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US Dressage Coach - Dover or van der Schaft ?

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  • US Dressage Coach - Dover or van der Schaft ?

    Apparently it's down to these two...
    http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=20594

  • #2
    Not Dover. He doesn't have a record of working well with top level riders who are his equal (not based on what I've heard over the years). Unless he's suddenly changed his tune since he hasn't been showing in a long time.

    The most important thing you look for in a coach is someone who can teach people of all levels, and be humble enough to work WITH a student (especially at the top levels) rather than dictate to them. They got to the top without that person coaching them, they need someone to help them clean up their rides and find other people who can help them. For the team, they also need someone who can work well with diverse personalities and provide encouragement at all stages.

    Also, going with an American often creates more "camps" within the dressage community than going with someone from another country. I just think he'd be a horrible choice. If he gets the job, it's all politics and internal currying for favors--and will have nothing to do with who could help our team the most.

    JMO
    Last edited by Velvet; Apr. 4, 2013, 02:43 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo.
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

    Comment


    • #3
      I've heard A LOT of non-specific complaints from Canadian riders. I'm not sure Dover can be really effective.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Robert is high maintenance, no doubt about it.

        Rien van der Schaft must be very qualified to have made it this far through the selection process.

        But if it's truly down to these two, will a vote for Rien be a vote for HIM, or just a vote against Robert ?

        Comment


        • #5
          Grand Prix swingles on horseback

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mardi View Post
            Robert is high maintenance, no doubt about it.

            Rien van der Schaft must be very qualified to have made it this far through the selection process.

            But if it's truly down to these two, will a vote for Rien be a vote for HIM, or just a vote against Robert ?
            Why do you think they had more than 2 applicants ?
            ... _. ._ .._. .._

            Comment


            • #7
              Funny, during preparation for the Barcelona Olympics one well known rider, was glad to go off and work with Robert Dover. And would come back happy.
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

              Comment


              • #8
                My votes on Robert. I think he's terrific. Love his teaching styles & his wonderful eye for detail.
                Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is exactly the problem with him. He's polarizing--and not in a good way. It will just create drama if he's in charge.
                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                    Why do you think they had more than 2 applicants ?
                    I have no idea how many they had. Two ? Twenty ?

                    For Rien to be considered along with Robert, there must be something he brings to the table. Otherwise why the call back...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      will be interested to know more about Mr. van der Schaft.

                      I'm afraid that while I like Robert, I worry that with him our team may be more about who's in what camp rather than looking objectively at what combinations can help us win.

                      what am I saying? I was thinking as if dressage was a real sport, you know one where the best team wins.

                      Robert is amazingly good at promotion, so maybe he is what we need.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Anyone but Dover. While he may have been on more Olympic Teams than any other dressage rider, how many medals has he brought home? How many have his students? How many horses has he trained from scratch? Would he have been able to make the German or Dutch teams in the years that he went to the Olympic?

                        Just WHY would he be qualified for this position?

                        And one definitely gets the feeling that he doesn't have the character to be a fair and giving coach to those who don't KowTow to him. Team would be better off with someone who isn't a blowhard knowitall instead being a talented organizer, teacher, and mental masseur.
                        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                        Thread killer Extraordinaire

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          From Robert himself on www.doversworld.com:
                          "I want to thank the many people who have sent messages of support for my candidacy to become the Technical Advisor/ Chef d’Equipe for the USEF Dressage Team. I have been asked to comment but have really wanted to remain relaxed about the process and remain focused on my usual job of training and teaching as well as putting in our USET Fundraiser on April 12th. What I will simply say is that I love America; I love our riders; and I love winning medals for the USET! If it ends up that I get the job, I will do my very best to live up to those statements every day!

                          Cheers!"

                          RD
                          Frankly, I believe him! I think he'll do a great job. Go Robert!
                          Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                          www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a few friends who are extremely talented upper level riders and ride with Dover. They have nothing but the best things to say about him and they always return from their training completely re-invigorated and inspired.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I will be hugely surprised if they do not select RD, and thought when Gribbons resigned that he would be the next HP Coach, despite the baggage he would bring with him.

