Always? As a student and then partner of George Vahl, she uses draw reins all the time? And a double?
I guess all those pictures of her schooling in a snaffle are an impostor?
And do you really think that if your going to have your picture taken you are going to leave the draw reins on? I know Vahl is from the SRS, but he didn't exactly stick to the SRS ways when training competition horses.
and Corinne Daep a long time groom of CS took the time to respond to Astrid A who had passed some questions to her (question was about CS's horse at the Olympics):
"....I have worked for Stückelberger and Wahl for over three years and they
never used any form of hyperflexion on any of their horses. There was never any form of disgraceful treatment over the years and I
would be happy people wouldn't spread gossip like that without knowing
I spent 3 days watching CS in Sonoma, CA a few years back and I dont believe for one minute she would be preaching one thing and doing another. She cared much more for the horses then the rider's feeling which did not make her popular (at that clinic). Also have her Paddock tape, wonderful teacher.
--Hyperflexion was only one thing the comment of the employee addressed:
There was never any form of disgraceful treatment over the years and I would be happy people wouldn't spread gossip like that without knowing
--'never any form of disgraceful treatment' pretty much covers the waterfront.
--And to be perfectly honest, I bet Christine Stuckelberger is skilled enough to use draw reins.
And do you really think that if your going to have your picture taken you are going to leave the draw reins on?
--Most riders have no control of when or what photographers take. People take pictures of riders at any and all times - in the ring, warming up, schooling between shows on the same show ground, even schooling at home. Even pictures behind the barn of daddy losing his temper. Dressage riders are out in public enough that most of what they do is public knowledge. Add in a few disgruntled customers or fired employees and there is all sorts of dirt about, some of it even true.
--And my pictures are of CS schooling in the snaffle, and she is not using draw rein with the snaffle. So there is one occasion when she is not doing it.
I know Vahl is from the SRS, but he didn't exactly stick to the SRS ways when training competition horses.
As a jumper, who makes NO claim to being able to judge Dressage, I think that ride was much more interesting for me to watch than much of the modern day dressage. I don't even know that I can fully explain what it IS that makes me like it more.....something about how the horses move, the way the test is ridden...the movements being more precise maybe?
Either way, I would ADORE having that horse (or one like him!) on my jumper string hee hee.
Someone is always saying some top rider uses draw reins every ride or isn't any good or is mean. Someone always defends them, someone always accuses them. That's public life.
Ah, history. We do seem to forget it!
I remember certain prominent widely quoted experts making comments that were widely published at the time for all to read, about past greats such as: 'The horse looks like a strangled water buffalo', ah, the good old days, when the good old days were also always '20 years ago'.
My comment meant during that test he looked very strong, not that he or rider is bad. I just found it extremely ironic that mbm admired THAT video so much, because in it the horse is very, very strong in the bridle and she is always complaining about that in 'the competition riding of today'.
Here, I think the horses aren't always 'perfectly light' and all work has some faults, major or minor, but the work overall, just basically has a more 'normal', less exaggerated look to it than some of the things we see today. I wish for 'the good old days' in that sense. If we could take some of the suppleness and add to it some of that just a little less exaggerated look, I think that would be 'progress'.
I think rather than blindly saying the first vid is perfect, I like to think, the balance is amazing, the horse is so collected, and so powerful, look at the muscle, the corners, the precision, the accuracy, well he does look incredibly strong in the bridle. And as trainer and rider said many times very publicly, 'yes he sure was'.
People with much more experience at that level probably say something like, well, nobody's perfect, but on the other hand, it was the Olympics and they did happen to do just a little bit better than everyone else who showed up.
I think anyone that thinks CS would ever have ridden any horse in any way that was questionable just doesn't understand how people handled, rode and trained horses in those days.
People were professionals and very serious and the horse's wellbeing came first.
I can not even start to find words to say what I know of that time and how most good, serious horsemen trained horses and trained future trainers and all handled horses, without any nonsense permitted.
CS was, just like every serious rider, in no hurry to show anyone anything, too busy trying to perfect herself and any horse she rode, with patience and common sense.
How she managed the horses in competition shows it.
When you train those kinds of horses, they have a way to keep you humble and you can't do well if your ego gets in the way and you let the situations frustrate you, not at all.
In that environment, people were serious.
Granat was a terrific horse, in person seemed larger than life and like dynamite ready to explode, barely contained.
He was so limber that you really had to ride right to even keep him straight.
If he had been stiffer, he would have been much easier to ride, but at the same time, being that limber gave you the horse he was and at that time, he was one of the kind and when right, hard to beat.
CS was one of the nicest persons you may ever know or have the pleasure to work with, the kind you can learn from and not even know how much you are learning.
At the same time, you had to be there to learn and follow her direction, not try to make excuses.
You can have an opinion, but on her time, you need to follow her ways, because she truly knows better.
I can see why that may have brought grumbles in clinics in the USA.
Granat was one of a kind and the kind that, if a horse ever needed draw reins, something that few do, he was one, to give him some semblance of guidelines, above what the rider may, he was so overly limber of nature.
Draw reins are not needed that often and definitely not to overbend horses, but can be one more way to help some horses find steadiness.
Too bad that so many use them wrong all around.
You can't blame the tool for how people use or misuse it.
I think if some want to pick on someone, just to pick on someone, they have the wrong target on CS or Granat.
I didn't bother listening to the commentary I watched the horse.
He is a very strong horse and CS's style is to never allow him to come behind the vertical and drop the contact. She kept him right up into the bridle the whole time.
Every half halt was met by the horse folding the hind leg under and lifting in front, staying in front of the vertical and not dropping the wither.
Definitely the majority of the "todays" top horses are more athletic than Granat but what CS is asking of the horse is absolute quality work.
The horse's response to collection is to lift his huge body in front and maintain engagement and an incredible degree of collection. His balance in the half passes (sad we don't get to see the trot ones) is brilliant. He is collected the whole time, not falling across like we so often see today.
This isn't a horse that can fake anything. He doesn't have the freedom of the shoulder to throw the legs around, when he comes down the final centre line the lift in front is all from elevating the forehand. This horse is a "whole body mover" not a leg mover.
And this is the type of dressage that can make every horse better as apposed to a training method that only suits certain horses.