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Eventing Dressage is What Dressage SHOULD be?

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  • Eventing Dressage is What Dressage SHOULD be?

    I finally am able to watch the eventing dressage. What strikes me is these look like ordinary horses at an ordinary (dressage) show. This is not to dis anyone, but to note this seems like what dressage SHOULD be.

    They aren't world beaters, there are clear mistakes and you see heads look up and trips, but they aren't getting nailed for it, and doing the best quality the HORSE can do gets good scores.

    As I've been to some dressage shows lately and horses that move well but are behind the vertical and not doing correct movements are getting big scores because they look flashy or have the "right" names, but this just seems to be what dressage SHOULD be.

    It's SUPPOSED to be about training and making the best of the horse, no matter what it looks like, so an extended trot can look like a lot of different things and still be correct and an eight, even though the horse isn't s super mover. And I see this 3rdish/4thish level test done in bridles that work best for the horse, not everyone in a double so they can get that super up, cranked in look that is so prevalent in dressage at all levels, even though it's incorrect.

  • #2
    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.
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
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    • #3
      I felt that in regular dressage some of those canters would have been scored lowef.

      I like the ordinary horse idea, but some of the canter looked just painful (in collection), and that would lose, yes, to a horse that was rounder but more able to carry IMO

      What i liked was the open forward look and extensions and ground covering look.

      What I didnt like was the heavy in the reins and very tense look with lack of self carriage.

      I am not distracted by the feet... Most of what people claim to be "flashy" has one hell of a hind end, and that would take a huge chunk out of this competition.

      Dressage is about the carriage.
      ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
      http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        Dressage is about the carriage.
        So true. Most dressage horses descend from carriage horses.
        Last edited by vineyridge; Jul. 30, 2012, 07:29 PM.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
          I finally am able to watch the eventing dressage. What strikes me is these look like ordinary horses at an ordinary (dressage) show. This is not to dis anyone, but to note this seems like what dressage SHOULD be.

          They aren't world beaters, there are clear mistakes and you see heads look up and trips, but they aren't getting nailed for it, and doing the best quality the HORSE can do gets good scores.

          As I've been to some dressage shows lately and horses that move well but are behind the vertical and not doing correct movements are getting big scores because they look flashy or have the "right" names, but this just seems to be what dressage SHOULD be.

          It's SUPPOSED to be about training and making the best of the horse, no matter what it looks like, so an extended trot can look like a lot of different things and still be correct and an eight, even though the horse isn't s super mover. And I see this 3rdish/4thish level test done in bridles that work best for the horse, not everyone in a double so they can get that super up, cranked in look that is so prevalent in dressage at all levels, even though it's incorrect.
          This (and Rolex earlier this year) is the first time I have watched all the Dressage, and I must say, I agree! Very enjoyable. Yes, some rides may have looked tense and cranked, but compared to the distant past, not much.

          Of course, in the distant past the horses had to be twice (at least) as fit, so, it did make the Dressage tests a tad more... interesting?

          But seriously, these test, for the most part, were, as the Oirish would say, "CLASS"!

          Kudos to everyone who rode!!
          co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!

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          • #6
            And I LOVE watching these horses that are, for the most part, more TB than anything else!!!
            co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!

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            • #7
              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.
              ... _. ._ .._. .._

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                So true. Most dressage horses descend from carriage horses.
                viney, now you're just trolling!

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                • #9
                  There were a lot of really amazing rides this weekend! Some very classy pairs to be sure. I did really enjoy seeing how forward these eventing dressage tests were, especially those canter extensions. Talk about WOW!
                  Reasons I'm crazy, #37: I went out shopping for a pony and came home with a 17hh OTTB
                  ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by subk View Post
                    viney, now you're just trolling!
                    But what she said is absolutely true!!!
                    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      In "regular" dressage some of these horses would have been nailed badly. But, I think in regular dressage, for most people at most levels, it's OK to see lack of perfection. These ARE international level athletes that may have canters that look stiff and unbalanced, but is that really true, or is it just that different horses can accomplish the same thing, but look far different?

                      The international/Olympic level is somewhat of a different jump, but I think that's part of the problem.

                      Yes, of course the end result is different in that these horses have a different level of muscle and stamina building at the highest level, but in general it shouldn't be that different. I don't think a dressage horse should have any problem on the cross country course, and I'm sure the Klimke's do that with their dressage horses.

