What is it that I am trying to do with my Pippi?
What are my goals, and more importantly, what are my parameters?
I see videos, and I read articles, and mostly I think, "no, I'm not doing that!" I hear terms like "uphill movement" and I cringe, and when I watch the upper level horses I don't feel as though we are in the same sport at all. Maybe it is because I ride a Quarter/Paint but it just seems like an alien thing to me to watch Valegro or NipTuck. I actually prefer to watch the dressage portions of higher level eventing as my mentors. Those horses are fit, and strong, and their movements are more "horsey." And obviously their movements are not of the same level, and I get that. But when I see dressage from back in the day, I am in awe. Watch this video from the 1964 Olympics:
I like to scroll to the 25 minute mark and watch the grey horse. I adore this horse, and wish I knew who it was and who the rider was. Anyone know? Everything is done with power and grace. The horses carry themselves, there is not "uphill" stuff, just great horses doing beautiful dressage. After watching this I feel inspired, and I think "damn I want to do that!" I want Pippi and I to get as close to that as possible.
And so today I ordered the book that my first trainer had me read. She had a signed copy, but let me borrow it, and I think it was the building blocks to my ideas about dressage. I need my own copy, and now I will have one: The Practical Dressage Manual, by Colonel Bengt Ljungquist.
I can't find footage of the US riders from the 1976 Olympics, where Ljungquist coached the team to a Bronze medal, but here is Canadian Lorraine Stubbs and True North.
Anyway; I am going to learn from the riders of that era. No more fancy high kicking front ends for me, I will concentrate on true and correct form and balance.
If you know of videos and books that might be great please comment. Thank you