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The Abuse of Beauty by Sylvia Loch

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  • The Abuse of Beauty by Sylvia Loch

    Article here http://www.horsehero.com/editorial/?feat=25705


  • #2
    as long as there is competition people will still try and display extremes and will go to extremes in their training. I don't think you can legislate that out of existence even by much needed education of judges to a consistent standard. The nature of the competitive system supports these extreme trends and extreme training methods. You can't have an FEI watchdog behind every barn in training.

    People love to watch the dancing horses and you know what- most of what the public watches and loves is simply poor riding. Sylvia is out of her gourd to think the lay public can tell beauty or correctness in classical dressage. They cheer just as loud for performances of the "dancing white Horses" and other SRS knockoffs, as they do for the real article. I've seen enough of these knockoff performances, which far outnumber the Réal Éscule or the SRS, to know what is often displayed are lame horses, incorrectly balanced, etc. And yet the crowds still love them. Just like the crowds love those "cowboy quadrilles"where the horses scream around at full gallop with huge banners and flags waving and coloured sparkles all over them. They go wild at rodeos too! So her argument falls down on her first point- that riders can't tell when they're abusive and the lay public can. Difficult to accept the rest of her argument when the first point is so wrong.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


    • #3
      I have to agree that the "crowd" is not "wise". People (even uneducated 5 year olds) are most thrilled to see things that move fast, jump around a lot and are flashy.

      But I understand what she is trying to say about the beauty of traditional dressage. I just think she puts far too much faith in the innate "wisdom" of the average person.

      I would bet the average spectator enjoys the classical dressage shows (like SRS, Cadre Noir, etc.) because there are flashy costumes, quadrilles, and horses leaping and walking on their hind legs.


      • #4
        Good points by the two posts above. A really nice free walk may be cause for many on this board to stop and oogle but we're in the minority.

        It is unfortunate when the extremes in a sport become the standard for judging, because it deviates from the ideal - which was considered ideal for a reason. The analogy I'm thinking of are today's QH halter champs. Confirmation in those cases doesn't seem to be linked to performance.
        Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

        Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


        • #5
          I am the weirdo who gets excited when I have a beautiful flowing swinging walk and a solid balanced halt that keeps the energy. Which would make anyone else yawn. So I agree with jonnysauntie!
          Last edited by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"; Aug. 20, 2009, 02:48 PM.
          a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


          • #6
            re: crowds.... i do think that they can spot things that we get used to and forget to see....

            so they can see how ugly and tight some dressage horses are, etc.

            they may not be able to spot the finer points but i do think they can see the bigger picture...... which might explain why dressage shows are pretty much voids of spectators, while the SRS and knock-offs sell out.

            I think the idea falls apart at some point but i do get what she is after.


            • #7
              Abuse of Beauty?

              Is that the new name for her re-issued so called Classical Dressage video series?


              • #8
                Originally posted by mbm View Post

                they may not be able to spot the finer points but i do think they can see the bigger picture...... which might explain why dressage shows are pretty much voids of spectators, while the SRS and knock-offs sell out.

                uh no. It's called marketing.

                The big dressage shows in europe attract every bit as many spectators as do the dancing horses shows. So does the World Cup in Las Vegas.

                Market your dressage shows with as much budget as those guys have. sell a lot of beer ,cider and hot dogs and you'll get crowds.
                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                • #9
                  ok, so i used a bad example, but still..... i *do* think that we lose some ability to *see* once we get used to certain things....

                  and i do think that lay people can see certain things better than us.......

                  it is obvious when i talk to my friends/family and they can spot horrid tension etc that many dressage folk think is "acceptable"

                  kinda like how we can see how horrid TWH are and yet the TWH people think it is dandy


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CatOnLap View Post
                    uh no. It's called marketing.

                    The big dressage shows in europe attract every bit as many spectators as do the dancing horses shows. So does the World Cup in Las Vegas.

                    Market your dressage shows with as much budget as those guys have. sell a lot of beer ,cider and hot dogs and you'll get crowds.
                    They have beer? no wonder they pack in the crowds! LOL!


                    • #11
                      What is rewarded is determined by the judges in any competition. If change is possible it can only come through them and the programs that produce them.

                      Apparently it is possible to win without showing a movement (halt for example) ,which seems ludicrous, as you should get zero for the movement and the transitions into and out of said movement (you can't have a transition from x to y without an x) you would think that would really blow a score, but apparently not.


                      • #12
                        Sylvia Loch will be in MI

                        The article and the posts that follow present very interesting thoughts and opinions. Those in the Michigan area have an opportunity to share their comments directly with Sylvia via a symposium that will be held on the campus of Michigan State University on October 2-4. See the announcements thread/section for more details.