PDA

View Full Version : Why can't my horse do grand prix?



twnkltoz
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:23 PM
I understand that the majority of horses (and riders) never get to the grand prix level. Why is that? What's so hard about the upper level movements that some horses can't do it? Or, is it that the horses can perform the movements, but lack the flair (or whatever) to be competitive?

DressageGuy
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:26 PM
Do you have any idea of how hard the upper-level collected movements are? Most horses lack the ability to have that much "sit". They just simply can't do it without breaking down. Also, many horses just don't "get" one-tempis, their minds simply can't get it to work. Mentally, they can't take the stress that inherently with this level of training.

twnkltoz
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:33 PM
Nope, don't have much idea actually. What is it that prevents them from being able to sit? Can you predict this ability by their conformation?

mjhco
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:38 PM
You can guess that a horse may be able to collect and really sit by looking at conformation. But there are certainly a lot of horses with the ideal conformation that you can hardly ride to the mail box and back and some with not so ideal conformation that do very well at the upper levels.

1. Physical attributes -- ability to collect, sit, do tempis, do passage, piaffe PHYSICALLY
2. Being able to hold up to the stresses of training MENTALLY.
3. Physical soundness -- their entire bodies have to be able to hold up to the stresses of the work. Lots of FEI level trained horses now doing other things because of injuries.

inca
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:38 PM
For the same reason I didn't get a scholarship to play college basketball! I just don't have all the physical attributes necessary to compete at that level! (I REALLY don't now that I am 40!!!!)

Seriously, not every person can be at the top of their sport, whether it be gymnastics, basketball, tennis or whatever. What makes you think it is so different for a horse and that any ol' horse should be able to be at the top of dressage?

ESG
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:38 PM
I understand that the majority of horses (and riders) never get to the grand prix level. Why is that? What's so hard about the upper level movements that some horses can't do it? Or, is it that the horses can perform the movements, but lack the flair (or whatever) to be competitive?

Only a relatively small percentage of equine athletes are talented enough to get to the upper levels of any discipline.

But the real reason most horses never make it to GP <ESG zipping up flame suit here> is that their riders are less capable than they. One of my favorite coaches says "It's amazing what the horse can do when you teach the rider to ride." and I agree. Most horses perform GP movements all the time at liberty, so it stands to reason that the rider (and trainer) rather than lack of talent on the horse's part, is the root of the problem. ;)

JME. :cool:

twnkltoz
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:43 PM
For the same reason I didn't get a scholarship to play college basketball! I just don't have all the physical attributes necessary to compete at that level! (I REALLY don't now that I am 40!!!!)

Seriously, not every person can be at the top of their sport, whether it be gymnastics, basketball, tennis or whatever. What makes you think it is so different for a horse and that any ol' horse should be able to be at the top of dressage?
It's not that I think everyone should be able to do it...I just want to know what stops them. To use your example, the average person can play basketball all they want. However, most don't have the combination of height and athletic ability to be able to keep up with the top level players. However, I suspect that much of this can be overcome with a lot of hard work. I just thought this would be an interesting discussion!

Thanks all for your replies...please keep them coming!

inca
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:46 PM
While I agree that the rider is OFTEN a limiting factor to how far a horse goes, I still do NOT think most horses can do GP. Doing a passage out in the pasture is VERY different than putting together an entire GP test while remaining through, supple, etc.!

(I know darn well my horses would be MUCH farther along if Debbie McDonald was their rider. But hey, they are stuck with me!)

Pely
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:48 PM
A horse that lacks cadance and suspension in the trot will probably never be able to get off the ground enough for passage. The horse that lacks the ability to lower the haunches and raise the front, will most likely never piaffe. A horse that doesn't have a natural, swinging rythm in his gait, or is tight in the back probably won't do either, they will tend to quicken and shuffle rather than push themselves upward off the ground. You can help some of this through training, although, no matter how well trained they are, some will never be able to. Even if the horse has suspension and cadance in the working gaits, he may lack the ability to bring the hind legs under and keep them under.

Many horses can never be supple enough to do the steep half passes, especially the counter changes in canter.

Some horses just don't have the mental ability to contiue to learn beyond a certain level. They get frustrated and angry when the work becomes difficult for them, or confusing for them.

Many horses who can do perfect individual changes, still can't keep their balance well enough to do the ones. The one time changes are almost a gait onto themselves. The ones are the ultimate test of co-ordination and balance.

Even horses who can do bits of p & p, and the ones, can have difficulty keeping the engagement and impulsion and balance needed to do the entire test. In the GP, there is no room for error, the movements come up so quickly, that virtually every step has to be near perfect.

The rider has to have absoute control over their own body and aids,this requires a tremendous amount of feel and co-ordination.

You can predict some of this natural ability. I would look for a horse that carries himself up-hill, with a natural cadance and suspension, keeps his hind legs under his body naturally as he pushes himself up off the ground as well as forward.

Even then, it's a total crapshoot.

inca
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:52 PM
I worked hard and was a really good shooter. That is a skill that you can really improve with hard work. However, no matter how hard I work, I wasn't going to become fast enough or be able to jump high enough (or be tall enough) to be competitive at a high level.

You can IMPROVE most things with hard work but you can't always improve them ENOUGH to compete at the highest level.

Most horses just don't have enough athleticism and the mental fortitude to do Grand Prix. And stay sound enough to get there.

twnkltoz
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:52 PM
Here's another question: to what level would you say the majority of horses (that are sound and don't have deal-breaking conformational faults) have the ability to attain, given a competant rider? Training? What about your average, athletic, intelligent horse?

mbm
Sep. 15, 2006, 06:57 PM
i think the rider is the most limiting factor.... it is HARD to ride correctly for activity and then collection. it is HARD to ride precisely.

i do think all horses can do stuff from FEI, but to show and be competitive is another story...

imagine what horses would be like it ALL riders/trainers were Mr. Klimke??

raffadasmom
Sep. 15, 2006, 07:19 PM
I'm in the "it's all about the rider" camp. I've seen brilliant riders get brilliant movements out of horses you'd never imagine could do that. An average-moving horse that's sound is capable of doing at least some of the GP movements. The pivotal factor is having a human show it how to do these movements without frying its brain.
Now, I'm not saying it's easy. Heck no! Some horses get fried more easily than others. Even Klimke took horses to Oliveira to put P/P on them. So even the greatest horsemen get help, too.
I've seen (too many) horses with all the talent in the world never get past second level because of trainers who thought they knew it all.
Technically these riders were good, looked terrific in the saddle, learned from the best teachers but they lacked something that is crucial in developing any horse's potential: TACT.
Without tact, you will never succeed in the upper levels.

snowpony
Sep. 15, 2006, 07:55 PM
It's both horse and rider. I never saw my childhood pony piaffe in the pasture (standing and bucking were his favourite gaits) and I would bet no pro in the world could take him to GP ;)

I'd say your average hrose could make it to be competitive at 3rd level with a great rider. Beyond that, it takes more on the part of the horse.

Lambie Boat
Sep. 15, 2006, 09:35 PM
most horses/riders top out at 2nd level because of collection.

ideayoda
Sep. 15, 2006, 09:51 PM
Are we talking about doing GP, or being competitive??? Most horses can do piaffe/passage (after the fashions of their body, and learn collection). There are some for whom the ones cannot be put in (because they are a gait anomoly where the riders latin may not go). But short of the most horses can learn all the lateral work, collection, PPP, and tempis to twos; put riders are often not given the tools, nor have the time to devote to learning how to ride, and then train, horses. Competitive? Depends upon where and for what level.

dressagediosa
Sep. 15, 2006, 09:51 PM
There's also something about a Grand Prix horse - even a mediocre one - that makes them want to keep on truckin'. It's more than just natural impulsion, it's an inner drive, a desire to fight when the going gets tough. You can't get through the Grand Prix without it. Some horses just don't want to go through that much work.

angel
Sep. 15, 2006, 09:53 PM
...and it is not that the horse is not capable of collection. For the most part, it is the rider leaning forward on the crotch with reins held too short by arms that are too much straight away from the torso.

Horsedances
Sep. 15, 2006, 10:06 PM
Are we talking about doing GP, or being competitive??? Most horses can do piaffe/passage (after the fashions of their body, and learn collection). There are some for whom the ones cannot be put in (because they are a gait anomoly where the riders latin may not go). But short of the most horses can learn all the lateral work, collection, PPP, and tempis to twos; put riders are often not given the tools, nor have the time to devote to learning how to ride, and then train, horses. Competitive? Depends upon where and for what level.

Maybeeeee, because they spent to much time riding their keyboards :cool: :confused:

merrygoround
Sep. 15, 2006, 10:21 PM
Maybeeeee, because they spent to much time riding their keyboards :cool: :confused:

HEE HEE!! Why are you confused. You most reasonably came up with the correct answer.

;);););):):)

hsheffield
Sep. 15, 2006, 10:28 PM
short answer:because it's really hard.

not as short answer:because it's different with every horse and sometimes different depending on the day and still hard

btw, agree w/ the rider being impt. friend who trained at rehbein's was sure he could make a mule piaffe.

Daydream Believer
Sep. 15, 2006, 10:35 PM
I think the horse's mind is more important (excluding the rider) than anything else. I've seen downhill QH's learn FEI movements...they may not do them well, but like Ideayoda said, they do them in a fashion. I've seen the most physcially talented horses in the world have such silly minds and poor work ethics that they couldn't do good training level work.

tbluv
Sep. 15, 2006, 10:41 PM
I think most horses could works its way to GP. I don't mean to disrespect or demean the "competitive" aspect of dressage and those great horses-- BUT the whole concept of dressage was to take a "regular" horse and make them great through discipline and training.

Gait abnormalities and unsoundness (mental or physical) are the only things I can think of that would cause a horse to be completely unable to comply with what is being asked. I once knew a woman who had this 7 year old mare that couldn't even get around the arena without her nose being in the air, and this paticular mare wasn't a stellar mover, and didn't possess superior conformation. This lady was determined and worked slowly and 13 years later wouldn't you know this little mare was doing piaffe/passage, tempis, etc. The mare I might add did not break down mentally or physically from those demands.

