A while ago someone asked me if I was going to Jumping Amsterdam, and I answered “No” as I thought it was in the weekend. Luckily I was wrong and last Thursday I had the chance to go and see some of the best dressage riders in the Netherlands ride like Jill Huijbregts, Danielle van Mierlo, Patrick van der Meer, Dinja van Liere and so forth. The list was long!
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised, both how well it was organised as well as the riding people showed. We had no problem finding parking, nor finding our seats. Tough I had a mini meltdown in the line at La Place as it took me 15 minutes to get a portion of baked potatoes. Hangry, much? Yep. all the the way.
I saw several of these riders last year at the stallion show and I must admit it was nice to see that several had adopted a “kinder” way of riding. Especially the young talents had developed a lot, which was really nice to see. Maybe Rien van de Schaft aint that bad after all 😉
But hey, it wouldn’t be me if I was completely positive no?
So lets get done with it. Asses and saddles. We women often hopes and wishes our asses are a lot smaller then they are. Apparently quite some women thought that in the Prix St Georges on Thursday. Several had way to small saddles, which resorted in them sitting totally on the lip of the saddle or even bulging over. People riding on this level surly must know that doing so will make the saddle lay bad and the horse will use its back-muscles wrong. FEI and other organisations is focusing so much on whats going on at the front on the horse when it comes to bridles and so forth, but I almost think it’s time to look at the saddles as well. Will probably save a lot of horses from back problems.
Other then these small annoyances I had a really nice evening. Soaked up loads of inspiration to continue riding and becoming better. Those horses, ow those horses. I sat there dreaming about how my future horse will look like. Specially the one from Patrick van der Meer was so beautiful.
Hope you had a nice weekend as well!
Patrick and President’s first apple.
Ps, I had a small heart attack when I saw how poor the quality had become of the pictures I had taken. I tried my best to fix them as much as I could, but unfortunately I couldn’t save them totally. So please ignore the quality for this time only.
Lately I’ve found myself watching a lot more vlog’s and youtube content than normal tv. For some reason I find short clips from real people more interesting then the fake stuff on tv nowadays. I really like Casey Neistat, Fleur de Force, Life of Riley and Jon Olssen just to name a few when it comes to lifestyle.
There is also a lot of equestrian youtubers popping up as well. Personally I think this is great for the industry as a whole. It means that the younger generation have a voice as well. In the Netherlands I like to follow Jill Huijbregts, Anne & Lotte Meulendijks and Danielle van Mierlo. I also check out Montana O, Jet Eventing, Hannah Lucy and Hailey Hart which are all in English.
The first vloggers I mentioned are professional ones that earn millions on this a year. Overall the equestrian vloggers I’ve come a cross are good, but I have noticed a couple of common mistakes that is being made that is so easy to avoid. So here you got 5 tips on how to make your videos better.
A lot of equestrian content is created outside. I wonder how many videos I’ve watched with people talking outside and you can’t hear it because you only hear the wind blow. This is so easily fixed with a microphone muff/windscreen. Go youtube that shit or read about it here.
Flying the nest
2. Editing hero
As a starting out youtuber you might not think that editing the videos are so important. You just want to make content, but learning how to use programs like Final cut pro and Adobe Premier pro can really raise the bar of your content. People like watching refined content and you’ll grow your fanbase faster as well. Making sure you got a template ready makes it easier to implement on your videos as well. Intro with logo as well as outro is a must. Watch Life or Ryan as an example of great editing.
3. Tripod provides stability
There is a reason why most professional vloggers use a small tripod while vlogging. It provides stability so that the videos doesn’t shake which is quite annoying to watch, I can even get seasick if the video moves to much, haha. It also makes the camera a lot easier to hold and also put down if you need to film from further away.
4. Don’s swear
This might come as a surprise to many, but there is a reason why professional vloggers beep out words like F#ck and BS. The reason for this is that Youtube can label your video as inappropriate which again means it won’t show up in the search bar if people search for something that can be found in your video or people under 18 is not allowed to watch it. So either don’t swear or beep it out while editing.
5. Don’t use copyrighted music
Want to earn money on your videos? Then stop using that music made by Rihanna, Beyonce and so forth. Why? This is copyrighted music which means that someone else owns the right to the songs which again means that they will earn money on your videos. There is a bunch of sites that provides music you can use for free in your videos, like this for example.