                      I don't think I see any more tension that in regular dressage. Horses are all different and show and respond differently. I think I like that these horses are "allowed" to have some tension and personality and "get away" with it. Though, from the ones I've seen, I've been impressed with how relaxed and trying these horses are. (I haven't seen the Russian guy.)

                      I just like that I'm seeing pencil necked horses, big bulky horses, flat horses, fancy movers, all with their flaws doing the same thing in a different way and being scored for how well THEY do it, and not looking for flaws. I wish I were scored like that at 3rd/4th level. The judges really seem to be more looking for what they can do instead of, I dunno, looking for what it could have been on a nicer horse?

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                      • #12
                        If you gave me a choice between tickets to watch eventing dressage and tickets to watch the Grand Prix dressage proper, I'll take the eventing dressage every time. I find it much more pleasurable to watch and with more expression.
                        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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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                          If you gave me a choice between tickets to watch eventing dressage and tickets to watch the Grand Prix dressage proper, I'll take the eventing dressage every time. I find it much more pleasurable to watch and with more expression.

                          Agree!!
                          co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!

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                          • #14
                            I doubt very seriously if most big time Dressage horses could do a XC course at an UL even if they were trained for it. It all comes down to the type of muscle fibers and the MtDNA that powers those muscles. Dressage horses have been tested (there are scientific papers from Spain, Germany, and The Netherlands) and just don't have enough short twitch and type IIa & b muscle fibers to make the stamina necessary for an extended galloping course.

                            If I sound a bit confused, it's because it's been about three years since I did research into horse muscle fiber types.
                            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                            Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                            • #15
                              They did the WEG test event in conjuction with Rolex and it was very interesting seeing the CDI classes in the same time frame as the CCI dressage. I thought the CDI horse were stiff and without much lateral flexibilty.

                              Extensions and collection were all about what was happening below without much change front to back in the body. Most surprising--since I don't watch a lot of UL dressage--was how completely locked the heads and necks looked. The eventers (the good rides) were more unpredictable but lots more relaxed looking. CDI horses just looked uncomfortable to me.

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                              • #16
                                The extended canter to collected canter transitions are much better, in general, for eventers than for the real dressage horses. I recall Custom Made being able to do one that took my breath away, it was so light and soft and yet so very serious.
                                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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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                  The extended canter to collected canter transitions are much better, in general, for eventers than for the real dressage horses. I recall Custom Made being able to do one that took my breath away, it was so light and soft and yet so very serious.
                                  Yup, kinda important going xc

                                  ETA:Back when I was eventing whips in dressage weren't allowed, the reason being if the horse wasn't in front of the leg you didn't have a prayer xc
                                  I wasn't always a Smurf
                                  Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                  "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                  The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                                    I felt that in regular dressage some of those canters would have been scored lowef.

                                    I like the ordinary horse idea, but some of the canter looked just painful (in collection), and that would lose, yes, to a horse that was rounder but more able to carry IMO

                                    What i liked was the open forward look and extensions and ground covering look.

                                    What I didnt like was the heavy in the reins and very tense look with lack of self carriage.

                                    I am not distracted by the feet... Most of what people claim to be "flashy" has one hell of a hind end, and that would take a huge chunk out of this competition.

                                    Dressage is about the carriage.
                                    What is interesting is that to me most of the horses looked like they were in the contact, yes some were being held together fairly tightly, but I preferred it to some of the straight dressage I have seen lately with many horses behind the vertical and have a certain tense look as in backed off the bridle too much more my liking, not so much self carriage as some (not all of course!) look afraid of the contact versus stretching into it. Of course I do not ride at that level and those are just my observations off some of the riding I have seen! So I will not comment about what is right and what is wrong so much as just that is what I have seen with my eyes and I will say I preferred the slightly longer frame (mostly through the neck) of the eventing dressage versus some of the straight dressage where I am always thinking to myself "man those horses have such short necks" then they walk out on a looser rein and it turns out their necks aren't that short! Again just my observations and preferences not that one is right and the other is wrong!
                                    http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

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                                    • #19
                                      I particularly liked the test of the French (Saumur trained) Lionel Guyon. He didn't score as well as some of the others, but his horse was always completely relaxed, correct and accurate.
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                                      • #20
                                        We tend to forget that while we can say the dressage horses couldnt do the xcountry, these horses mostly couldnt do Gp as well. I only saw maybe two that looked comfortable enough to train more collection.
                                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                        http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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