Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

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Tanga
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Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:07 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17pEWB2 ... EwMugvpeVU

I love this video. I having been saying this over and over. I get reemed on COTH for saying the judges are really hurting dressage by placing IW as the best in the world when her horses are incorrect.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Rosie B » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:33 pm

Very interesting that the photo of Gigolo which is being held up as a standard of excellence is at a different moment in the stride than all the other “bad” photos. In all the “bad” photos the horse is still carrying weight on one of the diagonal pairs but with the one of Gigolo neither diagonal pair is really weighted. You could even argue that the gait isn’t pure because one foot in the diagonal pair is still on the ground and the other is not.

Comparing different phases of the stride is like comparing apples to oranges.

If this is this is all they can find to crap on with modern dressage, maybe they should go back to the drawing board.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:26 pm

Hm. Not the take I have. I don't think it's a crap on modern dressage, but on riders and judging and what is being allowed as correct. It is disturbing to me that someone who is clearly a talented rider with all of the resources in the world is being held up as the epitome on horse after horse when, on horse after horse you see dropped backs, out behind, necks pulled up. I see the same things consistently in her videos all of the time, and if you translate the ClipMyHorse video comments, the Europeans see it too, and are appalled that she still does so well.

It's the trend a lot of people are seeing in more and more horses where it's all about flashy gaits and not correct training. The images of CD and Freestyle show the same thing. Not all of the top horses are like this, but it's disturbing that the judges are rewarding it and holding it up as the epitome instead of rewarding correctness.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Rosie B » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:32 pm

I don’t think you can objectively evaluate how an entire continent feels about something by reading some YouTube comments under a video.

Pretty much any horse video on the internet that reaches enough views is chock full of comments from whackos who know nothing about horses.

There’s absolutely nothing as effective as the internet for folks who are looking for validation.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby musical comedy » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:40 pm

I remember about 15 or more years ago one of my trainers telling me something Marriett Withages had to say about this subject. From what I remember, the top judges were not penalizing this because it was due to natural extreme shoulder freedom. No hindleg could match that.

The other thing is that as good as the top judges may be, can they really see all the detail that we can in a paused shot?

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:43 am

If Gigolo was the most decorated horse of his time, why was Marzog voted best dressage horse of the (same) century?

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:39 am

I don't remember saying anything about how an entire continent feels. Hmm. I mentioned that you see many Europeans commenting on the same issue, while it seems Americans don't ever want to say anything about it.

If the comment by Withages is true, I think that signals a problem in breeding. The shoulders are free, or are they becoming Saddlebreds where it's about natural exaggerated movement? I think she was alluding to that, albeit not clearly, in her comments.

No one expects top judges to see everything in a snapshot. To be clear, I think in general the judging is very good, but the favoritism is a big problem. When I watch the videos or saw these horses live, I saw the same problems without needing still shots. When people doubted me, I posted videos and where they cold see it as a moment in time. I am certainly not the best in the world, so if I can see this, I know these judges can. So, the issue is, why are the ignoring the need for correctness in basics and not really penalizing these major issues?

I don't know if Gigolo was the most decorated horse of his time. That's just what she says. I also never heard Marzog was the best horse of the century. That was slightly before my awareness of a lot of this, but looking back at videos of all of those horses, he would certainly not be my pick.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:08 am

I agree that the selection of Marzog is curious.

http://thehorseridersjournal.com/one-in-a-century/

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Josette » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:38 am

IMO the long term soundness issues mentioned caught my attention. It seems they breed and push these horses to the max for this sport (and other equine sports) without consideration for the welfare of the animal. OT but very sad when I see sale advertisements of very young horses doing higher level work. What I understood was beyond that age for their physical and mental maturity. :( just my opinion......

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby musical comedy » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:51 am

Tanga wrote:If the comment by Withages is true, I think that signals a problem in breeding. The shoulders are free, or are they becoming Saddlebreds where it's about natural exaggerated movement? I think she was alluding to that, albeit not clearly, in her comments.
I can't say. I wonder if those of us older people dislike the current movers because we are just used to the way it used to be. The younger riders grew up with this, so they accept and like it.

I'm in the camp that doesn't follow the riding of bnt's. I don't watch their videos or even look much at their photos. Horse sports have gotten to the point where it's all about more more more. Higher, faster, more sit, more this/that.

That photo of Gigolo is lovely but it looks like a typical second level medium of one of today's fancy horses.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tsavo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:09 pm

I think the comment about freer shoulder is pure genius if it is substantiated. Very clever response. I think we need someone like Clayton to measure that. Otherwise it is spit-balling.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:24 pm

Let's say I think the bias against current GP (justified or not) makes me suspect they pull the very worst from today and have the best from yesteryear. I know these horses, as I started following dressage in the early 90s quite seriously.

I don't know how they are sampling these slow motion frames, lets make sure they are trying to start from an equal playing field. Of what I have seen of these "bashing dressage" videos I am just not sure that is the case. We can all pull awful frames from our videos, but that doesn't mean we are riding badly.

I don't think they are completely off base but when there is a hard agenda against current dressage, they will always find something to complain about.

My opinion: its much better than it was 10 yrs ago, and for that I am thankful. All I can do is train and ride with classical principles and educate when I can.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:26 pm

I don't think there is an agenda against dressage. Let me repeat that I think most of the judging is far better than it used to be, and the riding and horses are far better. But, I love the sport like so many people, and I think we always need to look at the issues in it to continue to improve it and not destroy it.

Like I said, these aren't just still shots pulled. I can see it immediately in any live riding I see and in videos, and I know the judges can. It's really nor about picking apart the minutia, but about seeing a trend that could really ruin the sport.

The horses are far better than they used to be and bred for this look, which is good and the problem. I think the person on the video was trying to say that. The problem with naturally talented horses is that they seem to be able to do it with ease. The huge problem with that is that correct dressage requires years of careful training and conditioning to be able to do it. It's sort of like being naturally talented at ballet and think that after five years of training one can be on a top ballet company. No one would ever consider that because of the training and conditioning required to get there, and it would not be correct. This is what I see in dressage.

My big issue is always riding horses too young and too hard. All of the research on bone growth says we really shouldn't be riding until they are four, and not starting the harder, collected work until they are six or seven. And this goes along with the principals of dressage. That's how long it takes for the bones to close, the soft tissue development to support it, and the training to understand it. I really, really, really don't like the breeders selling three and four year olds at auction being riding in these super high/forward frames. I really, really don't like that at the lower levels we see winning horses in super high frames moving like saddlebreds and the young horse tests that look like they're ready to go GP. And we're seeing far too many nine year olds doing top sport GP, and winning. This is the problem I think. It's become less about the training and more about pushing natural ability. I don't think this is good for the horses and don't think they will be sound and going into their late 20's and 30's like the Lippizanners, and I don't think it's good for the sport.

Interesting about being older riders and what we're used to. I've been riding dressage almost 35 years ago. A friend of mine rode an imported stallion that was a top team contender that was considered incorrect and marked down often for "toe flicking." If you look at his videos now, he looks like any modern good horse. He was a great horse, but I think the mark downs were correct. I think that's what we need to do now.

It comes down to judging, because that drives how people ride and train and what sells. Whether they like it or not, the judges guide what happens. Much of what we see now is wonderful. Just as the shift happened in judging from Anky to Charlotte and the huge up and tight to the super relaxed of Valegro, it has shifted back. CD is now riding like that, and everyone is all about let's see how high we can pull the head. You can watch the top riders in the Olympics on every video popping their horses in the mouth to keep them up and they are not nailed for it. When judges start doing that and nailing the top riders for not being under behind and through the back, people will change.

IW is a smart woman. She used to ride all of her horses with much shorter, tighter necks. She must have gotten nailed for it because you can see a change and her horses have more openness in the neck. If she started getting proper 4's and 5's on her extended trots (and of course everyone else) when they are not correct, she would change it immediately and everyone would follow.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby musical comedy » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:58 pm

Tanga, I pretty much agree with all you've written. I'd add that I see judging problems in the local level, regional, and national levels here in USA. Horses don't just break down because of bnt's riding them too young and too much. They can break down from incorrect lower level riders' training and riding too, even if that is done by ignorance.

Going back to the inbred free shoulder thing, I've also often wondered if these uber horses have just so much energy, impulsion, swing or what have you, that it becomes impossible to get them over the back ala classical and they have to torque them in to funky frames.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:38 pm

Tanga wrote:I don't think there is an agenda against dressage. Let me repeat that I think most of the judging is far better than it used to be, and the riding and horses are far better. But, I love the sport like so many people, and I think we always need to look at the issues in it to continue to improve it and not destroy it.

Like I said, these aren't just still shots pulled. I can see it immediately in any live riding I see and in videos, and I know the judges can. It's really nor about picking apart the minutia, but about seeing a trend that could really ruin the sport.

The horses are far better than they used to be and bred for this look, which is good and the problem. I think the person on the video was trying to say that. The problem with naturally talented horses is that they seem to be able to do it with ease. The huge problem with that is that correct dressage requires years of careful training and conditioning to be able to do it. It's sort of like being naturally talented at ballet and think that after five years of training one can be on a top ballet company. No one would ever consider that because of the training and conditioning required to get there, and it would not be correct. This is what I see in dressage.

My big issue is always riding horses too young and too hard. All of the research on bone growth says we really shouldn't be riding until they are four, and not starting the harder, collected work until they are six or seven. And this goes along with the principals of dressage. That's how long it takes for the bones to close, the soft tissue development to support it, and the training to understand it. I really, really, really don't like the breeders selling three and four year olds at auction being riding in these super high/forward frames. I really, really don't like that at the lower levels we see winning horses in super high frames moving like saddlebreds and the young horse tests that look like they're ready to go GP. And we're seeing far too many nine year olds doing top sport GP, and winning. This is the problem I think. It's become less about the training and more about pushing natural ability. I don't think this is good for the horses and don't think they will be sound and going into their late 20's and 30's like the Lippizanners, and I don't think it's good for the sport.

Interesting about being older riders and what we're used to. I've been riding dressage almost 35 years ago. A friend of mine rode an imported stallion that was a top team contender that was considered incorrect and marked down often for "toe flicking." If you look at his videos now, he looks like any modern good horse. He was a great horse, but I think the mark downs were correct. I think that's what we need to do now.

It comes down to judging, because that drives how people ride and train and what sells. Whether they like it or not, the judges guide what happens. Much of what we see now is wonderful. Just as the shift happened in judging from Anky to Charlotte and the huge up and tight to the super relaxed of Valegro, it has shifted back. CD is now riding like that, and everyone is all about let's see how high we can pull the head. You can watch the top riders in the Olympics on every video popping their horses in the mouth to keep them up and they are not nailed for it. When judges start doing that and nailing the top riders for not being under behind and through the back, people will change.

IW is a smart woman. She used to ride all of her horses with much shorter, tighter necks. She must have gotten nailed for it because you can see a change and her horses have more openness in the neck. If she started getting proper 4's and 5's on her extended trots (and of course everyone else) when they are not correct, she would change it immediately and everyone would follow.



CD seems to be doing just fine https://youtu.be/VNdNa-5pmZE This is still a very young horse at this level, you can see some loss of balance but still nice work

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:26 pm

musical comedy wrote:Tanga, I pretty much agree with all you've written. I'd add that I see judging problems in the local level, regional, and national levels here in USA. Horses don't just break down because of bnt's riding them too young and too much. They can break down from incorrect lower level riders' training and riding too, even if that is done by ignorance.

Going back to the inbred free shoulder thing, I've also often wondered if these uber horses have just so much energy, impulsion, swing or what have you, that it becomes impossible to get them over the back ala classical and they have to torque them in to funky frames.


Agreed. There are of course many issues. This is just my take on it.

Interesting idea on the movement. I bought a horse for a client a long time back that was a very extravagant mover (TB) but I worried about him staying sound because he would, as you say, torque out. He did. He ended up having lax tendons and getting worse and worse and worse over time. I think there are many worries people have about this breeding, and this sort of discussion is needed to maintain a positive direction with dressage.
Last edited by Tanga on Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:36 pm

Ryeissa wrote:CD seems to be doing just fine https://youtu.be/VNdNa-5pmZE This is still a very young horse at this level, you can see some loss of balance but still nice work


I think you're missing the point here. CD just got eliminated for blood on Freestyle. Have you seen the FB posts showing the exact same issues with the dropped back and hind legs out in this mare? And this mare was NINE when she was competing GP at the top level at the WEG. Yes, she looked nice, but is that good? Can you truly get a horse physically prepared for correct top sport dressage in five years? That was I think an issue with SP's Rosamunde, who is also a stunning mare. She was in top sport at nine and sometimes she was good, and sometimes it looked like too much for her. They seem to be giving her a lot of time off, which I think is good. And both of these are riders that I admire and think are good.

I get that it's easy to want to push them. Last year I started my 10 year old at GP. She was doing the I-2 and liked it, so I did it. She started OK, as showing the movements is always a learning curve. Then she started losing it and freaking out sometimes, her choice being in the one tempis. So, I dropped her back down. Because I always show at two levels and the USDF says I-1 and I-2 are NOT consecutive levels (long rant and story about that) I showed her PSG and I-1 this year at 11. We're staying away from the ones and going back to basics, strengthening and conditioning. I made the wrong decision to try to show that because she was talented. I'm certainly not at the level of these people, but I don't think even being a super rider and doing everything perfectly you push the time it truly takes to prepare a horse. I will go back to checking on the one tempis after championships and see if she is ready to go back and try it next year.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Chisamba » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:26 pm

My criticism of the video is that you can pick photos that demonstrated your point of view if you already have a point of view. it is harder to ignore your point of view , look at a lot of film and attempt to develop an unbiased opinion.

Tanga, if all you can say about Charlotte is that she had a spur mark, you are demonstrating the ability to make an opinion on a whole body of work, on a very small and negative incident, which to my mind puts you in the category of an observer who is not objective .

why does there have to be something wrong with modern dressage? why do people spend so much time and effort to criticize the sport. I think there are two reasons, once being quite sinister. A lot of media is controlled by the ARM and Peta, their soldiers join in and amplify any discussion especially negative, relating to any domesticated animals. then the social media lynch mob steps into gear and the job of the soldiers is carried by the pack.

I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with breeding trends, riding trends , modern dressage, i think we have the same percentage of users, takers, abusers mixed in with the very real horse lovers, tryers, talented up and covers, stuck in the rut average riders, etc etc etc. lots of talented riders do not make it for lack of finances and truly talented horses, and lots do not care, they enjoy their journey where they are and what they are aspiring too. I do think the horses have changed but i do not think that humanity has changed that much.

so i guess i am saying that i simply do not agree with the premise of the video, although it was well done and well explained its pov

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:56 pm

Chisamba, I agree with your point about the video. But, that does not make it wrong. Like I said, I saw this just watching a lot of film and live horses. And when people challenged me to prove it, I did as this woman did. If you have another view of it, that's fine. The point is to discuss it.

I'm not sure where you got "all" I had to say about CD was a spur mark. I said many things, which you ignored, so to quote you, " which to my mind puts you in the category of an observer who is not objective ." I was trying to present other responses, because someone else I was discussing this with brought that up and ripped into CD as Edward Scissorhands. I don't think she is perfect or terrible, but in no way do I think she is abusive. I think she is a very good rider, but I have seen a change in her riding.

I'm not sure I understand you criticism with saying what's wrong with modern dressage. People take time to criticize for two main reasons. One is as you state. The other is the actual meaning of the word. Being critical means to look at something carefully and closely, to examine it and pull it apart and talk about it. I think this is what a lot of people like to do in areas that interest them, and discuss the good and bad areas and what can be improved.

