to the jump, half halted (tried to slow down in some way?) and the horse didn't listen? Obediance, listening to slight cues... where did that go? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is incredibly offensive and condescending to Bruce Davidson, undisputably one of the greatest riders of any discipline there has ever been. How dare you suggest that he doesn't know how to ride dressage, that his horses aren't schooled well, or that he was in some way a "disappointment" to his horse, his horse's owners, and the United States, for whom he has ridden countless times. Are you also now going to contend that Karen O'Connor's dressage basis are lacking because she rode one that made a mistake this year?

Regardless of whatever esteemed DQ platform you seem to want to claim, most upper level eventers and true Olympic hopefuls that I have had the privilege to know and work with wouldn't dream of running down the greats of our sport in such a manner. How many of these folks have you ever worked with? How many have you ever seen as they sweat, toil, and work with their horses every day to achieve their goals? I can't say that I know more than a good smattering of these riders, but I have been privileged to witness many of their competitions, coaching sessions, and daily work over time. Most do work with dressage coaches and go to dressage shows, and school at H/J shows during the season. Most do work very hard whenever they get on their horses to make sure their horses are through, forward, and moving off their hind end. And most know the value of teamwork, respect, humility, and compassion.

--GotSpots

Pixie Dust
Nov. 22, 2002, 08:39 AM
Yeah, yeah, yeah forks and mashed potatoes. NO ONE is dismissing dressage as not being important. There are still plenty of horses who suck in dressage and still excel in XC.

My friend's horse is one. He just doesn't like dressage....but he managed to take his AO double clear over cross country at a **, like a cakewalk.

What IS a cakewalk? /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Or is it a cat walk?

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

Gry2Yng
Nov. 22, 2002, 08:41 AM
cakewalk, and I think it is some kind of party game like musical chairs with cakes and they hold them at bake sales! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif - no seriously, I kind of remember something like that as a kid.

Seriously, I think that is what is sad about putting minimum dressage scores in the CCI requirements. Some horses and some people will NEVER be good in the dressage ring, yet they can jump around very safely xc. It would be a shame to lose all of those wonderful amateur horses because they can't make the minimum dressage score.

I think there are plenty of xc machines out there that can give their rides a fun, safe time and they look like h#!! in the dressage ring. Making a 10m circle, round and through and supple is different from making a 10m circle. A four in the dressage ring on a ten meter circle doesn't mean you can't go out on course and make a turn like that to a fence.

Pixie Dust
Nov. 22, 2002, 08:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JER:
In terms of training the horse, every horse is different. IMO, simple jumping exercises, ground poles, cavalletti, etc. will improve dressage -- there's no reason to wait until the horse is confirmed at 2nd level and in fact, the repetition of dressage (and longeing) might be more stressful on the horse than a varied routine that includes jumping exercises. Reiner Klimke -- who first competed in the Olympics as an eventer -- recommended finishing a regular training session with a few jumps.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've been reading one of his books. He was just awsome. I love the way he places importance on cross training.

BD, I'm not being a smart-burro, but do what you did with your mare with 6 or 12 more OTTB greenbeans. You may be humbled /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

arnika
Nov. 22, 2002, 09:24 AM
bigdreamer

I don't know any of the top advanced riders in eventing personally, but I have been priviledged to see them ride each winter while they're here in Fl.

As a dressage rider/watcher for the past 15 years I have been amazed at the quality and sensitivity of the rides and schooling sessions I've witnessed by these eventers. I was actually guilty this spring of watching a rider on a big grey and commenting "Wow, that guy could be a Grand Prix dressage rider, what a lovely ride!" Imagine my chagrin when the girl next to me said, "Oh, that's Bruce Davidson on High Scope." /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Now I've attended clinics where I watched Reiner Klimke, Charles deKunfy, Conrad Schumacher, Major Anders Lindgren and Lilo Fore all ride and teach. Bruce's ride and the brilliance and obediance of High Scope's response were as good as anything I would have seen in those lessons.

I can't help but feel that it's hubris on your part to use Mr. Davidson as an example of improper dressage training. His style and position are among the most classical I've seen in years, and I generally watch the WEF/USET riders every spring as well.

Now that I've name dropped about all the people I don't know personally /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif, I'll shut up.

Janeway
Nov. 22, 2002, 09:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gry2Yng:

Seriously, I think that is what is sad about putting minimum dressage scores in the CCI requirements. Some horses and some people will NEVER be good in the dressage ring, yet they can jump around very safely xc. It would be a shame to lose all of those wonderful amateur horses because they can't make the minimum dressage score.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe that rule is not the greatest for the lower level of eventing, but for the FEI levels, I tend to think its important. Didn't that ruling come into effect after a panel examined many results from major 3 day events and correlated the dressage scores vs. x-country and jumping penalties?

I was under the impression that they had found that a significant number of riders that scored over 75, and particulary 80 penality points in the dressage then went on to have 40-60 penalties x-country, with a high chance of the rider with a 80+ test having a fall?

Maybe maggmay or someone else remembers this as well; it was written up somewhere. (Horse and Hound or Eventing maybe).

While a rule like this will unfortunately hamper a really good rider having a very bad day (I think a good British rider at Badminton a year or so ago got something like 89 in the dressage but then was 100% clear from there on) I think in the long run it would just encourage those few eventers who struggle or don't like dressage to work a bit harder, which I think is what the rule was to intend.

At least the rule is only for qualififcation now: at one point weren't they considering making it so that anyone that got over 80 penalties in the dressage at a 3-day would not be allowed to continue at all! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Now that would be bad.

tle
Nov. 22, 2002, 10:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Maybe that rule is not the greatest for the lower level of eventing, but for the FEI levels, I tend to think its important. Didn't that ruling come into effect after a panel examined many results from major 3 day events and correlated the dressage scores vs. x-country and jumping penalties<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I haven't seen any results from specific research anywhere on this subject. I do know that it was speculated to be true... including speculation quoted from David O'Connor.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

JDufort
Nov. 22, 2002, 10:52 AM
to non-horse friends, I ususually help them understand what Johanna does by comparing eventing to the human decathlon - the sport rewards the all around athlete.

you can compete by being adequate in dressage, and excell in cross country, but you cannot win.

the top performers in the USA and the world get there by consistently placing in the top 20% of competitors in the dressage phase, and then go on to have good cross country and show jumping rounds.

no world class decathlete is considered less than the best, because he/she can't win against "specialty" athletes - against world class sprinters, vaulters, distance runners. the amazing and wonderfull thing is to produce excellence in multiple disciplines, especially those which require such different mental and emotional states.

Under Mark Phillips leadership, we are producing more competitive teams. aspiring US eventors know that they have to be very competitive in the dresage phase to make our squad, and that our team has to score well in dressage to win. rising junior eventors can see this change, and (at least in our Area III program) are working hard to produce excellence in this phase. Look at Britanny and Eddie - they won NAYRC gold by winning the dressage. Britanny has had help from many good trainers, including our local Olympic dressage medalist - Michelle Gibson.

From where I sit, there's no question that excellence in dressage is an integral part of the plan for most competitive eventors.

Jeanne

subk
Nov. 22, 2002, 11:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bigdreamer:

I'm sure the Olympians know what they are doing... I just wish it showed better.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think that when you watch an Olympic tape, instead of wishing the dressage was better you should ask yourself, "Since these riders who represent the best in the world are having such difficulty at something I think should be somewhat easier what is it about this sport that I am so ignorant about?"

When you start discovering the answers to that question you will discover that how good of riders these men and women are actually DOES show. At the moment you just don't have the knowledge or the humility to see it.

sfir
Nov. 22, 2002, 11:44 AM
I am an upper level rider that WELCOMES the higher standards in dressage and think this is a great benefit to our sport. I do not agree with the criticism of some of our top riders mentioned earlier in this thread but I will say that the tougher qualifications and the higher standards in dressage and showjumping are going to make our riders and horses better. A CCI is supposed to be the ultimate test of training and development of horses and riders at the levels they are competing. It is not just another horse trial - it is the culmination of a season of preparation and test of ability before you move up to the next level. If a horse and rider cannot perform adequately in all 3 phases they should not be able to compete at the CCIs - PERIOD! Keep practicing at the horse trials until you can get it right.
Our sport has been under heavy scrutiny for the past few years. The higher we raise our standards the more our critics will take us seriously and believe we are imroving the sport for the benefit of horses and riders. I have gone to many CCIs where some of the horses could not walk, trot or canter obediantly in the dressage ring (and I have even ridden some). It does not matter if they can still go out and blaze around xc and sj because the fact remains that this is a 3 phase sport and they are still lacking the ability to perform one phase. There may be many great horses that were awful in dressage and consistently jumped their way up to the top but many of those same horses would not be nearly as competitive today. By and large if you are not in the top 25% after dressage at a horse trial or 3 day you will not be in the top in the end no matter how well you do xc. This is not a detriment to the sport - this is a major improvement and shows the quality of horses and riders now being produced.
In addition - the new qualification standards are certainly not very strict. You can perform a test that is less than 'satisfactory' and still be qualified.
I cannot comment on the dressage in the videos mentioned as I have not seen them but the scores over the past few years seem to be getting better and better and the standards and tests are getting harder. That is a good indication that the horses and riders are getting better at this! We should all work harder at being better in all 3 phases NOT making the qualifications easier so we can get away with substandard results.

rileyt
Nov. 22, 2002, 12:42 PM
Oy vey. I don't have the energy for this today...

Look. Bigdreamer, I mean no offense, but I'll tell you why you have gotten MY panties all in a twist... It sounds to me like someone has recently told you how dressage is the "key" to all riding... but, frankly, I don't think you know enough to put that statement in context for eventing yet.

The reason, I think, you're receiving a certain amount of hostility here, is that you come on this board, and start preaching to all of us like we're a bunch of yahoos who gallop around out of control, and couldn't ride a decent shoulder-in to save our lives.

I make a prediction right now. NO ONE on this board will argue that dressage is not important to eventing. NO ONE will argue that a good dressage training isn't a KEY aspect to riding a good X-C round. David O'Connor isn't out there winging it on some half-broke nut. And with RARE exception, I see riders going at Advanced who are in control, and riding horses that are adjustable, obedient and well trained. That doesn't mean things always go perfectly.


Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

[This message was edited by rileyt on Nov. 22, 2002 at 03:19 PM.]

