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Thoughts on Dressage Masters

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  • Thoughts on Dressage Masters

    I am not going to critique/comment on the rides, just will say that several gave me goosebumps.

    The facility: Absolutely beautiful, well kept grounds. Parking was good, but we got there early every day. They need to have signs posted about the grounds like they do at the theme parks-a "You Are Here" map. You dont get lost, but unless you make a serious effort, you will not find some of the vendors if you are not familiar with the place. We found a large vendor site just as they were closing, over between the tent barns and some jump rings. If they want to attract people to view the shows, they need to make it easy for them to find what they are looking for, and to keep vendors happy, they need to be able to find them to buy. The vendors ranged from Farm Vet on up to Hermes, high end clothing, lots of jewelry, etc. Something else that would have been appreciated is some kind of weekend event list, with approximate times, location, ring number. Maybe some vendor coupons on this, and a map included too. We were dressage people who wandered around and watched the jumping, without really knowing enough to know what event, etc we were looking at.

    Anky's clinic: I thought Anky was a great clinician, and was glad to see she had the riders working on the same things we all work on-in front of the leg, and immediate response to the aids. She had a quick sense of humor, and was easy to understand. My only negative comment is that the clinic was prganized with two riders at a time. In two of the sessions, the focus was heavily on one rider only-with the other participant getting minimal instruction/ attention. If I had paid to ride in that clinic, and had been one of the riders not getting much notice, I would have been unhappy.

    The table/dinner: This is where the poor planning really showed. Tix were over $200 for the two nights. The food was excellent, served buffet style. But the buffet opened at about the same time as the clinic and on Sat, the Freestyles started right after food was put out! So people were still standing in line for food while tests were being ridden and clinic going on. The other issue is that tables were three deep-we were in the third tier, close to the buffet line. It was impossible to get a good view of the riders, so it was scarf down a few bites, stand to see Jane's ride, scarf down a few more bites, stand to see another ride, and so on. The back two rows of tables need to be elevated so their view is unobstructed-or just open and serve earlier so everyone can have eaten and found their way to a better vantage point. On Friday night, during the clinic, it was impossible to hear Anky speak inside the tent, due to the constant loud, chattering, laughing, noisy people. So, even though we had paid for a table, to get anything out of the clinic, you had to leave the tent and move far enough away to hear. It was also cold for Florida, and leaving the tent meant leaving warmth. Se we froze. :-) We also asked as we were leaving Friday night if they had an order of go for the next day . We got a withering look and a "You have got to be kidding". If they didnt have it yet, they didnt have it yet, but it could have been answered more politely/professionally. My reccommendation to anyone going next year, would be to go for the lower priced seats, (either box or grandstand) and leave the tent tables to people who are mainly interested in seeing/being seen and networking.

    All in all, it was worth it to see some truly amazing dressage.

  • #2
    Thanks for your feedback! I was there too and didn't buy any tickets except for Sat. night freestyle. I ended up not using that ticket because the seats were CRAPPY. A box, but behind the judge's tents with limited visibility.
    We ended up sitting in the tiki hut and were quite happy there :-)
    I did not go to Anky's clinc and was wondering what it was like.

    I was quite blissed out about the whole experience with being able to watch the warm-ups and wander around during the day. The cheapest part of the whole trip was being at the horse park! We thought that was strange. We watched four competitions and paid nothing. Pretty cool! I would love to go back.
    It definately exceded my expectations. And the best deal of the trip was $2 backlava... that was awesome!!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I missed the baklava-darn.
      Hopefully they will work out the kinks in seating before next year. Know one of our party had an evaluation of event given to her, and she was going to have a lot to say re organization. She is a corporate lawyer, and has helped organize a few events herself.
      I also wanted to say, re Anke and clinic, that I actually had come prepared to not like her. And then ended up being so impressed with her teaching and riding. I am one who has always thought Rollkur was horrid and cruel, but watched some of her schooling and did not see anything at all I would term cruel. Her horse seemed very at ease with her, relaxed, and she frequently cave breaks on a loose rein. So have a new opinion, and though would probably never use that technique myself, will not be quite so condemning of it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the really well-conceived posts..does anyone know who rode in the Anky clinic?