She wasn't competitive, it took forever to get there... but the point is, she DID get there.

slc2
Sep. 16, 2006, 02:07 AM
podhajsky and others said that not one in 10,000 horses can do the grand prix. then dressage came to america, LOL, and that was no longer acceptable.

alot of horses do a type of 'housewife FEI'(not my term, don't blame me), where they do the work, they get around the ring, sure, but without enough, real or correct collection, mostly in working gaits. or at least in what to a demanding trainer with standards, is 'working gaits'.

this kind of thing confuses observers who don't realize what is going on.

Pely
Sep. 16, 2006, 08:47 AM
The average horse, with decent conformation, and most importantly - 3 clean, pure gaits, should be able to make it to I1, and be moderately competitive. (scores in the low 60%)

Those horses will most likely be able to do 2 of the 3 "hard" GP movements.

there is a huge canyon between I1 and I2.

ToN Farm
Sep. 16, 2006, 10:32 AM
Why can't my average horse jump Grand Prix fences? It's a similar question with a similar answer. Extra-ordinary athletic talent is the answer.

I read many posts from riders wanting to make it to GP when they aren't even at First Level. Once you reach 3rd or 4th level, you begin to have a better understanding of why horses don't get farther. Collection and suppleness at this level is extremely difficult. Along with this you need power and brilliance, something I feel is missing in many of the horses that have the talent for the P's (odg's baroque, etc.).

slc2
Sep. 16, 2006, 10:40 AM
that involves keeping them sound for a long time. that, for most people who get to the point where they can ride well enough to move a horse up, is the problem.

the FIRST thing that stops people from succeeding is their riding. the NEXT thing that stops them from moving up is the horse. no one seems to recognize that. it's not all the horse, and it's not all the rider. if a person can't sit the trot, can't do the basic things, can't ride forward, they aren't going to move up the levels. sure. but if they get past that, that's not the end of the story.

and i don't see - well - MOST of the horses people select for themselves, staying sound for the ten years or more it might take. that means that any little slight defect in their conformation, any tendency of them to be 'hard' on themselves (say, if they have a heavy front end or a long, heavy neck, or a slight hind quarter, or any defect in their leg conformation, or well...just about anything else) that that is going to get put to the test.

upper level horses have to be fit, and that means working, and that means testing their conformation. it has nothing to do with what traits most people look for in a horse, those are just cosmetic things and aren't important.

mickeydoodle
Sep. 16, 2006, 10:42 AM
Not all horses can make it to GP. Nor can they all get to second. We have a cute little perch/tb cross at our barn who has been ridden by a very good rider all summer. He qualified for regionals at first, with a respectable 68%. He will never make it to second. Oh, he can do "housewife" second as SLC mentioned above. He can go sideways, do renvers, travers, half pass, BUT NOT IN A COLLECTED BALANCE. He did go in the ring at second, nice accurate test, but no collection, score 55%. He is not built to sit nor elevate his forehand and he will not be able to. He is what he is, and many horses are like this.

Now, yes, I agree that the rider makes a huge difference. But do you know how hard it is to ride upper level movements in a test? I am trying to ride 4/PSG now. I can do a beautiful trot or canter half pass, from point Z (somewhere between the quarter line and the wall) to point Q (somewhere in the middle) but to try to put it all together into a zig zag, or from there to the pirouettes (and we can do a good one in the middle of the ring after doing about 6 schooling ones) is extremely difficult. Try it sometime. So combine very hard movements, put them in a very rapid sequence and see how many horses can get to GP

Hony
Sep. 16, 2006, 10:47 AM
I think it's all rider related too. Obviously some horses will perform the movements better than others but once riders figure out how to ask for the movement then there is no reason why the horse shouldn't be able to do it, even if they do it poorly!
I think it's the learning curve hump thing. Once you get over the hump of not knowing how to do something and just figure it out then all of a sudden it seems achievable. I have a friend who one day last winter decided that she would learn to do canter pirouettes and the next week she was doing half canter pirouettes.

Horsedances
Sep. 16, 2006, 10:56 AM
All toptrainers and riders will tell you that between PSG/Inter-I and the GP/GPS you have the Alps, Grand Canyon and the Himalaya.

Why do you think the PaPi-class was introduced for riders coming from the YR-classes. The step from the Light Tour to the Heavy tour is much to BIG. And starting to practice Passage and Piaffe while you are still competing at the PSG/Inter-I isn't a very wise descission, so to make a succesfull switch between the Light and Heavy Tour you have to stay home for one or two years, which is for many riders a BIG problem.

DocHF
Sep. 16, 2006, 12:18 PM
redux:

conformation
temperament
talent
time
training
soundness
rider ability
rider dedication


when all these factors come together, you win the lottery.

Elegante E
Sep. 16, 2006, 01:31 PM
Sounds like those dang GP riders are doing it again, making it look so darn easy that every joe schmoe thinks they should be able to do it too.

Thinking most horses can do it is silly. Some people don't seem to be seperating movements from full tests. Or that it's a joint effort which takes talent on both sides, horses/rider. I agree with those that point this out.

I have a horse that can do many GP movements. He's built that way and has shown me he is capable of many movements that are considered quite hard. But darn it if I can get him to do a decent down transition or take the proper canter lead some days, especially at shows. It's his mind that causes most of our issues and when it's not him it's me (we both have off days). Putting all those movements together is amazingly hard.

I should say, I don't think people should be discouraged by this, knowing that it's hard or nearly impossible for most horse/rider combos. It should push us to do the best with what we have and take pride in that (so much easier said than done ;)

neVar
Sep. 16, 2006, 02:03 PM
The average horse who remains decently sound (ie no injuries, or bad arthritis) SHOULD with proper training and TIME/Conditioning be able to SCHOOL all the GP movements.

But schooling the movements- and putting together a test is a whole different shebang. you can take a QH and train it and spend time working and developing it and several years down the road that QH if luck has blessed it will be sound and playing some piaffe, passage, and pirrouettes and tempis. But that doesn't mean he can do it in a test (Or that by this point the rider hasn't stopped to have a kid, changed jobs, moved across country, sold horse yadda yadda yadda). Soem horses will neve rbe built to do this correctly- but they CAN do it if they ad developed properly and have a good rider on them. NOw putting the test together, doing it correctly (like i'm sorry a 8 inch downhill horse will not be as CORRECT in it's movement, gaits or collection) is another shebang. BUt ANY horse should if stays sound be able to train up to the point of WORKING those movements.

Horsedances
Sep. 16, 2006, 05:04 PM
But let's talk about real GP, not the ones we have seen at the WEG2006 from tooooooo many people. For me it wasn't fun to watch 83 rides from which only 30 imo could be addressed at a GP-ride. The rest was doing a PSG test and try to survive the PAPI.

And I agree with the earlier posters that every horse can do (more or less) the heavy tour movements, but mostly when they want it to do themself and on the spot they choose themself. The hardest part is to glue all these movements together, and believe me in the GP there is NOT much time for preparing for the next movement. And last but not least it takes two horses to become a good GP-rider.

mazymind
Sep. 16, 2006, 06:57 PM
But let's talk about real GP, not the ones we have seen at the WEG2006 from tooooooo many people. For me it wasn't fun to watch 83 rides from which only 30 imo could be addressed at a GP-ride. The rest was doing a PSG test and try to survive the PAPI.

And I agree with the earlier posters that every horse can do (more or less) the heavy tour movements, but mostly when they want it to do themself and on the spot they choose themself. The hardest part is to glue all these movements together, and believe me in the GP there is NOT much time for preparing for the next movement. And last but not least it takes two horses to become a good GP-rider.


Exactly right Theo

Jenn2674
Sep. 16, 2006, 11:39 PM
So is the horse only considered Grand Prix if you can actually pull a test together? But could most horses with three good, correct gaits and conformation learn to do the movements then? I don't think the OP was even implying that it might be easy to get to GP or wondering if she would be able to take him there but just in general, why couldn't her horse learn GP with whoever (insert name of your favorite GP trainer). I understand her question and it is somehing I have thought about.

When some of you say that most horses wouldn't be able to "sit" enough for grand prix, do you mean to be competative or just period? Could most horses with a good trainer (again say your favorite GP trainer, ever) be trained to do the GP movements without perhaps not well enough to win or even score remarkabley well but to where it at least has the training? Or would that be considered the housewife GP? I am not talking about training a horse to do tricks but training a horse correctly but that perhaps might not be cabable of pulling off the incredible sit that a competative GP horse would need.

After giving this more thought, I think I would agree with slc2 that the most important limitation (having to do directly with the horse) would probably be the horses soundness at that kind of level. The rider/trainer being the biggest limitation overall.

Someone used the analogy of basketball. Sure none of us here could make it to the NBA but most of us could learn to play a decent basketball game!

ToN Farm
Sep. 17, 2006, 12:17 AM
So is the horse only considered Grand Prix if you can actually pull a test together?
Yes, that is my definition of a GP horse. The Tests are what determines the level of horse's training, imo. You can ride the test at home; it doesn't have to be done at a show.

mazymind
Sep. 17, 2006, 01:18 AM
"So is the horse only considered Grand Prix if you can actually pull a test together?"

Yes. Otherwise any horse that can manage a step of piaffe becomes a GP horse. A horse needs to be able to put it all together- as is required within a test- and be able to complete the movements at the very least to be considered even a schooling GP horse. That means 15 1's, 9 2's, a recognizeable pirouette, piaffe passage and the transitions between, counter changes in the canter, lock to lock half passes, the whole shebang.

I don't believe every single horse born in the world can make it to this level, but I do agree that more horses would be able to do so if the riders were capable of training them. Whether that means a horse which can do the movements or a horse which can competitively do the movements to me seems moot- most people who can train to this level won't put in the time and work involved unless the horse is talented enough to be very show ring competitive.

So, few folks are attempting to train the level backed camped out horse or the downhill low necked horse, and it's hard to know whether a horse such as this could manage to learn to do the GP. Horses can surprise you, just like people if they wrap their minds around something. I would not be shocked to hear that a very unusual comformed horse was able to do a credible GP test.

ideayoda
Sep. 17, 2006, 02:55 AM
So, Nuno, who never showed didnt ride GP???

