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  • Blown away

    I have the 1989 World Cup of Dressage on video and watched it the other night.

    If any of you out there own this video I insist you watch it immediately and then ask the question: *What happend to our sport?

    SF2009

  • #2
    Can you be a little more specific?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      "specifics"

      Originally posted by slc2 View Post
      Can you be a little more specific?
      Actually, no, I can't.

      It's.....EVERYTHING.

      The riders, the horses, the personalities, the music, the partnerships, the effortlessnes....it's the VIBE! *It looks beautiful, not painful. Movements are classical, not circusy. The music is remarkable, memorable and unique, not contrived and "kur-ish".

      So no, I really cannot be more specific.............

      But maybe it's just me.



      SF2009

      Comment


      • #4
        Not very analytical, perhaps flame-attracting, but I'll take a sideways stab at what the OP may be referring to:

        Corlandus remains my favorite dressage horse of all time. I studied his breeding closely before deciding on the stallion for my mare.

        I wouldn't want Bonfire or Salinero in my barn, and would much rather walk than ride either of them.

        As for the music, I think the rules whereby the beat of the music is supposed to match the horse's footfalls and vocal music discouraged is highly restrictive asthetically, and miss the daring of freestyles like Kyra's on Matador, and Monica T's on Arak xx.

        IMO, sport horse breeding has improved considerably, with each foal crop seeming to reach new levels of athleticism and elegance over the last 20 years. At the same time, I have found myself tending more and more toward the hunter ring and away from dressage competition during the same time period. The FEI change in goal from a "relaxed" horse to a "happy" one remains very significant to me. I cannot envision a time when "relaxation" (aka " calm, straight, forward") ceases to be the bottom line for me and, as an individual horseperson, desire competitive venues in which it remains a priority.
        http://www.tunnelsendfarm.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Your post made me curious, and I went hunting for upper level dressage clips from 1989. Found a few, and yes, I do see a difference. The poll is more consistently -- not always -- the highest point in full collection. The movements are expressive but not so flashy. The horse is closer in appearance to the earlier phases of American dressage, from the Chuck Grant era. I love the bigger heads and sturdier frames of what are now called baroque types, and the older types of TBs, but that could be just because I was raised around those types.

          As for the music -- well, I prefer the drama of today's freestyles to the more staid classical approach of 20 years ago. But I suppose that's a matter of personal choice.

          What differences do you see in the riding, SF2009?

          Comment


          • #6
            It's.....EVERYTHING.

            The riders, the horses, the personalities, the music, the partnerships, the effortlessnes....it's the VIBE! *It looks beautiful, not painful
            So you think Ravel's winning ride in the World Cup 2009 looked painful?

            In fairness to them, after making such a statement , please elaborate on what you find 'painful' about the WC 2009 winning ride as compared to the WC 1989 winning ride.

            Comment


            • #7
              i get what the OP is saying and i feel about the same. modern dressage *is* very different - in feel, in look, in intent.

              while Steffen is one of the best of what we have now, still the way his horses go in teh show arena is not the same as how they went 20+ years ago.

              This is not to say that i dont appreciate him and the other topriders that are competitive (Monica T, Herbertus S, Linsenhof (who i think is now retired) , et al), but to remain relevant they must pander to the judges to whatever degree their conscious allows.

              Isn't it Kyra that said some thing to the effect (and i paraphrase here) - we can give the judges anything they want - we just need to know what it is -

              I personally find little beauty in topsport dressage. to me it is, for the most part - ugly, crammed, tense, forced, pretty much the opposite of what it is supposed to be.

              ah well. soft, forward, supple, relaxed horses with normal gaits dont sell tickets. explosive, tense, high stepping horses that get RECORD BREAKING SCORES! do.

              shear market forces at work here.

              on a less emotional level - i was thinking about this today - does the time frame you were forming your "dressage worldview" effect what you think is correct dressage? i am not sure.... i do know that for me, the "best" dressage for the most part was in the late 70s, 80s and early 90s.... when better bred horses were around and the training hadn't yet gotten too "commercial"... of course there are horses form all times that are great - same with riders... i speaking very broadly.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by egontoast View Post
                So you think Ravel's winning ride in the World Cup 2009 looked painful?

                In fairness to them, after making such a statement , please elaborate on what you find 'painful' about the WC 2009 winning ride as compared to the WC 1989 winning ride.
                Perhaps painful wasn't the best choice of words? But, then again, perhaps it was.....

