Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dressage Musings

Today was glorious--cool, partly cloudy enough that you didn't feel you had to slather on the +40 sunscreen, but bright enough to see clearly those manicured barns/fences, the green pastures, the grazing broodmares/frolicking babies, and, most importantly, the dressage riders.

I watched all morning.

Well, until noon.  When I made the HUGE mistake of leaving RIGHT BEFORE Michael Pollard's test....and, of course, he's the overnight leader.

BUT I got to see William Fox-Pitt on Seacookie put in a good test.  He was consistent:  fluid changes (a lot of sticky changes still here), and I noticed that WFP's substantial body was fluid as well.  I wish I could move my hips like that.  His horse didn't "wow" us, but he mirrored his rider's suppleness.

I enjoyed Will Faudree's test--once again, it wasn't spectacular, but he was consistent and workmanlike. Will, too, seemed to have the fluid body that translated to his horse.  I need to learn to do that.  Can an arthritic old woman learn to be that supple?

Marilyn Little had a great test, too.  Her horse came the closest of those I watched to having "presence"....well, maybe "Tate", too (Manoir De Carneville, Sinead Halpin's horse).  He had a few tense moments that marred an otherwise lovely test.

Several horses were obviously "wound up", and the applause pretty much made them lose it.  Several horses had a solid first half of the test, then lost it a little at the end.

So things I'm taking away from today:

  • Your horse mirrors you.  If you are tense, so your horse will be tense.
  • You need to ride the WHOLE TEST as if it were the only thing.
  • You need to practice the boring/hard stuff.  A lot.
  • A horse doesn't HAVE to be a big mover to score well.
  • ALL these horses have their hind legs underneath themselves.  The difference in who scores well/not so well seems to come from suppleness/relaxation and channeled energy.

And lastly, women today outnumbered the men in wearing helmets.  Are men more vain?  Are women more concerned with their brains?  Hmmmmm.....

I "missed" the second half of the dressage tests because...well, I felt a need to acquaint myself with the free markets available at the horse park.  I bought some Animals to Wear, ordered a LOVELY brow band from Crown Jewel Designs, and had a lovely chat with the Stackhouse folks.  :)

I ran into some old friends--Stacy Curwood, Tre and Janet Book, and I got to meet Ellen Doughty's parents (who were delightful!).  I'll be attending her wedding reception tomorrow after the fence judge briefing!

No comments:

Post a Comment