And interesting imput here. I once rented an old film from German embassy (in Atlanta). It showed typical (army) officiers training (dressage), outside. Lungeing/jumping/dressage/etc. It showed horse after horse doing pillars and levade. They were expect to do that (apprently). Average horses, perhaps less than that as far as their type, but with wonderful scope. It also showed all to two tempis (because there was still a debate about including ones).

Alagirl
Sep. 17, 2006, 03:06 AM
Most likely a combination of many things:

Physlical ability of the horse
Mental ability of the horse
Training of the horse
Physical ability of the rider
Mental ability of the rider
Training of the rider

And mostly

Luck to match Horse and rider with all the qualities above

And money to get them together and keep them together...and of course get them to show...


It's a tall order...I think playing lotto has better odds!

slc2
Sep. 17, 2006, 12:30 PM
I agree. Practicing the movements in isolation is not very challenging. If a horse is a 'Grand Prix' horse it means the horse can perform a GP test and score a 'team horse'; type score. The other kind is purely exhibition riding, and can be structured to conceal, rather than reveal, the weaknesses in the horse's training. The tests are designed to expose every flaw or hole in the training, there is a reason extended movements are followed by collected ones, and the test systematically tests every single part of the horse's training; there is no place to hide.

And as the Spanish and Portugese riders said in interview, riding exhibition is not anywhere near as difficult as riding a test.

Having a trainer ride the horse sometimes and having a lot of lessons isn't always bad. It depends on the trainer,, the student and the horse. Some people learn a lot in these arrangements.

In one case back home, a trainer advised a very slight, weak, inexperienced training level rider to buy a powerful, heavy, large grand prix horse with a lot of gait. The trainer showed the horse alot, benefitted a great deal from the exposure, and the student took occasional lessons on him...and after six years of not being able to control the horse or do the FEI work she hoped to do, she gave up and sold the horse.

Another student, very similar in build and experience, bought a very aged small quarter horse that someone, for fun, had taught all the Grand Prix work. he was too old to be shown and the movements really weren't very correct and weren't (ever) done with any collection. The student enjoyed riding and felt no time pressure or goals, and the lack of show quality didn't bother her. She could plop around on the horse when the trainer wasn't there, and spent the rest iof the time with her young kids.

An ambitious young rider was given nearly two hundred thousand dollars by a doting relative to buy a horse. She had ridden first level at local shows on thoroughbreds and quarter horses. She bought a very powerful horse that had been trained to Prix St Georges and was quite young and had a lot of potential to go on, but was not the easiest ride. He was hot and very strong. She was very strong, healthy, tall kid who loved to gallop and feared nothing. She got with one of the toughest coaches in the business and took 5 lessons a week on that horse and another two lessons each day, one on a green third level horse and one on an old schoolmaster, and the pressure was incredible, she didn't have any time between lessons to practice, and she was expected to 'do it - NOW!'. she did great. in a year, she was riding and showing third level, in another year, the FEI. and she worked her tail off, went on to be a professional. The trainer worked her hard and trained her hard, but didn't take advantage of her.

No one situation is always right for every person and just because someone is with a trainer doesn't mean it's a bad situation. As long as the person is honest with himself (or herself) the arrangements can work very well.

ToN Farm
Sep. 17, 2006, 04:17 PM
So, Nuno, who never showed didnt ride GP???


I have no way of knowing whether he did or not. All I know of him are the photos I've seen on the net and a few videos of him. Based on them, I would say he was not capable of riding a good GP on those particular horses.

fiona
Sep. 17, 2006, 06:12 PM
Touche ToN!

I'd say it takes training at least one horse to play with the GP moves without having it ridden too much by anyone else so you have to fix your own mistakes and learn by them and take the time to keep the horse sound. Plus a competitive GP ride at least at National level that really can piaffe, passage extend and sit with power and movement to spare...then you have one tiny tiny idea of what it involves and you can start.

raffadasmom
Sep. 18, 2006, 03:27 PM
I remember hearing somewhere Nuno did compete, but only on a handful of occassions.
I also believe I read something about him separating what he did from "competition riding."
Here's a quote from him that may shed light on why he didn't compete much, if at all:
"When you get off your horse,
it is not the people who looked at you or the judge.
It is the horse that turns around and by his supple body
and kind eye that is seeing the riding I gave it,
as the one tribute I take as a student."
-----
Personally, I no longer get much out of going to shows. I've done fairly well over many years and had a couple horses that won almost everything. I just don't miss it. I get so much more happiness riding around my own arena working with my young horses.

Melyni
Sep. 18, 2006, 03:55 PM
I understand that the majority of horses (and riders) never get to the grand prix level. Why is that? What's so hard about the upper level movements that some horses can't do it? Or, is it that the horses can perform the movements, but lack the flair (or whatever) to be competitive?

Most horses of normal conformation and willing temperament can learn to do the various movements that constitute Grand Prix, given a rider of sufficient knowledge, tact and skill. However very few have the strength to do them well enough to be at all competitive.
In the 'old days' (25 odd years ago) there used to be a lot more skilled riders around and far fewer super talented horses, and you saw alot more 'ordinary' horses doing GP. Some better than others.

So given, adequate normal conformation, a willing temperament and the right rider most horses can learn most of the movements that constitute GP.
yours
MW

ToN Farm
Sep. 18, 2006, 04:01 PM
In the 'old days' (25 odd years ago) there used to be a lot more skilled riders around MW

In the USA?----I totally disagree with this statement.

CanadianGolden
Sep. 18, 2006, 06:06 PM
Dressage does not claim to be a panacea. It does claim to *improve* a horse to the best of the horse's ability, within that horse's physical and mental limitations. All horses have limitations, and dressage cannot overcome a horse's physical and mental flaws. Also, GOOD dressage will make these improvements, and few people are capable of riding the kind of dressage that will actually create a difference in a horse.


So if that's the case, then I would thoroughly expect ALL horses to be competitive at GP! And since they're not, then DON'T claim that your sport so greatly improves all horses! Because it doesn't!

Somehow, I think this is the attitude that gets you "clobbered". Improve does not equal all horses being competitive at GP. I don't know where you got that generalization.

slc2
Sep. 18, 2006, 06:39 PM
if i advertised a product that would 'improve your golf game' would you insist that means you'd beat tiger woods?

it's just not a logical statement. two simple, you love to complain about dressage so much that it's quite incredible. i hope it brings you a lot of pleasure to do so. the dressage literature is not exactly going out and forcing people at gunpoint to do dressage, there's not really a lot of prosteletyzing going on. not any more than in any other discipline.

and no. doing dressag doesn't mean your horse will be perfect. it says improve.

Melyni
Sep. 19, 2006, 09:23 AM
In the USA?----I totally disagree with this statement.

25 years ago I was in Europe and saw quite a few.

The USA is not the the world y'know! There might have been fewer around in the USA but elsewhere there were plenty. ANd there were some in the USA, but not often recognized.
Chuck Grant who trained a Saddlebred to GP (not competitive but the horse(s) did do the movements
Lendon Grey who trained Seldom Seen, a Connemara/TB.
Hilda Gurney who trained a TB (Keen) to a very competitive level of GP.
And there were others, that's just off the top of my head.
MW

Ja Da Dee
Sep. 19, 2006, 10:10 AM
You still didn't speak to the pandemic issue that generally GP horses are not manageable or rideable to the general old joe blow. Why? Why does the horse increasingly become more difficult to ride and unable to be handled by average horsemen and women? slc just mentioned it a few posts ago. I've read it 1,000 times on this board. "GP horses aren't for beginners." "GP horses are special. They're different. They're athletes, not pets." yadda yadda yadda. WHY? Why is it that a discipline which claims to IMPROVE a horse so much, creates a monster that only olympians can handle?

I can put a beginner kid on my experienced trail horse and she'd carry the kid safely and happily all day. Why can't your GP athlete do that? Why is he too hot? Too "special" to do this? It makes no sense.

Dressage people CONTINUALLY claim that dressage makes a horse more rideable. Does it? I hardly think so! Instead they increasingly become more hot and difficult and require a "PROFESSIONAL." This is why you see all these warmblood owners hanging off the shirt tail of their PROFESSIONAL. They hire the trainer to ride the horse, to show it, to handle it, to market it to the public. The trainer makes the decisions. The owner pays the bills and never gets to enjoy their horse because they can't even ride the thing! I just can't understand this.

Sure, your T, 1 and 2 riders will be doing their little thing with their horse, and that's fine. But once people progress to 3, 4, I1, etc. they end up with this horse that nobody can ride except the PROFESSIONAL. Makes no sense.

As far as I see it, dressage really does nothing to make the horse a better all around citizen, or more rideable. And THAT is my big gripe with dressage! People have this vision if they just ride dressage, their horse will morph into an angel, when in fact they generally get increasingly more difficult to handle and ride as they progress. And that's fine, but don't claim that dressage is the holy grail of the horse world.

TwoSimple, would you put a beginner rider on a top notch reining horse? A well trained WP horse? Cutting horse? Hopefully not. As a horses training progresses, they become more and more tuned to the aids, and a beginner's crude aids will confuse them. Now, assuming that horses have individual personalities, some take that confusion, and shut down, some take that confusion and their heads pop off- and the rest fill the space inbetween. There are TONS of horses that you can take to GP that are perfect schoolmasters, perfect for AA's. You still have to ask correctly, but they won't put you in the dirt if you make a mistake. There are also horses who need a pro with their whisper soft aids to ride. That is in ALL equestrian activities, not just dressage.

I used to ride a WP Arab mare for my Uncle. She was "thought sensitive" with me. When I was done showing her, I had to retrain her so her owner could ride her. It took a while, but I was able to de-sensitize her enough so he could take her on the trail and have a blast with her. He would never be a subtle rider, so she had to learn how to listen to his aids and not freak out. She was virtually unshowable after that because she wasn't nearly as immediate and "on the aids" We could do schooling shows, but class A was out.

One of the things I am working on with my horse now is "immediate' answer to me giving him an aid. I'm asking him to off of my leg 100% of the time with a whisper quiet touch. That is what is needed to advance in my training, that is what most beginner riders can't do for their horses. The rider is as responsible for much of the ride.

Of course, this has all already been said to you before, you just like to come in and stir the pot. It's too bad you are unable to understand.