                              They no doubt got more applications, but remember they had to extend the application deadline because they had NOT gotten very many. My gut feeling is that they probably wanted to go with Dover from the get-go because no one else in the U.S. has the credentials he has, but they threw van der Schaft's name in there for the sake of appearance. They are probably now polling the reactions from the HP riders, and will go with van der Schaft if there is an overly strong resistance to Dover. And there WILL be resistance - it's just a matter of how vicious it is.

                              But think of how it would look politically to select van der Schaft over Dover. Dover has been on six U.S. Olympic dressage teams, he was elected team captain on each team, he won 4 Olympic Team Bronze Medals and a Bronze at the World Equestrian Games, he is in the USDF Hall of Fame, and he has experience coaching a national team. The USEF board, executive committee and HP committees (as well as USOC) would probably prefer him over the other applicant based simply on credentials. It LOOKS good, so they probably feel they should give him his chance. If it doesn't result in medals for the U.S., they will at least be able to say they selected the one person in the U.S. with the best credentials.

                              But what a slap in the face to Dover if they DON'T select him.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                They took lessons from the eventing coach search. But at least DOC has an individual gold medal.

                                Originally posted by DownYonder View Post
                                I will be hugely surprised if they do not select RD, and thought when Gribbons resigned that he would be the next HP Coach, despite the baggage he would bring with him.

                                They no doubt got more applications, but remember they had to extend the application deadline because they had NOT gotten very many. My gut feeling is that they probably wanted to go with Dover from the get-go because no one else in the U.S. has the credentials he has, but they threw van der Schaft's name in there for the sake of appearance. They are probably now polling the reactions from the HP riders, and will go with van der Schaft if there is an overly strong resistance to Dover. And there WILL be resistance - it's just a matter of how vicious it is.

                                But think of how it would look politically to select van der Schaft over Dover. Dover has been on six U.S. Olympic dressage teams, he was elected team captain on each team, he won 4 Olympic Team Bronze Medals and a Bronze at the World Equestrian Games, he is in the USDF Hall of Fame, and he has experience coaching a national team. The USEF board, executive committee and HP committees (as well as USOC) would probably prefer him over the other applicant based simply on credentials. It LOOKS good, so they probably feel they should give him his chance. If it doesn't result in medals for the U.S., they will at least be able to say they selected the one person in the U.S. with the best credentials.

                                But what a slap in the face to Dover if they DON'T select him.
                                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                Thread killer Extraordinaire

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well I think the HP riders should shelve their egos & let Robert coach them. This doesn't mean that they won't continue to train with their own coaches, just allow Robert to get them together into a more cohesive team.
                                  I know he's going to do all that he can to get medals for the USA.
                                  Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                                  www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Dover = too much drama

                                    Edited to say: I have very mixed feelings about Robert Dover. Sure he has a lot of talent, but as others have said, he can be polarizing. I know a couple of people who've taken clinics from him and have got NOTHING out of it because he spent more time talking to the audience about himself and his theories and very little time with the rider and their horse. While this may not necessarily happen in a team coaching situation, it doesn't give me good feelings about the guy.
                                    Last edited by SnicklefritzG; Apr. 7, 2013, 11:09 AM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Mardi View Post
                                      For Rien to be considered along with Robert, there must be something he brings to the table. Otherwise why the call back...
                                      Qualifications ? I think he got E Gal started.
                                      http://www.stalsprengenhorst.com/eng/home.php
                                      http://www.rienvanderschaft.nl/Home.html
                                      http://www.dressageclinic.com/index.php?tid=115
                                      (It was an embarassment to watch R Dover mincing and fawning in the warm up rings at the Atl Olympics)
                                      Last edited by Equibrit; Apr. 7, 2013, 11:19 AM.
                                      ... _. ._ .._. .._

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Lol "team". I laugh at that word's application to equestrian sports in the 21st century.

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