You know, I have a book on English riding, a pretty good book in my opinion, at least for someone like me who isn't very familiar with English riding, and I heard all the same things......that dressage benefits all horses and riders and is a good foundation for all types of riding, blah blah blah! Books really do preach that.
And then you get out in the real world (or at least on forums such as this) and find out that no, people really don't ride their existing horse in dressage. It isn't about communicating better with YOUR horse after all!
Apparently dressage is all about buying the right horse and getting the right trainer so you can win at shows. Who'd of thought?
I guess I am kind of naive. I think it would be kind of quaint if people tried to build the relationship with the horse they already have (such as the original poster's GF) than think of it as another form of competition where we have to buy just the perfect horse to keep up with the Jones's.
I mean, if someone has the ability to buy the perfect horse and reach the top levels, then go for it! But what about those of us with common horses who just want to better our relationship and communication with them? It's kind of a turn-off when people tell you you're horse can't do dressage. Especially when you aren't out to compete, but just to ride better. Right?
I mean, I really want it to be like that book that said that dressage benefits all horses and riders. I feel like my bubble has been burst and the dressage folks really are snobs after all.
(This is a UK based book by the way, maybe the are more open minded over there?)