Daydream Believer
Sep. 19, 2006, 10:22 AM
Here is a video of a horse that today most people would not even look twice at to do GP on and some folks might tell you a horse of his type could not even do it correctly. I hate to say it but what I saw on this video...other than the average moverment, was just as good as what I saw on some of the videos Theo put up. This was Seldom Seen's retirement ceremony in 1987 and I hope this is inspirational to everyone with an "off breed" who wants to take their horse as far as they'll go. This video was posted on UDBB yesterday and so far on that thread Lendon Gray even posted about her experience with Seldom Seen. Here is a quote from her post:

"And as you see from the beginning of the video he was an extremely average mover. I agree totally that there are many wonderful horses that could be developed to be very succesful competition horses with correct and careful training. My interest in Dressage was always to use it to make whatever horse I had, a better horse. I got my biggest thrills from taking an average or even sub-standard horse and making him a decent horse. What a treat it was to take that downhill funky mover and get a 60% and be 10th in the class. That was more gratifying than going to the Olympics. The Olympics gave me fame; my training of "alternative" horses gave me satisfaction."

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8454853385490342734&q=dressage&hl=en

inca
Sep. 19, 2006, 10:48 AM
if i advertised a product that would 'improve your golf game' would you insist that means you'd beat tiger woods?



LOL!

Yes, IMPROVE and compete at the highest level are 2 VERY different things!

carolprudm
Sep. 19, 2006, 10:59 AM
podhajsky and others said that not one in 10,000 horses can do the grand prix. then dressage came to america, LOL, and that was no longer acceptable.

alot of horses do a type of 'housewife FEI'(not my term, don't blame me), where they do the work, they get around the ring, sure, but without enough, real or correct collection, mostly in working gaits. or at least in what to a demanding trainer with standards, is 'working gaits'.

this kind of thing confuses observers who don't realize what is going on.
LOL, what percent of the colts foaled at Piber are even selected to train?

slc2
Sep. 19, 2006, 11:53 AM
very few, carol, and the people at the riding school are always griping that they can only take very few each year.

as for why a grand prix horse isn't a beginner mount, that's a ridiculous question and a ridiculous idea.

a trainer teaches a horse to respond to the tiniest aid, to invisible aids, to a whisper of aids, and to have so much power that if you ask it can leap through the air on its hind legs, trot in place, or leap forward in gorgeous passage, respond with all his power in an instant, on a hair trigger response, and to respond with so much impulsion to every leg aid or eveyr perfectly coordinated rein aid that he is right up in the bridle, and you think a ham-handed beginner who doesn't even know how to half halt, or to balance his rein aids with his leg aids, can ride him? it's a ridiculous requirement. so is it a ridiculous requirement to expect a horse that is fitter than a race horse and tuned to respond instantaneously to the most skilled rider, to slog around like a dead head when the environment is reactive. it's silly. it's a requirement you have, two simple, and that's fine, but it's nuts. it's just not logical. it's just another one of your attempts to downgrade the riders you see when you look around you, and to justify how much you complain and pick on other people.

slc2
Sep. 19, 2006, 11:56 AM
very few, carol, and the people at the riding school are always griping that they can only accept very few each year. look at the piber website and see what's for sale to the general public. like any breed, only a small percentage are suitable for taking into training for a career in upper levels of dressage.

as for why a grand prix horse isn't a beginner mount, that's a ridiculous question and a ridiculous idea.

a trainer chooses the most reactive, hot-off-the-aids, light, balanced, athletic horse he can find, with an abundance of energy and desire for forward impulsion, teaches a horse to respond to the tiniest aid, to invisible aids, to a whisper of aids, and to have so much power that if you ask it can leap through the air on its hind legs, trot in place, or leap forward in gorgeous passage, respond with all his power in an instant, on a hair trigger response, and to respond with so much impulsion to every leg aid or eveyr perfectly coordinated rein aid that he is right up in the bridle, and you think a ham-handed beginner who doesn't even know how to half halt, or to balance his rein aids with his leg aids, can ride him? it's a ridiculous requirement. so is it a ridiculous requirement to expect a horse that is fitter than a race horse and tuned to respond instantaneously to the most skilled rider, to slog around like a dead head when the environment is reactive. it's silly. it's a requirement you have, two simple, and that's fine, but it's nuts. it's just not logical. it's just another one of your attempts to downgrade the riders you see when you look around you, and to justify how much you complain and pick on other people.

Melyni
Sep. 19, 2006, 12:24 PM
You still didn't speak to the pandemic issue that generally GP horses are not manageable or rideable to the general old joe blow. Why? Why does the horse increasingly become more difficult to ride and unable to be handled by average horsemen and women? slc just mentioned it a few posts ago. I've read it 1,000 times on this board. "GP horses aren't for beginners." "GP horses are special. They're different. They're athletes, not pets." yadda yadda yadda. WHY? Why is it that a discipline which claims to IMPROVE a horse so much, creates a monster that only olympians can handle?

I can put a beginner kid on my experienced trail horse and she'd carry the kid safely and happily all day. Why can't your GP athlete do that? Why is he too hot? Too "special" to do this? It makes no sense.

Dressage people CONTINUALLY claim that dressage makes a horse more rideable. Does it? I hardly think so! Instead they increasingly become more hot and difficult and require a "PROFESSIONAL." This is why you see all these warmblood owners hanging off the shirt tail of their PROFESSIONAL. They hire the trainer to ride the horse, to show it, to handle it, to market it to the public. The trainer makes the decisions. The owner pays the bills and never gets to enjoy their horse because they can't even ride the thing! I just can't understand this.

Sure, your T, 1 and 2 riders will be doing their little thing with their horse, and that's fine. But once people progress to 3, 4, I1, etc. they end up with this horse that nobody can ride except the PROFESSIONAL. Makes no sense.

As far as I see it, dressage really does nothing to make the horse a better all around citizen, or more rideable. And THAT is my big gripe with dressage! People have this vision if they just ride dressage, their horse will morph into an angel, when in fact they generally get increasingly more difficult to handle and ride as they progress. And that's fine, but don't claim that dressage is the holy grail of the horse world.


For the same reason the beginner driver is not taught to drive in a Formula One racing car.
The GP horse has been fine tuned to follow delicate shifts of weight and subtle aids. Little kids and beginner riders can do neither of those until they have developed the motor skills and balance to sit still and quiet and only move the bits they need to move to give an aid. As well as having to develop the ability to follow the horses movement wihtout impeding the horse.
BUt you are wrong to say that all GP horses are hot monsters, a few might be at the top of their careers, but most of them are not. I have had several that retired from the show ring to teach less skilled riders and who in their later years became very good schoolmasters for kids and one who even works in a handicapped program.

The principles of dressage training do improve all horses, as in, make them more ridable, more supple and better able to interpret and follow the riders signals. You can use the priciples of dressage to teach a horse to be supple, obedient and balanced under the rider, and NEVER set foot in a little 20 X 60 rectangle with a set of letters around it.

The term dressage is from the French word "dressur" which means to train! It is also used to describe a competition wherein you perform a specific set of movements in an arena, which might (or might not) involve use of the principles of dressur!
The principles of a training system should not be confused with the performance of a specific sport.
YOurs
Melyni

Horsedances
Sep. 19, 2006, 12:28 PM
After the last WEG2006 at Aachen, the Dutch Jumping Team won the Gold Medal and another Dutchman riding for Belgium the individual Gold Medal, there was an interview with these riders. The most of these riders stated that they had many benefits of the dressage-trainings they got from Coby van Baalen the last years.

But also: In the Netherlands you first have to score points in dressage before you are even allowed to start jumping.

Theo

hluing
Sep. 19, 2006, 12:38 PM
Ahhh...Two Simple...perhaps it is your definition/perception of the term rideable. Yes, a GP horse does have to be rideable in the way another poster described...responding immediately to very subtle aids, capable of great levels of collection and power. The movements are so demanding and in such rapid fire in a GP test that the horse has to be rideable. It also takes a very athletic and in a sence energetic, powerful and sensible horse to succed at this level. Likewise, the rider needs similar qualities...this is truly an athletic endeavor.

Correct dressage will improve a horse...in the sense of helping them use thier natural athletic abilities...straightness, etc. It will not make them "dead broke", trail safe or deadheads. It also by no means will guarentee GP success for them :)

So, no, many upper level horses are not suitable for beginner or poor riders for the very same reasons they are so successful. I for one have no problem having a hotter FEI horse...and I respect that the help of my trainer keeps him rideable. Perhaps dressage is just not the sport for you.

Ja Da Dee
Sep. 19, 2006, 12:49 PM
Of course not! But then those disciplines don't claim to make a horse more rideable do they? ;) So it must be true then, that dressage makes the horse LESS rideable!


No, dressage is about training, not just the horse, but the rider too. My horse is much more ridable than he was when he was "just a trail horse". I am also a better rider. I can move him over with a change in my weight, turn haunches, turn the forhand, he's more adjustable at all gaits, and I can pick a spot when we are jumping, he's quick off of my leg. He's using his hind end better because he has been taught how to. This is a horse that had thousands of trail miles before I got him, he is a better trail horse for ME and a better jumping horse and a better riding horse in general. He is also sounder and stronger than he's ever been. Dressage is what gave him back muscle, not riding inverted along the trail.

A WP rider will claim that their horses are well trained and isn't the entire idea of WP being a horse that is enjoyable to ride on the trail... western ... pleasure? Well, that Mare I used to ride wasn't a pleasure for a rider who wasn't trained to ride with subtle aids, when I retrained her, she was a pleasure for her owner, but no longer a winning show horse, and less of a pleasure for me to ride because I had to work at asking her what I wanted.

Dressage is about training, not creating a dead head, that is what Dude Ranches are for. 8 different clueless riders a day. That will make a horse a good trail horse, or insane.

Horsedances
Sep. 19, 2006, 12:54 PM
Let's have a look at Steffen Peters horse Floriano.

The connection between the neck of Floriano and his head is very small and thin. Only very good riders can keep him On or Before the vertical. During the GP of Steffen at WEG2006 we saw that even Steffen had some problems to solve this fact. Because Steffen has a very soft touch and a wonderfull seat he could manage a good ride on Floriano.

