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The Good Old Days

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  • The Good Old Days

    So practically every other post here on our beloved COTH forums references the equitation divisions of the 70s and 80s, heralding them as being hallmarked by "true" equitation...the days of the automatic release and forwardness and brilliance and elegance.

    In light of the other thread showing the top 18 riders of the 2010 ASPCA Maclay Finals, I thought it apropos to post links to these videos: the 1982 and 1984 ASPCA Maclay Finals, for discussion and comparison.

    We're always speaking so highly of the style exhibited by the riders of the Good Old Days...so after actually watching them and not just looking at stills, let's discuss the differences.

    I was surprised to find that while their style, solidity and elegance of position and classic effectiveness is what I thought it was, I found myself preferring the more thoroughly flatted and prepared modern equitation horses. Things like a swap or crookedness or lack of suppleness which may contribute to a fault in the modern equitation division were not penalized back in the day. Was this a good thing? Perhaps not.

    And while these riders were brilliantly forward, I found myself missing some of the sophistication of the quiet control of the modern riders. What I DID love was the consistent, long, elegant positions that in many ways were much quieter and softer than a lot of the modern riders.

    So...hopefully we can have an interesting discussion (which no doubt within a couple pages will derail into a typical COTH trainwreck). But I thought it was interesting that while I far prefer many aspects of the older style, I also prefer some of the modern attributes.

    1982 ASPCA Maclay Finals
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zjlZ...eature=related

    1984 ASPCA Maclay Finals
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbX16...eature=related
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

  • #2
    I had similar thoughts.

    People can gripe all they want about "kids today" (and I'm sure I've done that myself), but the top trips today look much smoother than many of the past winners, even if the riders' positions may not be as text book perfect all the time.

    It's almost an apples and oranges situation, since the divisions and especially the horses have become so much more specialized. Many of the horses on the old tapes probably did double duty as junior hunters, while that would be pretty unusual for the top horses these days.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you have to get back to the 50's,60's and early 70's to get to "the good ole days". By the 80's GM had started teaching the crest release, and outdoor courses were rare.

      But it was nice to still see a lot of TB's in those videos.

      Comment


      • #4
        This one from 1985 is less crazy and more like what you see today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Nob...eature=related

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MHM View Post

          It's almost an apples and oranges situation, since the divisions and especially the horses have become so much more specialized. Many of the horses on the old tapes probably did double duty as junior hunters, while that would be pretty unusual for the top horses these days.
          Actually, I looked up some the horses I especially enjoyed from this year's top 18, and many of them were also competitive in the hunters & jumpers. Off the top of my head, the horse Hayley won on is owned by a lady who shows him in the a/o's, and the horse who Michael finished second also does the large juniors and jumpers.

          Comment


          • #6
            Definitely not trying to criticize, but did they not emphasize lead changes then? I noticed that in all of those videos (I think) a few lead changes were missed in the hind and then caught up a couple strides later. I would think that changes would have to be pretty solid by finals level, but I wasn't alive then so I wouldn't know. With that said, I love the different style of riding and especially the TBs!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cabinessence View Post
              Actually, I looked up some the horses I especially enjoyed from this year's top 18, and many of them were also competitive in the hunters & jumpers. Off the top of my head, the horse Hayley won on is owned by a lady who shows him in the a/o's, and the horse who Michael finished second also does the large juniors and jumpers.
              They may "also" do other things, but it's not too common to see one that is equally successful at both jobs these days.

              IIRC, Charge-a-Count was considered a top junior hunter in the early 80s, and he was in the work off for the Maclay finals in one of those videos. Ditto for Emmett Kelly, who was 6th or 8th in the Maclay finals in the early 80s.

              I sat and watched all 150 or so Maclay trips on Sunday at Syracuse, and I'd be surprised if there were 10 horses in that class who also showed in the junior hunters at any of the Indoor shows this year.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is my extremely amateur opionion so I could be totally off base. Does anyone else think many of the riders seemed to two point too fast? Many of them were already back in the saddle before the horse had landed with the front or cleared with the back.

                And, there was certainly alot of unbalanced turns, missed/partial changes and IMO, not nearly the lovely, collected, balanced courses I saw in the 2010 videos. Regardless of the riders position, they were not getting the same flowing courses.
                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  It is wonderful to see the Garden again, it was always so exciting to be there in Manhattan and to hear Victor's voice announcing. The Garden was a relatively small ring. There were alot of people in the audience, unlike horse shows nowadays.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My first thought (before reading any of the other comments) were, Peter Wylde's horse (while beautiful) seemed "hot" more like a jumper. The oxers seemed wider (and higher too), course seemed more difficult.

