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  1. #1
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    Default Meet Munoz Diaz and Fuego XII

    Great story behind this wonderful pair.

    http://www.eurodressage.com/equestri...uestrian-games

    Once I asked him why he was always walking Fuego himself, letting him graze, preparing the stallion himself, Juan Manuel answered that he couldn’t let anybody else do it. Fuego would not understand these changes and it would take a couple of days afterwards until he would feel a bond with Juan Manuel again.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  2. #2
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    Default

    Really nice story - I'm liking this guy (and he's easy on the eyes....)

    They'll have to become my new favorite team now that my other favorite team has been dissolved................



  3. #3
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    what a super article! he seems like a wonderful man and i love the fact that he has ridden Fuego since Fuego was 4 and does all the work himself - no groom.

    i think this partnership really shows.



  4. #4
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    Default

    great article!
    it was nice to get confirmation what i assumed of him after watching his ride. i sincerely hope that his example rubs off on others. we could use more like him .
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  5. #5
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    Default

    I still cannot believe that pair didn't medal. Watching them in the musical freestyle was the highlight of the WEG for me, and I'm an eventer. Fabulous!



  6. #6
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    I'd never seen nor heard of them prior to WEG. My DH surprised me with tickets to the freestyle finale (we were there for eventing). All I can say is that I was breathless at the end of their performance. I don't shed many public tears, but the pure joy that was felt in that enormous stadium when Juan thrust his hat in the air brought a little wet trickle down my cheek.

    It was a memory I will not soon forget.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Hey Riderboy, just noticed you hit the big 1,000! Sounds like a good reason for another helmet-cam



  8. #8
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    Default

    Excellent article.
    I hope Astrid knows how much we appreciate it.
    -Amor vincit omnia-



  9. #9
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    Default

    Thanks so much for finding that (researcher deluxe!) and sharing, I'm passing it forward also!

    So true about the 'real' relationship between the horse and rider!!! It really is about taking that time and the hands on caring for your horse -- those with a 'string' cannot ever hope to achieve this level of horsemanship. It is very gratifying to read an article about a rider who knows what is really important in life. I am positive that Juan Manuel knew that the hearts that he touched were far more important than a medal. He deserved more than he got materially but his joy with his horse is the real reward and he got that 10 fold and he got to share that with the world.
    The truth is what you can get other people to believe.

    -- Tommy Smothers



  10. #10
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    Default

    Well said pony grandma.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  11. #11
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    Default

    I caught that article the other day - good read. He seems like a very genuine guy from his interviews and the stories I've read about him.

    I do disagree a bit with pony grandma - I think those with a "string" are often able to develop into great horsemen because of the variety of horses they have to work with. As long as you don't have a string of more than you can work and touch daily, you can still have this kind of relationship with each individual - you just have to make time for each one = )

    However, there are certainly some pros who don't have this luxury (and have more on their string than they'd like) because they are trying to make a living wage.



  12. #12
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    Default

    Love the article, thanks for posting. As I said in my post in the other thread about WEG, what I love about this pair is how they represent the aesthetic and culture of their country, as well as of international dressage. Munoz Diaz's training philosophy, expressive personality, etc is clearly part of a long Spanish tradition of horsemanship.

    I don't mind WBs, but I love how the Spanish team rides the horses their country produces. It would make dressage more interesting more nations did that!
    2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
    Our training journal.
    1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
    I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.



  13. #13
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    I so agree with STS. The passion and pride showed in the performance. It was in such stark contrast to the 'professional' and stoic approach of the European riders(not to say that they don't feel it, but they do keep it on the down-low). He really had fun and it showed in the expression of the paces of the horse. It would be lovely to see more countries exhibit their nation's native breeds. I know its about success in the ring but dressage is also an art and art usually reflects the artist's upbringing and culture. I loved them more than Gal and Toto. Hugely jealous of those who were able to see them first-hand.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WILLOW&CAL View Post
    The passion and pride showed in the performance. It was in such stark contrast to the 'professional' and stoic approach of the European riders(not to say that they don't feel it, but they do keep it on the down-low). He really had fun and it showed in the expression of the paces of the horse. It would be lovely to see more countries exhibit their nation's native breeds. I know its about success in the ring but dressage is also an art and art usually reflects the artist's upbringing and culture.
    Let me preface this by saying I think Fuego is really neat, and I thoroughly enjoyed his WEG performance. I think it's wonderful for dressage that people have been so energized by this team's performance. However, I think there is some romanticizing that has led to some slightly unfair statements - in my opinion, which some may also feel is unfair = )

