What I love most about this world championship of young dressage horses:
to see the best professional riders on the best dressage horses.
Buying a young horse to compete in the Olympics, once in a lifetime, is not the same as schooling a 5, 6 or 7 year old stallion to compete in the big arena in Ermelo. It´s a job for those, who made riding their profession. Who ride up to 12 horses a day, from breaking them in at 3, to presenting them in the championships at the age of 5, 6 or 7. And they did it all their adult lives and probably during most of their childhood too. So: most of the riders are quite good at it. What a surprise!
It is not only the fascination of the wonderful horses. For me, it is all about riding! The best dressage riding you could see in one place. There are no riders, who can´t easily sit straight. Who don´t know how to use the riders aids perfectly. Whose reactions are too slow. Who are too lazy, or just not quick or strong enough, to keep the horse in front of the leg. They wouldn´t survive their job if they were not physically fit. So, if you want to do it right – you´d better be an athlete. Maybe that´s the point why it is called „Euestrian sport“?
In my carreer as a riding instructor and beeing a dressage fan all my life… I have seen so many riders: young ones, not so young ones, experienced, talented ones, riders who talk a lot about riding, but rarely ride, anxious riders and riders who stupidly pretend to fear nothing (they usually spend some time in hospital).
Among my favourite species are those, who know perfectly well – theoretical- how to school a dressage horse in a correct way, clinging to the classical scale - and tell us at any occasion, which many times is not an occasion, why we do it wrong (and they do not always use elegant words) … but sit on their horses like a pancake – or did, years ago, when they tried to ride now and then. They have never felt the impact of a perfect riders position and seat and they might not have any idea about what to feel.
The worst thing for a horse… is a bad rider. A rider without balance, any strength in his core, falling into his back at any stride or step.
That´s what I love so much about the world championships young dressage horses. They CAN ride! And they do it every single day! That´s why the riders there are good at it. And so the horses are as well.
But I love Austrian pancakes (Palatschinken) too! With cream and chocolate sauce. :-P