Friday, April 27, 2012

What The Friday

 Continuing with my new theme "what the friday" I was going to write about this ...

...I found this gem while searching for stock photos for drawing, on a web page chock full of cray cray pictures. Another day. Another day.

This weeks "what the Friday" is about dressage days at Rolex.

I can sum it up  in about two words. Awfully disastrous.

I don't even know where to start my WTF rant about the abysmal dressage I watched on the USEF network. I will start with the statement, HOW IN THE WORLD DID HALF THOSE HORSES EVER MSKE IT TO 4* LEVEL? How?!

I saw more stiff, tense, disgusting transitions, lifeless extensions, horrid counter canters, messy flying changes, improper free walks and awful gaits than I do at any horse show I attend. AWFUL! I understand they are competing in a massive arena, but a 4* horse should know how to free walk.

Exibit A:

Isn't that wonderful? Working from behind, seeking contact, supple over the back. Lovely.

Exibit B:

Yeah thats not even a free walk at all. Maybe...MAYBE one could consider the slightly more active hind end, but in no way, shape or form does that horse (who resembles what most of these Rolex horses were doing) have an inkling of a free walk in there. Not a glimmer. The thing that makes a free walk different is the giving and seeking/stretching into the contact, swinging barrel and engaged hind end.

I just feel that a movement required at EVERY level of eventing, should at least be mastered by a 4* horse.

Not to mention the absolutely horrific scores. I would die if I ever got anything above a 45, ever. I mean I have once and I'm never telling anyone just how bad it was, but it was my first event, so whatevs) Numerous times I saw 50-60 scores. Yes, again, I know its a difficult test, but maybe the reason they are so bad is because the horses are faking it!!!! Ask any dressage rider (which I did), these tests were the worst I've ever seen at Rolex. I was rather dissapointed.

Makes me feel pretty awesome knowing my little OTTB has a better free walk (and other movements) than some of those big shot ponies. It also depresses me, since I've never been able to shwo above training for lack of $. Le sigh.

Granted, there were some fabulous tests and I wasn't able to catch everyone. Karen O'Conner had nice ones, as did the ever beautiful, Doug Payne, Peter Barry on Kilroden Abbott (a horse I've never seen, but was blown away by) who I felt got jipped with a score of 60 and of course, Arthur and Alison Springer who is in first with a 39!

Overall, I'm just annoyed with the riders not assuring their 4* horses know simple basics.

PUMPED to watch Cross Country all day tomorrow though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stillwater Stables

I originally had another post today, but in the light of my favorite instructor putting out her video, I wanted to share with you all!

I rode with Connie before she became a non-profit org., taking dressage lessons. She helped me with Yankeeface and his excitable nature and taught me how to teach a baby dressage. She is a wonderful person and I love what she has done for the community with her farm.

I actually donated Dolly (my first horse, an older Arab mare. See "previous horses" tab above in pages) to her stable in hopes that Dolly would make a god child riding horse. Sadly, when her husband, like my father, got laid off from DHL, they had to sell her. Then, several of their horses had medical issues and they lost almost all of their riding horses.

Over time, and the gracious help of others, they regained their footing and are truckign on stronger than ever.

I just wanted to share her story with you all, since she was such a huge part of my teenage life.

PS I despise this new blogger. Why, blogger. WHY.