We have all seen the atrocities in the show ring lately. The blocked tails, over bridled horses, four beating, spur stops, reiners scotching in their rundowns, head sets, non-collection, soreness, defeated looks, the single footed walk and the list goes on.
And on, and on, and on.
We all know too well about all the Bad things happening to Good horses, to get them there. (Sounds like a great title to a tell all book, doesn't it?) The injecting, the whipping, starting them too soon, jerking on the reins, constant jabbing with spurs, gimmicky equipment to push the horses into a false frame, dumping the horse onto their leads and this list goes on just as long as the first one. Maybe this list is longer since there are usually three or four crappy ways to get each result listed above.
But what would happen if the judging took a sudden curve and actually pinned the horses who show natural movement? The horses with balance and collection, free flowing strides, self carriage, willingness and get this, a perky "I LOVE MY JOB!" expression.
Chances are, there may be fewer people in the ring showing their horses! This would likely be because of a huge WTH? moment in barns across the country. We know how to beat them down, but how do you bring them back up? And what is all this talk about collection and impulsion? A few more foreign terms to the crowd may be contact, lightness and forward.
I can hear it now. "Forget suppleness we just got them rigid, abrasive and resistant! I just got my horse to give in and he completely gave up. Why and how do we undo all of that? And what does it feel like to ride them then?"
Just like the way things are going now though, what is seen in the upper levels is mimicked all the way down the line. And this will be no different. People will come up with new ways of trying to do things, cheating their way through instead of learning how to train their horse. There will still be those rushing their way through and expecting immediate results. Instant gratification instead of waiting for the correct responses.
It would be nice to see the change though. I may doubt it will happen, but at least one can always hope.
It's tough raising parents
2 years ago