Janeway
Nov. 22, 2002, 01:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rileyt:
Get off your high horse... learn a little more... and stop picking fights with people who know more than you do.

For god's sake... are you "In Your Dreams"???
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your comments are totally uncalled for Rileyt. Perhaps you should check out Coreene's "take a chill pill" thread on Off Course /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Why do you think Bigdreams is here if not to learn? She isn't going to learn anything if you berate her nastily. There is no need for anyone to be as impolite as I'm seeing on this thread. She certianly wasn't trying to "pick a fight".

Despite some of the nastiness, there has been some good discussions here. Perhaps it can continue that way....

rileyt
Nov. 22, 2002, 01:20 PM
You're right Janeway...
totally uncalled for... so I've done some editing.

my apologies

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Pixie Dust
Nov. 22, 2002, 01:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bigdreamer:
I am not claiming myself an expert, not at all. I'm not, that's that- but it is my firm beleif that DRESSAGE HELPS OUT IN XC/STADIUM. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I guess I just think you are preaching to the choir. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I think some people got a little offended by hearing a 17 year old refer to Olympic dressage rides as "crappy".

And that's my take on the matter. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

Tootsie
Nov. 22, 2002, 01:35 PM
Anytime the disscussion of the differences between eventing dressage and dressagve comes up, I always remember this passage I read...

"One thing I have learned is that you do not want to push event horses to too high a level of dressage. In the upper levels of dressage, the haute ecole, one demands complete obedience and the horses must obey the will of the rider instantly. By insisting on such performance, one takes away the initiative of the horse. The dressage horse must submit itself completely to the will of the rider, and all the horse's force mush be in total control, so that it is not allowed to think for itself. Such training is not good for an event horse, who must be free to make some degree of decisions for itself at time." - Jack Le Goff, The USCTA Book of Eventing

Everyone remembers him, right? He goes on to give an example of a event horse he had that was injured and unable to jump. So he taught him the upper level movements of the piaffe and passage and when he put the horse back into eventing "he was not half the horse he had been before; he was always waiting for me to command every step."

I only wish I could ride half as well as the people who make it to the Olympics. I assure you that if their horse was not trained in dressage than they would not be capable of competing at that level. Period.

The actual 10 minutes in the ring does not always define the dressage training of a horse. What defines the true training of the horse is how the jump around, then you know the hours of work was truly worth it. Because when you get the horses smart enough to do the upper levels, they are smart enough to tell the difference between schooling and shows and will behave differently because of it.

And I would suggest that you keep your "interpretations" of the falls of certain riders and horses to yourself. You dont know the half of it and you speaking about it only shows your ignorence. I could think of nothing more horrible that having a horse die underneath me at an event; oh, wait, I can. People discussing it on a public bullitian board such as this. I know most of you mean well and feel sympathy for people when this happens but I would hope for a bit more consideration from the community than what I believed was shown here. But that is another discussion for another time.

"Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too"--Taylor Mali

Pixie Dust
Nov. 22, 2002, 01:43 PM
I got a chance to listen to the headphones at a 3-day once during dressage and it was so fascinating and I learned so much. I remember she talked a lot about what an event horse's dressage test should be like. She said something to the effect that the horse should be carrying himself in such a rythmical and forward manner that if you slipped a jump in there, he'd be prepared to take it. Like he could jump at any given moment....well mayby not during that rein back /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

sfir
Nov. 22, 2002, 01:54 PM
I think some people may take the quote made by Jack Le Goff out of context. The difference between the 'Haute Ecole' dressage training and the movements currently required at the FEI levels of eventing are immense.
The horses that are winning the 3 days are performing exceptionally well in the dressage - and they are still the ones that look the best out on xcountry.
Also, the xcountry has changed quite a bit since Jack Le Goff was competing. We no longer see the trappy, galloping scope tests of 20 - 40 years ago. The courses now require a horse that is more obediant to the rider with 5+ corners and skinnies and related distances. In other words, the horse MUST rely on commands from the rider now whereas in the courses of yesteryear the rider needed a different type of ride with less setting up by the rider and more natural ability of the horse to cope with the terrain and fences.

JER
Nov. 22, 2002, 02:12 PM
I don't like the current '50% good marks' qualifying standard for a CCI*. If a horse is to reach the *** or **** level by the age of 9 or even 10, the horse will be a relative youngster at his first CCI*. A 6 year-old TB who is very solid on XC and SJ might not yet be a good *performer* in the dressage ring. This is not to say that the horse isn't trained adequately to that level; it means that he doesn't settle in a test or is tense.

I would rather see a horse of top quality proceeding up through the levels as he improves his dressage performance rather than seeing him held back until his dressage performance improves.

I also don't agree with sfir that the horses that do the best in the dressage look the best on XC. I've seen some excellent XC horses (especially in the mud pit that was Badminton '99) that do not put in a good dressage test.

subk
Nov. 22, 2002, 02:47 PM
Does anyone else think the recent careers of Dorothy Crowell & Moloki (indiv. Silver '94 WEG) and Nina Fout & Three Magic Beans (team medal '00 Sydney) would not have exisited under the current FEI qualifications?

bigdreamer
Nov. 22, 2002, 02:48 PM
howdy

Guys- I dunno. I think dressage is important. It builds up so much more in so many ways then i used to ever think. I used to go "PHEW, now i'm done with dressage, NOW TO THE FUN PART!" Now i enjoy dressage just as much, as i have realized how much it helps my horse and me to work better together as a team in lots of ways.

I'm just as much in love with XC as i am with Dressage. *HOWEVER I think that Dressage compliments XC more then XC compliments Dressage*. And that is that.

Ya- XC is gung ho, weehaw fun, but when your watching people have horses hang legs doing a bounce into the water b/c they are drifting right, being pulled left by a rider who has a tight as hell hold on the rein and is bouncing around on their horses back... it makes me say hey- maybe the courses aren't the problem... perhaps its the riding? Was it wrong of me to think, that i should expect better from someone in the Olympics?

the old big galloping courses with the big bold-jump inviting jumps that didn't require as much technical stuff- just WEEHAW gallop and jump- are the kind that I like. I found an artical by Lucinda green PH, sept 2001 which is worth reading- there's a grey box titled "learn to Bloody RIDE" where she talks about the old courses that showed what XC was all about "jumping and galloping" not technical crap... perhaps if courses weren't evolving into technical stuff, asking difficult ?'s, then the dressage wouldn't be needed quite as much out on course- but unfortunatly life is going that way... We got to learn to Bloody ride dressage now... Cuz even if you do go clean, if ya get a 70 at rolex in dressage-ya ain't gunna place...

It just seems silly to me that a rider can't get a horse to bend at a 4*... And YA I would have to ride in a 4* to know, but... bending? You can't even get your horse to give in the jaw and bend around your leg?

*sigh* i don't find this worth arguing anymore. Debating- perhaps- but i am getting slammed here b/c of my POV. I have my point of view- and obviously you guys aren't gunna see from it, or even try... so I'm not gunna bother.

Happy eventing

and as for what i said that Kim Venoski said- my search for the magazine has come up unsuccessful. I have, however, found many articles about Vinoski and others who, who tells about their Dressage background and how it has helped them out... If i ever find it (i have about 200 magazines saved up since 1996!! time to clean that out! when i get to it, i will search and when i find it, i will let ya'll know.) I'm not crazy though- I beleive is was one of her first horses that had problems with conditioning- so she did dressage to develop his top-line which improved his breathing... Robby- ask her about it.

I am deeply sorry to disrespect Bruce and High scope- personally i loved the HORSE dearly, and I'm sorry that what i heard was incorrect. Goes to show gossip is bad /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

~laura~

Ninja
Nov. 22, 2002, 02:50 PM
First off I admit to not reading all the posts here (hopefully I have time this weekend), but I did read the topic starters first post and scanned a few others including a couple more from her.

First off I think you should get the WEG tape from this years event in Jerez. Bettina Hoy's test will make your jaw drop. Fantastic riding that would challenge the best G.P dressage riders in the world.

LOL and the comment about the BBC being biased to the Euro riders.....HELLO you want to talk biased and ANNOYING as heck watch any of the videos made from the Olympics from Atlanta. I threw mine out they were so BAD!

Pixie Dust
Nov. 22, 2002, 03:00 PM
BD, I guess do not understand your point. Who here is arguing that dressage is not important? Is someone saying that they can win with lousy dressage? If they did, I missed it.

OH, and BTW, many eventers like to hang out on the dressage boards too. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

bigdreamer
Nov. 22, 2002, 03:28 PM
GOSH DARN IT.

GUYS!

YEAH, CRAPPY was the wrong word to pick. They were *disappointing*. And i guess after i failed to say SOME of the tests were poor- when i stated and RESTATED the word SOME in other posts- no one noticed.

I NEVER SAID YOUR HORSE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO PIAFFE/PESSAGE, whatever. I SAID I EXPECTED BETTER. Guess now that i finally am starting to understand dressage, I was curious. and those collective marks (the whole freedom and regularity, desire to move forward, elasticity of the steps, engagements of the hind quarters, attention and obediance, lightness and ease of the movements, acceptance of the bridle and contact) *that are on EVERY SINGLE TEST*, (at novice some are different- suppleness of the back, lightness of the forhand, attention/confidance) should, through correct training, be decent... but whatever. I AM OBVIOUSLY WRONG.

I NEVER *PREACHED* TO ANYBODY, i wanted opinions, perhaps a debate, and all i got was bashing.

I said dressage was important- That is was like a foundation. I guess yeah- after thinking about it all last night /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif and reading a million articles I have re thought that... XC is- but seriously- dressage helps.

bgoosewood- i was disappointed in SOME of the dressage tests at sydney- and apparently event horses shouldn't be expected to put in nice tests. I disagree.

Jeppers- i quit. I come to this board to LEARN and to debate stuff- not to get eattin alive. Everyone is so defensive and automatically starts yelling- did i ever get snippy? NOPE. I even stated that i wasn't being snippy if it sounded like it... I don't want to yelled at anymore.

