Show Jumping is boring - as is dressage - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
That's called free jumping, and it's part of certain breed classifications.

I personally don't see the point, as a horse who can free jump well may not be a good show jumper.

Not sure why you think it would be more entertaining, as the horse - human team is something I find fascinating.
Well at least it would make it easier to photograph - no silly faces, tall backs, heads facing the wrong way, heads getting lost behind necks - honestly riders are the worst :P (only just after course designers ;)).


That said I do agree, horse and rider is part of the moment and part of what makes it special. Though in all honesty I'd say that its not really a case of battling out for the superior "best" just difference and each one having its own perks and downfalls.

I will have to look up freejumping though.
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post #12 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 05:53 AM
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I have to agree with Overread and find that I won't out of my way go drive to a show to see showjumping or dressage despite having spent some years showing in those classes. It takes an incredible amount of time, effort and training to excell in either one of these but then it gets boring to watch what looks like the exact same performance over and over again. Like spectators watching a car race, the accidents are what gets everyone on their feet. But then again. a lot of horse show classes make me yawn unless I have a student or friend in one.

The thing I really would like to see is better commentators when jumping or dressage is shown on TV. They always seem to hire someone who cannot or will not explain the finer points of what you are seeing. I personally would love to watch those classes with a running commentary of what the judges are (or might be) thinking. I think we might see more of the Olympic equestrian events on TV if they could explain what is going on a little better!
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post #13 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies View Post
But then again. a lot of horse show classes make me yawn unless I have a student or friend in one.
Going to the local showjumping club it actually surprised me how many actually do this. They walk in to watch their friend or their horse going round and then are straight out again once finished. There's only a smaller handful who hang around for longer and who are not part of the people working at the event.


Even one or two of the other photographers who turn up who are also hobbyists also do the same; Camera up for a friend, camera down or only paying light attention when its not.


I guess one part of it is that unlike a sport like football or polo there is no random element as such that will appear all the time. So long as most of the people going are of a good level of skill then one jump will be much the same as the previous and the odd pole down isn't much action. That is unless you start looking for the little differences - the horse that kicks in the air at the peek of a jump; the one that bucks 3 strides after; the rider that sticks their legs out more sideways when going over.
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post #14 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 07:06 AM
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It sounds like you photographing dressage or show jumping would be like me photographing golf. I think it's the most boring thing in the world to watch. It sounds as if your passion is the camera not the horse and rider.
My definition of having passion for something is not the investment of time. I have invested enormous amounts of time in things that I don't have a passion for. I do enjoy these things, just not a strong passion. Example, I have a couple of parrots and have spent plenty of time reading everything about them. I want to know the proper way to house them, feed them, and interact with them. I want to know what makes them happy. I don't want to keep a pet and have them be miserable because of my ignorance. Do I have a passion for birds? Not really, but I do enjoy them for a pet. I do however have a passion for horses. It's in my heart and always has been since I can remember. I can muck stalls all day and it's not work.

As far as photos go, I think the best ones are when you capture expression. Whether it be concentration, elation, sadness, enjoyment or whatever. That would be for the horse and the rider at the same time and that's where it gets hard. That being said, it doesn't totally matter how a movement is being executed except for the expression that it is creating.

It would probably be easier to understand dressage movements if you understood why those movements are being asked of the horse. Dressage is training and a good amount of people explain this but they don't explain that it is not the end all that more and more treat it to be. Dressage is training the horse to move a certain way and carry itself in a certain way with a rider so that when it is working cattle, in battle or anything else, it doesn't break itself down. All of this is done with the horse and rider so in tune to each other that these movements are executed seamlessly.

That being said, I think as a photographer, you would be looking for fluidity of movement and expression more than specific postures.
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post #15 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 08:51 AM
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Thank you for starting this thread, Overread. You seem to have a good understanding of how knowledge of details can make anything more interesting. As Chasin Ponies points out, these shows would be much more interesting with knowledgeable commentators.

Capturing details in still photographs can be very difficult if these details involve softness and fluidity of movement. This factor would make photographing good dressage performances much more difficult than photographing the more dramatic movement of show jumping. Consider how difficult it can be to capture in a still photograph the difference between a muscle that varies only in tension from one that varies between light tension and relaxation.

