Aug 25, 2008

Gold Medal Grievances

Okay, this may not be the most popular viewpoint seeing as how Anky and Salinero are our Gold Medal winners in the Olympics, but I have a MAJOR problem with any horse and rider combination that cannot halt at the beginning and end of each test. My 5 year old kids on their cranky ponies can halt; how can we allow a Grand Prix rider not halt and remain completely immobile for 10-15 seconds? I do not care that the ride was spectacular. I do not care that the horse is 'hot' and being in a huge stadium with strange noises, etc...are making him explosive. Train him, desensitize him. I don't know - figure it out, but he should be able to halt. Dressage is just a fancy word for training. So, please train your horse to stop, m'kay? And if you can't then maybe he shouldn't be a dressage horse. I frankly don't see any reason that simply because international judges seem to think Salinero is the next best thing to sliced bread, I should also think so. He may, in fact, be amazingly talented. I would even venture to say that I am sure he is. But it's masked behind the tension in the back, the unnatural head carriage, and the 'saddleseat' trot. Everything about him screams artificial, in the same way that I instinctively knew that there was something a little off with those big-trotting park horses in the Arabian show world. It's time to go back to basics and fill in that cracked foundation.

Oh, and one more thing: I would just like to say that we all admit the sport of dressage is overly steeped in contrived traditions. But so long as it is and we all continue to look like posh little dandies at Grand Prix level, then we had better damn well salute the judges upon entering and exiting the arena. And I don't care who you are, if you forget to do it 'well, sorry, better luck next time.'

No comments: