Sunday, May 4, 2014

I don't get it....

I know someone who sold horse a while ago. This horse went to a good show home, was brought on slowly and carefully, was campaigned and did well. Belonging to a minor breed, he did exceedingly well in open show classes and people took notice.

He is a great example of a well bred horse who went on to do great things with the right preparation and a lot of effort and dedication from his new owner. He is a source of pride to his owner and breeder, and rightly so.

The horse's sire is no longer around, and he didn't sire very many horses due to what I'll briefly summarise as a combination of peoples' personalities, politics and physical location. Late in that stallions life, he was made available freely to other breeders, and at a very low stud fee. Still, there were almost no takers.Those who believed in that stallion and saw his quality are probably not surprised that his son has turned into such a magnificent horse.

What I don't get is the behaviour of people. Everyone is congratulating the owner, and rightfully so. In comparison, the congratulations to the breeder are still rather thin on the ground. On the other hand, the owner of the dam wasn't shy in coming forward and using the opportunity to promote her other offspring. So good to see that the art of riding on other peoples' success isn't dead.

The other thing I don't get is unrelated, but at least as irksome. The horse in question is currently in "professional training" and a series of photos and a video clip were posted, as the horse is now for sale.

First, the positive things: he is beautifully turned out and the photos and video set a very high standard of production and presentation of the horse. He looks great.

Now the bits I'm not so keen on: The rider has very low hands with bracing elbows. Looks sort of ok-ish at the stop and walk, but the trot pictures and especially the trot and canter video show exactly how braced those hands are, and as a result, the horses isn't moving all that well. It's that modern dressage way of riding I so detest. The horses is ridden forward with a strong driving seat into tight reins. The rider actually leans way back to achieve this. The horse is overbent a lot of the time and the trot picture shows the highest point of the neck being clearly behind the poll. The neck muscle development speaks volumes. I thought that the undesirability of that "frame" was proven some considerable time ago.

But what would be comments be? Of course Oh and Ah! How pretty, what a great rider etc.

Sorry.. No. Just no.

That horse would look 100% more magnificent and happy if he was ridden with diplomatic hands, and no bracing of the seat and arms. He probably wouldn't need a flash noseband, either.

The problem I see is that folks are so indoctrinated by what they see in the dressage and show arena, that they admire and copy this riduculous way of riding.

Sorry, but I just don't get it.

Anyway, it can be expected that the work and time the owner has put into the horse will assure him a great home with his next owner. Further, one hopes that his future training and compeing will go along paths which will preserve his health and enhance his beauty.

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