On Friday, I learned something new about myself.
I really don’t enjoy watching Dressage.
Ok, before anyone gets their fur ruffled up, I’d just like to say that I don’t dislike watching ALL dressage…and I don’t dislike the concept of dressage, and the positive benefits of dressage for riders and their horses.
And in fact, I do enjoy watching Freestyle Dressage and Higher Level Dressage. But I just can’t help it. I really dislike watching Level 1 Dressage!
I worked as a Level 1 Dressage Judge’s Assistant/Score Sheet Runner at the 20th Annual Arabian & Half-Arabian Youth National Championship Horse Show in Albuquerque, on Friday, for 4 hours………….
And I must admit that I felt like a Los Angeles commuter stuck in freeway traffic for most of those 4 hours. I was so relieved when lunchtime rolled around (and not just because I was hungry! lol!)
Watching Level 1 Dressage isn’t so bad while the first 3-4 riders and horses are performing.
But by the time rider and horse #5 take their turn performing the exact same pattern as the last 3-4 riders…..and the same pattern as the 30+ rider/horse teams after them, for 4 hours straight…….I just can’t help saying it! It’s just so tedious and boring!
At first I was enchanted with the formal dressage tradition of a sweet, little salute to the judge before and after each rider’s performance, but even that wore out it’s novelty after the first few times.
Sometimes, an especially talented and unique rider or horse arrives in the arena and perks you up a little.
Or an adorable and very cute kid with great skills will make your eyes light up and pay close attention.
But for the most part, it’s just very mundane.
And the only people who do seem to stick around to watch (besides the judges, assistants and photographers) are the family members of those competing.
The riders and horses wear the exact same color and design of clothing and tack, and unlike the Western riders and horses, there aren’t any costume rhinestones or silvery saddle bling, no flashy colors, or unique saddle tooling to catch your eye.
The horses even look the same: Most of them solid colored. And they all have their manes braided and knotted up tightly to their neck….just like their riders.
While I respect and admire those who do dressage…and especially those who compete in dressage, I guess I really do get more excited about Western riding, like Reining, Cutting, Sorting, Western Pleasure, and Working Cow Horse.
I really do love me some Western bling!
I appreciate how rider’s and horse’s clothing and tack are so well coordinated.
And speaking of Working Cow Horse….I’ve got some fun photos to share, coming up next…including a performance that blew the socks….er…….boots off one of the competitors!
You just gotta come back and see!