anebel~*~;682433]As one who trains in "The European Style", this:
I find slightly offensive. Yes, there is a lot of exaggerated and artificial looking movement in today's competitive dressage arenas, BUT, it is not because the horses are leg movers, that the riders are hanging on the face or that they cannot sit."
You should not be offended by a personal opinon. I actually image that if we were together in a schooling session we would not disagree much if you allowed yourself to actually let me school you and inform you as to the reasons behind my precepts [the horses requirements].
The portion stating the horses are not leg movers is incorrect, for there are numerous individuals some with quite high stature that declare the same thing, including equine veterinarians, judges, other trainers and riders.
As for the riders hanging on the face, I totally disagree with you as that is the standard being set in the competition arena. As for they cannot sit, I disagree with you totally, and that is the standard being set in the competition arena.
Why, because the judges are allowing it and the competitors are to complacent to file the appropriate protests.
It is that the horses in these arenas are bred for dressage, so much can be asked of them and that they are so hot, high powered and temperamental. Comparing modern day, high performance warmbloods to the Spanish and Baroque breeds is like comparing apples to oranges.
Let us examine that statement. This is the reality: "Dressage is not about creating that which is not there naturally". Dressage is about each individual horse of the various breeds being capable of meeting the descriptions contained in Article 401. One should never compare any breed to the other. The comparisons are arising because the breeding programs are creating horses with exaggerated gaits/strides, this is presenting circus stars not dressage stars.
And please, don't insult the riders. I am sorry but for you to say that just sickens me. Some of the worlds greatest trainers ride in European style and have developed some truly amazing horses into athletes in that style. I dare you to watch Robert Dover ride and tell him he looks like a sack of potatoes. I dare you to accuse him of harshness. I dare you to tell the same thing to Wittig, Peters, Klimke and the scores of other riders and trainers and coaches in modern day dressage.
Wow, insulting riders? There never has been any insulting by me. When the riders do not sit quietly, when the riders do not let go of the horses and keep them constrained, when the riders cannot even present the horses according to Article 401....these riders should be criticized.
The overriding description contained in Article 401 is that the horse should appear as to be doing it on its own....well that means releasing the horse. As for accusing them of harshness, anyone has that right when they induce tetanic contractions into the horses. Not that is not to say it is intentional....for it is not....it is because of lack of knowledge. And that is not what good dressage trainers and riders should be doing. They should be seeking out new knowledge that can help the health and welfare of the horse and create a horse and rider combination that can actually fulfill the descriptions contained in Article 401.
And then I dare you to get on their horses and pull or hold on the contact as you accuse them of doing. When you get out of hospital, give me a call.
I would love to get on just one of their horses and demonstrate horsemanship. I have even set forth such a challenge, but of course no takers. That is because egos get in the way. Their positions are clear, they know more than the little guys and gals, therefore, we having nothing to teach them. A perfect example is Hilda Gurney who at last years conference stated she had tried bitless dressage and found no difference. Well when I approached her several years ago she said you could not ride dressage bitless. Riding with the cross under the jaw rein bitless bridle is not the same as riding with a bit and she made no effort to learn.
I have never found a horse that would not listen to me, because I "allow" the horse to have freedom to make decisions without continuous constraints being applied. Since 1988, when I invented Spirit Bridle, I have never had a horse take off with me nor place me in a position that I brought forth any reason to be fearful.
"Supreme Performance Through Supreme Freedom" has been my motto and my results.
Classical dressage is classical dressage no matter the school you are in.
By your response to me, you have actually made this statement a falsehood. The SCHOOL of DRESSAGE I participate in is the one of the horse not of man. The problem with today is that dressage has forgotten Col. Podhajsky and his simple philosophy 'My horses, my teachers'.
I ride classic dressage, poll high - nose in front of the vertical - back up - hindquarters thoroughly engaged - collected - on the bit frame without a bit - and without spurs nor whip, nor shoes upon the horse's hooves.
Last edited by spirithorse8; 07-06-2010 at 08:23 PM.