    Who's to say it's not part of Dutch (insert other "cold" European countries in here) "culture" to present a more precise, cool, and collected image? When I think of Germans (especially when it comes to riding culture), I often think of precision - their historical success in the dressage ring suggests this is appropriate, as it's a sport driven by technical details and precise execution.

    Also, other countries besides Spain compete on horses that are part of their country's breeding program. Just because the WB is less distinct across borders and less unique in appearance across registries doesn't mean the nation hasn't put a lot of time and effort into the creation of their own ideal athlete. What breeds would you like to see the Germans or Dutch compete on?

    Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of country-specific breeds for most countries, and there are even fewer that are best suited for international dressage competitions. What would you pick for the U.S. team? Our "native" breeds could be a number of things - appaloosas, QHs, ASBs, morgans - what should we pick? What about U.S. bred WBs purpose bred for dressage?

    I think it is very cool that Spain has such an excellent native breed that is often a very good type for dressage, but that's not really the case with a lot of countries.

    Unfortunately, if you want a true exhibition of different "native" breeds of various countries, I'm not sure a dressage competition is ever going to be a place for that. What if I had to do dressage at the Olympics on an Akhal-Teke? I'd probably be at a big disadvantage... It would be neat to see a variety of breeds show off their dressage skills - I agree. But turning it into a competition would be tough and likely pretty unfair.

    I understand what is meant by many of these posts - an appreciation of a unique pair that has stolen the hearts of many. But I felt the need to add some logic to the romantic = )



  15. #15
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    There have been at least 5 Akhal Tekes at the olympics, One of course being a Dressage Gold Medalist!!



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by belambi View Post
    There have been at least 5 Akhal Tekes at the olympics, One of course being a Dressage Gold Medalist!!
    Well of course! And I love to see different breeds to well at the top levels (I have secret hopes of sneaking a saddlebred in there someday - that's what I'd pick if I had to choose an "American" breed). But I think a lot of those breeds aren't the first choice unless they are very exceptional in comparison to most of their counterparts. Obviously that's true even for the purpose-bred horse at the international level, but you know what I mean I think = )



  17. #17
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    of course!.. was just pointing it out.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bort84 View Post
    Let me preface this by saying I think Fuego is really neat, and I thoroughly enjoyed his WEG performance. I think it's wonderful for dressage that people have been so energized by this team's performance. However, I think there is some romanticizing that has led to some slightly unfair statements - in my opinion, which some may also feel is unfair = )

    Who's to say it's not part of Dutch (insert other "cold" European countries in here) "culture" to present a more precise, cool, and collected image? When I think of Germans (especially when it comes to riding culture), I often think of precision - their historical success in the dressage ring suggests this is appropriate, as it's a sport driven by technical details and precise execution.

    Also, other countries besides Spain compete on horses that are part of their country's breeding program. Just because the WB is less distinct across borders and less unique in appearance across registries doesn't mean the nation hasn't put a lot of time and effort into the creation of their own ideal athlete. What breeds would you like to see the Germans or Dutch compete on?

    Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of country-specific breeds for most countries, and there are even fewer that are best suited for international dressage competitions. What would you pick for the U.S. team? Our "native" breeds could be a number of things - appaloosas, QHs, ASBs, morgans - what should we pick? What about U.S. bred WBs purpose bred for dressage?

    I think it is very cool that Spain has such an excellent native breed that is often a very good type for dressage, but that's not really the case with a lot of countries.