I, again, 100% agree with your statement about horses and how things change and stay the same. I don't agree 100% with your view of the video, but I agree with your assessment of it. I think it presents a POV of a trend in dressage many people are talking about and concerned about.

So, besides discussing the ideas in it, which we like to do because we like horses and dressage and thinking, where to go with it? I think/hope it will be another trend in dressage where the turn is back to more correctness and training and less about the mechanical brilliance. Kyra Kyrklund always comes to mind when I think of this. She rode many horses, and they weren't always brilliant, but it was all about accuracy and training. I would like to see a change in the change and the standards that takes away from that untrainable "brilliance" and goes back to correctness and training. I don't know if my wishes will influence anyone, but I find it interesting to discuss and am enjoying this one. It's not like I have an issue or choices in riding where I have to choose between a world beater horse with flamboyant gaits and a perfectly trained one.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Chisamba » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:40 am

I think perhaps it is more difficult now to do well with an average horse even if you are an above average rider. I think perhaps when i started out in the sport, fourty years ago, it seemed that you could get fairly good scores on an average horse. I also see that there are quite a few local judges who bought trained school master type horses so that they could get their judges card. I think at that level, it makes it hard because the judges do not actually know what it takes to train a horse through the levels, because they have not done so themselves. so they judge the flashy horses high in the lower levels not the horses that are showing the correct basics. once you get up a bit higher in the national levels, it evens out a bit, but then if you get to the FEI levels, and i may never get there again, IDK, but once you get there i think the flashy horses score a bit higher again.

but judges are also just humans making a living doing a rather thankless job.

I do think you are right about the tendency to rush horses along. I don't know if that is a new thing though. Back when i was in diapers, ( joke) i remember a rider bringing horses very quickly to the upper levels and then having to start a new one because the old one broke.

as for interesting discussions, nowadays i would rather just ride. ride my horses, learn progress , enjoy, whatever. I think of all the time people spend on making video, watching other riders, maybe when you get too hurt to ride anymore that is a way to spend time and still be involved, i know i would just not have the time to spare.

once i made silhouettes it purposefully hid the identity of the horse and rider, of a bunch of horses ridden in the same particular movements, passage, piaffe, half pass, pirouette. and included one of me in each, I posted them on the old UDBB for comment, but no one bothered to say much because they could not see who the people were. i realized trying to get an objective opinion was not going to happen, either people were afraid they would approve of a rider they were supposed to hate, or they were not interested if there was not a name attached to the photo to rip apart or love.

so i do not waste my time on others opinions anymore. I look for articles if i am struggling with something, or i look at riders doing the sport i enjoy, for the sake of enjoyent.

just me, just my motive, just my life. not expecting anyone to alter their activities or enjoyment because of it

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:23 am

Tanga wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:CD seems to be doing just fine https://youtu.be/VNdNa-5pmZE This is still a very young horse at this level, you can see some loss of balance but still nice work


I think you're missing the point here. CD just got eliminated for blood on Freestyle. Have you seen the FB posts showing the exact same issues with the dropped back and hind legs out in this mare? And this mare was NINE when she was competing GP at the top level at the WEG. Yes, she looked nice, but is that good? Can you truly get a horse physically prepared for correct top sport dressage in five years? That was I think an issue with SP's Rosamunde, who is also a stunning mare. She was in top sport at nine and sometimes she was good, and sometimes it looked like too much for her. They seem to be giving her a lot of time off, which I think is good. And both of these are riders that I admire and think are good.

I get that it's easy to want to push them. Last year I started my 10 year old at GP. She was doing the I-2 and liked it, so I did it. She started OK, as showing the movements is always a learning curve. Then she started losing it and freaking out sometimes, her choice being in the one tempis. So, I dropped her back down. Because I always show at two levels and the USDF says I-1 and I-2 are NOT consecutive levels (long rant and story about that) I showed her PSG and I-1 this year at 11. We're staying away from the ones and going back to basics, strengthening and conditioning. I made the wrong decision to try to show that because she was talented. I'm certainly not at the level of these people, but I don't think even being a super rider and doing everything perfectly you push the time it truly takes to prepare a horse. I will go back to checking on the one tempis after championships and see if she is ready to go back and try it next year.


Well I like CDJ and think its a lovely horse. Yes I have read about the blood but she's not a horse abuser, doesn't ride RK or push horses. I'm not sure what point you are making.
Rosamunde was very green at GP and shouldn't have been there but I think we all have already established that.....
Good luck with your horse. It seems you (like the rest of us) want to do what is best.
I'm not other wise sure what you are getting at. You are confusing me with saying you both like and dislike something.
No one is perfect and we don't hero worship here....I'd rather discuss a specific score or video.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:21 am

Chisamba, once again, I 100% agree with you on the way things were "back then." You could do OK on average horses. It's really hard to do that now. And I really agree on the judges not having trained the horses. I think judging is FAR better than it used to be, but because of the nature of judging (it is a thankless job, way too hard, way too underpaid, and way too much travel) it's not getting people who really have been riding and training horses up the levels forever, which would be ideal. Janet Foy was not happy when I commented on FB about the 63% score needed at FEI to ride a freestyle was not realistic and not fair. She commented she had ridden many off breeds and average horses at that level. I asked her when the "last" time she had ridden FEI was, not to be rude, but to see if she really understood that 15/20 years ago it wasn't "that hard" to get 63% at FEI on an average horse, but now, it's really, really, really hard. Ideally, these judges would be training and showing horses at the level they are judging so they keep the perspective.