~laura~

Palisades
Nov. 22, 2002, 03:48 PM
No kidding, Ninja! I was in Atlanta to see show jumping, and I stopped watching Olympic coverage on television because I could only get American stations in my hotel. I much prefer the BBC version.

sfir
Nov. 22, 2002, 04:14 PM
A couple of points in response to some of the responses so far.
I think the qualification for dressage is probably the MOST important at the CCI* level. There may be horses that have not matured in their dressage tests yet but remember you have riders competing at that level as well that are using it as a score to move up. That means the rider could not be able to do the required movements and still progress on to the next level. Secondly, I believe that under the new rules the horse only has to achieve a 75 to use it as a qualifying score. If a young horse cannot do that they should not be able to move up.
There will always be exceptions - but the majority of horses that you see struggling and disobediant in the dressage are the ones that look like they should not be out there on xcountry. Those of you that go to the events every weekend would have to agree and there is just no way to argue that David and Kim are winning the dressage and they are the ones that make the xcountry look easy.
As far as Molokai and 3 Magic Beans - it would be hard for Mo to be as competitive now as he was in his day. There just is not that much ability to move up anymore. Also, Mo was not the best in dressage but he definitely was not a disaster either. If you look at Nina's scores on Beans they have drastically improved - they are now in the 30's. Some may argue that it has taken him this long to mature but I bet Nina would agree that she is riding now better than ever and part of that has to be due to the tougher standards.
Another note - I have been on both sides of this issue. My first advanced horse was consistently last after dressage and still jumped around clean and landed in the ribbons quite a bit. However, knowing what I know now I would not do it again the same way. I had no idea what I was doing but could get away with it because my horse jumped around. I was definitely one of those that could not do the dressage and should not have been out on the xc - even though my horse was safe and clever and I never got hurt. I wish the qualifications had been tougher back then so I would have been forced to learn how to do all 3 phases properly before I moved up.
I cannot understand why riders would not welcome these changes. We will have to work harder, learn more and be better riders before we can progress to the next level. You will note that the upper level riders that are out there doing the good dressage tests and winning are not the ones that are against the new rules.
Finally, I will say this once again. Our sport is under tremendous scrutiny. As event riders we need to accept the changes and work hard to preserve our sport. By increasing our own standards and performance we will only solidify our position that eventing is the ULTIMATE equestrian sport.

subk
Nov. 22, 2002, 04:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bigdreamer:

Guess now that i finally am starting to understand dressage, I was curious. and those collective marks (the whole freedom and regularity, desire to move forward, elasticity of the steps, engagements of the hind quarters, attention and obediance, lightness and ease of the movements, acceptance of the bridle and contact) *that are on EVERY SINGLE TEST*, (at novice some are different- suppleness of the back, lightness of the forhand, attention/confidance) should, through correct training, be decent... but whatever. I AM OBVIOUSLY WRONG.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, DB in this you are absoultly CORRECT!

What has set off everyone's hot button is that you don't seem to understand or appreciate that producing a test with all those excellent things at a 4-star is a very, very, very difficult thing to do. In fact it is so difficult that not even the best riders in the world get it done consistently. That it doesn't get done consistently is NOT a reflection of poor riding on their part.

I'm sorry if you feel I'm one of the people that jumped your case--please understand that as a 3-day rider with crappy dressage alot of what was posted on this thread was insulting to me. Remember before you hit the send button that we're not all 17 with limited experience, and think about how what you say may be offensive to others. (Not that any of us have ever offened anyone!)

What makes this boad so great is that the posters represent a huge span of experience and abilities and most everyone is more than delighted to share their knowledge and expeirence. But a little respect for the old gaurd (not that we deserve it;)) would be alot more fruitful.

[This message was edited by subk on Nov. 22, 2002 at 06:35 PM.]

sfir
Nov. 22, 2002, 04:19 PM
Instead of bashing Bigdreamer for her opinions I think it would be wonderful if we all used that for incentive to do better. My hope would be that when Bigdreamer gets her video of the 2004 Olympics she can say "Wow! Look at how much better these tests are as compared to 2000!!! These people just keep getting better and better!"
Let's not forget that it may be the last Olympic 3day video to be produced!

Janeway
Nov. 22, 2002, 04:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sfir:
As If you look at Nina's scores on Beans they have drastically improved - they are now in the 30's. Some may argue that it has taken him this long to mature but I bet Nina would agree that she is riding now better than ever and part of that has to be due to the tougher standards.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Great post sfir!

And using Nina and Beans as an example is perfect, as I believe she herself even talked about this in a really good Practical Horseman article. I understand she has worked very hard with Beans to get where she is now! Good for her /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Does anyone else think Nina is a good example of perhaps what the FEI Eventing committe had it mind when they changed the qualifiying rules? To encourage riders to improve?

subk
Nov. 22, 2002, 05:38 PM
Both Bean's and Mo's dressage scores drastically improved AFTER the reached the top levels most likley BECAUSE they reached the top levels. They reached the top levels bases on their XC abilities. Once they became developing riders they had access to Mark Phillips and other resources and both of them took wonderful advantage of that.

What I am saying is that if today's qualifications had been in place it is quite possible that not only would both of those horse's not have been competitve at the upper levels because of their dressage scores (as sfir has said) they may not have had the opportunity to even compete at the upper levels! And as such never have had the opportunity to refine their dressage and prove themselves as two of the greatest XC horses produced in the U.S in the last 8 years.

sfir
Nov. 22, 2002, 06:11 PM
We will never be able to determine what would have been if things had been different but I would bet that had the standards been set when both of these horses were developing they may indeed have ended up still being at the top and even better because they would have had to achieve the good results sooner. Both Mo and Beans were/are capable of good dressage and have the scores to back that up. Maybe their dressage would have been better and more consistent sooner if it had to be in order to progress.
I do not buy into the fact that their dressage scores improved BECAUSE they were already at the top. Anyone who has had to do it will tell you it is much harder to put a correct half pass, flying change, shoulder in etc on a horse after it has been done incorrectly for a while than teaching it to them correctly in the first place. Also, many horses do not settle more at the shows with experience - in fact they get more riled up.
I am sticking with my theory because I truly believe that horses like Mo and Beans would still have achieved what they had and more had the new qualifications been in place. It may have taken them a little longer but I would bet the end result would have been even better.
Higher standards make us all better horsemen.

deltawave
Nov. 22, 2002, 06:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bigdreamer:

*HOWEVER I think that Dressage compliments XC more then XC compliments Dressage*. And that is that. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And I think if you look at all the replies on this thread you will find not ONE person who disagrees with you. If that was your point, and only that, then nobody will argue.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Ya- XC is gung ho, weehaw fun, but when your watching people have horses hang legs doing a bounce into the water b/c they are drifting right, being pulled left by a rider who has a tight as hell hold on the rein and is bouncing around on their horses back... it makes me say hey- maybe the courses aren't the problem... perhaps its the riding? Was it wrong of me to think, that i should expect better from someone in the Olympics? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey, I'm not qualified to comment on ANYBODY who's ridden in the Olympics, but I think what's rubbing folks the wrong way here, Laura, is NOT your viewpoint that "dressage is crucial", but that you SEEM TO BE SAYING that the Olympic riders are lacking in talent and ability because they sometimes look less than graceful or have awkward rides. If you don't "mean" for it to sound that way, I'm sorry to say it does sound that way.

Hey, we've ALL had horrible, horrible rides, and moments we'd rather forget. We've also (at least speaking for myself) stood by watching people compete who are FAR above our level and made "color commentary" that might be less than flattering. It's called the "armchair quarterback" syndrome, and is EVER so easy to fall into, but when it gets out of hand people WILL challenge you back with "let's see YOU do better" and "where are YOUR Olympic medal?" type ripostes. You have to expect the backlash if you're going to be an "armchair quarterback". I'm hoping everybody will now get back to the best part of this debate, which is (IMO) how dressage makes eventing better (not IF it does, that's a given) and whether or not there ought to be minimum standards...always a good debate!

So let's all remember who we are, keep our humility and our sense of humor, and let the debate continue without the personal stuff...please? /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
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subk
Nov. 22, 2002, 07:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sfir:
I would bet that had the standards been set when both of these horses were developing they may indeed have ended up still being at the top and even better because they would have had to achieve the good results sooner.

...Maybe their dressage would have been better and more consistent sooner if it had to be in order to progress.

...Anyone who has had to do it will tell you it is much harder to put a correct half pass, flying change, shoulder in etc on a horse after it has been done incorrectly for a while than teaching it to them correctly in the first place. Also, many horses do not settle more at the shows with experience - in fact they get more riled up.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ahhh...And that is the $64,000 question. Could Dorothy Crowell at the time pretty much a nobody without signifcant access to top level training (as I understand it) have corrected her very difficult dressage problems without the help and availability of top calibar training? Personally, having some understanding and personal insight as to what those problems were and hearing the first hand accounts of the angst involved in her Mark Phillips training sessions I think the answer to the question is NO.

I understand that both of these women give a tremendous out of the credit for their improvement to training made available by the USET. Training not readily available to mere 2-star riders.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for "higher standards." I happened to believe that the natural progression of the sport all on its own and without the new qualiifications has raised those standards significantly in the last 10 (probably more) years. If you want to win you must get the dressage. Even the "bad" dressage is significanly better than it use to be.

But what ever happened to the honor involved in saftely completeing a 3-day and arriving home with a sound horse? Why is it neccessary to have a shot at winning before you'reeven allowed to compete if you have already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are as safe of a competitor as anyone else out there? Or have we already reached the point that if you are not a proffessional it should be assummed you are not safe?

The FEI has yet to show any documentation that an overwelling majority of horses that do not meet their dressage standards prove to be unsafe on XC. There's alot of talk but noone is giving out the research. (I wonder why?) But the FACTS show that there are horses out there who have NEVER had a career XC jumping penalty who are not allowed to continue to the next level in the name of saftey. I say that's balderdash! Besides it's not as if we have so many 3-day riders and horses that we need to start weeding them out because 3-days are so overwhelmingly subscribed to.

For the record I honestly don't believe that the horse who is excellent on XC and medicore in dressage is all that rare.

I think the new dressage qualifications stymie the developing riders, stymie the developing horses and because of that stymie the sport. While at the same time they are somewhat ineffective and unnessessary at and for raising the standards.

subk
Nov. 22, 2002, 07:28 PM
Maggy--it doesn't matter wether she should be expected to know that of me or not. This is a public forum made up of a group with vast experience. When we start slamming people or types here you need to expect that there may very well be that person or type on the other end of the line!

