01-04-2013, 12:13 AM
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As an English discipline rider (Hunters and jumpers as a child, and as a returning adult, learning a dressage base, I took away the following from this video):
I believe the English rider demonstrated an arrogant and almost rude, self-superior demeanor, a well as what came off to me as a seemingly vast lacking in understanding of persons differing from herself in any way (ethnocentrism).
The only time in the video when I felt she behaved in the manner which I equate with a genuinely respectable sportswoman was at the end, when she critiqued the western rider's jumping skills...she was giving an appropriate, and IMO, well-deserved amount of respect to the western rider's go-round, cuing ability, and overall riding skill.
However, following those brief statements, I believe she quickly returned to her prior arrogant non-sporting attitude. She seemed to display a real lack of respect for the other discipline by remaking about how "boring" she felt running barrels would be "after three days". She naturally has a right to her opinion, however, there was probably a more tactful way of stating it.
The western rider struck me as being more out to learn & really benefit from the activity; to allow it to potentially make her a better overall horsewoman. Despite the fact that she won the competition, she did not gloat or intimate that she won because jumping is so simple compared to running barrels or anything of the sort. She remained positive, down-to-earth, and sportswoman-like throughout the whole process...
Interestingly, given the personality types of the young women riding, I erroneously made the assumption that the coaches in each discipline would mirror the riders in terms of behavior and personality-types. I found them to be just the opposite of the riders. I much preferred the English coach to the western coach. As I could best tell, the English coach had a kinder & more "accepting" way about her. The western coach came across harder and more unflinching and I (possibly erroneously) attributed this to her somewhat dismissive and arrogant attitude toward English riding as a discipline and being involved in this "comparison" process between the two. As if she wanted the world to know that English riding is somehow "silly and stuffy", & couldn't stand a chance against western as a discipline.
This demonstrates what most people should know despite many choosing to stereotype and group together whole sects of humans based on incorrect biases (including some I clearly alluded to here!). Whether you ride English and jump, or western and run barrels, there are all sorts of riders and personalities in each discipline. As well, as exhibited by the more "condescending" English rider, & the English coach with her more pleasant and easy going attitude, and the very down-to-earth western rider with her coach who, IMO, came off even more condescending than the English rider; it can be dangerous to put people into categories based upon assumption.
A very interesting look at humanity, sports, attitudes, and finally, the fact that, in general, it seems fairly clear that if you can ride very well, that ability translates essentially to any horseback discipline, so long as you are given enough time to gain a feel for whatever the new discipline is and what its required from you and your horse to succeed. Good videos and certainly an interesting experiment.