                I don't know how best to respond to your request other than to say that I am speaking in generalities and not specifics. To paint all today's riders with the same brush is unfair and the intent of my post was not to target certain riders but rather my overall feeling towards the top combinations of today vs 1989.

                I am loving what some of the others have written - couldn't agree more to some of the comments. I can't often put my thoughts down like that in words so eloquently!

                SF2009

                Comment


                • #9
                  That is a good question mbm, and yes I think so. ("does the time frame you were forming your "dressage worldview" effect what you think is correct dressage?"). I am old enough to remember when lightness was an attribute both sought and rewarded, when the ideal 'frame' was the horse balanced between leg and hand, not hanging on the bit and heavy on the forehand.
                  Jeanie
                  RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I didn't find Ravel's performance 'painful'. I think condemning ALL the current riders and horses and judges so completely and so generically has got to be an emotional position rather than one based on careful observation and comparison.

                    I didn't find all the past performances so uniformly perfect and awe-worthy.

                    First of all, the early dressage tests were at about second level, were being done by officers trained to second level on horses that were not at all advanced or suitable for dressage, and they looked every inch the part. It wasn't until nearly 1950 that the dressage tests in the Olympics took their current form.

                    In the past even stretching was not considered necessary by many top trainers(i recall one of the top Danish trainers telling my friend 25-30 yrs ago not to walk her horse on a long rein to warmup at the start of the lesson, 'Stop that, he can stretch after you take the saddle off and he's in his stall, now get on with it').

                    Many of the performances were very powerful, but horses were quite often schooled very upright, with a flat stiff back.

                    Overchecks were used, and other devices, to get the horses in position.

                    There was just as much financial pressure and performance pressure as there is today. The idea that riders 20 or 30 or 40 years ago weren't financially active with horses is absurd. Most of them became very wealthy by the standards of the day, as a result of competing at the top levels.

                    Will Schultheis insisted Klaus Balkenhol rush a horse he'd schooled briefly to competition, with disastrous results.

                    One tempe changes were viewed as VERY unclassical, and d'Aure trained ONE horse to passage in his lifetime, and not very successfully at that. The levade is a RECENT invention, school leaps were left out of tests because piaffe, passage and all other advanced movements were ALSO left out of tests, and for good reason, LOL. There are even people (madmen, I'm sure) who claim Xenophon never existed in ancient times and the document is a creation of a few hundred years ago.

                    Reiner Klimke bought 4 year old horses and had then doing all the GP work in 3 1/2 years and showing GP at that point.

                    'The greats' you eulogize, came to America and spent far more time selling horses than 'perfecting our art'.

                    Many performances were indeed powerful and rhythmic, but lacked suppleness.

                    Too, in those days, there perhaps wasn't public rollkur, but you often saw horses galloping about in the warmup with their head on the rider's knee, and the head would whip back and forth from the right knee to the left in rapid succession. Riders did things that were extreme in those days too. It was not all sweetness and light.

                    And no, actually, warmups were not any shorter, horses bolted, horses shied, and horses stood on their hind legs, kicked out, got pacey, had hissy fits instead of piaffing, had hissy fits WHILE piaffing, missed flying lead changes and got too hard in the bridle.

                    Reiner Klimke's horse fell DOWN on his side in a warmup ring all my hisself, doing an extended trot.

                    His horses SPOOKED, too, A LOT. He had very public and very protracted problems with certain horses and he got criticized very publicly for it. He had horses he got rid of because he could not work with them.

                    Some of it is the nature of showing. Horses are up, strong and excited. But other factors are involved too.

                    And the riders of the past 20, 30 or 40 years were no more Godlike than any of any era ever were.

                    There were always controversies and problems with judging and disagreements about how the sport should be shaped. There have always been people who have sworn that the mistakes of their time would destroy the sport.

                    The 'heroes' of 20 or 30 or 40 years ago were the source of the controversies back then. This is something people today forget.

                    These days, I would like to see some of the competitor's horses look a little bit less hectic and excited and a little less pushed to 'on the edge'. I think that would take care of a lot of the problems.

                    I'd like to see extreme positioning for over some period of time defined in terms of something measurable and barred from the warmup areas. I'm not sure it's abuse, but I'm not sure it is wise for the organizations to allow it; doing so is just looking unwise.

                    Our sport has always had a 'king' or 'queen' that dominated top competition for some years, many would say, under a 'golden halo' with too many faults forgiven too generously.

