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Video from "the old days" - technical combos, forward riding, but fewer tragedies

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  • Video from "the old days" - technical combos, forward riding, but fewer tragedies

    I posted this video over on the fun thread of eventing pictures:
    http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fusea...deoid=28269719

    NOTE: this link might work better for some people
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22UruEhIo1w

    It's a fun collection of riding snippets from the early 1990s (back when Karen was still Lende and winning Rolex on Mr. Maxwell, and Jill Henneberg looking awfully young aboard the amazing Nirvana). You get to see Ralph Hill, Stephen Bradley, Mike Plumb, Bruce Davidson, Denny Emerson, and a host of names I don't recognize at all. My favorite moment is a water jump with Dorothy Trapp and Molokai, which just shows the amazing connection and communication between them, as well as their pure love of what they're doing.

    But as I was watching it this time, I started noticing things in the context of the discussions we've been having on the board about fence construction and course design, and about what constitutes good, safe riding across country. The video opens with Ralph Hill coming to a coffin-type combination where the fences are absolutely vertical and completely lacking in groundline. And he's forward (and beautiful) all the way through it.

    And so it goes through the whole video. The snippets show lots of airy verticals and technical combinations and riders looking (mostly) in balance, but riding very forward. The rides aren't always "perfect", but they all seem to show great partnerships between the riders and their agile, athletic, keen-minded horses.

    So, this is a flash view into the not too distant past, a time when eventing tragedies were rare freak accidents - and yet the courses look pretty darn unforgiving and technical to me. Were the riders that much better then? I've heard it said that just about everyone at the upper levels at that time either rode with Bruce or Jimmy - was there something particularly "right" about the way they produced students and horses?

    Or was it a horse thing - a different type of event horse? Or a course design thing - even though they look technical, did eventing build courses that the horses really *got* and understood?

    What do you guys see when you watch that video?

    Emily
    Last edited by DizzyMagic; May. 17, 2008, 12:29 PM. Reason: add youtube video link
    "It's not a perfect world....But it's still good to be alive! If you don't know by now, you'll probably never understand the way it feels to wanna live....One Perfect Moment!!"

  • #2
    Yes...although there were some hicups here and there...the fact that the horses were being ridden FORWARD allowed the horses to get themselves out of trouble. You do NOT see that today.

    Comment


    • #3
      "... What do you guys see when you watch that video?"

      I see what Bruce described in an interview - putting your hands down and finding a galloping rhythm and going with it. Lovely! None of the yanking and hauling, stops and starts you see today.
      Thanks for the memories!

      flutie

      Comment


      • #4
        Everything looks so SMOOTH, even when it isn't perfect... because the horses are going forward, and they understand the questions; the horses are figuring things out and the riders are *letting* them get the job done.

        Thanks so much for sharing the video! I also really enjoyed Mo and Dorothy! I wonder where/when that was; I've seen many "Mo moments" on video, but I don't recall that one...
        “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
        ? Albert Einstein

        ~AJ~

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        • #5
          I see the ability to "get out of the horse's way".

          Also note the, capability of letting the reins run through their hands to the buckle ends.
          \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".

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          • #6
            Every rider gets quiet and settled. They keep thier hands low and let the horse work through the combinations without tugging, kicking, or cajoling.
            Also note that a few horses break to the trot to re-balance and still clear the fences.

            That is the type of XC ride I grew up being taught.

            Reed

            Comment


            • #7
              Ah, no barrage of skinnies and turning questions.

              The horses can see the jumps and know what they're being asked to jump. This is why the riders can slip their reins and let the horse go. The horse breaks to the trot to rebalance himself -- this is a sign of a well-trained horse that knows how to get around XC safely.

              This is also how I learned to ride XC. You rode your horse between your hand and your leg, not in a coffin canter for the entire course.

              I'd also like to say that these riders seem more fit than riders I've seen recently, like at this year's Badminton.

              To whoever posted this, thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Dizzy - I can't see the video! What am I doing wrong? I'd really like to see it.
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                  I also really enjoyed Mo and Dorothy! I wonder where/when that was; I've seen many "Mo moments" on video, but I don't recall that one...
                  I believe it was at Fair Hill. Much of that compilation looked familiar. I swear I used to own that video!

                  Thanks for sharing. Loved seeing Rick Sullivan, of all people!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh I loved this video. I remember seeing many of those combos in the flesh. That's the XC I remember and why I used to stand outside in the pouring rain on XC at Rolex to watch the horses go. No jumbotron then! You put your wellies on and hiked out to watch horses go in "Wilbur weather".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just my observation but a big difference I see is that many of these riders are much more forward in the tack than riders today. I would say they are in a 3pt position or lightly touching compared to the sit up and stay back position of today. Perhaps the difference was they were riding hotter types of horses who prefered that ride or that the courses promoted forward riding and forward positions because you didn't need to regulate so much with you seat? I love watching these types of videos. The horses looked like horses who really loved the job and the riders appear to be more like cowboys than the riders of today.
                      http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

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                      • #12
                        I saw horses jumping out of a rhythm, riders letting them get the job done, the horses could look ahead and see where they were going and figure out the quesetions being asked, courses that weren't designed and decorated to look like a theme park but just solid x-c courses.
                        www.retiredhorses.com
                        Blogging about daily life on the retirement farm: http://paradigmfarms.blogspot.com/
                        Paradigm Farms on Facebook

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by J Swan View Post
                          Dizzy - I can't see the video! What am I doing wrong? I'd really like to see it.
                          Hey - send me a PM and let me know whether you're on Mac or Windows, do you use IE browser or Firefox, and do you have any problems seeing videos on youtube or other places people post them?