JER
Nov. 22, 2002, 07:42 PM
LIke subk, I think the dressage qualification is a potential stumbling block for a talented young horse. There is no proof that a better dressage *score* leads to a safer round on XC -- this is the like saying that you can tell a good XC horse by how relaxed and obedient he is in the dressage arena.

Our sport is where horses like Molokai, 3 Magic Beans and Out and About can excel, and they can stay at the top levels for a long time -- if they're allowed to get there. XC is the heart of eventing; otherwise, we're left with mid-level dressage and 4' max showjumping, neither of which require an outstanding equine athlete.

Gry2Yng
Nov. 22, 2002, 09:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> No offense- but that is not Bigdreamers problem <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, bigdreamers problem is that she is speaking about a topic on which she is not qualified. Her little bit of knowledge is dangerous. Subk may have some trouble in the dressage ring, but her intermediate dressage is still more than bigdreamer has ever done in the ring.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Does anyone else think Nina is a good example of perhaps what the FEI Eventing committe had it mind when they changed the qualifiying rules? To encourage riders to improve? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I don't have a CLUE why the FEI changed the qualifiying rules. Frankly, if they could keep them the same for two years in a row, we might have a chance to figure it out.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What I am saying is that if today's qualifications had been in place it is quite possible that not only would both of those horse's not have been competitve at the upper levels because of their dressage scores (as sfir has said) they may not have had the opportunity to even compete at the upper levels!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> It was no easy thing to both qualify and compete in a three-day when the only requirement was four clean xc rounds. 3-days come up twice every year. If you live in a northern climate and cannot head south to condition, fall might be your only shot. Then you have to factor in soundness, your job, your best friend's wedding, finances, etc. And now my horse needs a minimum dressage and stadium score? Frankly, if I can safely get in and out of the dressage ring, jump xc without putting anyone's heart in their throat and tap the top rail on every fence in stadium, why shouldn't I be allowed to three day. (My rail tapper has been beaten in more than a few HT's by horses and riders that will stuff two in a one in a big tripple.)

On top of that, if a horse is more affordable because his gaits suck or he taps rails, but is an xc machine, why should anyone be discouraged from buying him. If he can 3-day and finish in last, the rider still learned something.

Good dressage DOES NOT translate into good xc, I think that has already been said.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Anyone who has had to do it will tell you it is much harder to put a correct half pass, flying change, shoulder in etc on a horse after it has been done incorrectly for a while than teaching it to them correctly in the first place. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> You get to do a one star before you have to do any of those things - and it really isn't very hard to fix shoulder-in or half-pass, I will agree on the changes!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But what ever happened to the honor involved in saftely completeing a 3-day and arriving home with a sound horse? Why is it neccessary to have a shot at winning before you'reeven allowed to compete if you have already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are as safe of a competitor as anyone else out there? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I couldn't agree more!!! A three day should be within the reach of anyone who wants to try. Most horses are talented enough, most riders can do it with good training. No one wants to see scary rides on xc, but my theory is that if we spent more time teaching people how to ride xc, they would ride xc better. Time in the dressage ring may give you an obedient, supple horse but it does not give you the instincts, skills or timing required to ride cross-country. Riding xc gives you that. /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Robby Johnson
Nov. 23, 2002, 04:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JER:

XC is the heart of eventing; otherwise, we're left with mid-level dressage and 4' max showjumping, neither of which require an outstanding equine athlete.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here here! What a great, succinct way of summing this all up.

Bigdreamer, I hope you will read the sentence I just quoted over and over. It may help bridge your knowledge gap between the dressage and the XC.

Robby

I see a stairway so I follow it down
Into the belly of a whale
Where my secrets echo all around ...

pwynnnorman
Nov. 23, 2002, 06:00 AM
BigDreamer, I AGREE with you and I'm sorry I didn't see this thread when it was younger so I could join your battle.

Doesn't anyone here realize that, ultimately, BigDreamer is introducing THEORY here? Absolutely everything she has said is THEORETICALLY correct...and although I can't read her mind, I think that when she started this thread, her original post represented a certain degree of intellectual curiousity about the matter--not criticism, C-U-R-I-O-U-S-I-T-Y. It is through such questioning that PROGRESS is made.

The way you folks have attacked her, have stubbornly resisted READING what she is saying instead of just seeing what you want to see, getting defensive and arrogant--I'm sure y'all don't care, but if I had to be locked in a room with someone on this BB for days on end, I'd pick Bigdreamer in a heartbeat...and I'd slit my throat before I picked some of YOU!

For example, Big dreamer didn’t use Bruce Davidson as an example of improper training—and oh how I hate it on these BBs when people are so stubbornly illiterate here. YES! ILLITERATE. Some of you are so blasted arrogant that as soon as someone brings up a little CURIOUS factor (yes, “curious” NOT CRITICAL), you guys CHOOSE to read her as being critical of the sport or of someone personally.

Heaven help us if you guys were making life-and-death decisions. You’d likely totally miss the point and kill us all.

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Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
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pwynnnorman
Nov. 23, 2002, 06:31 AM
We all know that generalizations just don't work well here, but speaking generally:

I, too, feel that there are far too many riders at the upper levels who are there because of kamakazee horses who will press on regardless, even if it (like not listening to the rider and/or a rider who doesn't/can't tell them what they need to know) kills them.

Meanwhile, to support bigdreamer's point, name me one, single top level, CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL event rider on the scene today (and while I love Lucinda, she isn't a significant part of the scene TODAY) who ISN'T a top notch, thoroughly versed dressage rider. Name ONE. ONE (not a flash in the pan, here today, maybe tomorrow, only-on-this-horse rider--but one consistently cranking out winner after winner after winner...) Find one who routinely scores in the 50s. Go ahead. I CHALLENGE you!

Yeah, sure, you can get around a **** even if you can only do a shoulder-in if the horse is programmed and haven't a clue about developing collection (no, it's not required in the tests, but are you saying you're comfortable going x-c on a horse who won't collect?). Sure, that IS basically what was done...TWENTY YEARS AGO! I have had a rider who never once did a shoulder-in on my horse--and he badly, badly needed shoulder-in to improve his rideability, lightness and throughness. Moreover, she admitted openly and not infrequently that dressage just wasn't her thing and that she really didn't understand it much...but she's getting ready to compete Advanced next year.

FINE! No problemo. That is her right and it is most certainly yours, too...but the FACT is that she wasn't helping my horse any by not being able to do the things which would have made him better. Was it thus her FAULT when things went wrong. Heck NO. It was mine. It was his. It was the circumstances. THERE IS NO FAULTING HERE. (So, J, don't rail at me for insulting her--I'm NOT--but she is an example of an advanced rider without the level of dressage which, in the opinions of Bigdreamer and myself, separate the wheat from the chaff in upper-level eventing today.)

And, I suspect, it's the chaff who do all the chafing about this subject. Ye of so little faith in dressage. Does it work, 100% of the time? Heck no! Should it, theoretically, work? Heck yes! Is that WHY dressage is a part of the sport of combined training, this the true test of the TOTALITY of riding. Heck yes!

The O'Connors, Fox-Pitt, Dutton, Todd...and all those other TOP, TOP, CONSISTENTLY AT THE TOP competitiors (and 3 Magic Beans and others mentioned were/are NOT CONSISTENT in anywhere near the same way as these guys' horses are/were) are proving in every event they compete at that Bigdreamers theories are not off-base.

Are they reality yet? No. Will they ever be? Maybe not. Are we APPROACHING and/or can/should we attempt to approach the theoretical tenets behind the sport? Uh-huh...and I think that's what the FEI was thinking, too. It's called UPPING THE BAR people. You can have your fun on the occasional cross-country maniac, but if you want to win, to qualify and to be selected for teams, etc., TODAY you're gonna have to, grudgingly or not, show some respect for the THEORY behind it all...and, today, that includes damn good dressage that RELIABLY transfers itself to cross country and stadium.

Sportponies Unlimited
Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
http://www.sportponiesunlimited.com

MsM
Nov. 23, 2002, 07:22 AM
A view from a non-eventer.
When viewing tapes of an Olympics you have to keep a few unique aspects in mind:
1. They are often made by non-horsemen. Horses shown may have been selected by country, time shown, color, etc. In other words, they do not reliably show the best nor are they always able to point out what is the best.
2. Much as the decathalon participants sprint times will be slower than the Olympic sprinters, the expectations and requirements for eventing dressage cannot match pure dresage. (yes, I agree the basics have to be correct)
3. One of the goals of the Olympics is participation. So, while the rules try to insure safety, you will have participants in an Olympics that are NOT competitive. In addition to the usual problems of horses that "forget" all their training as you enter the arena, there are entrants from countries lacking in training and horsepower. So of course there will be some "Eddie the Eagle" entries with really poor dressage tests. I would hope it would make you appreciate how difficult this all is and how well the top competitors do in training for the three phases.

Gry2Yng
Nov. 23, 2002, 07:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> And, I suspect, it's the chaff who do all the chafing about this subject. Ye of so little faith in dressage. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not true. LOVE dressage. In fact, I have boarded at dressage barns for much of my eventing career. Right now I am at a top dressage barn spending 90 days working on my dressage. I have used this trainer, who has 4 horses, first level through GP, on the USDF's top 20 list, for years, but I am in full training for 90 days while I put the changes on my horse, improve his collection, get him to use his right hind leg more reliably and improve his canter overall. Because I DO believe it is the foundation of better jumping. I must believe it because I am spending A LOT of time and money on it and I am hardly jumping at all.

But that doesn't mean I think I can do it better than people riding in the Olympics and it doesn't mean I think horses/riders who do a poor dressage test should be excluded from the xc!