I saw someone who put sillouettes on various horses to demonstrate correctness. I would have loved to discuss that. I don't know why people didn't comment. I also don't know why people are so scared to have their own opinions about things. You may be wrong, but how do you learn if you don't put it out there and discuss it? I wouldn't spend the time making the video this woman did, but I love the ideas presented. I try to see as many perspectives as possible and listen to many opinions, because that is what showing gives us. I think it makes me a better rider because I can always get at least a slightly new perspective or new idea to try to be better. It always amazes me that when I look back a week, a month, or year ago, how little I knew and how much more I learned over time! You'd think I would have gotten it 30, 20, 10 years ago. :)

Just from my view, I like your opinions. It makes me think and clarify what I am thinking. I have a friend that I met who I mostly talk online to that loves to discuss horses and dressage unendingly, just because she does. It's great. It's wonderful to have fellow geeks.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Chisamba » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:16 pm

Tanga, I am curious if you took a video of Gigalo. And froze it multiple times, if you could not find a moment in the trot where his legs "every leg pointed in a different direction"

If I was technically proficient, I would search his film to look.

Like a previous poster noted, comparing different stages of the stride is not technically sound.

I found it suspicious that the presenter did not put all of the horses she used to demonstrate in the same moment of stride.

Why? Surely there is film or video of all of these horses to compare?

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:29 pm

Tanga wrote:Chisamba, once again, I 100% agree with you on the way things were "back then." You could do OK on average horses. It's really hard to do that now. And I really agree on the judges not having trained the horses. I think judging is FAR better than it used to be, but because of the nature of judging (it is a thankless job, way too hard, way too underpaid, and way too much travel) it's not getting people who really have been riding and training horses up the levels forever, which would be ideal. Janet Foy was not happy when I commented on FB about the 63% score needed at FEI to ride a freestyle was not realistic and not fair. She commented she had ridden many off breeds and average horses at that level. I asked her when the "last" time she had ridden FEI was, not to be rude, but to see if she really understood that 15/20 years ago it wasn't "that hard" to get 63% at FEI on an average horse, but now, it's really, really, really hard. Ideally, these judges would be training and showing horses at the level they are judging so they keep the perspective.

I saw someone who put sillouettes on various horses to demonstrate correctness. I would have loved to discuss that. I don't know why people didn't comment. I also don't know why people are so scared to have their own opinions about things. You may be wrong, but how do you learn if you don't put it out there and discuss it? I wouldn't spend the time making the video this woman did, but I love the ideas presented. I try to see as many perspectives as possible and listen to many opinions, because that is what showing gives us. I think it makes me a better rider because I can always get at least a slightly new perspective or new idea to try to be better. It always amazes me that when I look back a week, a month, or year ago, how little I knew and how much more I learned over time! You'd think I would have gotten it 30, 20, 10 years ago. :)

Just from my view, I like your opinions. It makes me think and clarify what I am thinking. I have a friend that I met who I mostly talk online to that loves to discuss horses and dressage unendingly, just because she does. It's great. It's wonderful to have fellow geeks.


Where are you showing? the impressions of "the state of US dressage" varies widely. I have known and see many different breeds successful at GP but I do understand the concerns.

Can we see pics of you lovely horse? where have you been showing and what is the vibe? are you happy with your scores?

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby khall » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:23 pm

I saw Gigilo and IW in person at the '96 Olympics, I thought he looked like a ASB myself and did not like his type. I saw IW on Warum Night in 2010 at WEG(take a look at the picture of him in this video, see that huge bulge C3-C4?) I wanted to yank her off the horse, what I saw was abusive riding. We happened to pass by the stadium after the reining finals were over and the US, Dutch and Germans were going over their freestyles the night before, so we got to see training that was often not shown when in front of a crowd. I don't care if IW is one of the most decorated dressage riders ever, she is not nor has she ever been my cup of tea.

As for the breeding of WBs these days, I do see soundness problems with what is being produced with these uber movers. Two things: one is the laxity of the tendons and ligaments that allows for the extreme flexibility and suppleness we see in these uber movers. DSLD is an issue in some of the lines of these top WBs. I personally knew of a D line broodmare that had severely dropped fetlocks in the rear, was bred and her foals were premium foals when they were inspected. Those foals had so much elasticity that they would hyper flex in the hock in movement.

The other is the high set neck with long legs often leads to hi/lo hoof issues and grazing stance issues. You look at the older style horses they were more rectangular, with shorter legs and now the horses are bred to be more square with longer legs and very high set necks. Not conducive to sound hoof development.

Those are my observations after being involved in WB breeding in a small way since '89.

My personally bred WBs are more old lines, with the shorter legs from their grandsire.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:33 pm

Ryeissa wrote:Where are you showing? the impressions of "the state of US dressage" varies widely. I have known and see many different breeds successful at GP but I do understand the concerns.

Can we see pics of you lovely horse? where have you been showing and what is the vibe? are you happy with your scores?


