Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sweden - the land of carrots and apples
I think it's a combination of things... mostly I'd blame lack of knowledge in both riders, trainers and judges.
And I think it's awfully hard for a rider to know if their trainer is a good one.. winning shows isn't a good sign anymore, and nobody seems to know how it should be before it's ''perfect''...we only know how it shouldn't be when it's perfect. Theory doesn't seem to excist anymore, its all training in the saddle.
An example from me, now I trust my trainer, if I didn't I'd be sceptic and I'd probably wouldn't have tried this at all. But I can feel the progress we make, so..:P
Not too long ago she started to tell me how to get his head down. This goes against my general opinion of the head getting there when everything else works, but at the same time she did have a point; I can't get anywhere as long as he's fighting me and the bit. Anyway, today we came to the next step.. now he keeps his head low (kinda) and we need to get him to stretch forward and ''hang'' onto the bit.. which again goes against what I believe in. But, the few times I managed to get it to work, I came to the last step (for now), to engage him with my legs. And suddenly I had collection, with his neck right and long, his butt under himself and his front slightly raised. This wouldn't have happened if I just had used my legs without these preparations with the bit - that I felt was not right when I heard about them.
My point is.. how can we riders really know which trainer has the right ideas when the only thing we hear about is the finished product and the ideal sitution?
It's not strange that it has become as it has.
And also, as all sports based on looks (because that's what it is, the horse has to loo a certain way and the judges judge after that) it always works against being MORE.. more arch in the necks, more contact on the reins, more schwung in the action, more outstretched frontlegs, more bouncing in the piaff, more more more.. and then suddenly it has gotten a bit too far, a bit too extreme. And the extreme spreads..
And they breed to be able to mach this extreme/more action and looks.. more nerves etc.
And the riders need to focus on all this extra abilities/stuff in the horses and have less focus left for the basics.. etc.
Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.