May 5, 2009

Post Script - Post Haste

Oh, and by the way I did end up getting to the Arabian horse show on Saturday. I like how when I haven't gone to a show in a while, I can get SO excited about it. I do little dances and talk really fast. And then I get to the show and remember how boring they kind of are. At least if you're not participating in some capacity. I always forget that. By the next show I be completely psyched again. Cue me already getting interested in heading down to another show again next weekend.

Anyway, it was fun in its own way. I like seeing that Arabians are very different animals compared to the horses of my youth. They are solid with big bone structure -- horses that look every bit as versatile as they are. There were a couple of just gorgeous Western pleasure horses that took my breath away. I wish I could have seen them trot out a little more (I guarantee some of them would have made amazing Dressage prospects).

But I didn't take any pictures because all I only felt compelled to take pictures of bad (see cruel) training methods demonstrated during the lunch break. I figured that moving to a new town only to Internet-shame my fellow horsemen would probably not be the best move. Sometimes I do have a flash of wisdom that keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Yeah so anyway it was depressing, but not terribly surprising, that all the same devices are being used to create those beautiful artificial headsets. And what's so stupid is that with a bit of time and some intensive training, you could totally teach throughness and get the horse nice and round without all the devices. I, in fact, would love to be the type of person who sweeps in and revolutionizes the Arabian world by training saddleseat, western, show hack, etc...all under the influence of classical dressage methods. And then I would win everything and become a hero.

Whoa there! I need to rein (heh heh) in my tendencies to revert to my 8-year-old self.

But all joking aside, why couldn't I do precisely that? I suppose I have always been the dressage rider who tends to be doing everything except just dressage. Maybe it's just that I am stuck in this old mentality that dressage is simply a set of good tools that you use every time you mount a horse. The whole sport aspect of dressage is just a way to compete and show off your "mad skillz" in riding and training. But that's not all it has to offer. Why aren't dressage riders and trainers teaching everyone, regardless of riding discipline? That's my goal. I mean, I even hesitate sometimes before mentioning that I am a dressage rider and trainer. Because I either encounter two people: the ones who seem to love the niche-y, insular connotation of that word OR you have the people who politely nod and seem to be thinking to themselves, "she has nothing to offer me." I hate that. I want to show the potential of showing how my methods can be applied to all riding. Dressage isn't a dirty word. I promise I am not a horse elitist.

On the contrary, I live for the flaring nostrils and toe-flicking of the english pleasure horse. I adore the silvery, sequiny splendor of the western pleasure horse. There is individuality and drama there. It's like a horse-y soap opera that I can't turn away from. No, my only problem lies in the fact that I can easily live with myself for getting swept into General Hospital, but there's far more guilt in loving a fancy western pleasure horse that has just spent the previous hour with its nose tied to its chest.

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