You don't have to hate dressage or be bad at it to think that XC is the heart of the sport. And I think there is a lesson for bigdreamer to take away from this thread. It is one of humility. We can all watch the Olympics and say - "Gee, didn't get much medium!" But <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> the crappy dressage tests <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> shows a lack of appreciation for what it took to get there.

sfir
Nov. 23, 2002, 08:31 AM
The new qualifications will not weed out the horses that are mediocre in dressage and great xc - it will weed out those that CANNOT do the dressage.
Do not forget that this is a 3 phase sport and horses and riders should be able to do all 3 phases decently.
The FEI qualifications were put into place for that reason and like it or not they are here to stay.
I still maintain that Dorothy and Mo are not good examples of the case against the new rules because they performed adequately enough in the dressage that they would have been qualified AND it does not take schooling with the USET to achieve adequate dressage scores for any level, even on a difficult horse. There is plenty of access to good dressage training everywhere even on a limited budget. Many eventers will think nothing of paying out to take jump lessons and clinics but will not put the same kind of effort into basic dressage training.
There is no way to argue against the fact that these new qualifcations and standards benefit the horses, riders and our sport. They were put into place to keep the horses that are not broke but still go xc clean on adrenaline, speed, talent and luck without any understanding of what they are really doing out there.
On a final note - we make a living off of fixing horses that are behind the leg and were not taught the movements correctly from the beginning and it truly is much harder to fix shoulder ins and half passes after several years of being done incorrectly. Then teaching it to the rider that has learned it incorrectly from the beginning and putting them back together with the horse they developed the bad habits with in the first place is far more of a challenge than if they had learned it in their basic training. There are plenty of examples as well of horses and riders that are competing at the top that got there on tough horses with decent dressage scores BEFORE they had access to the USET training and were on a limited budget - Amy Tryon and Poggio are a perfect example of this.
I think we could debate this forever but the fact remains that the qualifications were put in place to better our sport and they are here to stay (or get even tougher). The best way that riders can prove that they are not necessary is by going out there and proving that this sport can be done safely on well trained horses at all levels. For those that think that xc is the main meat of the sport and the only significant phase they have a sport for that - timber racing!

sfir
Nov. 23, 2002, 08:42 AM
sorry I had a typo in the last response. I meant to say that the qualifications were meant to keep the horses that go xc off of adrenaline, speed, talent and luck alone FROM being out there.
I also want to add that to replace that we want horses that go xcountry well because they are broke, understand the questions and are confident. There will always be the need for some adrenaline, speed, talent and luck on every course but they should not be the only things getting the horses and riders around the course.

EventerAJ
Nov. 23, 2002, 08:54 AM
I just read all this mess. I'm struggling to figure out what I agree with...I can see every side. Yes dressage is very important. Yes, xc is probably more important. But jumping does improve with better dressage. But dressage is not an end-all. This is too complicated!

All I can add is my own three-day experience. Last winter, I really concentrated on my dressage. My horse improved immensely, both in the ring and over fences. At training level (HT) we usually got scores in the low 40s. This past summer at prelim, we consitently got scores in the mid to low 30s. My horse is a QH, not a hot TB, so I admit I have an advantage in the ring. At least I thought I did...

At my 3-day, we had the worst dressage test of the year. My normally loose, supple, obedient horse was ready to jump out of his skin when we entered the arena. I could not touch him with my leg or else he would explode. He moved like a sewing machine, instead of taking his usual long, swinging strides. I couldn't put my leg on for fear that he would explode. For some reason, my horse was mentally "elsewhere." I have to attribute that to his much higher level of fitness and the electric three-day atmosphere.

Like I said, we are pretty proficient in our dressage for the one-star level. I too, used to think the "fitness excuse" was overused and unfounded. I believe it now, though!

I enjoy dressage, I have ridden several VERY well trained dressage horses. Yes they are hot, but in a different way. Dressage horses are waiting for the slightest signal to do what you ask. A slight weight shift gets a flying change. A little leg gets a half pass. At my three-day, a little leg (that normally would have gotten a small response) suddenly got a BIG response.

That's my experience, that's all I can contribute.

~AJ~
"Got no excuses for the things that we've done; we were brave, we were crazy, we were mostly young." K.C.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 23, 2002, 09:16 AM
Gry2Yng, I just don't see/read the attitude that so many seem to think is there in bigdreamer's posts. All I see is intellectualizing a bit.

[What did I miss? What's "y'allbonics"?]

Sportponies Unlimited
Specializing in fancy, athletic, 3/4-TB ponies.
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Gry2Yng
Nov. 23, 2002, 09:33 AM
I think it is probably the word "crappy" that gets me started. Followed by <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> and a lot of it, as i think(may be wrong...) seemed to be rider error... lots of riders had really "loud" seats and simply couldn't do a lengthening or get their horse to bend... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think the tests were "crappy" given the atmosphere of the Olympics, the fitness of the horses, the nerves of the rider, etc.

The tests have to be taken in the context of the moment - you know, ride the horse you have at the moment. I would venture that the Olympics is probably the most difficult "moment" most horses and riders face. So to say they haven't put the time into their dressage training - which I think was implied in later posts - is being a little harsh and unsympathetic to the situation the riders were in. We can certainly watch the tape and armchair what can be better and use it to educate ourselves, but until I have cantered down the centerline at the Olympics I can't possibly know how difficult it is to get those changes and half-passes. It is unfair to judge the rider's dressage ability in that environment. You can only judge their ability to SHOW what they and their horses can do, but that doesn't mean the training is bad.

EventerAJ
Nov. 23, 2002, 10:00 AM
You mean you missed the "y'allbonics" thread in Off Course?! It was hilarious!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

y'allbonics (http://chronicleforums.com/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=6656094911&f=5566064631&m=8246047661)

Gry2Yng
Nov. 23, 2002, 10:06 AM
That is toooooo funny. I don't really read the other boards. Thanks for the link.

To add to the humor, I printed it out and gave it to my husband. He has spent little time in the south and DID NOT GET IT.

So I read the pages over his shoulder. THEN he got it. Funny how if you have never heard the die-lect, you can't read it.

EventerAJ
Nov. 23, 2002, 10:57 AM
LOL, Gry2yng. All my kinfolk is in the south, so I'm used to hearing it. I used to have a heavy accent (when I was four, lol) but after living near Chicago for 13 years, I don't talk like that anymore /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I has good englush now. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

~AJ~
"Got no excuses for the things that we've done; we were brave, we were crazy, we were mostly young." K.C.

LAH
Nov. 23, 2002, 02:30 PM
I have been reading this topic with great interest. Sometimes it is okay to agree to disagree.

I have a horse that I bought from a canadian yr 5 years ago. He was 12 at the time, had pony clubbed, show jumped, and gone thru the CCI* level. He was unbroke on the flat to say the least. He is, to this day, unbroke on the flat. I bought him to go up the levels, as he is a fabulous jumper and very safe.

To make a long story short. He has been nothing short of a fairy tale horse for me. He finished 7th at Radnor in the CCI** and finished on his dressage score at Camino in the same division. He has been competing at the Advanced level since the summer of '99. He has competed in over a dozen Advanced horse trials as well as at the CCI*** level, with a 20 xc in one trial and a 60 when I popped off him at Fair Hill CCI a couple seasons ago. He does not go XC "on adrenaline", but rather on a loose rein in a rubber snaffle. He has had a career total of maybe 4 show jumps down since I have been competing him.

He is a free thinker and therefore not submissive on the flat. I have gone to great lengths to improve his dressage, GREAT LENGTHS. I have had help on the flat with him from eventings best, all of which tell me, enjoy the mileage you get from him to the jumps. If I could only get across the value of the experience I have gained on him.

You can imagine my frustration when I went to enter him at the Foxhall Cup this spring, (keep in mind that we have already jumped around a CCI***) only to find that under the new rules he was not qualified. WHY, you ask? Inadequate dressage scores. It was a nonissue really, as the horse has a phenomenal record XC and SJ, but I had to play the game, send USAEq yet another $75.00 only for the special permission committee to unanimously agree that he was more than qualified to compete at Foxhall.

I was pretty unhappy with the new qualifications, so I went to a dear friend who is on the USET selection committee and vented.

My point was that under the new qualifications, in the FEI's opinion, only a couple of my previous 2 years of competitions were worth completing. In their opinion, if you don't get a dressage score of &lt;50, you should pack up and go home. LITERALLY, because it doesn't count for anything.

This topic as you can see strikes a cord with me. This fabulous horse, my soul-mate really, brought me from a RANK amateur to a young professional. I struggle with the idea of the new qualifications. I cannot put into words the value of the experience I gained on my horse who does no dressage.


I understand that the FEI is trying to up the bar. I do feel, however, that there are some exceptions to the rule. So for now, I will look forward to another winter season trying to get his head down:) Or maybe I should just get out my checkbook and send the USAEq yet another $75.00.

Gry2Yng
Nov. 23, 2002, 02:50 PM
Here, here LAH! You are SO SO SO lucky to have found that fabulous horse, and thank goodness the rules at the time allowed you to compete him. Horses that can teach are SO wonderful and yes - an event horse is supposed to be good in all three phases, but the only way to become good is to have experiences. Horses that can't be "winners" because they lack something in either sj or dress can be an excellent, affordable, life-changing friend for someone coming up the ranks. I HATE the idea that if you can't ride dressage you can't play the game. If you ever run short, I will send you the $75!

sfir
Nov. 23, 2002, 03:06 PM
You have some very good points and I can understand your frustration. I have been in the same position with the new qualifications but it seems to me you understand the reasoning behind them. You are one of the exceptions with your horse but that is not who they were trying to keep from competing. I do not know the statitistics but the majority of the horses/riders that you see out there doing really bad dressage are the ones that look bad on xc. They may still be getting around clean but it is by luck.
I bet you were granted permission based on your performance. It is a bummer you had to pay $75 but there has to be some regulation to keep the ones that cannot do the dressage and run xc in a crazy adrenaline rush from being able to compete at whatever level they want.
I had to cough up the $75 as well (not for dressage scores but for a different reason) and probably will have to again this year on another horse. However, I am happy to pay the $75 (well, maybe happy is not the word but you get the point) if it will keep some of the people who should not be there from being there. If they decide I should not compete then I will just have to go back and get my horse qualified and play by the new rules. I still think they were implemented for the benefit of the sport.
I could not agree with you more on the frustration of the annual changing - but all of this would be a moot point if these had been the rules for the past 10 years.

Xctrygirl
Nov. 23, 2002, 03:17 PM
I am a bit hesitant to wander into this mix, but what the heck, nothing to lose.

I agree with whats already been said, dressage is very important, to the point of vital for the foundation upon which we build everything else.

I agree with Bigdreamer that I also watch Olympic and WEG tapes and wish the dressage was a bit better. For that matter I really wish the stadium rounds would improve a bit more. Having sat in Hotlanta and watched some of those Olympic stadium rounds (Not US riders.. but others) OMG, I know y'all took a few lessons... show it.

