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"Totilas Can't Go Like That for Eight Years"

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  • "Totilas Can't Go Like That for Eight Years"

    From the summary of the 2009 USDF dressage symposium in the February issue of USDF Connection:

    "Horses like Totilas can't go like that for eight years in Grand Prix. The horses are fantastic, but they can't move that extreme without breaking down." - Jan Brink

    Another Blu Hors Mantine?
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    Thank you so much for posting this. I tried to venture into that territory last month on the 'Wow Totilas' thread and get ripped a new one.

    Sorry, I like horses too much and I expressed my opinion that I did not like the direction that Edward Gal was taking this beautiful horse in.

    It is not about being jealouos, it is about feeling uncomfortable with pushing any horse to that type of extreme.

    Glad Jan Brink had the 'whatevers' to speak up about it.


    • #3
      We will let time be the judge of that. Gal only rides Totilas like that in the show ring. It is rare for any horse to be able to do Grand Prix for 8-10 years, so even if he does break down, I would hesitate to blame it on his movement. I am currently rehabing my two injured horses who do not move like Totilas :-)


      • #4
        I have wondered aloud about this. I hope he can go like that forever, but we will see...


        • Original Poster

          It is rare for any horse to be able to do Grand Prix for 8-10 years
          I believe you can find those "rare" ones at the SRS.
          "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mike Matson View Post
            I believe you can find those "rare" ones at the SRS.
            And those ones are especially rare, indeed.


            • #7
              Aktion stayed at GP for how long?

              As a breeder, I have wondered for some time if extravagant movement, and horses that are 'born' moving that way and moved up the levels more quickly than those that need to be developed up the levels, break down sooner and have more hock/stifle/etc. issues.

              I don't have studies or numbers to back up my theory... but it's what I've been thinking <shrugs>

              I haven't seen Totilas in anything but digivideo on the 'net, so really cannot comment on him/his movement. I'd love to see them in person and hope to at the WEG... then I'll be able to form an opinion.
              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


              • #8
                Jan Brinks mount, Briar 899, was doing GP for over 10 years. Absent, an Akhal Teke ridden by 2 different riders during his GP years, competed in 3 different Olympic Games (winning medals in 2 of them), so that is well over 10 years.

                And those are just off the top of my head...I'm certainly not a dressage historian.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony View Post
                  And those ones are especially rare, indeed.
                  Perhaps what's rare are the riders and trainers that can keep a horse going and enjoying his work for 8+ years at GP.
                  "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier


                  • #10
                    I am not sure that 8+ years of GP competition is the kindest thing for any horse, regardless of the training method. I can virtually guarantee that if asked, they would vote to be doing almost anything else. Just saying.
                    Roseknoll Sporthorses


                    • #11
                      I believe the reference might be to compare the fact that Briar was at the top of world competition for 8 years (highest -ranked stallion on the BCM index for 8 years).

                      Mary Baechler


                      • #12
                        Salinero has been grand prix for 8 years, winning two Olympic gold medals; Bonfire was grand prix for 10 or 11 years. International level competition (Bonfire did his first GP at age 7, I believe).


                        • #13
                          Horses get injured regardless of how talented they are, how well they are trained, how well they are looked after.

                          One thing is for sure, if Totilas does become injured for ANY reason, people have already decided what the reason will be.

                          BTW , just as an aside, I wonder how long those sideways leapin, joint torquin bullfightin horses last?


                          • #14
                            Great post eggon


                            • #15
                              The horses tell us when they are "done" and ready to retire. I think that perhaps Jan might have insight into the situation that I sure don't have because I'm not in that circle. I do wish the best for al ong and happy life for Totilas and it does seem like Gal has a pretty good track record. I don't think any top rider has to hang on to a horse who is physically declining due to age or other conditions because there are always great new horses coming up in need of great riders. At least, that is the view form my rose colored glasses.


                              • #16
                                I agree with Yankeelawyer that 8 to 10 years of doing well at the highest level of any horse sport is stretching it. I also think that if Jan Brinks really made that statement then my opinion of him just dropped a few notches.

                                Totilas represents the next generation of dressage horses, like it or not. He and Edward Gal have single-handedly managed to take the sport of dressage to a higher level and I admire them for that.

                                (... and I couldn't help but notice that the post where somebody stated that Salinero can now boast of over 8 years at the top level of his sport was largely ingored.... Guess it doesn't fit in with all those "expert" predictions of doom and gloom for Anky's horses? )
                                Siegi Belz
                                2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                                Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


                                • Original Poster

                                  BTW , just as an aside, I wonder how long those sideways leapin, joint torquin bullfightin horses last?
                                  I'll be looking forward to your thread on that.
                                  "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier


                                  • Original Poster

                                    I also think that if Jan Brinks really made that statement then my opinion of him just dropped a few notches.
                                    He did.
                                    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier


                                    • #19
                                      You may want to listen to Edward Gal during his "Master's Class video", he at one point put the mare into an extravagant trot, which he called I believe something like"his show ring trot". Not something to use everyday, just something to pull out of his pocket to get those points.

                                      As far as the comment goes about the direction EG is going. He has a horse that moves like that!!!!!!!!!!!
                                      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.


                                      • #20
                                        He and Edward Gal have single-handedly managed to take the sport of dressage to a higher level
                                        At least in the front end.

                                        Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.