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Dressage really IS all about looks!

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  • Dressage really IS all about looks!

    Wandered over to the Eventing Forum where there is a conversation going on about using fake tails in the dressage phase.

    At first I laughed, then was shocked to hear that they are extremely common in the UK and Australia already. Then I was shocked even more to read that a number of posters declared their scores went up significantly when their horse was wearing it's fakey.

    So if that doesn't tell you how much dressage judges have their heads up their....uhmmm, somewhere.... nothing will.

    This sport is getting to be a bigger and bigger joke all the time...

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
    This sport is getting to be a bigger and bigger joke all the time...
    Not until we show up in color coordinated outfits with sequins...

    Comment


    • #3
      Uhhmmmm no, the Welsh pony beat out the Friesian & the Andalusian, & cute though the Welsh might be, he would not win a model class against either ...
      so NO, dressage is NOT all about the looks.
      No fake tails.
      FEI judge.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
        Wandered over to the Eventing Forum where there is a conversation going on about using fake tails in the dressage phase.

        At first I laughed, then was shocked to hear that they are extremely common in the UK and Australia already. Then I was shocked even more to read that a number of posters declared their scores went up significantly when their horse was wearing it's fakey.

        So if that doesn't tell you how much dressage judges have their heads up their....uhmmm, somewhere.... nothing will.

        This sport is getting to be a bigger and bigger joke all the time...
        First of all, a quick look at the thread in question shows that the "number of posters" who declared their scores went up was exactly FOUR. Of those, at least two were reporting on secondhand anecdotes. This is pretty thin evidence I think. I can also tell you from personal experience that they are most certainly not "extremely common" in eventing and dressage in the UK, though I can't comment on Australia.

        Secondly, if some people have noticed a difference with fake tails attached, consider the possible reasons... as mentioned on the eventing thread, the added weight of a fake tail can discourage swishing, and therefore disguise tension. I also wonder if there's some kind of placebo effect for some people, whereby they feel higher scores are possible with a fake tail and therefore ride better or with more confidence. You can't simply assume that a judge sees a pretty tail and is dazzled by it - really, you think they have nothing better to think about, or are somehow all 12 year old girls at heart??

        I honestly doubt there's much truth at all to your suggestion... All in all it's quite absurd to use a few anecdotes to make such insulting remarks about judges in general.
        Proud COTH lurker since 2001.

        Comment


        • #5
          Stated by Lost_at_C ..... "I honestly doubt there's much truth at all to your suggestion... All in all it's quite absurd to use a few anecdotes to make such insulting remarks about judges in general. "

          THIS, for sure!
          Siegi Belz
          www.stalleuropa.com
          2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
          Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've heard of scores going up in dressage with a fake tail, but it wasn't because the judge was "dazzled," but because it brought attention to the horse's movement - a happy tail bouncing from side to side brought attention to the looseness that the horse had through the back.

            The only thing wrong with this sport are assumptions that the judges are stupid enough to be dazzled.

            Comment


            • #7
              Of course its all about looks, its about which horse looks the most supple, elastic, and through, and which rider looks to be sitting the quietest with the most tactful aids, and which combination looks to execute the test the best.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm sitting with a judge every weekend now, mostly at horse trials. I can tell you without any doubt that they really don't care about the state of the tail. The only comment I've heard regarding appearance was the sentiment that one mane in particular should have been braided because it played havoc with the judges ability to see the neck/poll clearly. In fact, this weekend the very best turned out pairs didn't fair so well. They spent too much time shopping and primping, and not enough time slapping ass to saddle leather.
                "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  As others have said, I doubt judges are scoring higher simply due to a fake tail. I will concede though that it is entirely possible that the fake tail helps create a more "balanced" picture which might somewhat help scores as it could tend to highlight if the horse is more supply, relaxed, etc. The latter scenario, however, is a far cry from proving that dressage is all about looks (at least looks in the superficial, non functional sense). If your horse is a tense, fire-breathing dragon with its head straight in the air, and a hollow back no amount of tail in the world is going to fix that score.