And yes I know, to the CCI* extent, of what a tired 3 day horse feels like underneath you. But the problems I had were the ripping pulling, and general lack of flow.

Now let me add this before the flames start.
The Olympics, Pan Am's, WEG's, etc are pressure cooker situations. A lot of stress is on the line, and lets face it, don't we all look a lot better at home more often than not???

But since being a minor equestrian journalist and covering Rolex, Foxhall and Fair Hill, I can say with some credibility that some people are lacking, in all phases.

And I do agree that the new rulings suck for all the lovely creature's like LAH's horse who are worth their weight in gold, regardless of the dressage test. I started out on one of these creatures and I sympathise greatly.

But dressage as a whole is an important thing. To do it well almost inexorably leads to better discipline in ST and Xc.

I know the Captain and everyone has made it clear that team riders must now be better in dressage. But where are our mandates for better Stadium rides? Its the last phase and can alter things alot. Especially with that 2 rounds scenario!@!!!

Ok thats the end of my rant

~Emily

"The brave may not live forever, but the cautious never truly live at all"

LAH
Nov. 23, 2002, 04:02 PM
Do not think for two seconds that Capt. Mark and the riders are not well aware of the weakness in the show jumping phase.

I believe that this winters training sessions will have a show jumping emphasis, just as in the past couple of years have had a dressage emphasis.

Sandy Phillips was brought in to improve the dressage. She did that. I wouldn't be surprised if we see some grand prix sjumping influences brought into our sport to bring that phase up to par.

MavTheHorse
Nov. 23, 2002, 07:04 PM
Wow. What a mess.

Really, some of these posts are completely out of line! There is NO NEED to attack a poster for her OPINION.

My thoughts? I agree 100% with bigdreamer. It's only mid-level dressage, why are these top combinations struggling so much with it? They SHOULD be doing better. Period. There is really no excuse not to. If our Olympic atheletes cannot do something as simple as a decent shoulder-in, the sport is in trouble. Is it really too much to ask to expect more from them? I don't think so.

bigdreamer
Nov. 23, 2002, 07:33 PM
... guys- i picked the wrong words when i wrote my original post. I went and attempted to correct myself. Guess i failed inspite of my efforts to correct it.

I'm sorry- i didn't mean to offend anyone.

Pwyn said what i was not able to say- go read her post if you haven't. Thanx bunches, i appreciate your help and the fact that i was able to say "hey... she did read my mind PHEW, i'm not nuts... now if *i* just knew what my own mind meant by what it is saying."

I respect the riders a ton- Heck, they're the ones teaching me. BUT i still feel how i feel- that my "theory" should at some point come into play. Eventing used to be big galloping jumps that required guts and bravery. Now there's questions out there that we gotta answer. Now you need guts, bravery and obediance.

I didn't pick out any particular rider in dressage to say lacked anything. I keep those thoughts to myself (heven forbid if i said anything). But when i watch them make mistakes like there being barely a change b/t extended and working trot... I can't help but wonder.

I'm sorry I seem like a complete ignorant 17 year old with no experience. I don't want to have to "defend" myself. SO for those of you who really are curious about my riding talent... e-mail me. eventingforlife@yahoo.com . But just an FYI- i kept two prelim horses in condition over the summer and they're Dressage improved drasticly (for different reasons) and both Owners and my trainer noticed big improvements on all 3 phases.


sooo- on with the debate.

JER
Nov. 23, 2002, 08:33 PM
bigdreamer, no need to apologize. After 6 pages and 100+ posts, we should thank you for sparking a good debate!

LAH -- your experience with your horse is exactly what I fear losing in this sport. And what you said about packing it in at a HT if dressage is sub-qualifying is spot-on -- you're better off scratching and begging for a late entry at next week's event.

I also want to make the point that qualifying is much more difficult in event-challenged areas. You might have to drive 6+ hours to most HTs, and some will be 12+ hours -- and it's not like there are a surplus of HTs on the schedule. God forbid you have any conflicts for those few weekends or that your horse gets a minor stone bruise.

Pat Ness
Nov. 24, 2002, 05:18 AM
I finally finished this one as well and I think the BBC commentates way better then the U.S. and my favorite announcer was Hugh Thomas, before he was the Badminton course designer. Hugh and Michael Tucker used to announce them together and I love those tapes.

Along with eventing dressage, I have a hard time watching the Grand Prix dressage. Except for about 5 horse/riders, the canter work on most Grand Prix horses appears labored and has been a huge disappointment to me after buying many of these tapes.

sfir, I thought your post about having a horse get you around advanced, even though you maybe didn't belong there, was very honest and I'm hoping, others read this and wonder if they are not in the same position.

LMH, your horse sounds like the exception and I loved sfir's comments to you about this and I'm sorry you have to spend the $75.00, but, this sport needs to quit hurting horses and I think this is an attempt to do that.

And why can't we criticize the tops in the horse sports? Heck, the other professional sports (baseball, football, etc) are always being criticized (both positive and negative) and there is no reason we can't criticize anyone who competes in a sanctioned event, let alone the Olympics.

That's it and thanks bigdreamer for some interesting discussions.
Pat Ness

subk
Nov. 24, 2002, 01:30 PM
I have to totally disagree with the concept that the FEI put in place the new dressage qualifications with the intention of "raising the standard of the sport." In fact the new qualifications were put in place specifically to improve the saftey record of XC. I beleive they are ineffective because too many unquestionably safe horse & riders are stymied.

The effective way to "raise the standards" (if this is the goal) is to make the questions asked in competition more difficult. This raises the standards for everyone starting at the top and working the way down. Actually the FEI has been doing this for some time with the dressage. Does anyone else remember when the big bug-a-boo movement at Rolex was only the counter-canter? The improvement in the last 10 years has been nothing short of amazing.

I think we would all agree that 3-day eventing is a complicated and difficult sport to learn and master. In fact it's different enough from H.Ts. that it's fair to say that one learns how to 3-day by doing 3-days. Provided there is a history of saftey isn't it presumptive of the FEI to dictate in which order you must master all the different elements. Especially considering that under the very best of circumstances you have only 2 opportunities to compete each year on a horse with optimistically 5 + or - years to compete?

There seems to be this assumption that if your doing 3-day stuff your working for a spot on the Tean, have the goal of Rolex, or are a professional trying to enhance your career. Well that's just incorrect. There are a bunch of us out here that compete to compete and don't need a ribbon for the week to have been a success. In fact isn't that what the "Olympic spirit" is all about?

The day this sport becomes nothing but professionals is the day we no longer deserve to be an Olympic sport. On that day I'll just start following NASCAR--what would be the difference, it's all about money and sponsorship. Amatuers and emerging riders when proven safe must be encouraged! They are what make this sport great. Great riders come and go; amatuers retire and become great volunteers and leaders! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Again it's not as if there is some great over-abundance of 3-day riders. In fact a Team selector specifically said to me last year that there just was not alot of horse and riders out there to chose from. We should still be trying to increase our numbers!

I will also be a proud member of the "chaf" as I know that several of the great riders refered to would have been a member of this "clique" too!

Pat Ness
Nov. 24, 2002, 06:18 PM
Which leads me to a question.
Why are we pushing so hard for sponsorship?
Are we pushing for it so there is more money in the winner's circle? It seems like the professionals would care.
I ask this because that is what I hear everywhere, even at the local GMO level. And to be honest, I don't like it.
I guess this is really not in reply to the original post... sorry.
Pat

LAH
Nov. 24, 2002, 08:14 PM
Perhaps I missed something. Was an argument made to support "professionals only" in the sport?

rileyt
Nov. 25, 2002, 07:36 AM
OK folks... after a weekend of riding and decompressing, I'd like to make some observations:

First, I'd like to apologize (again) to Bigdreamer for my snarky remark earlier in this thread... it was totally uncalled for. Sorry Laura. I had a bad week, and I promise not to be "Ogre Rileyt" anymore (for now /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

Second, am I missing something? In the spirit of getting back to our lighthearted eventing selves, my recap of this thread is as follows:

***

Bigdreamer: Dressage is really important for eventers

Rest: No, dressage is really important.

Bigdreamer: You don't understand, what I'm trying to say is Dressage is REALLY important!

Rest: You're so wrong! /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif Dressage is REALLY important!!! Go study some more you young whippersnapper!

Bigdreamer: I don't understand. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think dressage is really important. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

****
Here's my take. We ALL agree dressage is important for event horses. There might be a little disagreement over two issues:

1) is teaching the event horse truly advanced movements (e.g., piaffe and passage) good for him? Or does it start to detract from his training)

2) can you have a good event horse, who is safe across country, who scores in ,say, the 60 penalty point range?

I'll leave issue one for you guys... on Issue 2, I think my answer is clearly "yes". As someone pointed out, 3 Magic Beans and Molokai are good examples. I think, in the SIMPLEST terms, for cross country, you need a horse who can steer, go straight, and adjust his stride (oh, yeah, and gallop and jump his brains out!). You don't need to half pass. There are plenty of horses who can do this and put in very good X-C rounds, but will never break 50 on the dressage phase. Will they be even better when they further their dressage training? Yes. Do their riders realize this? Yes.

You may also have a horse who can put in a 28 on dressage, who will "tune" his rider out X-C, lock down on the bit, run off his line and have an ugly fence.

Dressage training is great, it is important,.. but we cannot lose sight of what we're doing here. And that is EVENTING. Not dressage.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Pixie Dust
Nov. 25, 2002, 08:20 AM
I LOFF it RileyT!!! Those are my thoughts as well!!! (The written dialog was especially effective! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif)

I'm not sure what exactly the argument is...... /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

GotSpots
Nov. 25, 2002, 08:46 AM
Well, RileyT, I think the reason everyone got so hot under the collar was that the exchange more closely approximated:

Bigdreamer: dressage is really important for eventers, and the Sydney riders were really bad at it, even at the easy things.

Others: dressage is really important for eventers, but (a) not all the Sydney riders were terrible, (b) it's very difficult at that level to ride a four star fit horse in a beautiful dressage test, and (c) you may need some experience in order to recognize this.

Bigdreamer: But dressage is really important for eventers: look at what happened to High Scope.

Others: Whoa there. That's completely offensive. But yes, dressage is really important, even though the best dressage probably wouldn't have made a difference. Dressage is just part of the equation.