My largest pet peeve when watching videos is when someone doesn’t use the Microphone muffs, so hopefully now there will be less of this. haha
The issue when media have bought into a stallion show is that they won’t tell the truth about what really happened, so that they can stay friends with everyone.
Ever since Saturday I’ve been reading several news posts about the KWPN life of Valegro show, not one being really honest about what went down. Luckily for me, I have not paid anyone or am paid by anyone, so I can write whatever I want (such a rebellion).
Before you read further, please don’t get me wrong, seeing Valegro dance trough the arena was an amazing view, but I felt I had to walk ten miles to get there.
As I wrote yesterday, the Life of Valegro show was a part of the KWPN stallion show. The first part after the auction was a u25 Grand Prix dressage freestyle to music, thereafter the actual Valegro show would start. Unfortunately due to the auction running late the freestyle started two hours late. two hours. I mean, how do you manage to mess up the planning that badly? Even Justin Bieber aint that late.
However moving on, the Grand Prix was ridden by 4 dutch riders : Denise Nekeman, Anne Meulendijks, Jill Huijbregts and Maxime van der Vlist. I don’t know if it was because they had been warming up for too long, but in my opinion none of them truly blew my mind nor the others sitting around me. Anne and Jill definitely rode the most friendly and harmonious. Anne unfortunately got disqualified, but as I sat on the other side of the arena when it happened I don’t know why and Jill’s horse was extremely spooky due to the huge arena with a lot of noise. She explained later in her own vlog that she saw this as a training and then I totally see why she rode the way she did. It was nice to see how she continuously tried to make the happening a nice one for her horse. Denise rode her horse so tense that when she asked the horse to release the neck, it couldn’t….
After the Freestyle a 18 year old dutch dressage rider did a freestyle to music. Didn’t really see the added value of this, but it was ok to watch. After her it was finally time for the actual Valegro show to begin. It started off with 15 min of Safri Duo music before a man dressed in white started telling the story of Valegro. From when he was born until today. It quickly became quite apparent that the show was written by a non-horse-person. Certain parts where so slow and dull that people around me continuously picked up their phone to surf instead. We – for example – got treated to look at a picture of the stallion Negro for 10 min or a random school stable showing of their horses for 15 minutes. After x amount of dancers, singers and even drummers people were becoming so impatient that you could feel the frustration of the people. They didnt came for a Circus de soleil show, they came for Valegro and for about 1.5 hour he was nowhere to be found.
Because the show dragged out so extremely, people started to shout, boo-ing, and a big amount of people even started leaving. Some had to leave as it was becoming so late that those who came with public transportation had to catch the last bus while others got to annoyed by the show. When the last performer came and started singing opera you could hear the whole arena sigh and not one person clapped when it was done. Besides seeing the foals run and the showcase of different Negro offsprings, there weren’t much to scream hurray about.
But then finally, after what felt like two hours waiting at the doctors office he finally came. Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro rode a freestyle to music which really showed off his spectacular movements. I must say that seeing him on tv doesn’t compare at all to how it is seeing him in real life. However, as Carl Hester enters the arena he says “We were meant to give a masterclass, but because the show is so late we had to cancel it”. Most people’s mouth fell open. There we had sat, looking at dancers and whatnot instead of a masterclass by Carl Hester – Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro. As they stood on the center line, the arena slowly became empty behind them.
Most of the media have written about how amazing Valegro was. And yes, he truly was amazing. However, they’ve forgotten to mention how poorly put together the show was. Some of the music was stolen directly from youtube. Which in my opinion is extremely unprofessional. I truly felt Valegro deserved more. The evening ended for me seeing Valegro walk out the door with a very agitated Allan Davis by his side, probably thinking the horse had been warmed up for too long.
I know I’ll probably be called a whiner for putting up this post, but the media is not portraying the full truth about this show. There were times I could only laugh at what was happening while people around me were getting angrier and angrier. Maybe its because I’ve been to so many shows that I expect more then the regular person. I just think that when you plan a show like this for months, being on time and use of proper music is the least you can do for the people. People don’t want 5 min of Valegro in a 1.5 hour show. They want more.