Will you win a dressage competition depending on which judge you got? 

Good night,

Today me and this handsome fella above have been to a dressage competition. My instructor Kim went for her first competition after giving birth to her candy as I like to call her child (Snoepje). Together with Ivonne, we had a really nice day filled with laughter and Kim did great for her first time back competing since ten months time. 

The competition was around 20-30 min from our stable, so not too far away, and it wasn’t so busy which was nice as well. However walking away from the competition I had a bitter taste in my mouth. 

Growing up I played handball. Handball it’s pretty easy, you score the most goals, you win. You got no one else to blame, but yourself if you don’t score goals. However in dressage it all falls in the hand of the judges. I know they should be, but do they really manage to stay objective? Do they remember that they should look at how handy a rider is and how well he or she does the movements and not at how spectacular the horse is? Will you get more points if you got longer legs cause that looks “prettier” or when you got an expensive attire? 

I have my doubts..

What I find good horse riding can be completely different to what another person finds good horse riding. I want to see a relaxed combination that flows together where you see both enjoy what their doing in harmony. Not a horse forced into a specific position with a rider riding with a harsh hand. 

Watching the combinations warm up today I noticed a girl that was riding a really nice horse, but she rode the horse in a way that I would almost call animal abuse. Her aids were all over the place and as the horse didn’t understand what she asked the reins became shorter and shorter until the horse had its head on its chest. She moved the horse around the arena in a way that made me want to gag. 

The fact that the horse didn’t buck her off, showed how much shit he actually put up with. At one point I stood with another groom that I had never spoken to before and this rider comes in front of us and clearly makes a point of that she could steer the horse in extremely small circles.  The other groom looked at me and we both start laughing at how redicolous it looked. But then she goes in and got second place, because today, tight riding on”spectacular” moving horses was what the judge found good riding. 

But what can we do about it? Not much. As long as there isn’t a general guideline to what good (animal friendly)riding is, there is going to be loads of different opinions and scores depending on the judge. I get that it is that way, but I must say, my “overly fair heart” bleeds just thinking about it. 


Riding a dressage test for the first time 

Today it was finally time to practice riding a dressage test for the first time. 

I probably should have read the test before I tried, but overall it went alright. I’ve got a whole bunch of things I need to practice till next try-out. Like circles and where to ride on the letters. I got a bit over-excited and want to do everything fast, so need to slow down a bit as well. But it’s fun homework, so looking forward to practicing. 

The test I did. Unfortunately I don’t have it in English. 

I don’t know how it is in other countries, but in the Netherlands you got 4 tests in each level. Today I only practiced one, which I now fully remember so I’ll practice it again on Sunday. In the Netherlands you can either download the iPhone app Dressuur or check out Dressuurproeven to download each test. 

Mr.Grumpy has been a bit up and down energy wise lately. Which is not weird considering he is moving everyday more or less and isn’t the youngest anymore. After a lot of research on food,  I originally was going for the Subli omega 3 6 9, but couldn’t find it anywhere. So was recommended the Pavo Topsport Musli at the store. 

This is what Pavo says about the product:

“The high level of digestible protein in TopSport contains the essential amino acids lysine, threonine and methionine, unmissable for the building and supporting of healthy muscle tone. An oil content of 18% provides your horse with extra slow-release energy and aids in keeping your horse’s coat in top condition. And of course, TopSport is fortified with vitamins and minerals to further support your equine athlete.”

Overall I read really good stuff about it on the internet, so we will see. I’m supposed to see a difference within two weeks. So I’ll post a before and after photo then. 

Now I’m going to celebrate the weekend not leaving my sofa forever. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!


World Breeding Dressage Championships young horses 

Today me and some girls from the stable spent a day at the World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses in Ermelo.

It was a lot of fun seeing all the young horses riding and maybe see some of the future stars of dressage. We first saw the 5 year old come by which was won by a horse called Victoria Secret. 
The funny thing was that it was the only horse that made the whole arena quiet and gave me goosebumps. Of course the rest was really nice to, but there were some really average ones inbetween. Adelinde Corneliussen also came by with her stallion Governor. I’ve seen this stallion on pictures, but in real life I really  didn’t think much of him. More so because Adelinde was riding him with such hard hands and tight neck that I want to run out into the arena to make him relax his neck a little. I really can’t stand it when their neck is so stiff that it makes it look like the horse is in pain. I know that a lot of people expect this of today’s dressage horses, but I think it’s an ugly and unnatural way of riding them. 

Example of what I mean. 
After the five year olds we went for a shopping round as there was quite a lot of stalls. I didn’t find anything tough, so didn’t shop, good for the wallet! Afterwards when went to the auction where a horse for sold for 600.000 euro. 600.000 euro. Wow. For a normal person like me that’s a hell lot of money. 

Finally we checked out the freestyle for the stallions before we left. In the freestyle there was a horse called bailamos biolly, such a cute little horse. I want to have it, haha. 
 Overall a very nice day and very inspirational. Made me want to go to the stable and practice straight away, but have to wait till tomorrow! Can’t wait.