Anyone who has a good grasp of dressage performance criteria and judging will find this article very interesting. Written by a French Master, the article eloquently describes how an ideal halt, as defined in the FEI Rule Book, embodies and demonstrates correct basics. He then shows a photograph of a horse and rider at the halt during the 2014 competition in Aachen. This picture actually presents the antithesis of what the rule book describes as a “good” halt. In spite of this, the horse and rider were given scores from 7.5 to 9 for this movement from the jury.
Should we take a lesson from Medicine, whose wisest masters repeat and repeat, “Medicine is more Art than Science.” and accept that Dressage is judged as much by emotions as by fact, and not only by those sitting in the judges boxes, but by all of us. God knows it is a difficult sport, a numbers game, but we cannot loose our senses and forget that correct basics heal and preserve the lives of our equine friends. It’s ultimately more that a ribbon at stake!
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