However I am almost sure that with a beginner this would have become a disaster.

Theo

fiona
Sep. 19, 2006, 02:17 PM
Hey, that's fighting talk!
You dissin' Floriano?

Horsedances
Sep. 19, 2006, 03:02 PM
Hey, that's fighting talk!
You dissin' Floriano?

I just pointed out the way Floriano is build and the problems which may come out of this short neck to head connection. Everybody can see that.

Listen to the commentators of the videoclip which I just posted of the GP-ride of Steffen and Floriano and you will hear the same.

The link http://www.horsedances.net/2006WEG20...FlorianoGP.htm (http://www.horsedances.net/2006WEG2006Steffen-FlorianoGP.htm)

Theo

Shiaway
Sep. 19, 2006, 03:11 PM
a responce and a question

Ok so I'm only training level but so far dressage has made my horse easier for me to ride. I know others who have schoolmasters and really b*tch and moan about how hard it is to ride them and how much simpler it is to ride the greenies. I hope it doesn't happen to Sol even though he'll probably never be a school master (at least in the sense of GP level). Even if 2nd level is as far as we go then I hope he doesn't get more difficult for me to ride.

So far he's just gotten so much easier for me to ride. Ok. I'm realizing "easy" and "hard" aren't the best terms. "Ridable" is probably much better. Of course I have had to learn, too. I'm not a beginner even if I'm only training level. But now since he's improved so much with his training I can ride him and he feels so managable. It's like going from a truck to a sports car in a way.

I turn now and he is balanced and responsive. I canter and I can actually sit and be comfortable. He can canter around the ring in a nice, balanced canter. I feel like I can do a 10 meter circle if I want or a 20 meter and all I have to do is apply the right aides. Before it felt like, if I wanted to do a 10 meter circle I'd have to do a lot or regrouping first.

Sol never have a problem with sensitivity. He always responded to light aides. But he didn't know how to respond correctly. Instead of carrying more he would just rush when you put on your leg. Now you can use your leg without him rushing.

I wouldn't put a child or beginner or him though (except for lead line). He's incredably safe in terms of spookyness. He's the calmest horse ever. But he's too sensitive. And he gets upset and scared when he doesn't understand what you want. So if he had someone who didn't have very good control over their bodies, I don't think he would be safe.

Second, a question: Can there still be some benefit to doing the upper level movements but not the whole test if that's all your horse could do? Say, for example Sol was able to go 3rd level. Say I could do some shows at that level and get decent scores. But say that was pretty much the limit of his abilities. But if I had a trainer help and he was able to do some higher level movements in isolation or/and not really show quality, is there still some value in that? Or is it just selfish and cruel?

I know I shouldn't even care because I'm only at training level and probably will be at training level for the rest of my life no matter how much $$ I spend/week for training and lessons, but I do like to day dream... :) It would be nice if I could believe that all the work we (me and Sol) do might pay off some day. I know it has now of course because of how he's going and how much more fun it is to ride him, but I'd like to believe that if I kept going with what we've been doing (training and lessons every week) then we could escape from the training level ranks. :)

fiona
Sep. 19, 2006, 04:27 PM
Chill Theo i was joking. Thanks for the clip, my dutch isn't up to the commentary which is a shame.

Shiaway - broadly speaking the answer to your question is yes there is benefit. The upper level movements are designed to improve the horses joint flexbility, strength, muscularity and suppleness. It's bit like yoga, we can all benefit but some people can do all that bendy stuff easier than others. It's not the slightest bit selfish to try and see how far your horse can go if you do it in the right spirit and recognise his limitations.

We all have to do that - as Theo says even the horses in the top 30 (or 3) at WEG have weaknesses in conformation and ability that the top riders have to deal with.

Horsedances
Sep. 19, 2006, 05:15 PM
Not only the horses have their minor points also the riders. A good example. The commentator stated very clear that the the body lenght and long legs of Steffen are a big advantage for him, but when you ask for example Arjen Teeuwissen he will tell you that, because of his lenght his choice for good horses is very limited.

Read my lips : This doesn't imply that short people are bad riders, but they have a more difficult task to perform. Look at Steffen's half-passes, he can almost close in the horse's-body with his legs.

Very often I see that people make a wrong decission when chosing their horses. But also the training-scale has some strange gaps. At PSG and Inter-I level judges love to see a big moving and forward horse, so we train these horses for 8-9 year this way, and at the GP they suddenly want the highest grade of collection. I once posted a clip at my website of our own horse Darwin which showed that when he had to perform fiftheen 1-tempi changes on the diagonal he ended outside the arena.
And this is exactly why there is such a enormous gap between the light tour and the heavy tour. I have seen tons of horses who were unbeatable at the light tour, and when they made the switch to the heavy tour you never heard of them anymore.

Theo

Pely
Sep. 19, 2006, 05:30 PM
This is the craziest thread.

Some of you think that every horse should do the GP, even when the best trainers in the world will tell you that the GP takes special qualities, and then you want them to be able to take beginners on trail rides ????

Just shaking my head.

Chevalnoir
Sep. 19, 2006, 05:36 PM
No, it really isn't! The point is that proponents of this discipline say that dressage is good for any horse, and it makes the horse more rideable. If so, then why do horses get LESS rideable and able to be handled by ordinary people or beginners as they progress in dressage?!? Why do they get hotter and more dangerous? It makes ZERO sense.


I guess it comes down to your definition of "rideable". If you are equating "rideable" with "perfectly safe to tote anyone around, no matter how incompetent the rider", then I agree, dressage doesn't make a horse more rideable. The most rideable horse by that definition would probably be a pretty much untrained, pretty much crippled, totally resigned 30 year old dude ranch horse.

Now to me "rideable" means that given competent and correct riding, the horse will offer everything he is capable of instantly and with a minimum of effort on the rider's part.

I don't think dressage neccessarily makes a horse safer or easier for beginners (but I don't think it makes it more difficult and more dangerous either). I do think correct dressage makes the horse more athletic, more supple, more beautiful, and definitely an easier and more enjoyable ride for the competent rider.

I do agree that dressage is *not* the discipline for people who just want to get on a horse and have fun without having to learn how to actually ride.

sm
Sep. 19, 2006, 08:20 PM
from post #51: "You still didn't speak to the pandemic issue that generally GP horses are not manageable or rideable to the general old joe blow. Why? Why does the horse increasingly become more difficult to ride and unable to be handled by average horsemen and women? slc just mentioned it a few posts ago. I've read it 1,000 times on this board. "GP horses aren't for beginners." "GP horses are special. They're different. They're athletes, not pets." yadda yadda yadda. WHY? Why is it that a discipline which claims to IMPROVE a horse so much, creates a monster that only olympians can handle?"

Because the training is crap. It's about developing the movement and not developing the entire horse. It's about sticking a horse inside his stall and only taken out when it's time to ride.

My GP horse gets major turnout and **gasp** buddies to play with. This is probably the most important thing I've done as owner to keep him mentally in great shape. I give him plenty of time to be a horse.

And I don't allow him to be rushed with screwy exercises and wacko tactics. He develops in God's time, he develops with respect to his capabilities and not crammed through the levels because mommie wants a ribbon.

He's strictly a regional horse and will always be one. He never will have extravagent movement, never top the charts, but he kept moving up the levels while others careened to a halt.

Now I have a GP horse (okay, it's not confirmed GP but he'll get there) that will take a 12 year old child that he doesn't know through training level test 1 test, happily and easily without whip or spurs. He'll also take his trainer and USDF "R" Judge to win OPEN regional I-1 championship the next day. He's mentally good to go, and he has lots of pride -- which I painstakingly built -- in his work.

Most upper level horses that I see have one mental problem or another that makes them difficult to ride -- because the training put on the overall horse (not in the movements) is crap.

sm
Sep. 19, 2006, 09:22 PM
From 61: ".. he's too sensitive. And he gets upset and scared when he doesn't understand what you want. So if he had someone who didn't have very good control over their bodies, I don't think he would be safe. "

It could be that somewhere he came up with the wrong answer and he was punished for it, he learned to be scared. It's your job to refocus that to you want him to try, and as long as he tries he is successful and he should be proud. LOL, my horse used to be that way...

From 61: "..Can there still be some benefit to doing the upper level movements but not the whole test if that's all your horse could do? Say, for example Sol was able to go 3rd level. Say I could do some shows at that level and get decent scores. But say that was pretty much the limit of his abilities. But if I had a trainer help and he was able to do some higher level movements in isolation or/and not really show quality, is there still some value in that? "

Yes, but work with a good trainer. An exercise can strengthen a weakness he has at a lower level. Or it could be the wrong exercise to pick, which is why you need a good trainer to help direct you.

egontoast
Sep. 19, 2006, 11:45 PM
ARRRR, I be with Pely. Shiver me timbers.

Carol O
Sep. 20, 2006, 12:31 AM
The ability to go all the way to the top has to do with conformation and mental capacity. I have a DWB with all the physical ability to go all the way, but much too much attitude for me to handle when he is really "on". My app on the other hand is built downhill, but has the greatest mind in the world. If I could only put the mind of the app in the body of the DWB... Or, if I could put Anky's ability to deal with the "hot" ones in my tool box I could deal with the 'tude! So I think it is the physical and mental constitution of both the horse and the rider that creates a GP team (and a whole lot of sweat from both).

DressageGuy
Sep. 20, 2006, 12:58 AM
What is it about his "attitude" that you can't handle? That's an honest question, not being snarky, I'm truly curious.

Alagirl
Sep. 20, 2006, 01:10 AM
ARRRR, I be with Pely. Shiver me timbers.


Oh, no, you, too?

Carol O
Sep. 20, 2006, 01:15 AM
Okay, he's 21, and he has been trained and shown a lot. But now, when I show him, we might get these wonderful "aires above the ground" at any time. One minute we are in the extended walk, the next moment, all I can see is sky. It is always out of the blue; no warning. When I show him he is all energy, and as long as I can keep him just to my side of attending to my aids, he is great (but scary, I admit it). But if a Harley may be heard on some road a couple miles away, and we are airborn. I know this is all me. I have been told my half halts are not right; that I don't totally release like I should, and he gets tense and then sometimes goes off. I do know this is all about me and my riding, but hey, it's all about the journey, right? My app, trained to first level is a dream, and always wants to please, but will never go far. The DWB was quieter at the lower levels. He is my schoolmaster, and we are now beginning PSG, but he has steadily gotten hotter as we have advanced. He knows all this stuff well, I don't. Amazing that after riding for 30 years, all the lessons, all the reading, and videos, etc, and I am now really learning what a half halt is....