    Unfortunately, if you want a true exhibition of different "native" breeds of various countries, I'm not sure a dressage competition is ever going to be a place for that. What if I had to do dressage at the Olympics on an Akhal-Teke? I'd probably be at a big disadvantage... It would be neat to see a variety of breeds show off their dressage skills - I agree. But turning it into a competition would be tough and likely pretty unfair.

    I understand what is meant by many of these posts - an appreciation of a unique pair that has stolen the hearts of many. But I felt the need to add some logic to the romantic = )

    I recognize that using breeds from the representative country isn't always practical, and I also agree that Germans/Netherlands are certainly showing their cultural values of precision etc etc when they show warmbloods who originated in their region. Good on them.

    BUT, I think there's something a bit uninspiring about so many top horses coming from German, Netherlands, etc. It seems odd to import athletes rather than produce them ourselves. If, say, Americans want to ride WBs, how about WBs born and bred here? Educate me--how many of the WEG horses were born on our soil?

    Not trying to start a flame war or anything, but can't you agree that one of the reason Spain's performance was inspiring was that they showed how much they support and believe in the horses THEIR country produces? Despite the fact that Iberians are not the go-to breed for international dressage?

    To me, that was as inspiring as the performance itself.
    2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
    Our training journal.
    1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
    I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.



  19. #19
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    It might be interesting to see what could be done with Morgans. I don't know much about them, personally, but I took a tour this summer of the U of Vermont's Morgan Horse breeding farm, which has maintained the "Government" line since the early 20th C.

    I talked a bit with a professor there (unfortunately don't remember his name) and asked him what they were breeding for now. Among other things, he said they were tending toward more of a sport horse for modern equestrian competition.

    Seems like an American "all-rounder" breed that could possibly be bred specifically toward modern dressage with some success, similar to what the article describes about Fuego. Not changing the entire breed, of course, but if someone was interested in finding the best candidates and focusing on that aspect.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SisterToSoreFoot View Post
    BUT, I think there's something a bit uninspiring about so many top horses coming from German, Netherlands, etc. It seems odd to import athletes rather than produce them ourselves. If, say, Americans want to ride WBs, how about WBs born and bred here? Educate me--how many of the WEG horses were born on our soil?

    Not trying to start a flame war or anything, but can't you agree that one of the reason Spain's performance was inspiring was that they showed how much they support and believe in the horses THEIR country produces? Despite the fact that Iberians are not the go-to breed for international dressage?

    To me, that was as inspiring as the performance itself.
    I thought the performance was great, but I did not get very gooey about it, personally. So initially, I was not really thinking about the fact he's Spanish and riding a PRE. I was thinking, that was a great ride, and kind of unexpected.

    I also don't know that I find the pair any more "inspiring" than a lot of other dressage pairs out there, though it is perhaps more "romantic," and I found this article to be a bit mushy, though a nice human interest piece. I bet you could do a similar article on many of the top riders and their star partners.

    Anyway, I think it is more "icing on the cake" that he competes on a PRE rather than being "inspiring" for me.

    As far as other countries (like the U.S.) believing in their product, I think that's evolving. In comparison to many European countries, the U.S. is quite new to dressage. There are some very nice breeding operations developing in the U.S., but we are still growing and learning.

    Riders and breeders are usually not one in the same, so while a rider may appreciate the "homegrown" factor, he also appreciates his professional reputation and status. If he finds a better candidate from a different country, I would encourage him to get that horse.

    At this point in time, I would be more impressed by the U.S. team medaling in dressage on horses from whatever origin than us having lower standings on homebreds. Obviously the most impressive would be for us to medal on our own horses, but I don't expect anyone on the team to sacrifice their journey if they can't find their partner in the U.S. (not that I think anyone is saying that.)

    I absolutely think it's best if a rider can find their dream partner in a homebred horse - it makes the whole country look impressive in the sport as both riders and breeders of elite athletes. It adds to the story, absolutely. But in the U.S., I don't think we have the same kind of history with any particular breed like they do in Spain, so I'm not sure it's so easy to compare.

    Fuego and Diaz are certainly a romantic story = )



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