Monday 9 March 2015

An easy way to brighten up a wet Monday morning...

...Just take a look at what the Blinged-Up Bullet Dodgers have been doing over the weekend, of course!
The smiles give the game away but they've only gone and won...again...! Don't you just love the sparkly brow bands? They all look completely magnificent.
They aren't the only ones going out and flying the flag for rehab horses - Sophie and Felix have been jumping this weekend but sadly no photos - maybe next time? 
And just for the record, the gorgeous boys and their glamorous girls - with added feet. They are certainly giving the rest of us something to aim for before we all get together at the RRR...!

1 comment:

Gen Hart said...

Rockley feet = GREAT ! ! What about mouths ? Is it possible to ride a dressage horse without a bit? Is it safe and helpful to even give it a try? Those are the questions currently waiting to be answered by leading officials of the British Equestrian Federation, British Dressage, British Eventing, British Horse Society and the US Equestrian Federation. These governing bodies have been asked to consider allowing competitors to choose whether to ride with or without a bit when competing at dressage.
To any outside observer – whether you prefer to ride with a bit or without - it's clear that allowing bitless bridles would be a straightforward affair for the federations. There are no practical reasons why it can't be done, and new types of gear are allowed all the time. For instance, it is now possible to ride a dressage test with ear covers on the horse without first seeking dispensation, and nose nets have become accepted for horses who headshake. The only thing standing in the way of making bits optional for dressage riders everywhere is the minor detail of certain vocabulary in the various rule books.As you will probably already know, Dressage is all about proving to the judges that the horse is enjoying itself. It says so right in Article 401 – Object and General Principles of Dressage:
”The object of Dressage is the development of the Horse into a happy Athlete through harmonious education. As a result, it makes the Horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the Athlete.”
So far, so good. The object of Dressage is to develop the horse into a happy horse (or athlete, if you want to pretend as if the horse actually has any stake in the competition). That sounds great – a sport which is all about pleasing the horse. Yay! But how do the judges know which horse is the most happy? Well, just wait until you find out. It will all make sense in a moment.
”These qualities (the happiness, confidence etc., ed) are demonstrated by: The freedom and regularity of the paces. The harmony, lightness and ease of the movements. The lightness of the forehand and the engagement of the hindquarters, originating from a lively impulsion.”
And last but apparantly not least:
”The acceptance of the bit, with submissiveness/throughness (Durchlässigkeit) without any tension or resistance.”
So you see, the bit really is necessary in the sport of dressage. Without the bit, the judges might not be able to tell which horse is the happiest. Dressage judges are a highly specialised species. They can't tell if a horse is happy or through unless it has at least one bit in its mouth. The more highly qualified the judge, the more bits the horse must have in its mouth in order for the judge to assess the intensity of its elation and the purity of its gaits.
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