CanadianGolden
Sep. 20, 2006, 02:25 AM
You still didn't speak to the pandemic issue that generally GP horses are not manageable or rideable to the general old joe blow. Why? Why does the horse increasingly become more difficult to ride and unable to be handled by average horsemen and women? slc just mentioned it a few posts ago. I've read it 1,000 times on this board. "GP horses aren't for beginners." "GP horses are special. They're different. They're athletes, not pets." yadda yadda yadda. WHY? Why is it that a discipline which claims to IMPROVE a horse so much, creates a monster that only olympians can handle?

I can put a beginner kid on my experienced trail horse and she'd carry the kid safely and happily all day. Why can't your GP athlete do that? Why is he too hot? Too "special" to do this? It makes no sense.

Dressage people CONTINUALLY claim that dressage makes a horse more rideable. Does it? I hardly think so! Instead they increasingly become more hot and difficult and require a "PROFESSIONAL." This is why you see all these warmblood owners hanging off the shirt tail of their PROFESSIONAL. They hire the trainer to ride the horse, to show it, to handle it, to market it to the public. The trainer makes the decisions. The owner pays the bills and never gets to enjoy their horse because they can't even ride the thing! I just can't understand this.

Sure, your T, 1 and 2 riders will be doing their little thing with their horse, and that's fine. But once people progress to 3, 4, I1, etc. they end up with this horse that nobody can ride except the PROFESSIONAL. Makes no sense.

As far as I see it, dressage really does nothing to make the horse a better all around citizen, or more rideable. And THAT is my big gripe with dressage! People have this vision if they just ride dressage, their horse will morph into an angel, when in fact they generally get increasingly more difficult to handle and ride as they progress. And that's fine, but don't claim that dressage is the holy grail of the horse world.


In fact, my Grand Prix athlete frequently carried advanced beginners and people with no dressage experience. Their reaction was "why won't he turn?"--he listened only to correct cues, so the hunter princesses pulling his face to the side got a straight line of walk until they asked him properly. I would say he was safe.

After he retired from Grand Prix, he did Pony Club rallies (dressage, show jumping, and combined training), qualified for Nationals, did local events, went on trail rides, and was an all-around good citizen.

No one claimed that dressage made horses perfect. *Correct* dressage can improve a horse, as mine demonstrates.

ToN Farm
Sep. 20, 2006, 08:52 AM
The term dressage is from the French word "dressur" which means to train! It is also used to describe a competition wherein you perform a specific set of movements in an arena, which might (or might not) involve use of the principles of dressur!
The principles of a training system should not be confused with the performance of a specific sport.
YOurs
Melyni
The last sentence bears repeating. Training for the competitive sport of dressage does not always follow 'the rules'. If those of us that compete are honest with ourselves, we know this is true.

Pely
Sep. 20, 2006, 09:02 AM
Many of you seem to be confusing the basic temperment of the horse with the training. And many of the top riders in the world have the skills and patience to put up with a tempermental horse because of its talent. It isn't the training that made them psycho, they were crazy out of the womb.

All of my FEI horses can tote beginners around, if I want them to. But they are certainly not world class, because of the scope of their gaits, not the temperment.

The horse that is a nut case at 4, is still going to be a nut case when he reaches GP, just a better trained nut case.

Sannois
Sep. 20, 2006, 09:13 AM
While I have ridden my entire life, as far as Dressage goes, I am a training level rider and will freely admit that. I read all these "Expert" responses and cant help wonder.. How many of you folks have actually trained a horse to Grand Prix? I hear alot of opinion. Someone said something about Keyboard jockeys.??? I do realize that it takes a special horse to do the rigors of Grand Prix. and even more a special rider. I wonder if folks laughed at Lendon Grey when she was training Seldom seen?? I realize there are exceptions. I believe Keen was also laughed at. It just seems like theres alot of negativity here. After all isnt it the journey that its all about??:yes:

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 09:22 AM
Seems to be some misunderstanding about the term 'rideability'. Can't help noticing that it seems that some people who often complain about dressage come from other backgrounds which interpret 'well trained' or 'rideable' ( do they even use that term in other disciplines?) as 'dead broke and bombproof'. The more well trained, the more bombproof.

For some disciplines that is the goal of training, which is fine. In other disciplines, such as dressage, horseracing, show jumping, etc. the ultimate goal is not to see how bombproof you can get your horse. I am not criticizing that as an objective, but I think that is where a lot of the dressage bashing comes from.

For example, I chose not to send my horse to a cowboy who taught submission by tying a horse up short for several hours on end. THAT"S FINE for his purposes and goals(dead broke submission, for lack of a better term) but I want to keep the light in the eye and I can teach my horse to stand w/o doing that. I don't need my horse to stand still on a short shank for 4 hours. I am not doing trail rides or beginner lessons or western pleasure (which was his discipline- do not take that as a slight). Different goals. And yes, they trailer well. Once you teach them to tie, they tie.

Finely tuned yet brilliant v dead broke and bombproof. Different strokes for different folks. Don't hold an upper level dressage horse to the same goals as a trail horse or western pleasure horse...and vice versa. A finely tuned dressage horse who requires a sensitive and skilled rider, is not a failure as a dressage horse but may not be the best choice for beginner lessons or trail rides for inexperienced riders. Sure, some can do both but that's not the goal. Well trained means different things to different folks.

Do you think it would be fair to train a highly conditioned horse to be ultra responsive to the slightest hint of a weight shift /seat bone/ rein aid, not visible to the eye , and then ask them to take beginners making all kinds of unintended blunt aids and ignore them . Some can , yes, but it is unfair to most.

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 09:27 AM
Seems to be some misunderstanding about the term 'rideability'. Can't help noticing that it seems that some people who often complain about dressage come from other backgrounds which interpret 'well trained' or 'rideable' ( do they even use that term in other disciplines?) as 'dead broke and bombproof'. The more well trained, the more bombproof.

For some disciplines that is the goal of training, which is fine. In other disciplines, such as dressage, horseracing, show jumping, etc. the ultimate goal is not to see how bombproof you can get your horse. I am not criticizing that as an objective, but I think that is where a lot of the dressage bashing comes from.

For example, I chose not to send my horse to a cowboy who taught submission by tying a horse up short for several hours on end. THAT"S FINE for his purposes and goals(dead broke submission, for lack of a better term) but I want to keep the light in the eye and I can teach my horse to stand w/o doing that. I don't need my horse to stand still on a short shank for 4 hours. I am not doing trail rides or beginner lessons or western pleasure (which was his discipline- do not take that as a slight). Different goals.

Finely tuned yet brilliant v dead broke and bombproof. Different strokes for different folks. Don't hold an upper level dressage horse to the same goals as a trail horse or western pleasure horse...and vice versa. A finely tuned dressage horse who requires a sensitive and skilled rider, is not a failure as a dressage horse but may not be the best choice for beginner lessons or trail rides for inexperienced riders. Sure, some can do both but that's not the goal. Well trained means different things to different folks.

Do you think it would be fair to train a highly conditioned horse to be ultra responsive to the slightest hint of a weight shift /seat bone/ rein aid, not visible to the eye , and then ask them to take beginners making all kinds of unintended blunt aids and ignore them . Some can , yes, but it is unfair to most.

Bronte
Sep. 20, 2006, 10:37 AM
Of course not! But then those disciplines don't claim to make a horse more rideable do they? ;) So it must be true then, that dressage makes the horse LESS rideable!


I think we have two definitions of "rideable" here. In dressage rideable relates to the expression, balance, submission (another misunderstood word), ability of the athlete (horse) to perform for the rider.

Two Simple, your definition of "rideable" appears to be dead broke, able to take a kid on a trail ride.

Two very different goals. Dressage does not and never has claimed to make a horse dead broke, it will however, develop the horses gaits, balance, expression, rideability etc, in a manner which will make it more expressive and beautiful, a finely tuned athlete.

Horsedances
Sep. 20, 2006, 11:45 AM
You all seem to forget that all these topriders have many horses available and also get offers daily from horse-owners to ride their top-horses.

But also these topriders had a lot of horses which disappeared via the backdoor, because they didn't have (enough) GP-potential.

But again.............the biggest mistake made by tons of riders are buying horses which don't fit them. I can write books about this.

As a sponsor of the Dutch Pony-team, Junior Team and YoungRiders team for manyyyy years, I have seen where it all went wrong.
This has not only to do with choosing the wrong horse, but also not being able to play the second or third fiddle for some years.

Please think about it :yes:

Theo

sm
Sep. 20, 2006, 12:02 PM
theo makes lot of sense: "But again.............the biggest mistake made by tons of riders are buying horses which don't fit them. I can write books about this."

It's all to easy to turn around and blame the horse as being either too hot or nuts to do the work. WHAT were the warmblood breeders thinking anyway after centuries of specialized breeding, to produce crazy horses out of the womb ? As posted earlier: "Many of you seem to be confusing the basic temperment of the horse with the training. And many of the top riders in the world have the skills and patience to put up with a tempermental horse because of its talent. It isn't the training that made them psycho, they were crazy out of the womb."

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 12:13 PM
nevermind. same discussions over and over......

Horsedances
Sep. 20, 2006, 12:26 PM
Buyers (or their parents) often want a Pony/JR/YR rider to buy a flashy horse with big movements and/or horse who can throw their legs behind their ears. But most of them are not able to ride these horses and are much better of with horses with three good basic gaits, solid as a rock, and horses that are forgiving. Take in consideration that the most of these girls and boys can go to their trainers once a week, and are on their own the rest of the week, without even an eye on the ground.

Let's look at our recent Dutch A-team:

Anky has her own trainer around the house
Imke ........................................... dito
Laurens ....................................... dito
Marlies ........................................ dito
Edward ....................................... dito

Year in and year out we see that at the Pony/JR/YR European championships these same (solid as a rock) horses win the medals, with
very often different riders. These are all horses with three good basic gaits who will never make it to the GP.

