My Reality, I agree with most everything you say, except that there are a lot of quality dressage horses now being bred in the US. My horse is US bred and nicer than most of the horses people import. There are several breeders in the US now breeding very nice high quality dressage horses.
Also I agree with Theo on a lot of this. There are a lot of people in the US that do ride dressage like they are riding hunters. I have seen a lot of third level tests that are very strung out and not too pretty. I have also seen a lot of fantastic US riders both amateur and professional.
Also agree that as a country we are a lot more thin skinned and soft than the average citizen from many other places. We are the "fat" Americans. We live in a Politically Correct, No Child Left Behind world. Also we live in a society that believes you can buy most anything and who suffer from the need of instant gratification. There are plenty of us who will put in whatever time and effort is necessary to get us there and plenty more who are lazy, thin-skinned, and don't have the best work ethic. There are a lot of Americans who will cry if you tell them the truth. No one ever tells them the truth. No not all Americans are like that but I would assert we have more people like that here than in Holland or Germany.
The problem is not a matter of Victorian roots in this country (that's more British than American), it's a matter of the current turn to political correctness. ...
or more basically,more people in the USA think horses are their friends,lovers,family members...so in saying ANYTHING in the least bit not kissy kissy you are "attacking a family member" or dishonoring some intimate bond...
when people do not think their rides are deep intimate. extentions of their innner child, then they take "hey,maybe you need to work on whoa a little more before you go to sliding stops" a little better....
[QUOTE][QUOTE=MyReality;2128707]I think Theo made some interesting observation. I have seen more North American riders not riding in collection at levels that requires collection, than other European countries.
(notes from an intentional dressage outsider )
this (NA/USA) is a big place...here,dressage is marketed as "training for all"...well...bunches of our "natives" are'nt bred to go round like Warmbloods specalized for the sport...so one "makes due" or uses the ingredients that are available....and it prob looks all wrong to a EU trained eye....I know a welsh judge told me once that they were "gutted" to see the driving classes at a breed show here...no life, no fire, no emphasis on movement... it was just an obedience test
at the risk of annoying dressage folks I also see lots of "big fish in small ponds" who spread and teach "the word" and will have no idea who <X> european rider is or even what horses are winning <x> and where...
I know of one who takes 2 yos and "teaches them dressage" happily taking the money of the folks who would never lower themselves to a "cowboy" touching their two yo.... but somehow dressage is better....?????
also the split in "dressage" when it's not just "training for everyone" becomes "classical" (we don't lower ourselves to compete ) to "sport" (we live to compete) and those folks don't exactly hang out either....in the attempt to spread dressage to everyone they the USA has made a competition/sport of the first year under saddle and called it "training" level...
there are also 54-plus breeds/registries competing in dressage in the US, and I have my earlier question not answered so I'll ask it again: are we comparing rides with dressage-bred horses of equal value? Or are we comparing apples and pears?
The way the horse is built (very vertical off the withers with lots of built-in capacity for uphill movement) is going to give a different level of collection than some breeds here in the US Dressage Federation program: http://www.usdf.org/Contacts/AllBreeds.asp
I remember the test was a third level test, so not out of the ability of many different breeds of horses. For instance, a quarter horse built horizontally, quite low off the wither/shoulder, and who started out in western trail can easily handle a third level test, but it will not collect like a $250,000 dressage bred horse. Nor does the owner necessarily want it to.
My understanding is this: there is such a thing as dressage bred horse collection <>(not equals to) non dressage bred horse collection. But there is no such a thing as bad collection due to breed limitation = (equals to) good collection.
I disagree all horses could do level 3. "Could" is a very liberal term. I think it is not necessary to lower the standards or level the playing field just because we want dressage to become more popular. We need to continue to develop rider, horses, techniques... and I don't believe this is done by putting your neighbourhood donkey in dressage, and patting each other's back.
This is not to say only Dutch WB could do it. And may I add again, not all FEI rider/horse combination out there are great examples. But the bottom line is, you need to recognise what you're doing. For instance, if your horse's gait is very earth bound, you absolutely need to build a higher quality trot first, before getting into collection.
It's not all about breeding. It's also about development as well. For instance, how many second level horse are in the market in your region? If you have a second level horse, what kind of price tag will you put on him/her? Note second is not even upper level.
I never talked about good or bad collection. I talked about the fact that from level 2 and above judges, trainers, riders and rules (the FEI etc....) ask for collection. This is the major goal of dressage. In casu when you have a horse (or breed) that can't collect or the rider don't want to go through this process than you nail yourself and your horse to stay at the lower levels.
I just don't know if are we comparing rides with dressage-bred horses of equal value?
I unfortunately didn't see the video so I have no idea on the horse's overall frame. I can picture a horse not ridden through enough, which is definitely the rider's fault, but that was not the critism.
If the horse was reasonably supple and through but not driven into the bridle enough for portions of the test, again that would be the rider's fault, but that was not the critism. A horse can be "long" instead of vertical for may reasons, starting with the breed.
Then of course we start to run into the dreaded question, if it's the breed limitations: is dressage for all horses? Or is dressage a gaited test? The USDF encourages all breeds to participate at all levels, so that is where we are in America.
MyReality: I never wrote "all horses could do level 3," so I won't respond. I'll leave it to the person who wrote that.