As you mention, taking photographs of what superficially appears to be the same actions repeated over and over again may not be very exciting. You seem to appreciate the importance of finding a unique viewpoint. This reminds me of when I was on the sports staff of the school newspaper in high school. I was bored with simply writing about different players shooting baskets during a basketball game. I decided to interview a referee and write a human interest article on basketball from the referee’s perspective. I won some kind of award for this piece.

If you truly want to photograph show jumping and dressage, observe and listen to the individuals involved – both human and horse. Seek to determine what interests them and try to capture this in your photographs. As LoriF points out, you might find interest in capturing different expressions.

While reading books on the theory of the events might help you, understanding the passion of the participants may inspire you even more. Here are some suggestions:

“My Horses, My Teachers” by Alois Podhajsky. Podhajsky was a cavalry officer, Olympic competitor, and director of the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna for almost three decades.

“Reflections on Equestrian Art” by Nuno Oliveira. Oliveira was a world renown Portuguese rider and trainer. He was one of only a few riders who could balance a horse so well that it actually cantered backwards.

“The Songs of Horses” by Paul Belasik. This book contains seven stories told in first person of various riders from different parts of the world during different periods of history. The stories delve into the passion and interests of these riders that drove them to approach riding in different ways.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies View Post
The thing I really would like to see is better commentators when jumping or dressage is shown on TV. They always seem to hire someone who cannot or will not explain the finer points of what you are seeing. I personally would love to watch those classes with a running commentary of what the judges are (or might be) thinking. I think we might see more of the Olympic equestrian events on TV if they could explain what is going on a little better!
I can't speak for dressage, but as an FYI, going back to 2012 I have started about 20 threads in the English riding forum when there is a live streaming show jumping event. Almost all have knowledgeable commentators that are current or past competitors. NBC Sports sometimes broadcasts Grand Prix show jumping and it looks like they are using a very good commentator now.
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post #17 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 11:21 AM
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Overread - freejumping is spectacular and as a photographer, you would love it. I have seen it and it is really something to witness an unencumbered horse without so much as a halter on, stretching over the jump, every muscle tensed and completely focused on the task without that pesky rider messing it up (that pesky rider would be me if I were ever to attempt jumping). If you ever have a chance, go see it!
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 12:17 PM
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It doesn't look as though anyone else on this thread will share this opinion, but I'm going to say that the purpose of this thread seems lost on me. It's essentially the ultimate of first world problems.

No one is forcing you to attend a show jumping or dressage event just for funsies. So, in a word, don't go. Find another discipline or another sport, or purchase your own horse to photograph under your own specifications.
In a few words: suck it up, Buttercup.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #19 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Lori - I'd say watching horses and riders is far more entertaining than golf - or bowls or cricket or tennis.
Expression is certainly something I look for; in that I already have to start learning how to read expressions on a horses face. The oft quoted attentive ears forward is an easy one (to learn in theory - in practice harder to capture). So its about learning other looks a horse has and doesn't have and what they might and do mean.

TX you raise an interesting approach and indeed more biography style books might be a better approach than technical. If written right they might well contain a wealth of information in a more accessible and less dry form; also including more individual experiences helps build up a better idea of real world mannerisms and results not just the idealistic textbook approach.

Acadian I will have to look it up more; though it appears quite uncommon, though hopefully there is something local.

Zexious - I think you missed the point a little. It's not that I find no interest at all at showjumping, I do. Behind the camera I do find enjoyment otherwise I wouldn't bother going at all nor investing in trying to learn more either. The point I was raising is that without the camera I find little to nothing to entertain me during a showjumping event - there's nothing for me to focus upon. And thus I put it partly down to the understanding - appreciation for the skill I can have - but not an actual understanding for what is going on at the more subtle level (I can certainly understand that a horse and rider jump over the jumps in the right order in the shortest time and without hitting anything). Thus the discussion in looking for resources and viewpoints on understanding a bit more and through a greater understanding achieve a potential greater interest.
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post #20 of 25 Old 04-28-2015, 01:57 PM
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I'm curious, is being a horse show photographer something you want to do as a profession?
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