I agree with some people who stated here: That only 1 of the 100.000 dressage horses are able to ride a GP, 1 of the 1.000.000 horses will be able to ride a decent GP, and 1 out of 5.000.000 horses can reach the top.

Theo

sm
Sep. 20, 2006, 12:48 PM
theo, what is your definition of DECENT, do you mean for international competition, or simply respectable scores in front of a judge:

"1 of the 1.000.000 horses will be able to ride a decent GP"

Ja Da Dee
Sep. 20, 2006, 01:03 PM
SM, I've known Quarter horses that were crazy out of the womb, please don't lay crazy horses on the feet of warmblood breeders, I mean, afterall, they are horses, and all have individual personalities. like people, dogs, cats, donkeys...

Chevalnoir
Sep. 20, 2006, 01:39 PM
The difference is, a crazy out of the womb horse with mega talent (whether it is for racing or dressage or show jumping or whatever.....) may be lucky enough to be picked up by a rider and trainer good enough to deal with the crazyness in order to utilize the talent. Whereupon crazy horse is seen by thousands of people all over the world.

Your average backyard horse with that sort of personality usually ends up in a can of dog food sooner rather than later, so not too many people ever get to see them.

slc2
Sep. 20, 2006, 02:11 PM
the top riders don't ride 'crazy' horses. however, if a horse comes along with fabulous, gaits, conformation and balance and a willingness to do the work, a rider with the skill can accept that the horse might be somewhat difficult. that is not the same as intentionally breeding a difficult horse, not at all. bonfire and rembrandt were both very eager to work and very sensitive, and they both were timid horses. the dressage improved that yet the rider always had to be extra sensitive to them.

they ride very sensitive horses that have a lot of natural impulsion. these are by definition not good beginner horses. why? because they are sensitive and have a lot of natural impulsion.

sometimes some of these horses can have their difficult moments. klimke wrote of the great pleasure of riding a horse like ahlerich that responded to the slightest of aids. and he also wrote about the challenges of such a horse.

fiona
Sep. 20, 2006, 02:12 PM
.... being able to play the second or third fiddle for some years.


most of us are further back in the orchestra than that and it's a long way to the front!


After all isnt it the journey that its all about??

There is, imho, an awful lot to be said for arriving.

I imagine only 1 in 1.000.000 riders gets to go buy a horse that they intend to ride at GP with the budget to stand a real chance of being succesful. Mostly we get to take the money and opportunity we have at that moment and get the best possible match. It is, in my experience, a very small window of opportunity and you have to leap through quick before it closes!

Melyni
Sep. 20, 2006, 02:14 PM
You still didn't speak to the pandemic issue that generally GP horses are not manageable or rideable to the general old joe blow. Why? Why does the horse increasingly become more difficult to ride and unable to be handled by average horsemen and women? slc just mentioned it a few posts ago. I've read it 1,000 times on this board. "GP horses aren't for beginners." "GP horses are special. They're different. They're athletes, not pets." yadda yadda yadda. WHY? Why is it that a discipline which claims to IMPROVE a horse so much, creates a monster that only olympians can handle?

I can put a beginner kid on my experienced trail horse and she'd carry the kid safely and happily all day. Why can't your GP athlete do that? Why is he too hot? Too "special" to do this? It makes no sense.

Dressage people CONTINUALLY claim that dressage makes a horse more rideable. Does it? I hardly think so! Instead they increasingly become more hot and difficult and require a "PROFESSIONAL." This is why you see all these warmblood owners hanging off the shirt tail of their PROFESSIONAL. They hire the trainer to ride the horse, to show it, to handle it, to market it to the public. The trainer makes the decisions. The owner pays the bills and never gets to enjoy their horse because they can't even ride the thing! I just can't understand this.

Sure, your T, 1 and 2 riders will be doing their little thing with their horse, and that's fine. But once people progress to 3, 4, I1, etc. they end up with this horse that nobody can ride except the PROFESSIONAL. Makes no sense.

As far as I see it, dressage really does nothing to make the horse a better all around citizen, or more rideable. And THAT is my big gripe with dressage! People have this vision if they just ride dressage, their horse will morph into an angel, when in fact they generally get increasingly more difficult to handle and ride as they progress. And that's fine, but don't claim that dressage is the holy grail of the horse world.


LOL, how do you know that the dressage training didn't improve Salinero and other so-called 'crazy hot' GP horses. Do you know what those horses were like BEFORE they got trained.
I hardly think that a KWPN stallion would ever be a kids trail horse no matter what training it received.
Improved means 'better than is was before'. If you don't know what the horse was like 'before', you can't then judge the effect of the training on the 'after'!
The principles of dressage have been around over a thousand years, over all those centuries so many horses who have become better rides through correct dressage that it is well accepted by those who actually know that dressage training does in fact improve all horses.
yours
MW

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 02:32 PM
Crazy from the womb in a 15 hand, 1,000 pound package is a hell of a lot easier to get through than the warmblood sized crazy.



OK you have really convinced us all with that one. So if they were shorter you'd be fine with it. Great debating skills!


And FWIW, my idea of a GOOD horse is one that is safe, calm, compliant, and manageable in nearly any situation. Be it trail riding, showing, toting a beginner, or training in their given discipline. A stupid, hot, dangerou warmblood showing at GP under a pro trainer is useless as tits on a boar hog as far as I'm concerned. But that's only as far as *I'm* concerned. LOL

just saving that one. No sense trying to discuss anything rationally. If I had written that, I wouldn't be daring to call ANY horse stupid.

fiona
Sep. 20, 2006, 02:36 PM
You're right! A horse that is safe, calm, compliant, manageable in any situation whilst trail riding with a beginner on the way to a showing class is a waste of space for me but i'm sure a total joy to them.

It's horses for courses.

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 02:42 PM
So how did this get from "why can't my horse do GP" to 'what kind of horse do you like best'?

It's quite possible that your sane beloved kid safe horse will not make it to GP but that does not mean the horse is not a 'good' horse, does it. No one is saying that. TS somehow manages to make a trainwreck out of any thread.

sm
Sep. 20, 2006, 03:33 PM
there's clinically crazy, like a chemical imbalance.

Crazy from the womb to me means chemically imbalanced, which is a tough argument to make since these horses were specially bred for centuries for their temperament to do dressage. And why would a crazy youngster be brought along when there are so many equally talented young horses for the rider to choose from?

Is there a "crazy hot"? I like Bill Steinkraus' thoughts on too hot: "Once a hot, strong horse accepts your leg and seat, he`s no longer hot and strong. Once a cold horse really accepts your leg and is in front of the leg, he`s no longer cold. All horses must be taught to accept your driving aids. Then their mouths will improve immeasurably."

I think some top horses are ultra sensitive, which is another issue. To do upper level work the horse must be extremely supple through the back, in the jaw and poll. Too tense, too hot, will not let them relax enough to allow them to do the work. I would vote for ultra sensitive and ultra intelligent. But to think the rider is so fantastic because they are able to keep a crazy horse glued together is crazy. The horse needs to really want to do the work, and to be supple enough throughout the spine, etc, to compete at that level.

Dressage Art
Sep. 20, 2006, 03:36 PM
I’m lucky to know around a dozen horses/riders to go up the levels and reach GP. Only 2 of them were the unlikely combinations. First one, even the horse was imported from Europe and had great gaits; the horse was trained to PSG, but didn’t get the PP tour. Buyer was told that the horse will never get it. The buyer showed only to 3rd level herself. They are showing GP now. The new owner put all of her life and all of her money to train with the top pro and give her horse everything she can to help to go up the levels. Yes, they didn’t have all of the peaces of the GP puzzle, but they still had majority of it. Dedication with her time and money paid off. The second story the horse had a GP talent from the get go and the rider trained one horse to I1 already. The rider breed the horse herself with the GP in mind and trained her herself to GP with out much help. That was the hard part for them, she only had an occasional clinics, but most of her work was done home alone. She also put 120% of her life and money to get to GP, even she didn’t had needed money to spend for the training of her horse – she also had most of the puzzle peaces: capable horse, experience, time, dedication and money spend monthly on dressage shows and clinics. Interestingly enough, those GP horses are totally different: one is very spooky, but not so hard to ride and another is a bomb proof hack horse, but extremely difficult to ride.

Both horse and rider has to have 100% of the puzzle to get to GP. There are just a few examples of horses and riders who made to GP with out having it 100% and they worked hard to compensate with their other stronger assets for the ones that are missing. Everybody can think about a few famous names and several famous GP horses that didn’t had 100% of the GP puzzle and still made it. They are inspiration, but they became famous for exactly this reason: their tremendous talent of bringing horses to GP – not all of us has this talent and not all of us will be able to bring the same horses to GP if given a chance. Obviously they are an exception.

As for the GP horses being dead broke:" Well Behaved Horses Reraly Make It To GP"!!!!!!!!!

http://www.cafepress.com/dressageart.42277206

Horses are not robots, GP horses are very much of the individuals and driven athletes with their own strong personalities and the internal drive not to give up. There is no switch for them to be hot of the aids and sparkly with energy during the GP test and dead beat hacks that hardly move their legs during the trail ride. (I saw a GP horse passage thought the 60 minute trail ride – at that day she had only 2 gaits: gallop or passage. It was done with out any spooking, but I’m still not sure if you can call that being a bomb proof) Just like individual people, they have pluses and minuses and they come in a package than you can not preorder and pick only the features that you like.

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 03:37 PM
one word- Ahlerich

sm
Sep. 20, 2006, 03:55 PM
Yes Dressage Art, I agree it must be about the partnership.

If a rider blames a talented horse, it usally means the rider isn't taking responsibility for their own part of the puzzle.

Horsedances
Sep. 20, 2006, 04:14 PM
Yes Dressage Art, I agree it must be about the partnership.

If a rider blames a talented horse, it usally means the rider isn't taking responsibility for their own part of the puzzle.

Skip the word "talented". IMHO you can never blame the horse.

Theo

sm
Sep. 20, 2006, 04:25 PM
good catch, point taken.

or would you rather buy my argument that all horses are talented ? **grin**

fiona
Sep. 20, 2006, 04:28 PM
If the rider blames the horse they are not a rider.
Did i win something?

