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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2000
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland
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    7,124

    Default Please Smile When Riding!

    I'm tired of seeing frowns, grimaces, tightened lips, and grinchful expressions when dressage people ride.

    For Pete's sake, look up and forward and SMILE!

    Your horse will feel it and love it! You will transform yourself into a confident rider. Your instructor will be in awe! Other riders around you will pick up your positive vibes and they will smile!

    Come on folks, DO IT!
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2001
    Location
    Bryan,Texas
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    2,261

    Default

    Yes, I am guilty of having too serious or concentrated/pained look on my face. But I certainly don't to have a fake smile either.
    ....will try to be halfway between the two in the future.

    My instructor will faint if I look like I am enjoying myself!!! But then that might be a good thing!!!!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2010
    Posts
    598

    Default

    If I saw someone riding a test with a big grin on their face, I would wonder what they had been smoking. I don't think there's anything wrong with concentration-face. Do you see tennis or volleyball players or other athletes smiling throughout their performances?

    I think when you're focused like that, smiling is unnatural, and will come across as such.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 29, 2010
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Thanks for the reminder. My trainer is always telling me to look up and BREATHE! It is good to always remember. Jane Savoie says to sing a song if you are nervous...



  5. #5

    Default

    Stop with the grimmicing face and smile....whoops you just might have actual 'fun'.......stop taking the test seriously........worry not what judges think, enjoy the dance between you and your horse
    www.hartetoharte.org
    Ask and allow, do not demand and force.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2000
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland
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    Default

    Post above. Truth.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2009
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Posts
    677

    Default

    I had to today--literally look up and not just smile, but laugh! My gelding was so afraid the hang gliding vulture was going to swoop in on him and carry him away. But yes, I am so guilty of this...it is amazing how much more I get accomplished when I actually look up and have fun and smile :-)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 21, 2010
    Location
    NE Pennsylvania
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    125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alg0181 View Post
    If I saw someone riding a test with a big grin on their face, I would wonder what they had been smoking.


    LOL= too true!

    i am also guilty of this... I have pics of me making all sorts of faces while riding! lol Maybe the USDF will authorize the use of wearing face masks with fake smiles on them...



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2000
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    Columbia, Maryland
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    Default

    A response from the other BB which merits posting here.

    The lack of apparent joy has been remarked on many times by the judges I've scribed for. In fact I would say that's the greatest commonality to intently watching the rides at a spectrum of shows.


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



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2000
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    Columbia, Maryland
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    Default

    My instructor always told me, "Smile! Enjoy your horse!", as I was executing whatever we were working on.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    Larkspur, Colo.
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    4,924

    Default

    Is this smiley enough for you?

    http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...ept09show2.jpg

    Also see my profile pic -- I laugh at the horsies a lot.

    Oh, yeah, almost forgot. I also make kissy faces:
    http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...hillsShow1.jpg



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
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    6,050

    Default

    I've noticed a trend in my photos. At a walk I tend to smile and laugh a lot:
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/...064edf1497.jpg
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4048/...8a7b83555f.jpg
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4018/...03db4e89df.jpg

    At a trot I tend to grimace:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3494/...b3d6c7f196.jpg

    And at a canter I tend to have kissy face permanently stuck on me. Except when he's bucking or kicking, in which case I'm usually laughing and look demented and drunk, so I'm not sharing those photos. (And yes, this includes at a show when I laughed from just before A until I had finished my 20 meter circle and had tears forming from laughing, but attempted to stifle it a bit.)

    I'm also glad I just looked back at those photos so I can see my position and stomach really HAVE both improved, and it's not just people around me being nice.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2010
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    47

    Default

    I think if we look up and smile more we may just free up some of our senses to start "actually" feeling our horses with our bodies rather than with our eyes.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Default

    Another cause/effect thing is default expression. When I'm totally relaxed and not actively creating an expression on my face I look like I have a cross between a scowl and grimace on my face. As I get older and my face starts to show my more common expressions the default is starting to look more like a smile, so I suppose by the time I'm an upper level dressage rider (if ever) I will look like I'm smiling when relaxed and not making a face?
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Denali Does View Post
    I think if we look up and smile more we may just free up some of our senses to start "actually" feeling our horses with our bodies rather than with our eyes.
    This is exactly what happens.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  16. #16
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    Default

    Thanks for the "smiley" photos that are being posted.

    Now compare those to the grinchlike facial features often seen in the dressage arena.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
    Location
    Andover, MA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    Another cause/effect thing is default expression. When I'm totally relaxed and not actively creating an expression on my face I look like I have a cross between a scowl and grimace on my face. As I get older and my face starts to show my more common expressions the default is starting to look more like a smile, so I suppose by the time I'm an upper level dressage rider (if ever) I will look like I'm smiling when relaxed and not making a face?
    This is very much an issue with me, too. The default isn't a smile or anywhere close to one, so I look grouchy even when I am not!

    My best rides are not necessarily ridden with a lot of smiles, but when I do something to keep myself breathing, whether that's singing, or talking to the maresy. Neither of those are allowed in the dressage ring, but I have heard that some people who are not natural smilers hum a little under their breath, and I really should practice that to see if it would help.

    OTOH, I did have a terrible time keeping myself from laughing when maresy decided a canter depart -- right in front of the judge of course -- was the perfect time to toss her head and throw in a little crowhop. "Frisky!" is not a comment I particularly enjoy seeing on a test, but it does make me laugh.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  18. #18
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    Jun. 10, 2002
    Location
    Spain
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    Default

    I think smiling is a nice idea...but it reminds me of someone who grins all the time,though the horse is usually not going well at all.Looking like the village idiot, totally oblivious to the horse.
    Your expression should match the reality of the experience :lol



  19. #19
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    Dec. 7, 2010
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    598

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by raff View Post
    I think smiling is a nice idea...but it reminds me of someone who grins all the time,though the horse is usually not going well at all.Looking like the village idiot, totally oblivious to the horse.
    Your expression should match the reality of the experience :lol
    Hahaha. This sounds like something my first trainer would say. If I had gone around smiling he would have been like, "WHY are you smiling? That was terrible!! Quit smiling and start TRYING!"



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 24, 2007
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    946

    Default

    I wish I didn't always look so serious. I see pix of myself riding and I DO not look like I am enjoying it. I need to make more of an effort to be concious of my concentration and do as you say, take a deep breath, look up and let my true feelings show. I will say however, my whole life, no matter what I'm doing I tend to scowl when I'm concentrating even though I'm perfectly happy.

    I should work on that, thanks for the reminder!

    Starting NOW



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