                    Perhaps when judging is a combination of specifics and 'opinion', 'winners' gain a certain momemtum and perhaps there is a lag between when others beat them at their own game /they start to lessen in their performance, and when the judges start changing their reaction.

                    And the complaints of judge bias have always been with us - bias in favor of customers, in favor of nations, in favor of styles, in favor of breeders, in favor of various performance tradeoffs, such as brilliance and energy at the expense of relaxation and suppleness of muscles.

                    We have always had incredible accusations leveled at the organizations that run the shows and train the judges. Oh, how incredibly, incredibly corrupt and evil and unfair and stupid all those people in those organizations are. You would think these people are all so awful, so stupid, they couldn't drive a car or walk down the street. And if the organization is ALWAYS stupid, and ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is in the organization or what new rule or decision we're discussing, for a hundred years, perhaps there's more to it than that.

                    The fault finding has always been with us and much of it is nit picking and unrealistic or just plain silly; I think some people have a 'magnifying brain' that exaggerates the slightest gesture or hint.

                    For the more major or more obvious faults, what people forget is the people they worship today, were the sources of controversy back in their own time. They also forget that no performance ever has garnered a 100%. No rider, no performer, no judge, no sport, will ever be perfect. Yet the world continues to go on.
                    Last edited by slc2; Nov. 13, 2009, 08:17 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can you be a little more specific?

                      Actually, no, I can't.

                      It's.....EVERYTHING
                      Try harder maybe if you are going to paint so many people with one brush.

                      It's insulting to all those people who work hard and train humanely and "gasp" have the audacity to compete
                      and excel in the sport.

                      "Painful"? All of them?

                      Have you looked in an objective way at all the photos of the ODGs from the beloved olden days? HMMM? Are they all happy horses?

                      How about treating people as individuals. Then and now.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        in response...

                        eggsontoast.......did you even read my last post?

                        slc2......I have one word for you: "huh?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I get what the OP is getting at as well. I've spent a lot of time watching old training vids as well as some competition vids and totally see the difference (for the most part as I do see a few riders who buck the current system).

                          I wish relaxation would come back into style in dressage.

                          Interesting about kur music. To me, insisting the footfalls are to the music seems silly. But then, I don't like much of the music currently used.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by slc2 View Post
                            I didn't find Ravel's performance 'painful'. I think condemning ALL the current riders and horses and judges so completely and so generically has got to be an emotional position rather than one based on careful observation and comparison.

                            I didn't find all the past performances so uniformly perfect and awe-worthy.

                            First of all, the early dressage tests were at about second level, were being done by officers trained to second level on horses that were not at all advanced or suitable for dressage, and they looked every inch the part. It wasn't until nearly 1950 that the dressage tests in the Olympics took their current form.

                            In the past even stretching was not considered necessary by many top trainers(i recall one of the top Danish trainers telling my friend 25-30 yrs ago not to walk her horse on a long rein to warmup at the start of the lesson, 'Stop that, he can stretch after you take the saddle off and he's in his stall, now get on with it').

                            Many of the performances were very powerful, but horses were quite often schooled very upright, with a flat stiff back.

                            Overchecks were used, and other devices, to get the horses in position.

                            There was just as much financial pressure and performance pressure as there is today. The idea that riders 20 or 30 or 40 years ago weren't financially active with horses is absurd. Most of them became very wealthy by the standards of the day, as a result of competing at the top levels.

                            Will Schultheis insisted Klaus Balkenhol rush a horse he'd schooled briefly to competition, with disastrous results.

                            One tempe changes were viewed as VERY unclassical, and d'Aure trained ONE horse to passage in his lifetime, and not very successfully at that. The levade is a RECENT invention, school leaps were left out of tests because piaffe, passage and all other advanced movements were ALSO left out of tests, and for good reason, LOL. There are even people (madmen, I'm sure) who claim Xenophon never existed in ancient times and the document is a creation of a few hundred years ago.

                            Reiner Klimke bought 4 year old horses and had then doing all the GP work in 3 1/2 years and showing GP at that point.

                            'The greats' you eulogize, came to America and spent far more time selling horses than 'perfecting our art'.

                            Many performances were indeed powerful and rhythmic, but lacked suppleness.

                            Too, in those days, there perhaps wasn't public rollkur, but you often saw horses galloping about in the warmup with their head on the rider's knee, and the head would whip back and forth from the right knee to the left in rapid succession. Riders did things that were extreme in those days too. It was not all sweetness and light.