Bigdreamer: But dressage is really really important.

I don't think that anyone ever disagreed that dressage is important. I think Gry, subk, and I, among others, disagreed with the tone of Bigdreamer's post, which appeared to be fairly condescending, without a basis in knowledge of and experience with, the sport. Laura got jumped on for those statements, not for saying that dressage is important.

rileyt
Nov. 25, 2002, 08:55 AM
GotSpots... as one of the posters who got "hot under the collar", I'd have to agree that I think your rendition of the topic is maybe more accurate than mine. I was trying to point out the many places I think we all agree. As bigdreamer concedes, she may have used some poor word choices, and inadvertantly ruffled feathers. But I think some of us (myself included) were maybe a bit quick to get offended when I don't think she meant to be offensive. That's all.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

subk
Nov. 25, 2002, 09:32 AM
So, how many Grand Prix jumpers are schooled in the half-pass? Yes a few (Ann Kursinski comes to mind) but in general how often do you see it? I certainly know that the A Jumper shows I've competed in a few people looked at me like I had 2 heads because I was doing some leg yeilding and shoulder-in in the warm-up.

Maybe we should deem those horses unsafe, I mean don't they jump 5 feet? Jeez, jumping 5 feet and can't even do a half-pass, I don't even want to think about their counter-canters. Boy, those guys must be stupid.

Pixie Dust
Nov. 25, 2002, 09:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>My thoughts? I agree 100% with bigdreamer. It's only mid-level dressage, why are these top combinations struggling so much with it? They SHOULD be doing better. Period. There is really no excuse not to. If our Olympic atheletes cannot do something as simple as a decent shoulder-in, the sport is in trouble. Is it really too much to ask to expect more from them? I don't think so.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You should definitely take this up with Captain Mark Phillips. Maybe you have some ways to help the team? That would be most helpful. I'm sure someone here has his address....he probably has no idea he needs help! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

kileyc
Nov. 25, 2002, 10:30 AM
This has been such an "interesting" thread! As someone who is fairly new to eventing (5 years and only to training level) I was not going to reply. But...

Subk....I have to chime in, every year I go home to watch the Spruce Meadow Masters, my favorite thing to do is to go to the int'l warm up are at 7:00am the morning of the Grand Prix. Most of the competitors are schooling, no jumps, some are even in dressage saddles. Let me tell you, these horses are amazing doing upper level movements, maybe not Piaffe and Passage, certainly half pass, pirouettes (sp?) counter canter, amazing lenthens and shortens. tempe changes (3's and 4's not singles). I am always amazed, and I don't think that most people ever see this.

I think over the last 15 years ALL disiplines are realizing the importance of dressage.

As someone who had a OTTB mare that did amazing dressage at home, but BLEW up in the dressage ring, I do understand that TB's not always show their best when electricity in the air is running high. That does not mean they are not schooling it at home. Many are amazing and can hold it together all the way around. That is what is so cool about this sport, each horse is such an individual, each situation is different.

BTW LAH, I do think it sucks that you had to pay $75 to prove your horse could qualify!

Just my 2 cents as an ex-open jumper, happily turned eventer!

onthebit
Nov. 25, 2002, 01:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> So, how many Grand Prix jumpers are schooled in the half-pass? Yes a few (Ann Kursinski comes to mind) but in general how often do you see it? I certainly know that the A Jumper shows I've competed in a few people looked at me like I had 2 heads because I was doing some leg yeilding and shoulder-in in the warm-up.

Maybe we should deem those horses unsafe, I mean don't they jump 5 feet? Jeez, jumping 5 feet and can't even do a half-pass, I don't even want to think about their counter-canters. Boy, those guys must be stupid. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Subk, you are absolutely correct in that a lot of the people showing on the A level are riding horses that are less than proficient on the flat. As a lifelong h/j rider I would just like to comment that these are not the people that I would point to as the "cream of the crop" in showjumping. If you have attended the A shows in our area I can assure you that the people riding in the Grand Prix are far from the cream. Now a few years ago it pulled in some of the "big guns" but not anymore. When they do come it is usually on their 2nd and 3rd stringers. Like a previous poster said, go to the big A shows such as WEF, Spruce Meadows, etc. and watch the international showjumpers that are consistently at the top, and you will see 3rd and 4th level dressage horses as far as their level of schooling and the warm-up routine you will see them go through. I honestly believe that if we required some of our Grand Prix riders to ride at least a second level test with scores in the 60's we might see a lot better broke, more rideable, and safer rounds in the Grand Prix ring. I think of one of our local professionals that does the Grand Prix routinely and am amazed he is still alive. You couldn't pay me enough $$$ to ride his horse to a 3' jump, much less a 5' jump!!! So I actually am agreeing with your point that you were sarcastically making, that YES, some of them need desperately to be sent to the dressage ring and not allowed to come back for awhile!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

As a h/j wading into the eventing board here, I apologize if I offended anyone. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I do agree that riding a dressage test on horse fit and trained for a 4* is a whole 'nother thing than riding a horse fit for a Grand Prix dressage test.

bigdreamer
Nov. 25, 2002, 01:32 PM
i don't think event horses should be schooled above a certain level of dressage- for instance- piaffe and pessage- but i do think they should do sufficiently well at what they are required of at a horse trial/3-day. Warming up with that stuff is great, IMHO, since is loosens up more muscles and makes the horse that much more maliable.

I have a quick question- when you are out conditioning, do you ask your horse to bend and have a connection? Not On the Bit or in a frame, but do you ask for simple dressagey stuff? Do you let them "get away" with things such as swapping leads even tho they shouldn't? avoiding a certain leg aid, etc.? Just want to know- don't jump to any conclusions as to why i want to know tho!

I find, after much thinking, that it's difficult with people riding at the 4* level. I mean- everyone has to start somewhere, so of course their going to have some issues with cross country questions and stadium- that's how we learn. But i figure we all get to pratice our dressage at home- we know exactly what is asked of us. It is something that is consistent that we know what to do. Can't predict that the horse will be perfect everytime- But it's the same questions. So I feel ok saying a few seat of the pants riding moments are fine out on course. The times where it's obvious the horse saved the riders a$$ shows a good XC horse, a scopy able to manage the stuff out there jumping machine. When i said dressage was the foundation of eventing, I didn't mean that it should be the ultimate deciding factor- But rather that when you and your horse are going stride in stride and you can move em where ya want and do what you want with him b/c you are able to, that's what we need when going into a 5 part ABCDE jump- not that he's running away going on his own ride.

I do beleive that XC should have more say in the placings then dressage- but when everyone is clocking around clean- what do you have to fall back on?

onto the whole professional/sponsorship thing- It's expensive to campagne a horse- and as we all know, riding isn't cheap in general- we need all the help we can get. (That's why i want to name my future horse Maserati- perhaps they will sponser me and let me drive a car /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif lol) I'm for sponsorship- but do admit ti's annoying with thats ALL you see.

again- i apologized for my seemingly snippy remarks and attempted to fix them... and failed. so rawr. I couldn't seem to get a hold on what i was thinking of, and used an example even tho i shouldn't have and am now biting my tounge. So yay- laura learned a lesson- and I'm happy everyone is not yelling at me anymore.
I mis-presented my case, regret it, and now that we are back on track- YAY!

ok- enough ~laura~

rileyt
Nov. 25, 2002, 01:42 PM
Laura- there are "slobs" in every discipline... and when you talk about riders (of ANY discipline) that allow a horse to NOT do what he is asked, that is sloppiness, plain and simple. (Your example of swapping leads, or not moving off the leg... ) Eventers don't "allow" it (as a group) any more than dressage riders, hunters, or jumpers.

For the record, my current horse does not have basic dressage yet, but every other horse I've ever ridden,... once he knows basic dressage (and yes, I include "on the bit" in this) Is expected to hack out "on the bit" and working.

I don't know of a single good event rider who lets her horse slop around while hacking out. Its different from dressage schooling, but the horse is supposed to be "working"... correctly, through the back, and on the bit.

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Pixie Dust
Nov. 25, 2002, 02:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bigdreamer:
I have a quick question- when you are out conditioning, do you ask your horse to bend and have a connection? Not On the Bit or in a frame, but do you ask for simple dressagey stuff? Do you let them "get away" with things such as swapping leads even tho they shouldn't? avoiding a certain leg aid, etc.? Just want to know- don't jump to any conclusions as to why i want to know tho!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

When I am riding out, which is always because I do not have a ring, although I do have access to a big fabulous field for dressage, but yes, I always expect the H-man to be "on". And while hacking around the big field, if he is being a goof (which is basically always) then he has to go "on the bit" or I'd fall off for sure. When I canter the field, I make sure he takes the lead I ask for, which he usually does. When I take him on trail, I like to walk on a loose rein, but I still insist on straightness and no cutting corners or avoiding water/mud. I also like to practice leg yeilding and getting him to respond to my seat when I am walking. Sometimes I practice 2-point at the walk/trot to improve my muscle tone. I always walk at least 15-20 minutes before doing any kind of "work" and often walk a whole hour before doing dressage. I don't spend a whole lot of time doing dressage with Hektor. I worry he'll get bored. I'd love to work with a dressage trainer, but can't right now ($$).

I don't really call it conditioning, Hektor hasn't even done a novice HT, but I did the same thing when I was doing conditioning work for someone else (and I kept a diary for him to review.)

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

deltawave
Nov. 25, 2002, 03:09 PM
Do I ever allow my horse to goof off? Yes, sometimes. If we're out for a conditioning gallop and she's feeling good and decides to change her leads automatically every so often I'm not going to get after her...it's what she learned to do on the track. As long as she DOES change when I'm asking, I'm fine letting her have a little bit of fun, and don't mind even if she gives a little buck through the changes.