Odd to be pushing for pics. There's no competence/photo posting requirement here for these conversations.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:39 pm

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Last edited by Ryeissa on Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:50 pm

Chisamba, I actually didn't look at the Gigolo pictures much. I'm not really interested in specific horses, but just the concepts and discussing the ideas, which I am enjoying very much.I agree with your comments. I did not search out this video, but just saw it and her commenting on the issues I see in IW's horses in particular, so thought it would be a good discussion.

In discussing this with someone else, to segue on to what you said earlier about conformation, I wonder if it has something to do with the types of horses she prefers. She seems to pick horses who are piaffe/passage masters, and is there something about that conformation that leads to not being able to do a good extended trot?

khall--Love your comments.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:59 pm

Ryeissa wrote:Where are you showing? the impressions of "the state of US dressage" varies widely. I have known and see many different breeds successful at GP but I do understand the concerns.

Can we see pics of you lovely horse? where have you been showing and what is the vibe? are you happy with your scores?


Maybe at some point more details. I was part of this board a long time ago and forgot the name and have moved away from gossipy, nasty COTH. I've been slowly following here and enjoying the more adult, kinder people who are focused on talking and enjoying each other.

I am showing in one of the most competitive areas in the country in CA, and get to show against Hilda, CJ, and Akiko next week at champs, which is good and bad. There is massive competition and variety here, which is always pushing me to be better with the few resources I have. I may post pictures at some point. I am showing two sisters I bred and trained 100% myself at FEI (just got champ. and reserve at AA's) and I get decent scores, pretty much always in the 60's. (I dropped into the 50's when my one mare felt GP was too much, which is why I dropped her back down.) I have been showing long enough to know that I will never be the best, and never have enough money and resources to challenge anyone really, but I enjoy the process and it keeps me focused, and I am pretty happy that as I get older I think my riding is improving and I can mostly sit one of my girls' massive extended trot without looking the fool.

I have enjoyed the getting to know you threads here and how supportive everyone is. Maybe I will drop in one day.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:08 pm

Tanga wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:Where are you showing? the impressions of "the state of US dressage" varies widely. I have known and see many different breeds successful at GP but I do understand the concerns.

Can we see pics of you lovely horse? where have you been showing and what is the vibe? are you happy with your scores?


Maybe at some point more details. I was part of this board a long time ago and forgot the name and have moved away from gossipy, nasty COTH. I've been slowly following here and enjoying the more adult, kinder people who are focused on talking and enjoying each other.

I am showing in one of the most competitive areas in the country in CA, and get to show against Hilda, CJ, and Akiko next week at champs, which is good and bad. There is massive competition and variety here, which is always pushing me to be better with the few resources I have. I may post pictures at some point. I am showing two sisters I bred and trained 100% myself at FEI (just got champ. and reserve at AA's) and I get decent scores, pretty much always in the 60's. (I dropped into the 50's when my one mare felt GP was too much, which is why I dropped her back down.) I have been showing long enough to know that I will never be the best, and never have enough money and resources to challenge anyone really, but I enjoy the process and it keeps me focused, and I am pretty happy that as I get older I think my riding is improving and I can mostly sit one of my girls' massive extended trot without looking the fool.

I have enjoyed the getting to know you threads here and how supportive everyone is. Maybe I will drop in one day.


Ah, yes.... Glad you are doing well. I remember you from the good ol days on the UDBB. Its been awhile

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:43 pm

Tanga wrote:In discussing this with someone else, to segue on to what you said earlier about conformation, I wonder if it has something to do with the types of horses she prefers. She seems to pick horses who are piaffe/passage masters, and is there something about that conformation that leads to not being able to do a good extended trot?


Not sure if that's just her preference in horses. Piaffe/passage specialists are good international candidates-- 190 of the 450 pts available in the GP Special are piaffe, passage, or transitions into/out of the same. I'd also select horses that were excellent at 42% of the GPS vs. 6% (extended trot).

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:46 pm

Ponichiwa wrote:[
Not sure if that's just her preference in horses. Piaffe/passage specialists are good international candidates-- 190 of the 450 pts available in the GP Special are piaffe, passage, or transitions into/out of the same. I'd also select horses that were excellent at 42% of the GPS vs. 6% (extended trot).


Right, but she has been through a lot of horses and a lot of them consistently have the issue, while other p/p specialists don't.

And there is another problem I have. I think they need to change the GP test so it's not a p/p test. Of course anyone who wants to win needs a p/p specialist, but is that the best thing? I don't know if they are talking about this, and I don't know if anyone is throwing out ideas of what would be a way to do it. Taking out some p/p could happen. I think maybe adding a coeffecient of 3 or 4 to the pirouettes and canter zig sag would be a good idea. I;m not sure what they could do to weight the walk even more.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Chisamba » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:34 pm

So I wasted some time freezing random video of horses in the trot. On every horse, if i rewound and scrubbed carefully enough i felt like u could find a moment where " every leg was pointing in a different direction" .

Even my own not very fancy not very upper level horse.

I thought it quite an interesting exercise. It would be interesting to have one of those high tech ultra slow mo videos and draw the lines to see every phase if a normal working trot.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Abby Kogler » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:45 pm

Nothing to add, but enjoying this cordial interesting thread very much. Tanga, good luck at Championships!