                            And no, actually, warmups were not any shorter, horses bolted, horses shied, and horses stood on their hind legs, kicked out, got pacey, had hissy fits instead of piaffing, had hissy fits WHILE piaffing, missed flying lead changes and got too hard in the bridle.

                            Reiner Klimke's horse fell DOWN on his side in a warmup ring all my hisself, doing an extended trot.

                            His horses SPOOKED, too, A LOT. He had very public and very protracted problems with certain horses and he got criticized very publicly for it. He had horses he got rid of because he could not work with them.

                            Some of it is the nature of showing. Horses are up, strong and excited. But other factors are involved too.

                            And the riders of the past 20, 30 or 40 years were no more Godlike than any of any era ever were.

                            There were always controversies and problems with judging and disagreements about how the sport should be shaped. There have always been people who have sworn that the mistakes of their time would destroy the sport.

                            The 'heroes' of 20 or 30 or 40 years ago were the source of the controversies back then. This is something people today forget.

                            These days, I would like to see some of the competitor's horses look a little bit less hectic and excited and a little less pushed to 'on the edge'. I think that would take care of a lot of the problems.

                            I'd like to see extreme positioning for over some period of time defined in terms of something measurable and barred from the warmup areas. I'm not sure it's abuse, but I'm not sure it is wise for the organizations to allow it; doing so is just looking unwise.

                            Our sport has always had a 'king' or 'queen' that dominated top competition for some years, many would say, under a 'golden halo' with too many faults forgiven too generously.

                            Perhaps when judging is a combination of specifics and 'opinion', 'winners' gain a certain momemtum and perhaps there is a lag between when others beat them at their own game /they start to lessen in their performance, and when the judges start changing their reaction.

                            And the complaints of judge bias have always been with us - bias in favor of customers, in favor of nations, in favor of styles, in favor of breeders, in favor of various performance tradeoffs, such as brilliance and energy at the expense of relaxation and suppleness of muscles.

                            We have always had incredible accusations leveled at the organizations that run the shows and train the judges. Oh, how incredibly, incredibly corrupt and evil and unfair and stupid all those people in those organizations are. You would think these people are all so awful, so stupid, they couldn't drive a car or walk down the street. And if the organization is ALWAYS stupid, and ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is in the organization or what new rule or decision we're discussing, for a hundred years, perhaps there's more to it than that.

                            The fault finding has always been with us and much of it is nit picking and unrealistic or just plain silly; I think some people have a 'magnifying brain' that exaggerates the slightest gesture or hint.

                            For the more major or more obvious faults, what people forget is the people they worship today, were the sources of controversy back in their own time. They also forget that no performance ever has garnered a 100%. No rider, no performer, no judge, no sport, will ever be perfect. Yet the world continues to go on.
                            not trying to start anything, but let me see YOU ride. you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? let me see YOU ride.
                            The Little Man

                            Blog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How about you?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Thats not what i asked now was it? I never said anything making me sound so wonderful now have I? I have never tried to prove myself in front of other people. Go ahead, look at all my posts. I have never belittled anyone.

                                You go on thread after thread, making yourself sound so powerful and that everyone else is wrong BUT YOU. I would love to see you prove yourself.

                                Go ahead, look me up on youtube.
                                My horse and I are both on there.
                                Yes, I am young, but hell, at least I know I am not perfect, and that I am still striving to be a good rider and horseperson.

                                If you feel the need, look me up. Up to you babe.

                                Now, lets go. Your turn
                                The Little Man

                                Blog

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I haven't been posting for long, but already I am nervous. I keep thinking I will turn around and have words shoved in my mouth by a certain poster (whom I will not name, but we all know who).
                                  I just saw this thread and I too have this video. I do not even need to rewatch it to say how much I agree with the OP. It is magical. There were some fantastic partnerships and performances.
                                  Even a young Anky is on that video.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    These rides will score under 64% these days.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I looked up your youtube account PnkPanthr, cute horse you have.
                                      Although I do hope you're not holding your breath waiting for a reply, seems every other thread will be addressed except this one now.
                                      You jump in the saddle,
                                      Hold onto the bridle!
                                      Jump in the line!
                                      ...Belefonte

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        It's like the difference between Playboy and Hustler. One has a distinctly exploitive essense, which I find to be somewhat disturbing.

                                        Comment

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