                  This is slightly off topic, but just curious, are fake tails allowed in USDF shows? I ask because I just bought a horse whose herd mates ate his tail off above the hocks.
                  A Native Floridian no longer lost somewhere in Clovis, New Mexico, but instead wreaking havoc in Reno, NV.
                  www.theideaoforder.com
                  www.xhaltsalute.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kinnip View Post
                    ... In fact, this weekend the very best turned out pairs didn't fair so well. They spent too much time shopping and primping, and not enough time slapping ass to saddle leather.
                    Love it!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hobbit - one of our club members showed her Curly last year in USDF shows with a fake tail. I believe his pasture mate had nibbled it almost to the tailbone. She chose to do it purely for cosmetic reasons.

                      They did quite well at the shows, but given how hard that rider works, I seriously doubt the tail impacted their scores!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, they are legal for USDF dressage.
                        Last edited by Old Fashioned; Aug. 8, 2011, 07:36 AM.
                        Camels spit, Mary, camels - Catherine Haddad "Dressage Critic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Old Fashioned View Post
                          Yes, they are legal for USDF dressage and I like using them. But a fake tail can work against you. It needs to be well matched in color and size. A slender horses with 1-2 pound tail is going to look lopsided and may create the optical illusion that the horse is strung out behind. If the color is off or it's put in wrong (or falls off) it just becomes distracting.
                          Thank you for the information! If I get my guy going and ready to show before he has a chance to grow a bit more I'll certainly consider the tail option. I think he'd look better with it a *bit* longer.
                          A Native Floridian no longer lost somewhere in Clovis, New Mexico, but instead wreaking havoc in Reno, NV.
                          www.theideaoforder.com
                          www.xhaltsalute.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have trouble believing that a falsie would impact scores, BUT have considered getting one for my mare, who has a pretty sparse tail. That said, I've opted to spend those dollars on lessons instead each time I consider it (which is pretty much each time I go to shows, and have thrown so much elbow grease into our presentation, yet her stringy little tail remains, lol). She's an Arab, too, so she pops out her miniscule tail and flaunts it for the whole world so see (or in this case, not see much of it). Sigh…

                            I really like kinnip's "ass to saddle leather" comment above. Yes, yes!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rhiannonjk View Post
                              The only thing wrong with this sport are assumptions that the judges are stupid enough to be dazzled.
                              Then please explain Totilas's recent very high scores for a so-so (bordering on lame) performance. Those scores looked pretty stupid to me.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                                Then please explain Totilas's recent very high scores for a so-so (bordering on lame) performance. Those scores looked pretty stupid to me.
                                No idea if this is true, but that would be the halo effect, not the horse's looks.
                                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Personally, I think the USEF changing the rule from no false tails to "False tails are permitted and if used may not contain any metal parts" is horrible." And unnecessary. Leave the horses real tail's alone. Just another step down the slippery slope for dressage.
                                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Lost_at_C View Post
                                    Secondly, if some people have noticed a difference with fake tails attached, consider the possible reasons... as mentioned on the eventing thread, the added weight of a fake tail can discourage swishing, and therefore disguise tension. I also wonder if there's some kind of placebo effect for some people, whereby they feel higher scores are possible with a fake tail and therefore ride better or with more confidence. You can't simply assume that a judge sees a pretty tail and is dazzled by it - really, you think they have nothing better to think about, or are somehow all 12 year old girls at heart??

                                    I honestly doubt there's much truth at all to your suggestion... All in all it's quite absurd to use a few anecdotes to make such insulting remarks about judges in general.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                                      Then please explain Totilas's recent very high scores for a so-so (bordering on lame) performance. Those scores looked pretty stupid to me.
                                      do you have a video of his test?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Let's all just start tarting up our horses and see what happens. There's that sparkly hoof polish out there. We could dye a horse's mane hot pink. (They allow false tails, does that mean they now allow dying a horse's socks and other body parts? I'm assuming they must.) Someone can wear a conservative coat that's made of spandex. I can see it all now. If they don't think it's Halloween, they're sure to place that horse and rider first! Even if they have a miserable ride and look like they think sitting the trot is supposed to look like you're trying to pound holes through your horse's back with your seatbones.
                                        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                        Comment

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