                    Comparing with today's riders, I thought the 2010 riders were "quiet" and like you say a more flattened jump.

                    Now, on the other hand, I just read an article by Missy Clark saying that judges are not pinning the more round, athletic horses like they should be. And says shame on them for pinning the more "flat" jumping. I need to find that article and post it here.

                    I think your right, the style has just evolved like everything else. I did hunters and jumpers my whole junior career, never did the eq's or maclay's. I kind of wish now that I did. But I guess I can have fun on my new greenie in the mini's!
                    Last edited by horsemom17; Nov. 10, 2010, 10:11 PM. Reason: grammar, LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I like the overall position of the older riders. It is not easy to stay so tall and still on a hotter, less balanced horse. I do like the more polished horses of today, but would like to see them working over courses that seemed to be more challenging like what we saw. Perhaps it was the size of the ring, but everything seemed bigger, and turns seemed tighter.
                      The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by horsemom17 View Post
                        Now, on the other hand, I just read an article by Missy Clark saying that judges are not pinning the more round, athletic horses like they should be.
                        Funny, I thought the judges were supposed to be pinning the riders in the equitation, not the horses.

                        I'd be interested to see that article. Where was it?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MHM View Post
                          Funny, I thought the judges were supposed to be pinning the riders in the equitation, not the horses.

                          I'd be interested to see that article. Where was it?

                          My thoughts exactly.... I think she was talking about them being a "team". Let me try and find it and I'll post it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is the one I read...

                            http://www.equisearch.com/horses_rid...qmissyjud1979/


                            And another one I read after it....

                            http://www.equisearch.com/horses_rid.../eqmissyeq872/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by horsemom17 View Post
                              Thanks for posting those!

                              I was at the 2001 judges' clinic she mentioned in the first article. I remember it plain as day.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                They may "also" do other things, but it's not too common to see one that is equally successful at both jobs these days.

                                IIRC, Charge-a-Count was considered a top junior hunter in the early 80s, and he was in the work off for the Maclay finals in one of those videos. Ditto for Emmett Kelly, who was 6th or 8th in the Maclay finals in the early 80s.

                                I sat and watched all 150 or so Maclay trips on Sunday at Syracuse, and I'd be surprised if there were 10 horses in that class who also showed in the junior hunters at any of the Indoor shows this year.
                                I know of two, if anyone else knows of eight more. Gabby Langston's Horse, Azlan, and Morgan Geller's horse, Fabricio.
                                The Evil Chem Prof

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                                  I know of two, if anyone else knows of eight more. Gabby Langston's Horse, Azlan, and Morgan Geller's horse, Fabricio.
                                  I will await the other eight with great interest.

                                  And how about any that showed at Indoors in a hunter division and got a ribbon in the equitation finals this year, as Charge-a-Count and Emmett Kelly and others did in their day?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by MHM View Post
                                    Funny, I thought the judges were supposed to be pinning the riders in the equitation, not the horses.

                                    I'd be interested to see that article. Where was it?
                                    Yeah, one would think...although I do recall reading yet another article (not those posted below) that was written by someone who had judged one of the BigEq finals in recent years. I wish I could recall who it was or where I saw the article. What I do remember though is the person saying very clearly that they preferred to see horses with a rounder rather than flat jump and did take that into account somewhat when scoring the riders.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I was impressed that I came up with two, quite honestly. And neither of them got a ribbon in a national eq final. Morgan won the CPHA finals on the same horse, but that's basically a California deal, not national. And, to be fair, she rode a different horse in the USET finals.

                                      Things are definitely more specialized now. Both my current and former trainers showed the same horse in hunters and eq and both took said horses back east for medal finals. But we're all old.
                                      The Evil Chem Prof

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                                        I was impressed that I came up with two, quite honestly.
                                        Me, too!

                                        I also think when you watch the old tapes, you see the TB types who were much more inclined to go forward, so the riders could spend more time thinking about their position.

                                        "Kids today" on the warmbloods often have to create the impulsion in the first place, then maintain it every step of the way around the course, so maybe that explains the deeper seat and not-as-flat back.

                                        Probably an oversimplification, but the contrast in horse styles really struck me.

                                        Comment

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