Last weekend, I found this lovely bit of dressage from the World Equestrian Games. It’s Dutch rider Diederik van Silfhout on Arlando. He makes some mistakes — the piaffe is all wrong, for example. Still, I love his harmony and lightness with his horse. He’s not dragging back on the reins or digging in with the spur. His horse is not compressed behind the vertical. There’s so much of that in high-level dressage right now that this ride was a real breath of fresh air.
Here’s some video from late July — when Martha Deeds, Jill Garzarelli, and I schooled cross-country at the Colorado Horse Park. This was Lila’s first time over training-level fences. We had a few refusals (e.g. at the corner), but she was really great overall. Who would have predicted that my lazy, opinionated, on-the-forehand draft-cross would be such a capable eventer?!? She’s my girl!
I like this:
About 10 years ago, I sat down with Phillip Dutton and asked him what I could do to be more competitive. The first thing he told me was to “never underestimate how long it took me to get mentally strong enough to be this good.” He didn’t say I needed better horses, more lessons or more money. None of those things hurt, but they will not take the place of mental strength. I think other sports focus more on this than eventing, but we need to realize how integral it is to our success.
Personally, I feel like I’m gaining experience in all the varieties of mistakes that I can make every time I compete. I figure that so long as I’m making new mistakes, all is well. Also, once I start competing Phantom, I’m going to have to make a whole new slew of mistakes, just because she’s so different from Lila.
So when I get impatient with myself, as I often do, I need to remind myself, “never underestimate how long it took me to get experienced enough to be this good.”
Tomorrow morning, I’ll head to Santa Fe for a weekend competition on my horse Lila. We won’t return until Sunday evening. As a result, I won’t broadcast any live radio shows this week… and I won’t do much more blogging for the rest of the week.
However, that doesn’t mean that I’ll leave you high and dry! I’ll post a brand-new podcast on Sunday. It’ll be the lecture entitled “Moral Conflicts and the Virtue of Justice” that I gave at ATLOSCon in 2012.
Here’s the abstract:
As we live our lives, some people will harm us by their moral wrongs and honest errors, and we may commit such wrongs and errors ourselves. Objective moral judgment is an essential part of the rational response to such events. Yet circumstances often call for more than judgment: sometimes, forgiveness and redemption come into play. In this lecture given to ATLOSCon in 2012, I explored the nature, function, and limits of forgiveness and redemption in relation to the virtue of justice. Then we applied that understanding to common examples of wrongs and errors.
So be sure to be on the lookout for that… and have a fabulous rest of the week!
This is a fun video showing some of the errors that riders can make when jumping cross-country, comparing that with correct riding.
I wish that they’d shown more variety in the errors, but mostly I think that this horse deserves a medal for putting up with such deliberate errors! Then again, Lila deserves a medal for putting up with my non-deliberate errors!
Via Digital Horse
This article on the tradition of a golfer who gets a hole-in-one buying drinks for buddies (if not the whole club) — Why Golfers Buy Hole In One Insurance — is quite fascinating. Because of the cost involved, the tradition has given rise to insurance against seeming good luck. But it’s also a bit sad:
Other golfers admit to fearing the wrath of a spouse if they treat the clubhouse, and therefore having agreed with golfing buddies to slip away quietly without telling the clubhouse if anyone scores a hole in one. It’s a rather sad result of the tradition — instead of celebrating a hole in one like the once in a lifetime accomplishment that it is (the odds of getting a hole in one, very roughly, are 12,500 to 1 for an amateur and 7,500 to 1 for a professional), it pushes golfers to slink away like they crashed a golf cart in a sand trap.
If your cultural traditions transform a fabulous bit of good luck into a financial calamity… it’s time to change those traditions!
Last week, Cyndi Meredith? and I took our horses over to Spring Gulch for some work on their cross-country course. (Lila needed work on ditches in a big way.) As a result, Dixie got her very first school over cross-country fences. Even though she’s only jumped a few times — and not since December — she was super-chill and took everything in stride. Here’s the video we took:
With just a few weeks of work, she’d be ready to compete at “beginner novice” level, I think!
Dixie is for sale, I should add. She’d make a fabulous horse for a younger rider who wants to do Pony Club, 4H, etc. She’s super-quiet and willing to do whatever you ask. If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’ll put you in touch with Cyndi.
Here’s the video of the grand prix jumper whose bridle fell off in the middle of his course just yesterday in Paris. As you can see, the rider (Gregory Wathelet) to hold the bit with just the reins (with the bridle flapping below) and the horse (Conrad de Husmanaged) jumped the rest of his course perfectly. Amazing!
(1) That’s a well-trained horse who loves to jump!
(2) That’s a damn fine rider to keep his cool over those last few fences.
(3) The stupid ear cover probably allowed the bridle to slip over the ears. I’ve always hated those useless bits of decoration. Now, I hereby request that someone shoot me if I ever compete my horse in such silliness.
This clip from American Ninja Warrior is one of the most amazing and exciting feats of athleticism that I’ve seen in a long time:
GO GO GO, Kacy Catanzaro!!
Someday, I will own a Friesian. I saw one competing in the dressage show at the Colorado Horse Park recently … and wow, they are spectacular.