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 04:34 PM
yes, fiona, dear, here is your prize

http://www.whalesdirect.com/product.html?t_q=RB144

fiona
Sep. 20, 2006, 04:41 PM
Wow, it's a thing of rare beauty!
Do i hang it on the fence after i used the grass? Or put it on the wall in the bog* next to pictures of famous riders who probably wouldn't have bothered if they'd known that's where they'd end up?

*bog: technical term for outside wc.

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 04:55 PM
I think you must hang it on the wall and install a mirror and music box inside so that it plays 'Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road' when the cover is left up.

fiona
Sep. 20, 2006, 05:20 PM
but the karaoke version, right?

Dressage Art
Sep. 20, 2006, 05:53 PM
one word- Ahlerich

Second word - exceptional.

How many Ahlerichs did you train to GP?

(if less than 1, why?)

Is there enough of Ahlerichs for all of the riders who want to do GP?

(If the answer is "no" please elaborate why not?)

I'd say every rider deserves an Ahlerich!!!!!! Equality and fair justice to all GP wannabies! (including me!!!! I'll be the first in the long line for Ahlerichs giveaway)

egontoast
Sep. 20, 2006, 06:56 PM
HUH? My post was not in reply to yours. Where did I claim to be able to train an Ahlerich ? Not a chance. Ahlerich was difficult, not easy.

Dressage Art
Sep. 20, 2006, 07:45 PM
sorry, I thought you were saying that anybody can train Ahlerich.

twnkltoz
Sep. 27, 2006, 02:20 PM
Thanks all for the great discussion! I was away at Arabian Sporthorse Nationals for a week and it took me a couple days to catch up. Saw a little I-1 and Grand Prix (yay Hilda for 'lowering' herself to ride arabs!) and got lots of inspiration! My hony and I may never make it to GP, but damned if I'm not going to give it all I've got anyway...heck, right now I'm happy to be cantering! :D

tewhann
Sep. 27, 2006, 05:26 PM
I didn't read past the 1st page, so I'm sure this has been covered, but what the hay.

These types of threads are often on UDBB too. Has anybody ever seen this question on a jumper forum?

GP dressage is no less an athletic endevour than GP show jumping and yet for reasons inexplicable to me, people are constantly asking "Why can't all horses do GP dressage"? Same reason not all horses can jump a 5' fence.

Dressage is like ballet. Ballet benefits all people, but few have what it takes to be a prima ballerina.

petitefilly
Sep. 27, 2006, 06:53 PM
GP dressage is no less an athletic endevour than GP show jumping and yet for reasons inexplicable to me, people are constantly asking "Why can't all horses do GP dressage"? Same reason not all horses can jump a 5' fence.

Dressage is like ballet. Ballet benefits all people, but few have what it takes to be a prima ballerina.

LOL this thread has been a hoot. :) Why would anyone think ALL horses can be GP? Seriously, are you telling me there are humans alive who think ANY and ALL can be at Aachen? Or Devon? ANY horse might be able to do a few steps of piaffe, or a passage now and again, but to be a competitive GP horse is a RARE THING.

People would love to sell you a horse who does GP, ever notice the ads out there that say potential to do the upper levels? Again, what a joke, sure it has potential. You have the potential to sing like Pavarotti, sure you do, it will only take hard work to get to his level. Now sit down and understand the joke is on you.

I will continually laugh at anyone who thinks *potential* equals *expertise*. One is born in the bone, and one is attained by wishful thinking. Special qualities are expertise in dressage and a horse who has this ability will shine with the right rider. Now I am adding the rider to the equasion, because in addition to this special quality a horse must be born with it must also be matched up with a human who also was born with special qualities all his/her own. Every rider does NOT have the ability to ride to the GP level. I do not care who you are, it still takes abilities above the ken of the average rider, even with work, even with a talented trainer. Riders are also born with abilities one does not see on the surface.

It takes two, it takes work, it takes talent, it takes a great deal of luck, and last but not least it as rare as lightning. It does strike, but not on all horses or humans. Count yourself extremely lucky if you feel the electricity around you.

petitefilly
Sep. 27, 2006, 06:53 PM
GP dressage is no less an athletic endevour than GP show jumping and yet for reasons inexplicable to me, people are constantly asking "Why can't all horses do GP dressage"? Same reason not all horses can jump a 5' fence.

Dressage is like ballet. Ballet benefits all people, but few have what it takes to be a prima ballerina.

LOL this thread has been a hoot. :) Why would anyone think ALL horses can be GP? Seriously, are you telling me there are humans alive who think ANY and ALL can be at Aachen? Or Devon? ANY horse might be able to do a few steps of piaffe, or a passage now and again, but to be a competitive GP horse is a RARE THING.

People would love to sell you a horse who does GP, ever notice the ads out there that say potential to do the upper levels? Again, what a joke, sure it has potential. You have the potential to sing like Pavarotti, sure you do, it will only take hard work to get to his level. Now sit down and understand the joke is on you.

I will continually laugh at anyone who thinks *potential* equals *expertise*. One is born in the bone, and one is attained by wishful thinking. Special qualities are expertise in dressage and a horse who has this ability will shine with the right rider. Now I am adding the rider to the equasion, because in addition to this special quality a horse must be born with it must also be matched up with a human who also was born with special qualities all his/her own. Every rider does NOT have the ability to ride to the GP level. I do not care who you are, it still takes abilities above the ken of the average rider, even with work, even with a talented trainer. Riders are also born with abilities one does not see on the surface.

It takes two, it takes work, it takes talent, it takes a great deal of luck, and last but not least it as rare as lightning. It does strike, but not on all horses or humans. Count yourself extremely lucky if you feel the electricity around you.

staceyk
Oct. 3, 2006, 03:27 PM
Hi,

I've always heard that any horse with decent gaits and a willing attitude should be able to get to 4th level. I'm amazed at the number of horses that do not progress beyond second level -- horses with amazing pedigrees and gaits. Perhaps the wrong rider, but I suspect the training and guidance riders get is more likely.

I know of a horse under the care of a talented rider that lacked the mentoring to get to upper levels. On this horse she never got beyond 2nd level. Later the horse went down with a young rider to FL and trained with an internationally known trainer. The girl is a good rider but no upper level experience, and the horse is now doing very credible 4th level work.

slc2
Oct. 3, 2006, 08:01 PM
petitefilly, i agree...kinda.

i'd agree that not every horse and rider get there...obviously, we can just look at the statistics and see that. and the old masters would say so as well.

but where i part with your post is with the idea that it is like getting struck by lightning, and so rare and i guess what i disagree with is the kind of inexplicable part, like we have to just wait for lightning to strike us, like it's some sort of rapture. i don't think it's so much like lightning striking. if you work your *** off, and get a horse that is physically able (that's often the hardest part for the person who is committed to it and willing to work hard).

when you ask a trainer to tell you if a horse will reach grand prix, alot of the responses have a bias. some are going to say any horse can do that, and some will say not, depending on the situation, etc.

but frankly, the hardest thing about that, after the process of learning how to select them, is keeping them sound long enough to get there, and if the horse has problems with conformation that makes collection hard, the work will be very hard on him. i'd say that about 90% of the more advanced riders i know have had more than one horse get lame and have to be retired or dropped down on the way to the fei. some have had more than one. some, alot. that is not always an indication that they're working the horse too hard, either.

but some of it depends on 'how good a grand prix' and how competitive. to go around and do the work and stay in the ring and get a 55% at a local show with no one else in the class? to get a breed award that involves being in a lot of horse shows with only one person in the class, or beating only one other horse of the same breed? or to win the olympics? there are a lot of possibilities in between the two. alot of people don't care about showing, plopping around on an old schoolmaster or riding a poorly schooled but fancy looking horse from a resort stable will make them very happy.

Alagirl
Oct. 3, 2006, 08:29 PM
Seriously, are you telling me there are humans alive who think ANY and ALL can be at Aachen? Or Devon?


We all can be - just most of us have to buy a ticket!

Dressage Art
Oct. 4, 2006, 03:14 AM
Talked with my trainer. She had one client come to her with a horse who was 16 years old, 3rd level. By 18 they where schooling all GP movements. She said that horse and rider had all of the needed basics, so they progressed.

Sabine
Oct. 4, 2006, 03:22 AM
I seriously believe- we all can be- we just have to overcome our own limitations to begin with- our aches and pains- somehow get lucky to have enough time and money and I truly believe that there are way more capable horses than capable riders...so there- you can make it- search your soul and go to work!

kkj
Oct. 4, 2006, 10:08 AM
Two Simple you have a problem with dressage because it claims to make horses more ridable? Dressage when correctly trained, definitely does do this (but only for the people who take the time and effort to LEARN TO RIDE) I have very little respect for the people who own horses for years and never LEARN TO RIDE. Riding simply for your lazy enjoyment in my opinion is a selfish abusive beast of burden approach to horses. I cringe when I see the trail riders climb on the poor baldly trained badly conditioned horse and take off bounce, bounce, bouncing, and pull, pull, pulling down the the trail. I know people who have had horses for 20 years and still could not ride a training level test on a perfect schoolmaster. They sit on their butts and kick and pull. That is what is a travesty. Riding to me is a sport. The rider needs to put in as much effort to learn to ride as the horse puts in learning to be ridden. No horse should have to pack around someone too lazy or inconsiderate to learn to ride properly.

If you just want to ride for your lazy enjoyment and can't be bothered to learn to do it properly, go buy a motorcycle. No horse should have to be subjected to people like you. Now schoolmaster have a place for kids and adults learning to ride, but that is an adjustment period. You need to step up and learn to ride or step aside and take up something else.

sm I perfer the ultra sensitive full of impulsion horses. I appreciate a very forward thinking horse that reacts to the slightest aid. I like a big engine with a big go button but the sensitivity and ability to come back and sit with the very light aids. I don't care if the horse is hotter and more difficult to deal with as long as it is not a suicidal maniac. I think there are very very few suicidal maniacs out there; there are just many many horses who fall into the wrong hands with people who are not capable of handling or riding them properly.

twnkltoz
Oct. 4, 2006, 11:45 AM
What discipline does TS ride, that's so superior to all others? I'm just curious.