Speechless

I have no words, but lots of visual thoughts of what I’d like to do to this woman.

Be sure to at least fast forward to the 4:30+ part of the video, you won’t believe what she does.

Riding Mini

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The Final Blow?

Established in the late 16th century by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Spanish Riding School has been the epitome of Classical Dressage and horsemanship. As long as they existed, I held hope for the return of horsemanship for the good of the horse, above all else. Threatened throughout history by wars, politics and finances, it had always remained true to the tradition of excellence.

Until now.

SRSRolkur2

The above picture was taken by Ulrike Thiel in 2008 – along with a whole bunch more. Follow this link to the specific SRS discussion on her FB page that contains the history of the photos, some video and additional information.

How shocked I was to learn that the SRS had aligned itself with The Queen of Rolkur, herself, Anky Van Grunsven. Over 400 years of passing the horsemanship torch, flushed down the toilet in a handful of years, sparked by one woman. I’m sick to my stomach. If the SRS isn’t immune to Competitive Dressage’s abusive, destructive training techniques, the rest of world doesn’t stand a chance and neither does the horse. Shame on those responsible for the direction change of the SRS, like CEO Elisabeth Gürtler.

NRHA Drug Rule Change

Please take the time to read the following blog article:  NRHA Trainers Propose Change To Drug Policy

Now I’d like to discuss a few points.

He (Rod Miller) went on to say, “The caliber of horse needed to make the finals at the Futurity these days has gotten very high. The trainers do not have time to take it slow and train these horses at a pace each can handle without getting sore. Yes the event is demanding, but no more so than many other events that all have drug policies. The only difference is time and the ability of our trainers to get more out of the horses. The brutal truth is trainers have to push these young horses more and more each year just to stay competitive enough to make the finals.

Are you effing kidding me?!  Who thinks like that?  Who thinks it’s okay to lame and break down horses when they know full well it’s going to happen?  Yes, let’s throw a little brutal truth out there, shall we?  Anyone who thinks it’s okay to knowingly push a horse beyond health and soundness is not a trainer and should be removed from all things equine related.

“Drugs and abuse are not the biggest issue the NRHA has, their biggest issue is the trainers have gotten too good. The top trainers of today are able to get these horses to do so much more than in past years, yet the time they are allowed to do these things in has not changed. They do not have enough time to develop the horses to the level they need to be without pushing them. Pushing them means they need drugs to keep them sound enough to ride and show and keep pushing the limits. That is why trainers have no issue with a drug test for the older horses being shown at the FEI level; they are already trained and do not need to be pushed anymore.

Let me correct Mr. Miller.  The issue isn’t that trainers have gotten too good, it’s that trainers are no longer horsemen, therefore, do not have the best interest of the horse in mind.  Getting to the Futurity for fame, glory and money is most important to them.  Million-Dollar *cough* Trainers, indeed!

“Now the one thing that the NRHA will never do is make a change that will negatively effect the Futurity. The Futurity is why the NRHA was created and it is still the main focus of trainers and breeders. Having a restrictive drug policy will negatively affect the Futurity, by lowering the caliber of the horses in the finals. Trainers won’t be able to push horses as hard, if they need to show up at the show with a totally sound horse. Without pushing or more time, something has to give and it will be the caliber of horses in the finals.

Again, are you kidding me?  How narrow-minded and short-sighted does one have to be to think like this?  The one thing the NRHA should do is restructure the Futurity.  And if these so called ‘trainers’ stopped pushing their young horses beyond what’s good for the horse, and stopped paying the nomination fees, and stopped entering horses in the futurity, and stopped initiating rule changes to propagate the cycle of equine destruction, then the NRHA would be forced to change the Futurity for the betterment of the horse and therefore the sport as well.

*$@# ^%!  I continue to be disappointed at what humans will do and how they’ll justify it for a buck, at the expense of such a generous creature as the horse.

The Saddle Pad Test

I’ve been busy with some RL things lately and haven’t had the inclination or concentration to put together an article for the blog, so I’m cheating and going to link to a short article for all to read, ponder, and test out.

Most understand the importance of saddle fit for horse and rider, but few know how to accurately judge a good fit.  The following offers an easy test, requiring nothing more than a clean, white saddle pad and a ride.

Saddle Pad Dust Pattern

Even though this is an ‘English’ test, this could also be done with a clean, light colored (and thin) Western pad and Western saddle, as the same principles apply.

At the end of the article is mention of the true purpose of the saddle pad.  English riders in particular should take note, as they are usually the biggest offenders of using various thick and/or exotically cut saddle pads to fit a saddle to a horse that doesn’t.