Since everyone who knows what dressage means, have had an opinion about the recent Olympics, I thought I want to have my say on it too.
I have been consistently disgusted with what has been ‘dressage’, over the last few years. After WEG last year (or was it 2014?) I thought that dressage couldn’t possibly sink any lower. My personal experience at grassroots level, trying to find a show that will allow me to participate in a bitless bridle didn’t help my overall opinion either. And then the comments I got when I finally did participate, which was more focused on my choice of tack than my or my horse’s ability. All in all – negative. Very negative.
And then came the Olympics…
I know there are comments to be made about what was bad or horrible, but I want to comment on what stood out for me, that stood out more than the bad/horrible. Also, I only ever managed to watch the performance of the top 10/15. And of those, I want to talk about my favourites.
What I saw in those rides, was noses that were consistently on or in front of the vertical. I saw open throatlatches. I noticed normal looking extended trots with hind ends that matched the front, rather than excessive front leg movements with hindlegs that were left at the previous letter. I saw superb, goosebumpy piaffes and passages. One horse had a passage that was probably the most lovely to watch of every horse that I had every seen.
I saw uphill, and horses sitting rather than those bouncy piaffes that seems like little bucks disguised as advanced dressage movements, that dressage had been littered with before
And you know what I picked up the most? The fact that several riders, had absolutely zero contact on the curb.
I saw horses that were relaxed and seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. And FINALLY, I saw that this was rewarded, rather than those that I am not referring to here.
Dressage has a long way to go to where all of us would like to see it. But for the first time, I actually think that Dressage have moved in the right direction.
This was what I picked up in my favorites at the Games. Of course there are others, but I thought it necessary to, for a change, focus on the good 🙂