I just had to pipe in for another moment. I'm getting the impression that those of us who have talented warmbloods are being labelled as people who don't support those who don't, that we look down on them. Not to toot my own horn, but I have an 18 hand warmblood made of pure talent who will be FEI within 3 years and will go all the way eventually, without a doubt. I got him by chance. Of the girls at my barn, a few of them have warmbloods, some more talented than others, and the other girls have OTTB, appyX of some sort etc... We are a team through and through, doesn't matter who has what horse, or what level they are at.
I didn't start out on that powerhouse warmblood. I started my dressage on an Appaloosa who was started western. He won many of his dressage classes, and we were second level western regional champions one year. He was training third level before he went lame, which he never came back from. When he went lame, all I had was my pony. My pony every coach always told me was useless, would never amount to anything (except for my current trainer). That pony is incredible and in 3 years went from very basic dressage, to 4th level, under me as I was learning with him. My trainer said that she had never seen a horse train up as fast as he did. That pony was western regional reserve champion at 4th level, western regional champion at FEI Junior (might I add, against professionally trained and proven I-1, I-2 FANCY warmbloods), and won other various championships.
So, some of us out there on those fancy warmbloods earned that. I support those people starting out in dressage and those who don't have those fancy horses, as I was supported on my less than spectacular horses. I applaud those doing the very best with what they have and especially those who hold their own against those big fancy warmbloods. I do dislike that dressage judging favours those fancy legged warmbloods, whether they were trained correctly or not. It's unfair that people on average horses can't get the scores that those on nicer horses can, I experienced that bias, I know that it sucks. But, quite frankly, I find the dressage community to be warm and supportive where I am. When I jumped, I found the community around here very cliquey and cold, I never fit in and I was judged for having a pony (Especially seeing as I'm nearly 6' tall!) (I'm also sure that this isn't a rule, but that's what I experienced).
I guess it just doesn't sit well we me that when people use examples of snobby dressage riders they stick in the warmblood label. Remember that not all of us dressage riders are snobby and not all of us that have warmbloods are snobby either. Although, there certainly ARE those people out there as there are in every discipline.
Sorry about going off on a tangent and rant, but I just wanted to point out that we shouldn't all get painted with the same brush because of some peoples experiences with a few bad apples.
Thank you for this post Tigo. I'm also getting tired of the warmblood label getting thrown in. It is assumed that if you have a warmblood, you must be a rich snobby type that is fed everything off a silver platter.
This is SO not the case.
I have two warmblood geldings now - I worked my backside off the buy them, I go without everything, I rarely go out with friends, I rarely buy myself any new clothes or new things for my house.
Before I purchased my boys, I was riding, training and competing on appys, QH's, OTTB's, welsh ponies etc etc etc. I worked very hard, I got bucked off a lot, I rode 6-7 days a week and took every opportunity I could.
So please, do NOT tell me that I am a snob for having a warmblood. I have sacrificed a lot to have them - and no, I'm not rich. I was a receptionist up until recently when I lost my job due to budget cuts. I'm not in the process of trying to get into the police academy and into the prisons as a corrective officer. Not a surgeon, doctor, dentist, etc. Just a plain old normal blue collar worker.
I have NEVER looked down any any of my fellow riders for not having a warmblood - because that's how I started out. And if someone doesn't WANT a warmblood, then that's great - they're saving a lot of money!!!!