Craptastic dressage at Danish Championships - Page 3

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Craptastic dressage at Danish Championships

This is a discussion on Craptastic dressage at Danish Championships within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    06-17-2013, 08:59 AM
I have had the chance to ride a couple of GP horses, albeit it not for any long period of time, and the horses were already warmed up.

It is a whole new level of riding, and frankly, it really put in to perspective the power that these horses have. It also scared me witless at points because at times I completely lost the feeling, and one horse carried me, did all the moves itself, but I felt like I had very little control over the situation.

A horse should never be ridden every single second with its poll at the highest point. We flex a horse left and right, why whould we only flex up? Long and low is just as important.

I am not a fan of Rollkur, nor am I a fan of the term being thrown at every horse and rider.

There are some truly horrid photos on the internet, that show more than just a moment in time, where the horse is literally curled in on itself.

However, I do not disagree that a horse never needs to be what is described as 'Overflexed'.

There is always the right way and the wrong way to do this, just as people will seesaw on a bit in an attempt to get the horse on the bit.

After all that, I do have a friend on FB who shared photos from this event. Over 2000 pictures, and I would say 70% had braced themselves against the horse, pulling it in to a rollkur position. The other 30% were flexing their horses up, down, left, right. And there were more than just a 'moment in time' pictures. If I can find the link, I iwll post it.
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    06-17-2013, 09:12 AM
Personally, I like my horses supple and round. Poll up is not really on my mind in the training. I want a supple horse with a strong but adjustable body and something that is really ridable. If you just put the poll up on a baby horse and don't ride with feel, soon the horse becomes like a 2x4 and to even ask for a small flexion turns into a fight. Also sitting on a stiff horse with a hole in it's back really sucks.
If you actually read what has been written on the subject of dressage training, and not "this is the ideal GP horse", poll up is not the number 1 in training.
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    06-17-2013, 09:22 AM
Can you imagine if I put Dubai up there?

Poor boy would probably do it, try his heart out and be broken from head to foot.

He is learning to come up in to himself, and is getting there. Every ride is different, but I expect long and low warm up, ten minutes of more up work, and then long and low again. He has to work for his dinner, but he comes up with a good warm up naturally rather than having to pull him up there.

My old yard had a woman, and unfortunately she trailers to mine at times, who produces a lot of horses, very quickly. She has no upper body movement apart from her neck. Her shoulder's look like she bench presses 600ilbs. She holds the horse firm, whips them until they drop their heads, and rides them on the forehand until they break. Her M class horse broke down and can never be ridden again due to nerve damage in the spine and neck; all thanks to her 'riding'.

She doesn't rollkur, but she pulls their heads around and holds them like I have never seen anyone hold a horse before.

It is the hands that are holding the reins, not the particular movement.
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    06-17-2013, 11:32 AM
Obviously a horse should not be ridden in full collection all the time. There are a lot of grey areas in dressage to get the horse into proper collection.

I wasnt insinuating that a horse should be collected the moment we get on it.
    06-17-2013, 11:50 AM
It's not about collection, it's about body position. A horse can still be collected, very collected actually, with the neck quite low. A low neck allows access to the back on a horse who may hold it against the rider. It also allows us to get the withers and base of the neck up. It requires a lot of strength to carry the neck high, with the poll as the highest point, while having the base of the neck lifted and the withers up. I only expect that from my FEI horse in the test, not very much in the training do I ask for it, maybe to test the connection, but otherwise the neck is low building strength.
Might I remind you that neck position does not indicate collection, not collection neck position.
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    06-17-2013, 11:57 AM
I definitely wasn't claiming I could ride these magnificent horses...and I'm not saying I know very much about dressage...but it terrifies me to see horses in that frame the whole test.
    06-17-2013, 12:10 PM
None of those pictures are from the test.
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    06-17-2013, 01:04 PM
Xlioness, these are warm-up techniques. You won't see them in a test.

I'm very torn on rollkur. I obviously have no first-hand experience with GP horses and don't feel qualified to to assess their training methods, but at the same time, I can easily see both "sides" and can agree with both.
    06-17-2013, 01:13 PM
Here's a test - Thomas Sigtenbjerggaard and Nintendo, featured in many of the photos, at GPS at the Danish Championships. I find the test tense and ugly. (And note in the nefarious photos that he's shown in wraps and without, so those photos span the entire warmup).

I'm not one of those ODG-worshiping its-all-about-being-IFTV critics of competitive dressage, believe me. I very much agree with Anabel in that I want a horse who is supple and fluid, and riding deep is no sin in my book. My current favorite 3 riders, Carl Hester, Helen Langehanenberg and Charlotte Dujardin both employ LDR with magnificent results. But these photos are the worst I've seen, compounded by the sheer number of them featuring just 3 riders, and this test made me a bit ill. Sure, its one show, and we hear all the time about it being only a moment in time, but these are extremely ugly moments adding up to some ugly warmup at a National Championship.

As a comparison, Carl Hester warmup Saumur

Carl Hester GP Kur Saumur

Which way would you rather ride? Which way would your horse prefer you ride?

And yes of course different horses need different rides - let that be a given.
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    06-17-2013, 01:18 PM
The difference is IMO that those who are very vehemently against rolkur have not ridden upper levels, have no experience with upper level horses and are generally jealous of those who do ride upper levels, or feel that they are somehow overshadowed or something by them. Earn your tails, then talk.
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