VOLUME 22 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
CONGRATULATIONS looks like a great issue - and I've already had huge compliments about my lovely boy's wonderful trot from a friend here in Italy!!! thanks for including that lovely shot of me patting and stroking Michy and him looking so relaxed and happy, he is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo beautiful he takes my breath away every time!
Speaking of courage - the Badminton 3-day event this year saw the withdrawal of many top riders who did not want to risk their horses' legs on the hard ground - think I mentioned this before. I got a DVD of part of the cross country day and there were interviews with some of these top people, one of whom was Zara Philips (daughter of Princess Royal, Anne, and also winner of Sportswoman of the year trophy in UK and of some European championship, don't remember which......) - she touched me when she said 'I withdrew for the sake of my horse - he owes me nothing, but I owe it to him to take the best care I can of him.....' ain't that grand? I think they showed courage withdrawing because they are in the public eye, they are so easily criticised, and also many of them stood a very hot chance of winning this most prestigious event, it is so good to see this kind of morality in the competitive world, especially from people who really do stand to win something huge..... The woman who won, on a very courageous and tiny mare, said she thought the ground was just fine, not at all too hard (it had been covered with topsoil before the competition) then went to to say 'look, I'm 41 years old, this is perhaps one of my last chances.....' - she won, and she may have been right about the ground, we'll never know.......
I have been thoroughly committed to the remedial teaching of horses and I think that in itself, the theory and practice of rollkur can have some value; as long as it is in hands of very, very qualified trainers.
The use of it, 5 days a week 30/45 minutes a day by idiots who want to see their own dreassage stars shining, is what makes the use of those training exercises to disgusting.
And, specifically, the growing non-interest of the jury's to judge riders according to the international standards: the horse's neck should be flexed right behind the ears ... and not 3 or more vertebrae behind those ears!
F.M.Blocq - Achlum, Friesland The Netherlands,
These horses are not only way behind the bit, but forced behind the bit!
I only dabble in Dressage, but I train my horses in snaffles, and have a light hand. If there is no contact, I know they are behind the bit, so use a stronger leg to bring them forward. Not only do these riders not know how to ride, but the Judges should be shot (or banned from Judging anyway – they obviously know nothing about riding, let alone Dressage!) for letting them compete, let alone giving them marks!
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• © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine