no, i would never agree that this horse is doing 'some wonderful work', i find the request to do so somewhat revolting. i look at it, and feel it is possibly the most incorrect work that has ever been displayed here. it is, however, very typical of these horse fairs, and of much of 'baroque equestrainship' in many, many places.
the most glaring problem and the most fundamental one is that the horse sways from side to side in piaffe and passage; it doesn't actually 'go wide behind' in which the feet are a consistent distance apart, while this is also incorrect, this isn't what this horse does - the distance between the hind feet is constantly changing as he struggles, it actually sways markedly - if it was more severe, it might fall down. the distance between the hind legs as well as the distance to the front feet, is constantly changing as the horse struggles.
the other work, even just trotting around, shows exactly the same problems - tension, loss of balance, inconsistent contact, behind the bit, broken at the neck, tension, lack of proper use of the hind legs and back. the additional problem, of the hind and forefeet not hitting the ground at the same time in piaffe and passage, is the second most obvious indicator of improper training, the swaying being the first. it even occurs on non piaffe and passage work, though is most glaring during P&P.
it is just not so obvious in the other work. this is always the case, without exception, in all horses. the piaffe and passage only magnify problems, they do not in a trained horse spring up independently. they reflect the basic training of the horse, or lack thereof.
these problems are not seen by the other posters, because they believe this to be 'classic equitation', and therefore beyond reproach. anyone who does not agree and adore, will be chided and told they are ignorant of how baroque horses look in their work, and are judging them by irrelevant standards.
if the same rider were at Aachen, and scheduled to compete after Anky, and was announced as a student of Anky's, we would all be treated to in-depth discussions of how obvious it is that this horse was trained in rollkur, and how terribly he has been effected mentally - look at the problems and all the faults that are there. however, videos of horses at spanish and portugese fairs, shown with riders in traditional clothing and tack - these will be unassailable - perfection itself.
In fact, because of the degree of swaying, this is not piaffe/passage, but a circus movement referred to as balance (accent on the final e).
this is very typical of the way these horses are taught piaffe and passage, at a very young age, 3 or 4, without basic contact, rhythm, muscular development in the back and hind quarters, throughness and suppleness being established.
it leads to a very incorrect movement and to the tension and loss of balance one sees here, in which the hind legs creep forward, back and extremely forward again in piaffe, nearly stepping on the forehooves at one point, as the horse struggles to stay on his feet.
this is a source of great mental tension and a horse that is overfaced, undertrained and constantly feeling like it will fall down, cannot relax or be mentally calm or physically supple. a horse with basic training like this can require years of retraining, or may never be correctible.
this is the result of the myth that baroque horses don't need to stretch and be developed gradually and gymnastically like other horses, and that they can piaffe and passage ad nauseum at 3 and 4, and the whole ridiculous concept that they are 'born to do dressage', so it is alright to do this sort of work with them. having tried some horses trained this way i can say that it is one of the most awful feelings in the world to ride a horse this way, once one has experienced how calm, supple and content a properly developed horse can be.
baroque horses are not some alien species of horse that perform perfectly without proper training. they operate by the same basic laws that all horses operate on - the back and hind quarter need to be strengthened, and the training emphasizing basics, not the performance of tricks to impress novice onlookers.
I knew someone would comment on the wide behind and even some fishtailing but I found that to be a momentary thing and think the horse is working with heart and power typical of a Baroque horse. I don't see the tension or some of the other things mentioned in response. Of course everyone is entitled to there opinion and maybe others will post what they find nice work.
what i think you don't understand is that there are few more fundamental faults that the work could possibly show. the 'momentary' quality is merely because the camera angle changes or because the horse is tipping onto his front end momentarily, there are no faults than these, MORE indicative of incorrect training, the non-diagonal-ness of the trot and piaffe and passage is also fundamental and indicative of a training problem.
as for power, the baroque trainers i have worked with emphasize one point more than any other - the baroque breeds do NOT have the power of other types, and that they even more than other breeds, require gradual gymnastic training, especially stretching - basics.
I've sensed the growing sentiment here that unless you have shown at or above the ride under discussion you have no business commenting on it. Shouldn't this apply to both negative AND positive comments? By this logic, if you haven't actually competed in this discipline, you can't possibly know what is bad OR good.
At any rate, I could watch that horse go all day. He looks to be listening intently, not pinning his ears. (Do you have to ride FEI to know about ears?) I love the Spanish horses. I once got to ride an Andalusian stallion that knew all the tricks. We just did W-T-C and it was fantastic.
are you suggesting that it's alright for baroque equestrians to perform a piaffe and passage that is this grotesquely incorrect, even according to the criteria put forth by their own masters, competitive standards the world over, and a tradition of hundreds of years?
The pinned ears may have had something to do with the riders butt bouncing out of the saddle and slapping the horse in the back every step in the passage, and his constant jabbing with the spurs in the piaff.
I went back and watched it again. During the piaffe the ears looked to me to be pinned. If either one of my horses did that I would wonder what I was doing wrong. I also noticed that the hind legs did not track. All in all it was not pleasant to watch. JMHO
Unbelievable some of the comments here. Most of the riders ,I would say 80% or more actually just go to Golega to show off I mean that is the whole purpose of Golega. Anyway so most of those riders ride maybe 2x a week and few of them actually have lessons to improve themselfs. There is a big difference between competition riders and the horse fair culture. The guy on the horse probably has never competed and never will compete and is just enjoying himself. To mighty know all SLC who sounds like she has 4 gold olympic GP medals in her belt ,just lighten up not everyone rides for competition some people actually ride to enjoy themselfs and if they can do anything resembling passage ,piafe etc good luck to them. I personally find it amazing that lots of these people have been riding for a short time ,are mainly self taught and can perform things like that just for fun. Is it perfect?. Hell no , who cares. If you want to critisise atleast talk about the pro's like Nuno Palma, Carlos and Daniel Pinto, Miguel Ralao just to mention a few or even Anky when she rode a Lusitano but let an amateur that just wants to enjoy himself out of it. Jesus I hate that "I am god almighty "attitude almost is as bad as Pepperoni himself
Larkspur, I guess you are right so I'll shut up and also enjoy the video.
Larkspur is probably referring to others.
As far as the video my reply was basic as too long a reply often gets interpreted as a brag. Besides the sway, the wide behind is an indication the horse is not steady in the work ( whether the wide behind occurs all the time or not) and from that statement it opens a ton of other questions.
I don't feel that the members here are so uninformed that I had to go into every little detail.