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Opinions on Equitation (Not Quite Classical)

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  • Opinions on Equitation (Not Quite Classical)

    I'm taking some advice and rewording my title and my post.

    Actually, I don't even feel like it. I didn't mean to start a war and I was legitimately concerned with the style of today's riders, kids and adults.

    Why are trainers teaching riders to lean SO far foward and have their hands reaching the top of the horses neck instead of pressing into the neck? This also seems to cause riders to stand up in the stirrups instead of having a more secure seat with a better leg angle. Why is this fashionable?

    If judges are pinning this, why? I am asking this in all seriousness, not to bash anybody. It's more about questioning (no bashing) the STYLE.

    I know if I learn forward to much (and yes, I do at times, I admit it) I will likely fall off (which occasionally I have!). I honestly think the style that I'm describing can be a dangerous one if you're not on the right horse or pony.
    Last edited by ParadoxFarm; Nov. 3, 2011, 01:53 PM. Reason: Reword
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    I have not seen the picture in question.

    However, I recall a similar thread a few years back about another pony kid on the cover of the Dover catalog, and a huge debate about her poor basics, bad technique, awful trainng, etc., etc.

    That pony rider was Lillie Keenan. Who has turned out to ride just fine, if you ask me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Am I being overly harsh, or is classic equitation gone for good?
      I haven't seen the cover either, but blaming one child on a pony for classic equitation being "gone for good" is yes, overly harsh.
      ---
      They're small hearts.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would bet she is doing the Pony Hunters and therefore emulating all the hunter pros who ride with long stirrups, loose reins, and hands at their horse's ears.
        "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          You may be right. Then it's our fault as adults for leading by a poor example. Okay, sorry for being harsh. Again, she seems like a naturally talented rider. Just would love to tweak some things. I think when they are then put on covers, other kids will emulate the style, and so on, and so on....
          “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
          ¯ Oscar Wilde

          Comment


          • #6
            I can't get past the way her foot is in the stirrup. The whole picture makes me cringe. Except for her little tongue sticking out. That part I love. The rest

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
              I want to start by saying that I think this rider is adorable, and her pony is very, very cute. It looks like she's spend LOTS of hours in the saddle working with her pony. I'm sure they've had plenty of ribbons at the shows. She looks like she has some good natural talent.

              However, that being said, I have a problem with how she's being taught. I'm feeling that this is not classic equitation and is on the verge of being dangerous. Is it just me? She looks to me like she is WAY too far forward laying on her pony's neck. I feel that if this pony stopped, she would come flying off. And it scares me that this is being TAUGHT to her. What happened to learning to have your knee in a deeper angle, and having your hands resting on the side of your horse's neck for a release? And though this cute little girl has a look of determination on her face that I like, she seems to be looking down. I think if you start riding like this, it will be HARD as heck to change later if you wish to. (I know, because I still fight with issues learned long ago!)

              Am I being overly harsh, or is classic equitation gone for good?
              I think that concluding that classic equitation is dead from one photo on a tack catalog is going a bit too far.

              A photo is a moment in time and I'm not going to judge an underaged kid, who is probably over the moon that she and her pony are on the cover of a Dover catalog, based on one photo that was probably chosen for 1,000 reasons OTHER than her equitation.

              As a previous poster said, we had this EXACT same thread a while ago and it was disgraceful. People, like you, blamed the fall of the western world on some kid on a pony.

              Comment


              • #8
                It amazes me how overly dramatic some posters here are. Seriously? The picture sucks on many levels. Would I pick it for a catalog cover? Hell no. Yes it is a moment in time. She is a cute little rider. She does need work. I agree with OP that a better picture on a MAJOR catalog that goes out to a whole lot of people should be better chosen.

                Go watch some daytime tv soaps (do they still have those?) the rest of you.

                Or come over here and help start the youngsters. Oh wait.... nevermind on that.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Well, I didn't exactly say classic equitation is gone. I was just asking for opinions, that's all. "Am I being overly harsh, or is classic equitation gone for good?" That's not meant to be a statement or a fact. I guess I could have reworded it. I just feel (me, just me) that a LOT of riders' form has changed away from the classic. I didn't read the last thread years ago.

                  And I just wanted an open discussion (which this is) about equitation. I should have added in the original post that it seems in MANY areas I see the style of equitation changing. Not just on this cover. And like someone said, it's the trainers that are doing this, not the kids riding. (shrug).

                  Not trying to offend anyone. And if anyone can explain the changes to me and what they are trying to achieve by the change, I would appreciate it. Seriously.
                  “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                  ¯ Oscar Wilde

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Would you walk up to this little pony kid in person and make these comments to her face? Or her mother? Or her trainer?

                    If not, why would you post them online? Where there is probably at least a ninety percent chance she will see them or hear about them?

                    If you want to debate the decline and fall of modern riding, at least pick on an adult's picture. Preferably a professional, instead of an amateur, which has also been done here.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                      Well, I didn't exactly say classic equitation is gone. I was just asking for opinions, that's all. "Am I being overly harsh, or is classic equitation gone for good?" That's not meant to be a statement or a fact. I guess I could have reworded it. I just feel (me, just me) that a LOT of riders' form has changed away from the classic. I didn't read the last thread years ago.

                      And I just wanted an open discussion (which this is) about equitation. I should have added in the original post that it seems in MANY areas I see the style of equitation changing. Not just on this cover. And like someone said, it's the trainers that are doing this, not the kids riding. (shrug).