                          There doesn't seem to be a limit to the number of views - but if you keep having trouble, I'll pop it up on youtube or something else... It's definitely worth seeing - apart from being thought provoking at the moment (at least to me) - it's just fun to watch!

                          Emily
                          "It's not a perfect world....But it's still good to be alive! If you don't know by now, you'll probably never understand the way it feels to wanna live....One Perfect Moment!!"

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Fergs View Post
                            I believe it was at Fair Hill. Much of that compilation looked familiar. I swear I used to own that video!

                            Thanks for sharing. Loved seeing Rick Sullivan, of all people!
                            You probably did! It was at the tail end of a bloopers video. After watching the myriad goofs of eventing, I always loved this part, the "this is how it's done, boys and girls" look of these rides.

                            Emily
                            "It's not a perfect world....But it's still good to be alive! If you don't know by now, you'll probably never understand the way it feels to wanna live....One Perfect Moment!!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not an eventer (but am a jumper haha)....BUT this video was outstanding. Talk about amazing rides and just being a pure joy to watch. Even in some of the sticky situations I wasn't cringing because the rider was balanced and centered.

                              I really just loved how QUIET these riders were...today they're very loud (from what I watch anyway). I enjoyed the clip of Bruce. I actually had the LUCK of riding with him TWICE as a kid...once when 12 on my large pony and once at 14 on my retired jumper. He rode someone's horse at the first one and I have film of him jumping the sucker 4'6 or 5'...it was just amazing for a 12 year old to see...and he rode JUST like in his clip

                              Thanks for the vid..i'm so glad I watched it!
                              Kelli
                              Horse Drawings!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm not an eventer either, although I schooled an XC course in my jumping days, a nice group lesson held at a BN course. Close as I'll ever get. I do love watching the BNR's, though.

                                Lots of things I saw in this video, but I'll leave the technical fence and riding details to those better qualified. What I noticed most, though, is that they were having fun. Horses and riders both were having fun. I don't see that as much watching today, now more the rider with that look of concentration you wear when going for your ACT test and the horse with an expression of, "What are you asking? What? When? Where? Now? Is this right?"

                                But these riders and horses were all having fun. Great video.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  "..Seeing a distance is a skill every ULR hones constantly..."

                                  New X-C riding philosophy from Craig Thompson article, COTH Jan 25,2008 p. 36-37

                                  This article, to me, is just the opposite of what the video in the OP is about. I loved that video amd all it stands for, yet this article contradicts it.

                                  "Seeing a distance needs to be a practiced skill, not a random occurance."

                                  "No longer is "brave"the first criterion for a good upper-level event horse; "careful" has taken its place at the top of the list."


                                  "No longer is "aggression" and important attribute in a good rider; seeing a distance is"

                                  This to me is just the opposite of the wonderful article Jimmy Wofford wrote and is talked about in another thread.

                                  "Until a rider can see a distance at the novice height and the novice speed, it's hard to argue that they are ready to move up to the training level."

                                  "Until they can consistently see a distance at the training level height and training level speed, it's hard to imagine that they are ready to move up to preliminary level."

                                  I question seeing a distance at novice level. What ever happened to riding the canter and the balance and let the fence (and thus the horse) take care of themselves? I was always taught the horse jumps the fence, ride the canter you need for the fence and let the horse do his job.

                                  How about, put the horse between your legs and the fence? Then ride forward to the fence.

                                  Just my opinion,
                                  a smurf who did ride thru prelim

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Getting Out of Pretense ...

                                    I agree with what many of the posters have noted, including the observation that the questions being asked, while large, were overall achievable. With that said, there were a few rides that did make me cringe and think "ooh, unsafe," but overall, I really liked what I saw.
                                    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by nature View Post
                                      I question seeing a distance at novice level. What ever happened to riding the canter and the balance and let the fence (and thus the horse) take care of themselves? I was always taught the horse jumps the fence, ride the canter you need for the fence and let the horse do his job.

                                      How about, put the horse between your legs and the fence? Then ride forward to the fence.

                                      Just my opinion,
                                      a smurf who did ride thru prelim
                                      Thanks for posting those article snippets - what a difference compared to the way I was taught. Like Jimmy said in his article - the distance doesn't become significant until you start getting to the limits of the horse's scope. Also, I remember watching a team training session with Mark Phillips, where he told those riders - TEAM riders - to worry way more about the canter than the spot. "If your horse is here..." [picture him miming a balanced canter, with horse rocked back more on his haunches] "...the fence will be good no matter where he takes off. If you try to adjust him, you can take him out of that balance..."

                                      I absolutely cannot imagine a novice/training level rider should be doing anything at all, except riding forward and in balance... and steering!

                                      Emily
                                      "It's not a perfect world....But it's still good to be alive! If you don't know by now, you'll probably never understand the way it feels to wanna live....One Perfect Moment!!"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Thanks for posting! How nice to see such forward riding. And I loved seeing those riders reach up and pat their horses!
                                        Lori T
                                        www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
                                        www.facebook.com/LoriTankelPhotography
                                        www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep

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