I hope that doesn't define me as a "slob". Remember there are those of us who don't aspire to perfection, the higher levels, or to making eventing into a blood and guts, joyless pursuit of perfection. We just want to have fun! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif (I'm not saying that anybody here gives that impression about eventing) I don't have time to ride every single day, and consider riding my FUN. I get a laugh out of my ex-racehorse's evident enjoyment of a good gallop, and she's responsive to me the rest of the time in her flatwork. Sure, it's crossed my mind that demanding ultimate obedience from her at every step of every ride might help her with her spookiness, but I'm just not interested in turning our fun rides into a grueling test of obedience. FWIW... /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Plus, (and this was brought up a few times in this thread) do we REALLY want our horses waiting for us to give them an aid for EVERYTHING? Is it not OK for an event horse to make a decision on his own now and then? Another rhetorical question, with the answer, of course, being a permutation of "sometimes", "maybe", and "it depends". /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
www.deltawave.homestead.com (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com)
www.seeliecourt.homestead.com (http://www.seeliecourt.homestead.com)

Pixie Dust
Nov. 25, 2002, 03:17 PM
I wouldn't call that a slob! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Of course I allow some bucks and fun (he prefers crowhopping) and when galloping, if he thinks it's a good idea to switch leads, I figure he has a good reason. What I mean is that I don't allow him to walk down a hill sideways or walk to the very edge of the trail because there is a spot of mud....that kind of thing. When on trail, I like to let him go on the buckle.

I'm not really sure why the question was asked.

I do not smirk. But if I did, this would be a good opportunity. - Worf

subk
Nov. 25, 2002, 03:28 PM
Just want to make sure that everyone realizes I was choking because my tongue was so far in my cheek concerning the jumpers! My point was there are a tremendous number of very successful horses out there jumping bigger than 4 feet over some pretty incredible courses who by eventing standards are amazingly inadaquate in dressage.

Bigdreamer-- yes, I do dressagy stuff when I'm conditioning my upper level horse. Specifically, during trot sets as well as gallop sets I'll ask him to reach forward and down with his neck and then to fluidly move his neck left and right. I'll also ask him a few times during a gallop to rebalance himself as if I was approaching a jump--not unlike a half-halt but much more subtle using only the motion of lifting my shoulder.

However, you must remember that I have to spend time encouraging him to move efficiently, and efficiently is not "on the bit" with his rear end up under him. You can still get a forward, sufficiently balanced horse moving from his hind end without being in a dressage frame. The key word being "sufficient." A good XC horse isn't one that stays balanced over the whole course but one who is adjustable enough to become balanced when asked or it's needed.

A horse that spends too much time collected becomes a canidate for hock and stifle problems (as evident from the repetetive use injuries seen is dressage horses.) You must remember that as I'm preparing for a CCI** I'm spending 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the saddle a day. I must spend a chunk of that time allowing him to "just be a horse" and hack around. I'd hate to think of what it would do to his attitude if I was constantly picking at him or "working" him. But that doesn't mean he's allowed to "get away with stuff."

While on a hack it doesn't occur to him not to bend around a turn, or move away from my leg when asked to move over, or rein back and turn on the hounches when opening a gate, or even do a flying change when needed on a trail. At this point I don't even realize I'm asking and he probably doesn't realize he's being obediant--it's just part of the partnership.

It may also interest you, that when we are not specifically preparing for a 3-day we're spending probably 75% of our "schooling" time working on dressage. In fact, if I could get the dressage work at competition that I get at home we'd probably find ourselves more often in the top 25% after dressage instead of the bottom 50%. We don't have a dressage problem we have a performance problem.

-Hope this answers some of you questions.

Pat Ness
Nov. 25, 2002, 03:46 PM
the fences come down and to me this is way different then a solid obstacle. I am more worried about the horses with the bad riders out eventing then the bad riders going over 5 foot courses.

Pat

JDufort
Nov. 25, 2002, 04:35 PM
During the season, my horses gallops every 4 days so I don't really feel the need to make them work in a frame for the whole hour that they are conditioning. The gallop itself is work enough. I do 20 minutes of trot before and after my gallop sets and I make them work "through" during those, but during the gallop sets I work them in the frame that I go cross country in; not on a lose rein, but letting them pick their head set...(as long as its not between their legs, or in my lap..lol) Swapping leads during gallops dont bother me at all...the horses know what their doing!...like someone said earlier...as long as they still swap leads when I ask, I'm happy! I don't mind if they goof off every now and then...at the upper levels we expect so much of them and they do so much for us...I think that we should let them have some fun. It doesn't hurt anyone to make the ride fun as well. I want my horses to look forward to the rides....Even when I'm flatting, I work hard for 15/20 minutes and then let them walk or trot on the buckle for 5...then go back to work. Mixing work with fun keeps me sane too!

Johanna

subk
Nov. 25, 2002, 04:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pat on the back:
the fences come down and to me this is way different then a solid obstacle. I am more worried about the horses with the bad riders out eventing then the bad riders going over 5 foot courses.

Pat<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bad riders don't 3-day.

Gry2Yng
Nov. 25, 2002, 06:26 PM
One of the habits I try to follow when conditioning is to use as many different frames as I can. Because each frame uses a slightly different set of muscles and muscles fatigue. So I let Ed go flat like a race horse, I trot collected, I trot with his nose out like a hunter, I canter with his nose on the ground, then between his legs, then like a saddlebred. I try to use everything, so that it all gets stronger and nothing gets overused. Sometimes shoulder in, sometimes I do half pass or leg yield at the gallop.

I do have an opinion about swapping leads...at the gallop the horse should swap when he needs to for balance. A little known fact, but on the track a race horse does not keep the left lead continuously. They are trained to take the left lead in the corners and swap out to the right lead in the straight-aways. If you watch the steeple chase, most ex-racehorses still perform this way. During conditioning I try to encourage a change of direction that forces a swap in order to use both leads equally during my gallop sets.

deltawave
Nov. 25, 2002, 06:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gry2Yng:
A little known fact, but on the track a race horse does not keep the left lead continuously. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Except for Ruffian...only time she ever raced on her right lead was right before she broke down. Weird, huh? /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I've got tapes of all but one of her races and it's left lead all the way. They could never get her to swap. /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

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Gry2Yng
Nov. 25, 2002, 06:53 PM
I did not know that about Ruffian, and I even read the book. I SO clearly remember that race, it had a HUGE impact on me as a kid. Do you remember the girl horse/boy horse cartoon characters they had during the commercials. It broke my heart what happened to that filly. I think I was about 8 years old.

For horses that do swap, I think it is usually an indication that they are tiring and going to fade if they stop swapping.

BarbB
Nov. 25, 2002, 07:08 PM
my TB came off the track at age 8. When I turn him loose in a large oval arena to run, he takes the inside lead going around the short side (the turns) and swaps to the outside lead going down the long side.
It's obviously not as big as a race track, but his conditioning to prevent fatigue takes over anyway.
hmmmmm....this was totally off topic
/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

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bigdreamer
Nov. 25, 2002, 07:45 PM
/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif never called anyone a slob. I was just wondering what you guys did. food for thought- *sigh* every word that comes out of my mouth (well, keyboard) isn't to diss you guys- please don't take it that way! Just wanted to know- perhaps i shoulda started a new thread?? I let the mare buck too- she never really gets to gallop gallop much. I like to enjoy our hacks as much as she does /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

*ruffian* sniff. Lynn- you got me into her /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif. that's odd- interesting too.

~laura~

rileyt
Nov. 26, 2002, 07:13 AM
Oh NO! I didn't mean to imply that you had called anyone a slob! I was just expressing my OWN opinion that the things you were describing were, in my book, akin to generally sloppy riding. I didn't mean for it to sound like that... /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Pixie Dust
Nov. 26, 2002, 08:55 AM
Actually, I would be interested. I think it is worthy of it's own thread. (BD, I didn't think you were inferring anyone was a slob!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif) And just for the record, even if I "argued" with you, that doesn't mean I don't respect you and admire your dedication. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif You go girl!

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Jair
Nov. 26, 2002, 09:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:

Bad riders don't 3-day.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Of course they do /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif what a ridiculous statement.

bad riders are everywhere!

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tle
Nov. 26, 2002, 10:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jair:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:

Bad riders don't 3-day.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Of course they do /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif what a ridiculous statement.

bad riders are everywhere!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If I read subk correctly, she probably meant "bad" as in the worst. There ARE varying degrees of bad, ya know. And those that are TRULY bad, are not 3-daying... you can't get to that level, with that fitness and pre-3-day work and be a truly bad rider. You can be below the average 3-day rider, but not "bad".

************
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JER
Dec. 1, 2002, 10:51 PM
A few things for the ongoing discussion:

When a horse is 'on the bit', his field of vision is very limited. He can see down and around, but not very far in front of himself. This is just not suitable for galloping XC at all or even hacking out at times -- the horse needs to see what's coming. The horse needs to be between your hand and your leg but not 'on the bit'.

Dressage movements are meant to be a way of developing your horse's strength and self-carriage. You work in dressage to give the horse the tools he needs to do his job. If a horse needs stronger abdominal muscles, you teach half-steps. If he needs to be more supple, you teach laterals. If the horse will benefit from piaffe (as some jumpers do), you do piaffe. There is no set prescription for what a horse 'should' school.

rileyt
Dec. 2, 2002, 06:54 AM
I realized after my last post, that my idea of hacking out "on the bit" may have caused some confusion... No, I certainly don't mean that your horse should have his head on the vertical in a dressage frame while doing his conditioning canters... when I hack horses out though, they are expected to be using themselves correctly, and "on the bit" in the looser sense of the word... (i.e., working through their backs, steady, soft and responsive in both reins)....

Most of the horses I've helped condition don't do "interval" training... they do long steeplechase-type hills... so... going uphill especially its easy to ask a horse to come soft through his topline.

But you've got a good point JER,...

Half of Riding is 30% mental ... no wonder there are so many bad riders /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

pwynnnorman
Dec. 2, 2002, 05:18 PM
But wasn't it Jimmy Wofford who had his working students hack the horses out "on the bit" (on the verticle, that is) all the time?

Oh, well. I've checked my Wofford book and can't find anything, but I could have sworn someone BN insisted on that.

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Pat Ness
Dec. 2, 2002, 06:49 PM
talked about how he used to have them go out on a long rein, but when they were just ambling around, he had them start to go on the aids. He preferred a long rein with a free forward walk though.

That is what I remember reading from the book, but, I don't have the greatest memory.

Pat Ness

Gry2Yng
Dec. 2, 2002, 06:57 PM
sets, I spent some time "on the bit" in the true sense of the word. I also play games while galloping and will ask my horse to come all the way back to a collected canter. So I don't gallop on the bit, but play with all different frames. I will second the notion that you cannot jump when your horse is on the vertical, I have seen so many people try it, and one woman actually try to teach jumping that way! /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif