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Eventing Dressage is What Dressage SHOULD be?

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  • #21
    But, but... no one ever claimed that event horses could do GP.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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    • #22
      Originally posted by Twigster View Post
      especially those canter extensions. Talk about WOW!
      My very favorite part, too. So wish there was a way to convey to the audience just how *hard* that is to manage in a dressage ring... it's not just kicking them to go really fast!

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        First of all, I did not imply or say that these horses can or should be able to do a GP dressage test, nor that a GP dressage horse should be able to do an international level XC course. Of course muscle development is a different focus for each sport.

        That said, except for the few elite, and even those, why in the world would you not do some cross country? I used to gallop all over the hills with my FEI horses and jump them, and my GP mare would have put some of those guys to shame. (Well, maybe, but she was fast.)

        I guess what I'm seeing that I like so much is what someone else pointed out about more open frames ad necks. I have a mare that you physically can't bring her hed to her neck, and shouldn't try, but that's what's doing well, at all levels, in dressage. I also don't see the pulling of the reins EVERY step I see so much in dressage "proving" that the horse is relaxed because you're jerking his head back each step and he's not objecting. I see the eventing horses with more open frames that I ride in, and the horses have some freedom to move their heads on their own and aren't just held in every step.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
          You really should not compare the two versions of dressage. You need a totally different kind of horse for eventing than you do for pure dressage. What do you think would happen if you asked an Olympic dressage horse to run that XC course ? You cannot expect an event horse to have the carrying power and muscle expected of a dressage horse, it would be counter productive for XC. That's why they have relatively simpler tests. It's like comparing a sprinter to a marathon runner; the sprinter requires a lot more technique and pure power to shave 100ths, whereas the marathon runner has more success with efficiency, but they're both running.
          I don't agree.
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          • #25
            I would actually be really interested in seeing GP horses attempt the XC and show jumping, just to see what that would look like. I wonder if it would be akin to a musclebound weight lifter trying to do gymnastics? That said, I also prefer the less perfected dressage of eventing, the horses always look like the are trying so hard to remember the steps to some complicated dance, when all they really want to do is bust a move.

            One thing I always wonder - and this is coming from someone who used to show Hunter/Jumper/Equitation many years ago- is that I'm always rather appalled at the loose, jello-like body movements of dressage riders - the bouncy seats and legs looks awful to me. Yesterday, most looked horrid to my eye. In fact, I thought Zara Phillips had one of the best seats in that
            Eventing Dressage round. Since I wasn't able to ride dressage back in the day, I don't fully get the scoring, is there no scoring for the way a rider looks in terms of seat, legs, etc.?
            Last edited by Equinita; Jul. 31, 2012, 03:47 AM.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
              You really should not compare the two versions of dressage. You need a totally different kind of horse for eventing than you do for pure dressage.
              I agree that you (obviously) need totally different kinds of horses for the upper levels of eventing and dressage. But the dressage itself (at the comparable level) is the same. Dressage is dressage is dressage.

              All the eventers around here bring their horses to the local dressage competitions as needed - and are competitive.

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              • #27
                I like both. I must say that I like the more forward riding of the eventing dressage.

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                • #28
                  They are two different types of dressage, each suited to a different purpose. Then there's the third type, which the SRS et al perform. I like them all.
                  The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                  Winston Churchill

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Frank B View Post
                    They are two different types of dressage...
                    What do you mean by this? What is the difference? The purpose? The movements? The judging?

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by kalidascope View Post
                      I agree that you (obviously) need totally different kinds of horses for the upper levels of eventing and dressage. But the dressage itself (at the comparable level) is the same. Dressage is dressage is dressage.

                      All the eventers around here bring their horses to the local dressage competitions as needed - and are competitive.
                      In my experience in California, eventing dressage is more competitive than straight dressage at the same level, just because you have more entries and lots of very experienced and polished pairs. So, yes, the eventers do very well when they go to regular dressage shows.
                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Equinita View Post
                        One thing I always wonder - and this is coming from someone who used to show Hunter/Jumper/Equitation many years ago- is that I'm always rather appalled at the loose, jello-like body movements of dressage riders - the bouncy seats and legs looks awful to me. Yesterday, most looked horrid to my eye. In fact, I thought Zara Phillips had one of the best seats in that
                        Eventing Dressage round. Since I wasn't able to ride dressage back in the day, I don't fully get the scoring, is there no scoring for the way a rider looks in terms of seat, legs, etc.?
                        The score for the rider is only a small part of the score, and there is not quite the same premium on stillness and tightness that there is in the hunter seat eq. If the horse is going well, much will be forgiven.

                        That said, the sitting trot that hunters do is a much slower, easier gait than the medium trot you are watching for dressage, which has much more power than a typical hunter-eq horse would be putting into an "extend the trot" request in an eq ring.
                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Frank B View Post
                          They are two different types of dressage, each suited to a different purpose. Then there's the third type, which the SRS et al perform. I like them all.
                          Dressage at it's basic is dressage - doesn't matter if it's at a local schooling show or a 4*. It's all a series of building blocks that the horse and rider are taught from Intro up. Each level to be successfully completed so both horse and rider have those skills mastered to enable them to move successfully to the next level.

                          Grand Prix dressage - as it is currently being shown - is something "Modern" trainers, owners and judges have created over the past couple of decades. Anymore it's all about elevation and flash. I vote for what I consider a more "true" dressage - what I see in the eventing side of things!

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by DLee View Post
                            I don't know whether it's what it 'should' be or not.... but it's truly the dressage I like to watch the best.
                            agree 100% i love watching eventing dressage and would hope that we could see similar type scoring/riding in regular dressage...

                            edit to add: that the rides remind me a lot of rides of "yore" where training is what matters - not otherworldly gaits....

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                            • #34
                              hey a question: for those eventers that show regular dressage - what is the differences, in any, in scoring?

                              i would think there wouldn't be any since it is the same judges, but watching the olympic dressage makes me think there would be... ?

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                We need to be jello-like and loose in our backs so as not to discourage the horse from coming through its back from behind or blocking the horse.
                                And I show PSG in a snaffle, and my horse's head is not cranked into his neck....
                                Except on a cold winter morning, and that's only for my continued survival
                                Last edited by Rooty; Jul. 31, 2012, 03:02 PM. Reason: too many 'a's
                                Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  A friend used to be an eventer and switched to dressage because she got hurt too much. She has been very successful in dressage and her daughter has made young riders several times. I, too, agree, the eventers do well at "real" dressage shows. They're usually more fun and laid back, too.

                                  I think the cross training makes anyone and any horse more successful. I mean, if we, as riders, just "rode dressage" we would be pretty bad riders. We all cross train to help with different things--lift weights, run, bike, swim, pilates/yoga whatever. I can't imagine just "doing dressage" with a dressage horse, and and sort of amazed at all of these recent articles in Dressage Today touting doing trails and jumping. Like, duh. Why would you NOT do other things, just to keep from boring your horse to tears if nothing else.

                                  I think one of the reasons event horses are so happy is they get to RUN! They are horses, and are meant to gallop over the hillsides, and these guys get to do it! My mare is kind of slow (she thinks she's fast) and never really knew what going for a run was, but she clearly has so much fun with it and enjoys being a horse.

                                  So, how can we get regular dressage to score like eventing dressage so it's not ALL ABOUT GAITS (and the name) and it's training that horse to be the best horse he/she can be? There should be SOME difference for a horse with super quality gaits (whatever that means) but not enough to overscore training. That's why I don't think I like the new tests with more collective marks--it's more reason to subjectively give scores not based on what was clearly done.

                                  And, maybe I should start another thread on this, but what IS a world class athlete look like in a horse? I was in Atlanta and several World Cups where I would see horses and think they looked like a rent string horse. I remember the one chestnut jumper with a question mark on his head that was a gawdawful mover, but stunning jumper. Same thing at the World Cups. Even if you take a horse like Kyrklund's Max--he wasn't a super mover. And if you saw some of the dressage horses with tack off, you would never buy them them for "awful" conformation.

                                  If a horse is at this level of competition, they are obviously a world class athlete. How can they be a "bad" mover? "Good" movement should be doing the job staying sound.

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
                                    I think the cross training makes anyone and any horse more successful. I mean, if we, as riders, just "rode dressage" we would be pretty bad riders. We all cross train to help with different things--lift weights, run, bike, swim, pilates/yoga whatever. I can't imagine just "doing dressage" with a dressage horse, and and sort of amazed at all of these recent articles in Dressage Today touting doing trails and jumping.
                                    Not that I don't think cross-training isn't a good idea, and it's not impossible that I would become a more effective rider if I did do yoga or pilates, but seriously, when would I have time?
                                    I have dabbled in many different disciplines over the years, and in the past used to jump and hack my dressage horse. For that horse, it helped her mentally. Her successor is careless over fences and hates hacking. So we just do dressage, and he is one of the happiest horses you'll ever meet. Loves people and attention.
                                    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                      hey a question: for those eventers that show regular dressage - what is the differences, in any, in scoring?

                                      i would think there wouldn't be any since it is the same judges, but watching the olympic dressage makes me think there would be... ?
                                      The coefficients are a little different, but a 6 is a six, a 7 is a seven, etc.

                                      I usually showed straight dressage at a higher level with my older horse than was needed for our eventing tests.
                                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
                                        ...

                                        So, how can we get regular dressage to score like eventing dressage so it's not ALL ABOUT GAITS (and the name) and it's training that horse to be the best horse he/she can be? There should be SOME difference for a horse with super quality gaits (whatever that means) but not enough to overscore training. That's why I don't think I like the new tests with more collective marks--it's more reason to subjectively give scores not based on what was clearly done.

                                        ...

                                        If a horse is at this level of competition, they are obviously a world class athlete. How can they be a "bad" mover? "Good" movement should be doing the job staying sound.
                                        Off track, I know.... but the whole point of dressage is to improve the horse's natural way of going. The whole reason that we manipulate our horses bodies in the movements is to produce a more supple, elastic horse which is then displayed by improved gaits. To totally discount gaits would dissolve dressage to mo more than a open show style patterns class...

                                        Should an obedient horse with a huge reach in the half-pass beat an obedient horse with a mincing half-pass? Yes, because even if the horse with the reach has more natural ability, he has been well trained to maximize his potential where the mincing horse starts off with a disadvantage.
                                        Dressage is an athletic endeavor for both horse and rider... Of course the more naturally talented ones (with three quality natural gaits) will have an advantage over those with sub-par gaits.

                                        And 'sound' doesn't necessarily equal good movement.

                                        Just MHO, of course....

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                                        • #40
                                          I do like that they are more forward (sometimes a bit too forward to keep the collection require, so there is a fine line) and that most of the horses that finished at the top were not btv and the best rides were SOFT and the horse looked happy. Gotta say that is what is often missing in the dedicated dressage show rings these days.

                                          Not perfect dressage in eventing, but the general outline and forwardness were SO much better than the crawling and PO'd looking horses one sees at many dressage shows around the country where the horses are competiting at 3rd and 4th level.
                                          "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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