                      Not trying to offend anyone. And if anyone can explain the changes to me and what they are trying to achieve by the change, I would appreciate it. Seriously.
                      Then you should have started a thread discussing classic equitation.

                      You should not have brought the image of a kid into the equation at all. We can discuss equitation all you want. Did you really not think that a post about a cover photo of a little kid wouldn't end up with people picking apart some kid they don't even know?

                      If you wanted an open discussion about the state of equitation in 2011, this was just about the worst way to do it.

                      And if this is an honest question:

                      And if anyone can explain the changes to me and what they are trying to achieve by the change, I would appreciate it. Seriously.
                      You can get a good start by looking at some onld threads where this has been discussed for pages and pages and pages and pages.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                        She looks to me like she is WAY too far forward laying on her pony's neck. I feel that if this pony stopped, she would come flying off. And it scares me that this is being TAUGHT to her. What happened to learning to have your knee in a deeper angle, and having your hands resting on the side of your horse's neck for a release?
                        This seems to be the "fashion" in riding style and I saw first hand how many kids came off when their horses stopped at the bank jump while watching an eq class at the Hampton Classic this year. You're right that it leaves the rider in a very precarious position if something unexpected happens. But the judges keep rewarding it, so I don't think we are going to see it change any time soon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
                          I want to start by saying that I think this rider is adorable, and her pony is very, very cute. It looks like she's spend LOTS of hours in the saddle working with her pony. I'm sure they've had plenty of ribbons at the shows. She looks like she has some good natural talent.

                          However, that being said, I have a problem with how she's being taught. I'm feeling that this is not classic equitation and is on the verge of being dangerous. Is it just me? She looks to me like she is WAY too far forward laying on her pony's neck. I feel that if this pony stopped, she would come flying off. And it scares me that this is being TAUGHT to her. What happened to learning to have your knee in a deeper angle, and having your hands resting on the side of your horse's neck for a release? And though this cute little girl has a look of determination on her face that I like, she seems to be looking down. I think if you start riding like this, it will be HARD as heck to change later if you wish to. (I know, because I still fight with issues learned long ago!)

                          Am I being overly harsh, or is classic equitation gone for good?
                          You get all that from looking at a picture?
                          I wish I had that skill...

                          How do you have any idea what is being taught to the kid by looking at a picture? For all you know, her trainers could hate the picture in question, or they might be spending countless hours trying to work on her position because they don't like what it currently looks like. How can you criticize actions that you haven't actually seen?

                          FWIW, I haven't even seen the picture/cover in question.
                          -----
                          This is not a true story
                          -----

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I believe the picture is of [name removed], who, according to some quick searches, just placed in the top 5 in the Pony Eq Finals at Washington and was top 10 in the USEF Pony Medal at Pony Finals in 2010 and 2011. So, obviously someone likes her equitation.... She's also done fairly well in the hunter classes (understatement!)

                            At Washington:
                            http://www.chronofhorse.com/sites/de...s/DSC_4603.JPG

                            And a video of her Pony Medal round:
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0ErRnbaVsY

                            I think she looks pretty darn good and is a very effective little rider. The pony in the picture looks like he's jumping pretty hard....
                            Last edited by Ben and Me; Nov. 3, 2011, 03:54 PM. Reason: Removed youngster's name :)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I believe this is the cover in question.... (Hope this works for others -- had to use a link from the email I got...)


                              http://www.doversaddlery.com/images/...neralLight.jpg

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by CHSatwork View Post
                                I can't get past the way her foot is in the stirrup. The whole picture makes me cringe. Except for her little tongue sticking out. That part I love. The rest
                                I agree. I was really sad to see this type of "equitation" on the cover of the catalog. And before anyone says, "But that wasn't an equitation class," form over fences and on the flat actually is still equitation (with a little 'e"), no matter what class it is.
                                Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Just a bit off topic (lighten the mood?? ) but what are the gaiter type things that the kids wear round their knees?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Napoles View Post
                                    Just a bit off topic (lighten the mood?? ) but what are the gaiter type things that the kids wear round their knees?
                                    Garters.. they serve in place of tall boots to keep their pants from riding up. (I believe?)
                                    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

                                    www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
                                    www.useaiv.org

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Maybe the photo was not the best shot for the cover, but the pony looks great and the girl is adorable. Its a moment in time and you can't judge everything off one picture. They could have choosen the photo because of her determination in the pic and her tongue, because its to cute. Her stirrups are a little long but we all jump ahead from time to time, we all get thrown to far up from time to time it happens and shes a child learning. Watching the video she is a nice little quiet rider, better than most adults I see jumping at shows. If this was my daughter I'd be a little upset that people have thrown this on a BB to tear her apart. We should be building kids up for riding not talk about how bad they look unless they ask for it on here, and she did not. I'm sure her trainers can do just fine with her. She is farther in riding and competition than most people on this BB have been so I'm sure she has some nice trainers that can teach her just fine.
                                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        This is a child who did not ask for your criticism and would probably be hurt if she found out she was being talked about in a negative way. I agree with the above posters who said if you want to discuss equitation, fine, but leave this little girl out of it.

                                        I don't see what puprose it serves to potentially hurt a child's feelings.

                                        Very cute picture. Leave it at that.

                                        Comment

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