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Rosie B » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:11 am

I am also very much enjoying this thread. Lots of very rational well thought out responses.

Tanga, I must confess I was a bit rude earlier because I thought maybe you were trolling. My apologies for that.

Chisamba I have done that as well. One moment the horse’s frame and legs look perfect, the next they’re not.

Also, these days photographers and media editors have the luxury of choosing exactly which frame of the stride they want to print a photo for. They are choosing to print and share photos like the ones from the video. People see pics like that and aspire to look like that themselves. Judges and especially judges in training see that and think it’s top quality.

There’s also a lot of money in horses (obviously). People in it for the business are financially incentivized to turn out FEI horses as quickly as possible. The ROI on a horse you own for 4 years and then sell for 6 figures is significantly higher than one you own for 5 years and sell for the same price. And price is determined by level of training and competition results, not age.

So, it’s no wonder people are breeding, buying, and pushing horses to look like that.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:32 am

Thank you, Rosie B. I try not to take anything as rude unless it is 100% clear that one is trying to be. It's so easy to misunderstand people. I have slowly been trying to get onto here when I can because people are so much nicer. If you try to discuss anything on COTH someone comes in and says how dare you judge anything, then when you explain credentials they complain you're bragging and looking down on other people, and the circle goes round and round. I just love this discussion.

The business aspect of any sport I think sends it to ruination unless you are careful. When I thought about getting back into as a business, I thought no way. To really do the right job takes so much time and care. Just at my small time barn, the amount of time and care it takes to keep my horses in condition with trail rides, being out in pasture and training, I would have to charge a fortune for it to be really worth my time (or the risk of getting hurt, which sticks now that I am older.) I see the western "trainer" at my barn charging people a fortune, and seriously, he keeps the horses locked in stalls 23 1/2/7, takes them out and lunges them in a 10 meter circle for 5 minutes if it might do something, and then rides it with massive spurs and curb in a circle for ten minutes. He has never once, ever opened a gate on horseback, let alone ridden out of the arena, let alone ridden on the trail on his "competitive" trail horses. This is how you make a living in horses. I don't know how to do it, or change things so that horses really get what's best for them.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:53 pm

Tanga wrote:Thank you, Rosie B. I try not to take anything as rude unless it is 100% clear that one is trying to be. It's so easy to misunderstand people. I have slowly been trying to get onto here when I can because people are so much nicer. If you try to discuss anything on COTH someone comes in and says how dare you judge anything, then when you explain credentials they complain you're bragging and looking down on other people, and the circle goes round and round. I just love this discussion.


well, most of us know you from UDBB, not COTH, so we already have that rapport and we know your POV....

It has always been the boards where I go for training discussions, So I don't think you have to worry about that here. Its more like Cheers where we have context and "have a beer, lets chat"

COTH is drama, fashion, and "help me find a new saddle". For vet advice its a great archive. The dressage forum has been struggling for a long time now and it's probably not getting better.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby musical comedy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:03 pm

Chisamba wrote:So I wasted some time freezing random video of horses in the trot. On every horse, if i rewound and scrubbed carefully enough i felt like u could find a moment where " every leg was pointing in a different direction".
I didn't waste much time, but I did look at one competition video of Gigolo and the opening extended trot. I looked at each frame and I could not find one that was bad. Perhaps it was a fluke, or perhaps this was a very correct moving horse. I do agree though that u can find unattractive moments and attractive moments on almost every video if you try. For this reason, I don't find still shots valuable for judging most things.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:36 pm

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Last edited by Ryeissa on Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:37 pm

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:38 pm

my opinion is Bella Rose is the best of the bunch, but overall IW tends to ride very long backed long necked horses

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Tanga » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:57 pm

Ryeissa--Warum Nicht has no development over the neck. I saw him at the WC in Vegas and he had fabulous extensions and not good collection at all.

That is a good picture of Bella Rose, but she's the one that consistently has the most soundness issues. She is off regularly for them, and you can see them in many, many videos where she is clearly irregular behind and NOT rung out for it. I have seen judges at international competitions wring out a lot more people (FEItv) and the fact that they aren't doing that to her is a big problem.

I agree she rides long backed, long necked horses. That doesn't mean that can't be correctly developed and sound. My 21 year old (mom of the two I show) has a long enough back for two and a super long neck and she gets sounder the older she gets. (I bought her as an off 8 year old. And she can piaffe like crazy.)

And agreed about COTH. I am enjoying the discussion here, not batting away constant misreadings and suppositions.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Dresseur » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:59 pm

Chisamba, Tanga you make excellent points. I don't have much to add at this point. I mentioned it in the other thread, but it is possible to create a terrible picture of almost any horse, even super correct ones depending on the angle the pic was taken and the moment in the stride. You can literally go frame by frame and find SOMETHING awkward and post that... if that is your agenda. Also, IW is not my cup of tea, nothing ever really appears light or effortless and while most of her horses can mark time in the p/p, I find that there is usually not much actual sitting, just marching and that the transitions between the two are usually out behind and a bit hollow.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Rosie B » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:08 pm

Nice pics Rye.

