For example, one post that was already pretty dead when I got there was about white gloves - wear them / don't wear them, blah blah blah, and most of all, what a pain they are because they always get filthy.
Had I been earlier to the party, I could have shared my "white glove/smooth ass" protocol:
- buy only white gloves of synthetic material with the little plastic nibby things on the palm and fingers
- after your gloves get dirty (read: after one show, possibly after one class or one warm up, or just after leading your horse to the warm up), wear the gloves while you take your next shower
- use plenty of nice body wash, and scrub your butt and other scaly areas with the little plastic nibby things while you shower
- rinse foamy black horse filth and skin particles generated during exfoliation off of your butt
- rinse and wring gloves out when you are done and hang on line.
Voila - you have clean gloves and a smooth ass, and your secret is safe with me. Win-win. I have yet to try wearing my filthy white breeches in the shower and scrubbing THEM with the white gloves, but that option on the theme would probably work too. Which idea is better? Well, your breeches would be clean, however your butt would not be as well exfoliated. As with many other things in dressage, it really comes down to deciding on your priorities, and following through with a plan. I can't make this decision for you.
|Ahhh, I am feeling smoother already.|
If this is really and truly your biggest concern regarding whether or not you should buy any given dressage horse, I certainly hope your budget is in the comfortable six-figured range that will allow you to become picky about totally irrelevant things. In the grand scheme of things this "problem" is right up there with pimple on ass or mane not silky enough (as many posters have pointed out). If you can ride your way out of a wet paper bag, you can fix this "issue" in about a week.
However, as stupid as I feel this question may be, the discussion did get me thinking about something that dressage people say that drives me a bit insane. It also gives me a chance to do some reverse hunter-bashing, since I have been a bit harsh on these posing prissies the last few posts...(oops, I am doing it again, aren't I. Sorry, it is a compulsive habit) and as Anonymous 6 October 2012 10:23 pointed out, GM (that is "Gee the Man" George Morris people!) can do smokin' hot tempis when mounted on a totally trained horse. (To Anonymous 6 October 2012 10:23 I say... wow, how about that NHL lockout! When do you think we will see them back on the ice?)
Dressage people of the world, if you ever find yourself uttering the phrase:
Ha ha, I let my hunter friend ride Schnecke yesterday, and she couldn't even get him to move, let alone canter! Stupid hunter people. They can't ride at all. We are so much better than them.
Consider this...maybe you are better than them. Maybe you aren't. But if a five year old cannot get on your horse and make it go forward and DO STUFF, there is the possibility that a big part of the problem is that your horse is just not all that well schooled. Perhaps what you have been doing is not creating a finely tuned dressage horse, but instead painstakingly crafting a surly douchehorse that no one enjoys riding but you. (Just throwing it out there).
The stuff that they do may be eye-burningly bad. But regardless...your horse should go forward when leg is on, yield to contact, swing butt to-and-fro when lateral aids are applied (even poorly and if that is in no way the intention of the rider), and move sideways and forward in some sort of leg-yeildy/half-passy direction if asked to do so. And yes - if outside leg is back, and inside leg is on - horse should make some attempt to canter, probably in an aggressively haunches-in position - but canter nonetheless.
There are some things your horse may not be able to do with a beginner rider on board - clean flying changes are one of them, since if your horse is falling on the forehand with a rider on its neck, it will be nearly impossible for him to get his haunches down and under to jump through properly (this may also be observed at the end of a line of 4's if adult am dressage rider finds herself in the same place on horse's neck due to her inability to keep her ass in the saddle for five consecutive changes. So I have heard).
But with a little instruction, lots of the "tricks" should be easy, if not totally pretty. After all, I have seen Mr. Motard - who really can't ride at all - execute beautiful mediums on a retired GP oldster, doing nothing other than sitting back, hanging on for the ride, and screaming "w-w-w-h-h-h-e-e-e-r-r-r-e-e-e i-i-i-s m-y-y-y b-a-a-g-g-g s-u-p-p-p-o-s-e-d-d t-o-o-o b-b-e-e-e I-I-I a-m-m c-r-r-u-s-s-h-h-h-i-i-n-n-g m-m-y-y-y n-u-t-t-t-s". (I was unable to answer the question).
(With no instruction at all, the horse will eventually give up and start giving the finger, which is why buying a schoolmaster and not keeping them in training is a stupid idea, as has been pointed out by many as well. Which is no different in hunter, is it? Anyone ever heard the one about the poor beginner who bought the point-n-shoot that will no longer jump a stick and is now winning the hack division?)
I desperately did not want Ms. V to become the surly douchehorse that no one wants to ride. But I knew that the odds were against me, as clinic season was beginning here in Ontario, and there were lots of opportunities to pull up an uncomfortable lawnchair, wrap myself in the smelly trunk blanket, and watch and learn. Good clinics this time, put on by decent barns, with a few excellent riders. Along with many, many adult ams who were busily creating exactly this type of beast.
And one thing that became quite evident is that although much is said about the evils of "crank" - and it does make for great photo opps for the rabidly anti-deep-n-round crew - really, a good blue-tongue inducing crank takes a degree of strength, athleticism and determination that many of us adult am ladies don't possess. It is just not observed that frequently in our circles. A gentle nagging spur-whip-spur-whip is much more our speed, isn't it....