        Anyone care to elaborate on the clinic?

        TIA,
        one oak, lots of canyons

        http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          I just watched some amateur videos of this Dressage Masters competition and I have to say it makes me restart loving the American dressage crowd and public again.

          Theo

          Comment


          • #6
            I am still recovering myself--had a great time.

            We had box seats that afforded a fabulous view both days/nights, however, it was cold!!!!

            I was amazed at the quality of horses--it is NOT the same as watching it on video--the third dimension really adds something.

            I saw TONS of people I know--I was cracking up that probably half of Raleigh was there!

            I got a photo with Anky, who was very gracious. I enjoyed her clinic and rides. She really held every rider accountable for WHY they do the things they do, from using inside leg in the half pass, to carrying a whip, to using bell boots. I got her freestyle on video, so I can watch it again and again (which I already have). Steffen was wonderful as well, actually, there really isn't much bad to say about the rides..

            My only criticism--difficult to eat, drink, or pee without standing in a long line. I'm not sure that's avoidable given the number of people there, but that was the only thing that I found annoying.
            From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Would agree that it is not at all the same as watching the videos.
              There was a girl named Carolyn in the first set of riders with Anky. Also remember that Ashley Holzer rode, and a Pan Am rider on a horse named Sagacious (?). A littl bay horse that I was quite taken with. Once again, just a quick flyer naming the riders, their experience, horses name, breed, age and level competing at would have been helpful. Does anyone know how the riders were chosen? By invitation, or did they have to submit an application?
              Anky worked on response to the aids, forwardness, only using your aids when needed "Why are you carrying a whip? Do you need it?" She also worked on individual issues the riders were having problems with. Wish I had taken notes.
              Rode my own horse today and got smacked upside the head with a reality check. Being in the same general area as Anky was does not translate to making one ride like Anky.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mishmash View Post
                I missed the baklava-darn.

                I also wanted to say, re Anke and clinic, that I actually had come prepared to not like her. And then ended up being so impressed with her teaching and riding. I am one who has always thought Rollkur was horrid and cruel, but watched some of her schooling and did not see anything at all I would term cruel. Her horse seemed very at ease with her, relaxed, and she frequently cave breaks on a loose rein. So have a new opinion, and though would probably never use that technique myself, will not be quite so condemning of it.
                I agree. I liked Anky much more than I thought I would. And I thought she was very brave to do a clinic in very different culture in a second language.

                There were lots of beautiful horses and the facility was really nice. I wish the weather had been a little warmer. The facility seems to be going through some growing pains and they definitely could have used more bathrooms.

                The one thing that really bothered me about the experience was seeing so many people wearing fur coats in Florida! I find fur coats a flamboyant display of wealth and a mean spirit. It seems so hypocritical to love horses and be willing to accept torture of of other animals in order to wear their fur. Really disappointed about that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  AGREED on the fur coats!!!
                  I wanted to puke all over them!!! We were there to see these amazing gorgeous creatures and then there are these women wearing reminders of blatent cruelty. Quite distasteful considering all of us horse people are ANIMAL LOVERS!!
                  We need to get fur to be permanently out of style! And I was assuming that those were the Palm Beach Socialites doing their thing. Wish they would wear some North Face gortex or something else and get with the times!

                  I left before Anky finished her reining demo. Was that pretty cool? Her horse didn't impress me that much and I was so cold.

                  Let's hope for better weather and organization next year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is completely off topic, but I have a question re: fur coats...(I am happy to take this question off line if desired)

                    How are fur coats different than wearing leather? Both are pelts of animals. I'm not trying to be an a$$, this is an honest question. I have the highest regard for animals, but I have leather boots, leather shoes, leather tack, and a suede coat. I don't own fur, but I don't see how it would be different if I did.
                    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I too have this same question

                      Originally posted by Pony Fixer View Post
                      This is completely off topic, but I have a question re: fur coats...(I am happy to take this question off line if desired)

                      How are fur coats different than wearing leather? Both are pelts of animals. I'm not trying to be an a$$, this is an honest question. I have the highest regard for animals, but I have leather boots, leather shoes, leather tack, and a suede coat. I don't own fur, but I don't see how it would be different if I did.
                      I have never understood the difference either... Someone please explain. Because I two have the above... Leather boots, shoes, tack, jacket, etc...