I am a fan of Bella Rose. She’s by the same sire as Bliss. <3 <3 <3

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby exvet » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:39 pm

I'm not trying to single anyone out or 'pick' on anyone; so, please take this in the intent meant; but, why do we make comments such as nice picture except spur in side? I mean, yes, I agree it would be a very pleasant picture (harmonious) if there was no use of spur; but, let's face it. The spur is an extension of the leg aid. If the horse doesn't listen to the aids given as just seat and leg, the spur is used as back up. There is nothing wrong with it's use as long as it's not used to excess. I know in riding tests after a warm up sometimes I have a horse that is getting tired and starts to ignore my leg aid towards the end. It is why I wear spurs, as a back up and to fine tune my seat/leg aids when needed. Whips are not allowed in most championships but spurs are still allowed. There is a check to be sure that they aren't used to excess and when blood is seen there is elimination. I believe IW must have passed 'the check' at the end of the test. The reason why I want to point this out is because my first impression and look at the picture in question is someone who has the horse in a very nice 'frame' for lack of a better word and is using seat and leg, including spur to keep that horse out to the hand and carrying as well as engaged. Kudos to her for knowing how and when to use the spur to get the desired response. Of course I will disclose that I've been a long time IW fan and absolutely loved Gigolo. While I was never as fond of Warum Nicht, mostly because of his build, the picture shown seems to reveal a talented rider with a horse that is in that moment totally (albeit with spur) responding to the request.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:19 pm

exvet wrote:I'm not trying to single anyone out or 'pick' on anyone; so, please take this in the intent meant; but, why do we make comments such as nice picture except spur in side? I mean, yes, I agree it would be a very pleasant picture (harmonious) if there was no use of spur; but, let's face it. The spur is an extension of the leg aid. If the horse doesn't listen to the aids given as just seat and leg, the spur is used as back up. There is nothing wrong with it's use as long as it's not used to excess. I know in riding tests after a warm up sometimes I have a horse that is getting tired and starts to ignore my leg aid towards the end. It is why I wear spurs, as a back up and to fine tune my seat/leg aids when needed. Whips are not allowed in most championships but spurs are still allowed. There is a check to be sure that they aren't used to excess and when blood is seen there is elimination. I believe IW must have passed 'the check' at the end of the test. The reason why I want to point this out is because my first impression and look at the picture in question is someone who has the horse in a very nice 'frame' for lack of a better word and is using seat and leg, including spur to keep that horse out to the hand and carrying as well as engaged. Kudos to her for knowing how and when to use the spur to get the desired response. Of course I will disclose that I've been a long time IW fan and absolutely loved Gigolo. While I was never as fond of Warum Nicht, mostly because of his build, the picture shown seems to reveal a talented rider with a horse that is in that moment totally (albeit with spur) responding to the request.


I don't know if the spur use was justified or not, the reason etc....we were not the ones in the saddle to describe what was going on there.

I was taught spurs are for refining sideways not digging in like this in extensions.

You are putting way way more thought into my comment than I did when posting it.

I think it still looks ugly....you can see where there is a dent in the side because it's pushing in.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:25 pm

Tanga wrote:Ryeissa--Warum Nicht has no development over the neck. I saw him at the WC in Vegas and he had fabulous extensions and not good collection at all.

That is a good picture of Bella Rose, but she's the one that consistently has the most soundness issues. She is off regularly for them, and you can see them in many, many videos where she is clearly irregular behind and NOT rung out for it. I have seen judges at international competitions wring out a lot more people (FEItv) and the fact that they aren't doing that to her is a big problem.
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Have no idea about him live, haven't seen him. Liked this picture to post as we are discussing photos and he has good self carriage here.

Bella rose --, was only commenting on the pleasant picture. not the life history. I know she has soundness issues but that is not really anything I need to comment on as it has nothing to do with me, and a lot of horses have soundness issues. Sometimes there can be a loss of rhythm in extensions that is not due to lameness, very hard to say what is going on.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby exvet » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:45 pm

You are putting way way more thought into my comment than I did when posting it.

I think it still looks ugly....you can see where there is a dent in the side because it's pushing in.
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I am putting more thought into it because reading [the] post simply underlined, for me, the differences in perception and perspective. We will have to agree to disagree which is perfectly fine. In this case, there is no right or wrong imo. I don't find the picture ugly. Do I prefer the same without the need for spur? Of course; but, I still see a rider who knows how to get results.

Again, I've never been overly fond of this particular horse and he always looked like a giraffe with lack of proper neck muscling. I'm not sure IW is completely to blame for this; in other words, what would he look like in someone else's hands - better? worse? I've seen both Gigolo and Warum Nicht in person. They are very different horses in build, style and way of going. Gigolo, imo, was a better horse.

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Chisamba » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:23 am

I see the video is making the rounds on social media so I guess she got what she wanted.


The other question that comes to mind is do you really think a rider, riding to win, does not change the way they present a horse over a 39 year life span? One of the premises of the video is that the rider does not change. Different horses, different eras, different judging focus all influence how the rider presents their horse in the ring.

Thoughts?

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Re: Fabulous video on what's wrong with dressage

Postby Chisamba » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:41 am

Just because it's what the video is about, regarding the Bella Rose picture, it looks lovely, but are we agreed that at no point in the trot is a horse supposed to have three feet on the ground? In theory at least there should still be a moment of suspension in half pass, do I think the naked eye could see that, probably not, but as has been stated, Bella Rose does from time to time look uneven.


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