                      But back to topic, can anyone post a video of any of the freestyles, or even the clinic, or will they be available to purchase?
                      THANKS!!!!!!!!
                      Lori
                      Fly Teddy Fly!
                      Connemara's Rock!
                      RIP Reilly Go Bragh

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Riders in the clinic

                        Mikala Gunderson and Caroline Roffman - group 1

                        Chris Von Martels and Ashley Holzer- group 2

                        Shannon Duek and Lauren Sammis- group 3

                        as far as the horses are concerned Lauren was riding her PanAm horse Sagacious and Mikala Gunderson one of the Horses Unlimited stallions Pik Del Serro? Caroline Roffman was on Rola by Rotspon. I am not sure about the other horses used in the clinic. There was a selection process- not sure if people applied or were chosen. It was important to have a selection of riders and horses in different stages of training. I believe there will be a way to buy videos from either Mary Phelps or the Video Guys.... hope that answers some qs's

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wanted to puke all over them!!! We were there to see these amazing gorgeous creatures and then there are these women wearing reminders of blatent cruelty. Quite distasteful considering all of us horse people are ANIMAL LOVERS!!
                          do you have a synthetic saddle and bridle? I am an animal lover, don't care for a fur coat myself but I do eat meat and have tons of leather products.


                          And I thought she was very brave to do a clinic in very different culture in a second language
                          this was not her first clinic in the states
                          Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think their point is animals are killed only for their fur where leather is a byproduct from an animal that is slaughtered for food. ??
                            Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm sorry, it's probably not appropriate to delve into this issue here.
                              I will say that the manner in which fur animals are treated and 'dispatched' is quite horrific. I will leave it at that. So sorry to derail.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ButterflyIris View Post
                                I'm sorry, it's probably not appropriate to delve into this issue here.
                                I will say that the manner in which fur animals are treated and 'dispatched' is quite horrific. I will leave it at that. So sorry to derail.
                                Not just fur animals take a look at how cows and chickens are treated.
                                Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Did anyone watching get a feeling for how anky built on basics and what she expected the hores to have at each level?

                                  From the list above, I'm guessing that there was progression in level of schooling shown.
                                  Thank you to all who have taken the time to post about the clinic, it sounds like it was more than window-dressing, more than the usual progression of "good, good...super!"

                                  <g>
                                  one oak, lots of canyons

                                  http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    were there specific problems brought forward, and the exercises that apply to fix those problems?

                                    I remember a Debbie McDonald clinic: specific problem addressed, rider worked on a solution Debbie provided, specific problem and solution discussed with auditors. Debbie was so thorough and everyone learned a lot... and yes, of course basics were covered too.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by dressage fan View Post
                                      I liked Anky much more than I thought I would. And I thought she was very brave to do a clinic in very different culture in a second language.
                                      I certainly agree. I met Anky at a New England Dressage Association 3 day symposium back in 2004. I found her to be a delightful, rather self-effacing person who seemed to really care about her horses. That's why it always raises my hackles when people start Anky bashing.
                                      "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Pony Fixer View Post
                                        This is completely off topic, but I have a question re: fur coats...(I am happy to take this question off line if desired)

                                        How are fur coats different than wearing leather? Both are pelts of animals. I'm not trying to be an a$$, this is an honest question. I have the highest regard for animals, but I have leather boots, leather shoes, leather tack, and a suede coat. I don't own fur, but I don't see how it would be different if I did.
                                        Might be too graphic for the extra sensitive, but here is my opinion......

                                        Leather is a by product of a "food" industry. Cows are not raised "just" for their skin. People eat meat. Very different.

                                        I won't delve too far into the fur industry except to say that I have helped raise Lynx kittens bought from a fur farm. The kittens are born in the Spring, raised in cages and gassed or killed in a decompression chamber the following winter when their fur is "prime". Only the belly fur is used. If you ever bottle fed and cared for a "wild" kitten and burried your face in that fur, while the cat is in it, I promise you would NEVER wear fur. JMO of course.
                                        Patty
                                        www.rivervalefarm.com
                                        Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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